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Dance

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance

The Bachelor of fine arts program in dance is for students seeking careers as professional dance artists who wish to pursue their goals within the artistic and intellectual climate of a major research university. The faculty’s diverse interests and accomplishments as artists, scholars, and educators ensure expert direction in all three areas of the curriculum: technique and performance, choreography, and theoretical studies. Students applying to the BFA in dance must submit an application to the Mason Gross School of the Arts and participate in an audition.

The Dance Department enrolls a cohort of approximately 40 students each year in the BFA degree program. BFA dance majors pursue their studies in a dedicated community that prioritizes their development as future artists, educators, and scholars. Students are guided to extend and refine their artistic potential through work in state-of-the-art studio and performance facilities just 45 minutes from New York City. The Dance Department regularly hosts dance companies and dance practitioners who are internationally renowned in the field, offering students opportunities to work side-by-side on the stage and in the classroom with professional choreographers, dance educators, and dance scholars.

BFA majors in their third year of study may study abroad at the DanceJerusalem program in Jerusalem, Israel, facilitated jointly by the Rothberg International School (RIS) and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD) or the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, United Kingdom.

Movement

The study of fusion dance forms evolved from traditional and contemporary African and African-American dance forms, offering practice in performance techniques.

Faculty

Kimberly Elliott
Assistant Professor
Dance
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Kimani Fowlin
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Point classes include participation in a ballet barre and center work. The focus will be on the practice and principles of the classical ballet vocabulary with an emphasis on strengthening foundational skills in pointe technique. Advice will be given on how students can best prepare and maintain their pointe shoes. Men’s ballet classes emphasize strengthening foundational skills in men's technique. Advanced-intermediate courses explore barre and center-floor ballet technique, emphasizing adagio, allegro, barre, and center floor work.

Faculty

Kimberlee Gerstheimer
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Arts Online
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Alexandra Gonzalez
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Amber Hongsermeier
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Erika Mero
Director of Rutgers Community Arts Ballet
Dance
Community Arts
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Paul C. Ocampo
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Peggy Petteway
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Community Arts
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Jennifer Sydor
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Carlo Villanueva
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Chien-Ying Wang
Associate Professor
Dance
Emailphone

Choreography courses focus on development of solo and group choreographic process with emphasis on movement invention and experimental forms as well as communication through movement with emphasis upon structural development. The completion of all four courses culminates with individual creative projects resulting in the production of a dance concert.

Faculty

 

John Evans
Associate Chair
Dance
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Ani Javian
Assistant Professor
Dance
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Nathalie Jonas
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Jordan D. Lloyd
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Paul C. Ocampo
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Julia M. Ritter
Department Chair, Dance
Dance
Arts Online
Emailphone
Chien-Ying Wang
Associate Professor
Dance
Emailphone
Jessie Young
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email

Improvisation courses explore the use of kinetics, movement design, and spatial sensing as potential sources of movement and partner interaction. Students also learn to explore dance improvisation as the source of movement for choreography. The courses focus on the development of improvisational skills with an emphasis on form as an integral part of creative and performance processes through exploration of contemporary dance practice and interdisciplinary performance practices.

Faculty

John Evans
Associate Chair
Dance
Email
Jeff Friedman
Director, MFA in Dance
Dance
Emailphone
Ani Javian
Assistant Professor
Dance
Emailphone
Stephen O'Connell
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Paul C. Ocampo
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Julia M. Ritter
Department Chair, Dance
Dance
Arts Online
Emailphone
Laurel Snyder
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Chien-Ying Wang
Associate Professor
Dance
Emailphone

Jazz courses explore the various styles and techniques in the idiom of jazz dance.

Faculty

Barbara Angeline
Assistant Professor
Dance
Arts Online
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Amber Hongsermeier
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Laban Movement Analysis explores a systematic study of Laban's theoretical model describing concepts and principles of human movement. It includes an overview of Bartenieff Fundamentals (BF), an integrative tool for reeducating the body.

Faculty

Ana Leon Bella
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Frederick Curry
Director, EdM Program in Dance Education
Dance
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Jeff Friedman
Director, MFA in Dance
Dance
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Our modern technique courses allow students to practice advanced skills in modern dance. The Dance Rotation Workshop introduces BFA dance majors to diverse dance techniques and somatic practices through studio-based experiences including, but not limited to, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Klein Technique, Graham Technique, Cunningham Technique, contact improvisation, Gaga Technique, ballroom dance styles, yoga, capoeira, dance forms of the African diaspora, Latin dance forms, Asian dance forms, Pilates, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais Method.

Faculty

Barbara Angeline
Assistant Professor
Dance
Arts Online
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Frederick Curry
Director, EdM Program in Dance Education
Dance
Emailphone
John Evans
Associate Chair
Dance
Email
Kimberlee Gerstheimer
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Arts Online
Email
Allysen Hooks
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Ani Javian
Assistant Professor
Dance
Emailphone
Nathalie Jonas
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Jordan D. Lloyd
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Paul C. Ocampo
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Hollie Palmisano
Licensed Athletic Trainer
Dance
Emailphone
Julia M. Ritter
Department Chair, Dance
Dance
Arts Online
Emailphone
Laurel Snyder
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Jennifer Sydor
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Wies Van Houplines
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Carlo Villanueva
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Chien-Ying Wang
Associate Professor
Dance
Emailphone
Jessie Young
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email

Performance courses focus on development of performance skills through the study and performance of works from the modern dance repertoryboth historical and contemporaryby guest or resident choreographers. Students also participate in public performances of faculty choreography in department productions and gain performance experience in the student touring dance company, University Dance Works.

Faculty

Jeff Friedman
Director, MFA in Dance
Dance
Emailphone
Ani Javian
Assistant Professor
Dance
Emailphone
Chien-Ying Wang
Associate Professor
Dance
Emailphone

Pedagogy

Dance Appreciation is an introduction to the domain of dance practice, within a humanities context. Students observe and describe dance as a performing art and as cultural intervention. Guest artists provide performance demonstration on a variety of topics. This course can be taken in-person or through Rutgers Arts Online.

Faculty

Kimberlee Gerstheimer
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Arts Online
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Merli V. Guerra
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Stephen O'Connell
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Email
Julia M. Ritter
Department Chair, Dance
Dance
Arts Online
Emailphone

Dance education courses are part of the Five-Year BFA/EdM Teacher Education Program.

Faculty

Arvin Arjona
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Joanna Brotman
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Frederick Curry
Director, EdM Program in Dance Education
Dance
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Kimberly Elliott
Assistant Professor
Dance
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Monica Frichtel
Instructor
Dance
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Emily Funicello
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Cristina Marte
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Dance
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Christie Newman-King
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Hollie Palmisano
Licensed Athletic Trainer
Dance
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Lisa Jo Sagolla
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Rebecca Visintainer
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
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Elizabeth Rose Zwierzynski
Instructor
Dance
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Dance history and theory courses explore the study of dance in diverse cultures and times through film, video, reading, lectures, discussion, and directed research. Instruction includes the study of the influences on contemporary concert dance of diverse cultural, artistic, and social movements.

Faculty

Jeff Friedman
Director, MFA in Dance
Dance
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Julia M. Ritter
Department Chair, Dance
Dance
Arts Online
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Alessandra Lebea Williams
Assistant Professor
Dance
Email

Science and wellness courses explore functional human anatomy and the study of the scientific basis of human movement as they relate to dance training. Courses include somatic studies of diverse movement disciplines with programs for Pilates and yoga for dancers.

Faculty

Frederick Curry
Director, EdM Program in Dance Education
Dance
Emailphone
Hollie Palmisano
Licensed Athletic Trainer
Dance
Emailphone
Kiana Rosa-Fischer
Dance Instructor
Dance
Community Arts
Email

Production courses explore the theoretical and practical applications of computer, video, audio, and technical theater skills necessary to produce, promote, and direct a dance concert. Students develop skills in a fully equipped audiovisual computer laboratory with attached dance studio and two professional theaters. In the "Video for Dance" course, students explore communication through dance as a video art with emphasis on video shooting and editing techniques, environmental controls, and improvisational dance movement structures used in the creation of video dance projects.

Sound and movement courses focus on analysis of the relationships of music and dance in content, form, and structure. Study includes analysis of rhythmic structure relative to movement, sight-reading note values, movement dictation, and composition.

Faculty

Mesia Austin
Music Coordinator
Dance
John Evans
Associate Chair
Dance
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Stephanette Schwartz-Smith
Lighting Designer & Production Manager
Dance
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BFA/EdM in dance EDUCATION

This joint-degree track is an exceptional opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree in dance in a conservatory setting and a master’s degree in education in five years at a cost savings.

Students on the five-year​ BFA/EdM  track overlap degree requirements at two different schools: Mason Gross School of the  Arts and  Rutgers Graduate School of Education. The BFA degree is conferred by Mason Gross School of the Arts at the end of the senior year. The EdM degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Education after an additional year of graduate studies. The five-year teacher education program in dance education leads to a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and initial teacher certification.

The  diverse  interests of the Mason Gross and Graduate School of Education faculty ensure expert direction in four core areas of study: technique  and  performance, creative process  and choreography, theoretical dance study, and  dance education. Students on this track have many career options, including: ​

  • Certified dance educators in PK–12 schools​
  • Educational leadership  in  community arts settings
  • PK-12  dance teacher preparation on the university level
  • Doctoral study