Rutgers Arts Online Certificates


International Dance Studies Online Certificate

The International Dance Studies Online Certificate offers elective dance studies general education courses to a variety of students.


Program Description

Each course is an inquiry into international dance practices in their social, cultural, political, religious and historical contexts. All courses are taught by dance artist/scholars with masters and doctoral degrees in dance studies and dance education. By completion of the International Dance Studies Online Certificate, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of a variety of international dance practices in their social, historical, cultural, political and/or religious contexts
  • Critical analysis of dance practices from an array of global/local cultural contexts
  • Understanding of the complexities of globalizing pressures on changing dance practices
  • Critical thinking in the form of print text and graphic format argumentation about a variety of international dance practices

What courses can you choose from?

07:203:131 Dance Appreciation Online

Dance Appreciation Online is an introduction to dance as an art form, wherein students study the historical, cultural, social and performative contexts of diverse dance forms. Students engage with aesthetic, theoretical, and scholarly discourses aimed at illuminating how dance functions as a form of communication and personal, aesthetic expression. In addition, students explore the ways in which dance both reflects and comments upon contemporary society. Students develop fundamental dance literacy through critical analysis of dance in live and recorded formats; identify aesthetic concepts and ideas through written and visual media; demonstrate comprehension in their utilization of dance vocabulary and terminology; discuss influential choreographers and genres of dance; and articulate critical conclusions about the reciprocal relationship between dance, the arts and societal concerns.

Learning Objectives

  • To develop the ability to perceive, analyze, describe, discuss, and understand dance as an art form across cultures and forms.
  • To identify and discuss the social, cultural and historical contexts of diverse dance forms.
  • To define and describe the elements of dance composition.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of influential choreographers and eras of dance.
  • To articulate dance terminology and aesthetic concepts through both written and kinesthetic formats.
  • To refine critical analytical skills through viewing dance in live and recorded formats and presenting ideas in written and visual media.

Student Requirements

Technology: Students must have access to a computer with Internet and email capability. Access to the internet and ability to send and receive email is essential to participation in an online course. Students can login to the course on any computer with internet, including those available to students at the University. Students must have a functional Rutgers email account that is accessible daily.

Note: This course is fully online in Canvas. You are responsible for all online material included in the course. Course content, readings, and videos are embedded in Canvas and available to enrolled Rutgers students with a Net ID and password.

Go to: Log in with your NetID and password, and look at the following: Student Canvas Tutorial/Orientation. If you cannot access your course online, have technical difficulties or need help with Canvas, please go to Canvas Support before you contact your instructor


To be successful in this course you must:

  • Submit all of the assignments on or before the required date and time. Late work will not be graded.
  • Your writing assignments must reflect all the course materials (videos, lectures, readings) and should answer all the required questions. NOTHING will replace completing the readings, watching the videos, thinking through the questions at hand, and writing a thoughtful response.

Assignments and Activities

Course Lecture Content: Just as in a face to face course, you should plan 2.5–3 hours per week to read, view, and take notes for the course. This is your means of “attending” the course and your best opportunity for achieving the course learning goals. Additional weekly hours for homework are required.

Readings: Additional homework reading is assigned throughout the course. These readings contribute to your learning, and it is expected that evidence from an assigned reading will appear in your submitted work for that week.

Writing: 4 Threaded Discussions, 2 Written Response Assignments, 3 Dance Analysis Assignments; 1 Live Dance Observation Assignment, 2 Cultural Analysis Essays

Exams: 2 Multiple Choice Exams (Note: Your midterm exam will be proctored via Proctortrack with no additional fee.), Final Dance Analysis Paper

3 Credits

Note: Students may not receive credit for both Dance Appreciation Online: The Art of Movement 07:203:131 and Dance Appreciation 07:203:101. This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

07:203:132 History of Broadway Dance Online

This course explores the evolution of dance in musical theater and on Broadway. Course topics will include a historical survey of dance on Broadway; an examination of the reciprocal relationship of Broadway dance to economic and cultural change; and a close look at the power structure and organization of Broadway musicals. The evolution of Broadway dance steps and styles and the contribution of notable dancers will be examined.

3 Credits

Note: BFA and BA majors may take this course for elective credit only. This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

07:203:133 Dance in Istanbul Online

This course introduces students to dance in Istanbul from the 16th century to the present and facilitates an understanding of the dancing body in Turkish Islamic culture through three main categorizations: dances of spiritualism, dances of urban life, and dances of modernization. Special emphasis is given to theoretical debates surrounding specific dance forms, including whirling dervishes and belly dance, as well as lesser-known forms within the contexts of orientalism, feminism, and exoticism. The course concludes with an overview of modern dance developments and evolving contemporary dance, including footage of dance artists currently working in Istanbul.

3 Credits

Note: This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate. SAS Core Code: Arts and Literatures (AHp), Philosophical and Theoretical Issues (AHo).

07:203:134 Dance in Israel Online

In the last few decades, Israel has become what the local media calls an international dance empire. Israeli choreographers and companies such as Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company, Yasmeen Godder and many others perform in festivals and venues around the world. Dancers trained in Israel are in demand in companies and projects all over the globe. How did dance evolve in Israel? In what circumstances and under which influences?

The course presents the evolution of dance in Israel as an art form in a broad aesthetic, cultural and historical context. Starting from the beginning of the 20th Century until today we will look at genres, styles, key figures and critical moments in time, and explore the relationships between the local, the global and the political.

The art of choreography and the dancing body will be examined as entities that express ideologies and represent nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. The course will facilitate students with skills of how to look at dance in general, and how to critically “read” and analyzes it as an art form that is situated in a specific place and time.*

Note: Course offered only Spring semester. This course is also cross-listed as a 3-credit Special Topics course 01:563:293 in the undergraduate major at SAS Department of Jewish Studies and as 3 elective credits, under course number 07:203:134, for the Global Humanities undergraduate major at the SAS Department of African, Middle-Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL).

3 Credits

Note: This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

07:203:135 Dance Forms of Africa Online

Dance Forms of Africa course explores dance forms from the continent of Africa. African dance comprises of a variety of dance forms from different cultures in different blocks on the African continent. Through readings, viewings, and engagement with movement, the course introduces students to the skills of observation, movement learning, and contextual and comparative analysis, as we focus on the social, cultural, religious, and political significance of African dance forms. Types and functions of traditional African dances, contexts of performance, and their unique characteristics will also be explored.

3 Credits

Note: This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

07:203:136 Dance in India Online

Dance in India course covers a wide range of forms practiced in India in the 20th and 21st century, including folk dances, classical dance forms, contemporary choreography, and film dances, among others.  However, this course looks beyond India, into the diaspora and global contexts in which ‘Indian’ dance forms are practiced. In particular, we will critically look at the historical development of classical dance forms. A theoretical hinge of the class will be our engagement with prevalent categorizations such as traditional, modern, contemporary, classical, and also folk and film dance: how are they distinguished and why, where might they overlap or contradict each other?*

3 Credits

Notes: This course satisfies elective credits for the Global Humanities undergraduate major at the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Department of African, Middle-Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL). This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

NEW COURSE: 07:206:370 The History and Theory of Integrated Dance

The History and Theory of Integrated Dance offers a thorough investigation of the development of the integrated dance culture within the U.S. and internationally. The course traces the origins of disability dance back to the disability rights movement and the subsequent emergence of educational, recreational, and artistic opportunities for disabled populations. A theoretical understanding of integrated dance is developed through examining various models of disability and how they have developed historically and, specifically, how these models apply to education, physical recreation, and dance, in particular. The course investigates how perceptions of disability either challenge or reinforce ideas of ‘normalized’ bodies and how a dancing body might look. We explore the possibility that integrated dance creates its own theory. A broad understanding of diversity informs a "universal design" approach to developing both teaching and choreography that is inclusive, responsive, and ethical for dancers of all abilities.

3 credits

**07:206:431 Dance History: World Survey Online

In order to understand the history of dance, we must first ask–why do we dance? While dancing is a universal human activity, it does not play the same role in every culture. 07:206:431 examines the many functions of dance around the world and throughout history. The independent, triangular relationship between a given dance’s function, form and context will be revealed through an analysis of original source readings and selected videos. Weekly discussion board posting and blog entries will provide opportunity for reflection on the broad range of concerts that affect dance’s place and purpose in different societies.

3 Credits

Note: This course is open only to 07:203 and 07:206 majors. This course may be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.

**07:206:432 Dance History: 1900 to the Present Online

This course provides an overview of the development of ballet, modern, and contemporary dance practice throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Original source readings will describe the dance field’s major figures and movement theories, while videos will introduce the work of selected choreographers. The interdependent relationship between dance and society will be revealed through the analysis of dance works within their social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. Reading, video, and movement discussion board postings and Blog presentations will provide opportunity for reflection on the broad range of concerns that inform an individual choreographer’s work. There will be six quizzes and students will write two long essays.

3 Credits

Note: 07:206 dance majors may receive credit for Dance History Online 07:206:432 OR Dance History 07:206:442, but not both.

**Note: Dance History: World Survey Online is only available to BFA and BA Dance majors and may not be counted toward the International Dance Studies Certificate.  All other students interested in a general survey of international dance, please enroll in Dance Appreciation Online.

Who can enroll in the program?

Rutgers University students, including:

  • Dance Department undergraduate BFA (especially DanceJerusalem Study Abroad students who need an introduction to the culture of their destination) and BA majors and dance minors
  • EdM and MFA in Dance graduate students requiring additional elective courses that both broaden and deepen dance content understanding
  • Liberal Arts students, particularly those students at all three Rutgers University campuses, including Camden, Newark and New Brunswick with content area interests such as:
    • Africana Studies and Religious Studies (Camden/New Brunswick)
    • Women’s and Gender Studies (Newark/New Brunswick)
    • American Studies majors (New Brunswick)
    • Students at AMESALL (African, Middle-Eastern, South Asian Languages and Literature; and South Asian Studies
    • Jewish Studies majors
    • Latino and Caribbean Interdisciplinary Studies

Visiting students, including:

  • Elementary, middle and high school dance educators who are required to regularly complete Continuing Education Units (CEU)
  • Members of the general public with interest in dances from particular cultures

How long does it take?

The certificate requires four 3-credit courses total. Students enrolled in one course per semester can complete the International Dance Studies Online Certificate in 2 years. However, the only limit is the students’ undergraduate career at Rutgers University.

How many courses do you need to complete the certificate?

A total of four (4) courses are required (12 credits) to complete the International Dance Studies Online Certificate.

How long are the classes?

Each course is a semester-long course.

What to expect?

Please be prepared to complete the “I understand” pre-requisite for each course that evaluates your computer skills for completing online courses.  For all International Dance Certificate Online courses, you will be expected to read articles and dance reviews, view dances on embedded video clips, reflect and discuss your experience of those dances in online discussions, analyze dances for their cultural meaning-making. write short and long essays, and complete a final project.