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Dance History 1

This course provides an overview of developments in western modern dance in the 20th century; second term focuses on the development of modern, contemporary, and post-modern dance in Canada. Students are encouraged to look at dance in economic, social, political, and art-historical contexts. Critical thinking and research skills will be developed.  Readings and assignments are included in the coursework. Classes include video examples of the work of various key choreographers.

Pedagogy 2

In this course, second year students are acquainted with the unique skills required for teaching creative movement to young children and youth.  Some of these skills include: developing age-appropriate movement material; time-management; working with props, books, and movement maps; creating movement material to support other subjects, such as math and science; and an understanding of provincial ministry dance guidelines. Students practise these skills in a local elementary school.

Pedagogy 3

This course provides dancers with skills needed to teach modern/contemporary dance at the beginner, elementary, and advanced levels.  Included are observation and discussion of teaching strategies, sessions with visiting master teachers on their teaching philosophies, discussions with teachers of creative movement for children, and sessions with an experienced dance accompanist on the use of music in teaching.  Students participate in practicum teaching sessions in a variety of settings.

Career Paths

Over three years, this course helps students acquire practical experience in résumé writing, writing a cover letter, writing both theoretical and actual grant applications, and developing budgets, as well as provides information on legislation regarding the status of the artist, the Canadian Artist Code, and the Professional Standards for Dance. In third year, students continue acquiring practical experience in biography writing, and developing budgets as well as understanding financial management, including income tax preparation.

Information is also provided regarding relevant granting bodies and artists’ unions such as the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts, and there is discussion of relevant service organizations including the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, Dance Ontario, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.

Third-year students are required to attend the “On the Move” Career Day arranged by these various dance service organizations.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a professional dance career and as such it needs to be, and students wish it to be demanding – the goal is to achieve a positive and challenging learning environment and this was consistently the case. – Christopher Bannerman, Canadian Heritage Assessor

Film for Dance 1, 2, 3 (new in 2020-21)

This course explores basic film technique and aesthetics, important for dance film making, and includes hands-on practical experience in shooting and screening short films.  We now offer Film for Dance in second and third years; first year may be added in 2021.

Due to the pandemic’s requirements of social distancing, we are unable to offer Contact Improvisation, but we wish to maintain our relationship with our long-term, expert faculty member, Allen Kaeja, and use his skills in his other area of expertise – dance film-making. We will thus capitalize on the situation to introduce a critical new skill in filming for dance to equip our students for a new way of working. In the pandemic era, dance film-making has become a highly prized skill, as choreographers pivot from creating for live performances to making online dance works.