Dance Requirements for Independent Study and Research

Contact a member of the Dance faculty for more information.

(Note: If you plan to produce a full-length production, please also refer to: Supplemental Requirements for Full-Length Production-Based Projects in Theater or Dance )

An independent study focusing on choreography and performance may take several different forms. Students have incorporated reading/research on a specific choreographer's work and methods to make a dance in the artist's "style"; they have chosen to compare the methods of two choreographers; composed a dance based on literature or a specific literary work; used other cultures as a source. The topic and requirements for reading, writing, viewing, performing are negotiated between student and advisor according to individual circumstances. If choreography is the sole focus of your project, your proposal will have a better chance of being accepted if you have taken Making Dance I or other relevant coursework. But regardless of how the project is framed, there are expectations that apply to all Independent Study projects.

  1. You will be exptected to meet with your advisor in the first week of the semester. The objectives will be (1) to clarify the description that will appear on your registration card; (2) to talk about the process you envision and (3) to begin thinking about a semester-long schedule for meetings and deadlines. At this time you and your advisor will set a second meeting to which you'll bring a tentative schedule that fits your ideas.
  2. At the second meeting (usually in week 2) you and your advisor will agree on the schedule and discuss sources (readings, videos, performances, performers, etc.) and your access to them. The department can help in some ways. If your project includes a performance separate from the Spring Dance performance, or if it involves special technical needs, those should be articulated at this point.
  3. If several independent studies in choreography/performance are going on simultaneously, schedules may include group meetings for showing work and getting feedback.
  4. You are expected to meet with your advisor on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Some students' desire for structure is greater than others, and this can be tailored as needed. During the course of the semester your advisor will provide 2 detailed sessions of feedback that she or he will translate to a letter grade if you want.
  5. Evaluation. Evaluation of your project will be based on the process, product, and "post-product" reflections. Many projects include a semester-long journal, as well as notes from readings, viewings, etc., and a final summation, including a video record of the performance. Your grade will be based on the organization and originality of both process and product, as well as artistic growth from beginning to end.

The faculty member will enter your Independent Studies projects as an advisor. His or her primary goal is to help you go where you want to go. Projects are dialogues and require your initiative, motivation and work as well as whatever guidance, structure, response we can give. We look forward to working with you.