This article examines students’ choices in a postsecondary dance major curriculum where students selected to study one or more of five dance practices (African and Diaspora Movement Practices, Contemporary Ballet, Movement Language Sources, Postmodern Contemporary Dance, and Urban Movement Practices) each semester along with required coursework centered on inquiry, the ability to pose and pursue informed questions, and creativity, the process of making something new. Using a qualitative research approach, the study investigated three main questions: What factors drive students’ course selections?; How do students fuse information from diverse dance practices?; and What do students learn through taking courses with peers who study diverse dance practices? The study’s findings suggest that the selection and study of diverse dance practices in combination with a curricular emphasis on creativity and inquiry led students to feel empowered in their dance education, develop and articulate individualized movement approaches, and increased awareness of dance and creative problem-solving ability. Postsecondary dance programs prepare future citizens, artists, educators, and administrators who may find themselves in leadership or other positions that require a re-thinking and implementation of arts policies in public schools and other settings. As such, the study’s findings also speak to the potential for arts policies and their implementation to evolve in a way that situates dance as a critical component of a comprehensive education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts