Course Majors

Spring Dance Concert 2007

photo credit: David Neal

Major in Dance (course)

Prerequisites for the Major
These prerequisites are strongly recommended for first-year students and must be completed before the junior year. If a student has not completed all of these prerequisites at the time of an application for a major, but has done good work in one or more courses in the program, the student may be accepted on a provisional basis.

  • Dance 003, 004 or 025A
  • Dance 011. Dance Lab I: Making Dance
  • One dance technique class (in any style) for academic credit

Prerequisite credits for majors: 2.5

The program offers three possible areas of focus for majors; composition, history/theory, or an individual focus.  Requirements for each focus are as follows:


  • Dance 008. Anatomy: Bones, Muscles, and Movement
  • Dance 012. Dance Lab II: Making Dance or Dance 013. Dance Composition Tutorial 
  • Dance 002, 023, or 025A - one course
  • Dance 036, 038, or 075, 077b. or 079 - one course
  • Dance 049 (any section), 071, 078, one Western and one non-Western course
  • Dance 050, 051, 053, 060, or 061 - one or two courses
  • *Dance 94 or 95 - one course

Total credits in focus: 6.5-7.5


  • Dance 002, 023, or 025A - two courses 
  • Dance 036, 038, or 075, 077b. or 079 - two courses 
  • Dance technique and repertory courses - one Western and one non-Western course
  • *Dance 94/95 - one course

Total credits in focus: 6.5-7

Individually created focus - See Special Major

Total prerequisites and credits required for majors: 9.0-10.0

*The senior project/thesis is required of all majors.  The dance faculty encourages students to pursue a senior project/thesis that incorporates a comparison or integration of dance and some other creative or performing art (creative writing, music, theater, or visual art), with a community-based learning component, or with another academic discipline of the student's interest.

Additional Requirements for the Major
For majors, regular participation in technique classes throughout a student's time at Swarthmore and participation in repertory courses for at least four semesters. Students may choose any style of repertory experience as long as they adhere to the distribution guidelines to participate in both Western and non-Western styles. They are also encouraged to seek out service-learning/ community-based learning experiences that incorporate dance.  These may substitute for repertory experiences (especially those with a composition focus).  Majors are also strongly encouraged to enroll in THEA 003. Fundamentals of Design for Theater Performance and THEA 004B. Lighting Design.