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School of the Arts

Dance

​The dance department at Tacoma School of the Arts is a college preparatory program.  It is based in Modern technique with a strong emphasis in choreography.  There are three levels of technique offered, as well as Composition, Choreography and  two performing group, the SOTA Dance Company and Junior Ensemble.  Students are encouraged to learn the skills and vocabulary appropriate with each level of technique, and are supported in their efforts to create original work.  All students perform in the Dance Major's Concert or in the Choreographer's Showcase.  Ballet and Hip Hop are offered within the technique and performance classes and taught by Adjunct Artists.  Focus at the Tacoma School of the Arts is to engage students in the creative process and to give them the skills to create their own work.  Students are not required to enter SOTA with years of experience. All levels are accepted, and students are encouraged to express their ideas, collaborate with others, and perform regularly.​

Majoring in Dance

Students at SOTA declare a Major at the end of their Freshman year but can change it at the end of their Sophomore year.  Faculty have designed each Major to provide students with the most comprehensive, sequential course of study we offer.  Each Major requires a total of 12 classes out of the 20-24 electives most SOTA students have available over 4 years.  These Majors and their coursework are also designed to prepare students to complete a capstone project in their arts Major during their Senior year.  The courses below are required to complete the Dance Major:

  • ·       6 Dance Technique (Technique Level 1,2 or 3)

    ·       3 Performance Classes (Dance Company or Junior Ensemble)

    ·       1 Composition in Dance

    ·       1 Choreography

    ·       1 Bridge​​

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 Dance Courses

 

Ballet 1

Ballet is taught by an Adjunct Artist from the Tacoma Community.  This is an upper level dance class and students must be a dance major in Modern II or higher to be in this class.  Focus will be on technique with proper alignment and execution of movement. Class will consist of barre, center and across the floor exercises. Students will be tested on vocabulary with an emphasis on anatomy and proper technique.  A piece will be created by the students with the assistance of the teacher, to be performed at the end of the semester concert.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DBA421 | Prerequisite: Dance Major inModern II or higher | Fee: $0.00

Ballet 2

 ​This is an advanced ballet class for students with multiple years of ballet experience.  It is taught by an adjunct artist and focus will be on strengthening technical skills while enhancing performance style.  Teacher Permission is required to enroll in this class.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DBA501 | Prerequisite: Teacher Permission | Fee: $0.00

Choreography

Students will create their own work on Independent Study students in the class. (DIS601)  Students are responsible for the Creating, Performing and Responding process from start to finish.  Focus will be on form, music analysis, developing movement through choreographic devices and staging techniques.  Choreographers must be dance majors who have taken Composition.  Any SOTA student may enroll in this course as a dancer (independent study) to be in the choreographers work.  We will make dances in collaboration with the Museum of Glass.    We will analyze the visual arts elements and design principles, using these as inspiration for our work.  We will also perform our dances at the end of the semester Choreography concert and to a few local Elementary Schools.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DCH421 | Prerequisite: Composition in Dance | Fee: $0.00

Composition in Dance

In this course, students will work on creating their own solo compositions. Emphasis will be on movement invention utilizing the elements of dance. Focus will be on expanding dynamic range and increasing movement vocabulary, identifying habits and personal movement preferences. Students will respond to other students work, learning to critique dance.Students are also expected to perform at the end of the semester concert. It is strongly recommended to take this course your senior year and not earlier.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DAC421 | Prerequisite: Dance major | Fee: $0.00

Dance Company

 ​This course is by teacher permission only.  Students with a Modern IV  technique level will be asked to register for this course.  Focus will be on creating and learning reperatory work to be performed for SOTA concerts and outside performances.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DAC601 | Prerequisite: Teacher Permission only | Fee: $0.00

Hip Hop

  Hip Hop is taught by an Adjunct Artist from the Tacoma Community. This is an upper level dance class and students must be a dance major in Modern II or higher to be in this class. Focus will be on technique and style with proper alignment and execution of movement. Class will consist of  center and across the floor exercises. Students will be given projects and research assignments as well as be expected to take a master class at a private studio. A piece will be created by the students with the assistance of the teacher, to be performed at the end of the semester concert.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DWD401 | Prerequisite: Dance Major in Modern II or higher | Fee: $0.00

Independent Study in Dance

This class is open to all students.  Be a dancer for a fellow SOTA student in choreography class.  No experience is necessary and you will receive a PE credit for your participation.  You will build a dance under the direction of your choreographer to be performed at the Museum of Glass and the end of the semester dance concert.  You are required to keep a journal with daily reflections and assignments as well as attend a professional dance concert and write a critique.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DIS601 | Prerequisite: none | Fee: $0.00

Modern Dance 1

In this course, students will learn basic modern dance terminology and dance techniques.  This movement class is open to all students and PE credit is given.  Class will consist of warm-up, traveling across the floor and center combinations.  Focus will be on proper alignment and the elements of dance. Students will be expected to have regular attendance and participation and as this will be a performance class, much of their grade will depend upon their daily commitment to this class. Students will also be introduced to the history of modern dance and key people in developing this dance style. Students will create a class dance to be performed together at the end of the semester concert.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DMD421 | Prerequisite: none | Fee: $0.00

Modern Dance 2

 In this course, students will learn modern dance terminology and dance techniques.  Class will consist of warm-up, traveling across the floor and center combinations.  Focus will be on proper alignment , dynamics (execution of dance combinations) and phrasing.  Students will be expected to have regular attendance and participation and as this will be a performance class, much of their grade will depend upon their daily commitment to this class.  PE Credit is given.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DMD422 | Prerequisite: Modern Dance I and recommendation by teacher | Fee: $0.00

Modern Dance 3

This course is a continuation of concepts introduced in the beginning and intermediate levels of modern dance. In this course, students will learn modern dance techniques, practicing a variety of styles and combinations.  Class will consist of warm-up, traveling across the floor and center combinations.  Focus will be on proper alignment, dynamics, phrasing, transitions and speed of learning.  Students will be expected to have regular attendance and participation, as this will be a performance class resulting in a performance at the end of the year and SOTA's Artrageous event.
Department: Performing Arts | Discipline: Dance | Course Code: DMD521 | Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation | Fee: $0.00