Department of Human Performance and Sport
Bachelor of Arts in Dance
The MSU Denver Dance Program is unique in its versatility and in its partnership with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD). CPRD is recognized worldwide for their dynamic cross-cultural curriculum, community engagement, innovative choreography, and promotion of American dance heritage. In this exciting program, CPRD’s mission of social transformation through dance and MSU Denver’s academic rigor and focus on real world experience converge.
The dance curriculum includes coursework in modern, jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, world dance forms, world dance history and culture, community-based dance practices, somatics and anatomy, pedagogy, improvisation, choreography, contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance, movement analysis, dance production, and arts administration. We aim to build upon the success of the individualized nature of the current Dance Program, allowing students to combine their interest in dance with other fields, taking classes in non-profit management, teaching or arts administration, among others. The program will utilize service learning, field experience and internship programs to enrich students’ learning and to foster a connection between MSU and its student body and the Denver community. We aim to prepare students for their future in dance and beyond, supporting their specific career and educational goals through concrete learning experiences and creative exploration. Students are required to pick an area of emphasis that lays the groundwork for their dance careers, and are encouraged to combine courses from departments across the University to enhance this focused study. While students can create their own areas of emphasis, one of the four categories below are recommended:
Areas of Emphasis
- Social Transformation Through Dance/World Dance and Culture: This emphasis provides a space for critical inquiry into the many ways dance serves as a reflection of culture around the world. It is ideal for students looking to integrate dance into the community and/or arts programming, as well as those interested in being dance scholars or critics.
- Dance Pedagogy: This emphasis is designed for students interested in directing, managing, or teaching in a dance studio, as well as those aiming to become dance educators in the public schools and other settings. Coursework and field experiences associated with this concentration will explore an array of pedagogical concepts through readings, discussion, outreach experiences, student teaching, and research projects.
- Dance Administration: This emphasis is ideal for students who aim to work within the realms of dance administration, non-profit management, studio ownership, artist management, dance production, grant writing and fundraising. Students develop the skills necessary for the successful management of a variety of dance and arts organizations through both academic inquiry and hands-on experience.
- Performance and/or Choreography
- Dance: Focusing on technique, athleticism and artistry, students will cultivate skill and passion for contemporary performance and fusion practices. Course work facilitates injury prevention through the kinesthetic experience of anatomy and alignment, promoting efficient and expressive movement. Through the CPRD partnership, students have the opportunity to study with a range of elite dance artists, connecting them to the professional dance world that they will navigate throughout their performance careers.
- Choreography: Students will develop strong skills in the art and craft of choreography, gain confidence in composing dances, and explore movement as a vehicle of expression for thoughts, ideas, and emotions. They will be given consistent opportunities to share creative work in both formal and informal contexts. The program encourages interdisciplinary exploration and supports students in developing collaborative relationships with other artists, which greatly benefits their careers.
In the words of Cleo Parker Robinson
“Education takes place in the studio, on the stage, and in the spirit. We want to see our children develop strategies to make this world a better place. Dance is much more than just entertainment. It is a means to self-discovery. And whether it’s hip-hop, ballet, or modern dance, it isn’t the form, it’s the essence of the spirit that I’m after.” – Cleo Parker Robinson (Eichenbaum 202)
The Dance program teamed up with math and science faculty to choreograph a performance that blurs the line between science and art. Check out the video below!