Introduction to Dance

Introduction to Dance
Last edited by Jan Kinney over 1 year ago

Introduction to Dance

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Welcome to Introduction to Dance! This short course presents an excerpt from Dance 100 (Understanding Dance) a five-credit, undergraduate course offered online through University of Washington Educational Outreach. The full-length course was created by Jennifer Salk, Associate Professor in the Dance Program at the University of Washington.

In Introduction to Dance, you will explore the vast and often difficult-to-understand world of dance. You will learn to use the special vocabulary of dance and recognize dance concepts as you view them. You will also view and analyze some dances that may change your ideas of what "dance" actually is.

By the end of this short course, you will be able to

  • look at, talk, and write about dance articulately using description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation; and
  • describe key components of any dance style you view, allowing you to create an objective perspective.

Note: Because you will be viewing many videos online, you must have easy access to a computer with strong Internet capabilities and a high-speed connection to the Internet.

This course includes two lessons offered as narrated PowerPoint presentations. Each is followed by a self-grading quiz, and additional readings and activities drawn from Dance 100: Understanding Dance. Because the primary, and best way to learn about dance is to watch dance, each lesson includes several video clips, drawn from the YouTube web site.

Getting Started

When you're ready to begin, press the "Modules" button on the left-hand side of this page, and click on Lesson 1! Be sure your speakers or headphones are turned on so you can hear the narration.

Recommended Course Materials

The more you view, the more you will gain from this course. The lists provided in each lesson are only the beginning. You may choose to view the same clips several times or to explore the Web for other dance films and excerpts. This is the beauty of an online course; there is no restriction on how much dance you may view. Additionally, there is no substitute for live dance, and you are highly encouraged to see as much dance as you can!

Your primary work in this course involves viewing a lot of dance online. You will need a strong internet connection in order to view these, so make sure you are in a place where you can enjoy them without them starting and stopping abruptly.

About the Lessons

You will view the lessons as slide shows, narrated by Jennifer Salk and Matthew Henley, both of the UW's Dance Program.

Lesson One: Elements of Dance

This lesson will provide you with tools for how to look at and experience dance by exploring its basic elements. This will provide you with a language to describe what you see and will allow you to view dance with a deeper and broader understanding.

Lesson Two: Creating a Lexicon

Understanding how dances are put together will help you analyze and interpret them more easily. Ultimately, it will enable you to articulate clearly in writing and verbally, and will enhance your enjoyment when viewing dance. In this lesson, you'll expand the vocabulary, or lexicon, you can use to describe dances.