Springfield College Dance

Springfield College Dance

Hello and Welcome to Dance at Springfield College. I am excited to introduce you to our programs and I thank you in advance for your interest in Springfield.

It is interesting to note that Ted Shawn, the founder of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, began teaching dance at Springfield in 1931 where he recruited some of the college's athletes to join him in the creation of the first all-male American dance company. Shawn has been called, "the father of modern dance."

The dance major and minor are important programs within the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, which also offers programs in visual art, art therapy, computer graphics, animation, theater and music. At the heart of all programs within the department is the mission to develop emerging artists as leaders in their fields. Students prepare for professional careers as performers, choreographers, dance educators, dance therapists and more. The dance major is a comprehensive, flexible, liberal arts program that allows students to make choices in designing their own curriculum towards effective career preparation. The dance program aims to develop the highest potential within each student. The majority of our graduates find highly satisfying work in dance or related fields. And for those who continue on to pursue graduate studies, most succeed in getting into the school of their choice. Some have earned Master of Fine Arts degrees in dance at the most competitive schools.

Springfield provides a warm, supportive, yet challenging learning environment where students develop their technical skills, critical thinking and artistic abilities with many opportunities for practical applications. Students are taught and mentored by facutly members whom all hold Master's degrees in dance and have extensive experience as dance artists and educators. Dance training includes ballet, modern, jazz, world dance and contemporary forms. Dance training is supported by the study of anatomy and physiology, many somatic pratices and regular dance conditioning. The dance major also offers courses in dance history, teaching dance, Laban Movement Analysis, choreography, performance, yoga, dance therapy, career preparation, dance research and fieldwork. 

The Springfield College Dance Company provides many opportunities to work with professional guest artists, to learn reconstructed works and perform both on and off campus. Students regularly perform works by dance faculty and create their own choreography for performance on campus; they also perform lecture-demonstrations in the schools. Dance majors and minors are evaluated and given individualized assessments by faculy and graduate students from the Physical Therapy program in order to promote life-long healthy dancing. There is an option to take a five-week faculty-let, summer study abroad dance course in Perugia, Italy, focued on the origins of ballet during the Italian Renaissance. 

Springfield is located in the Pioneer Valley just north of Hartford, Connecticut and within easy driving distance from Boston and New York City. The location allows for regular hosting of a diversity of guest artists and provides exposure to contemporary professionals and a wide range of styles. Each year, students participate fully in the New England Region American College Dance Conference. This year we will bring a commissioned work by James Morrow to the festival at Boston University in February.

We are pleased to accept your application via Acceptd. It is also recommended (if possible) that you participate in an on-campus Open House or an extended visit, perhaps for a “shadow day” or overnight with one of our dance majors. Visiting students are immediately impressed with the quality and character of campus life.

Let me know if I can arrange a visit to campus where you could observe or participate in a class, meet dance students and faculty members. Then, you can see for yourself what an exciting place this is to study dance. You can also arrange a visit to campus through our Admissions Office at any time.

Yours in dance,

Dr. Cynthia Nazzaro,
Director of Dance   
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Visual and Performing Arts
Springfield College Dance