The Five College Dance Department
The Five College Dance Department is one of the few coordinated multi-college departments in the country (including Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst). This means that as a member of the Hampshire dance program, sooner or later you will find yourself dancing at another campus. This program is an incredible resource: Among the five colleges, a complete and varied schedule of classes is offered, with courses planned and coordinated together as a complete curriculum. See the Five College Dance Department Curriculum. A unique benefit of the Five College Dance Department is that you get to work with a wide range of faculty members. Where else do you have the opportunity to work with five colleges' worth of amazing dance faculty?
Performances, lectures, workshops, and special events are continually happening throughout the Pioneer Valley; there is always something to see or do. This quantity and variety of offerings are simply not possible in a single school. Five College Dance Department events are listed in the Five College Calendar; there are also bulletin boards at each campus' studios overflowing with announcements.
A full schedule of technique classes in various idioms is offered through the Five College Dance Department, at beginning through advanced levels. The department provides an extensive selection of theory classes, including history, composition, movement analysis, music theory for dancers, and cultural/anthropological dance studies. These theory classes form a solid base from which to explore dance in independent and divisional work.
Classes are scheduled to accommodate dancers using the free Five College bus system. Complementary classes are often scheduled in coordinated time blocks at the schools so that the commuting is more efficient. Classes are commonly comprised of a diverse mix of Five College students, and are a great way to meet fellow dancers and get involved in performance opportunities.
There is not an audition to become a student of the Five College Dance Department or the Hampshire dance program. However, auditions are held twice-yearly for entry into the advanced level techniques classes. It is not unusual for a few first-year students to place into the advanced level.