Jul 25, 2024  
2019-2020 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dance, B.A.

All courses must be passed with a grade of 2.0 or higher to count towards the major.

The SUNY Potsdam Dance Program is housed in the Theatre and Dance Department. A Bachelor of Arts degree is available to students who have a strong interest in dance and choose the dance major. Students may also choose to minor in dance, while pursuing another major or a double major. The goals for the B.A. program focus on preparing students for careers in the dance professions as artists and teachers, and to pursue graduate study. We strive to develop dance artists and educators who possess an integrated knowledge of the aesthetic, critical, historical, cultural, choreographic, and performance dimensions of the discipline of dance.

Through our close alignment with the Theatre Program, students broaden their experiences and expand their interests in such areas as acting, technical theatre, and design. Every three years the Department of Theatre and Dance joins the Crane Opera Ensemble for a musical production: Cabaret (2002), Working (2004), Urinetown-The Musical (2007), On the Town (2010), Ragtime (2013), and Return to the Forbidden Planet (2016).

Dance at SUNY Potsdam also allows for a wide variety of combinations of interdisciplinary work in such areas as theatre, music, psychology, community health, archeology, anthropology, history, business, and communication. These combined courses of study prepare students for further investigation and work in such fields as dance therapy, nutrition, fitness, dance ethnology, arts administration, and private studio ownership.

Students in the major program focus on two tracks: Technique and Composition. The dance curriculum is enriched through the study of such topics as improvisation, repertory, Laban Movement Analysis, dance education, history, Pilates-based conditioning, and yoga. Students’ technique levels are determined during a placement class.

Interested students, regardless of major, are also invited to join the Student Government Association organization, Dance Ensemble. Dance Ensemble sponsors student-choreographed productions, travel to the American College Dance Festival and other dance events.

Program Requirements

Technique Requirements: 6 Credits

chosen from the following

Composition Requirements: 6 Credits

Remaining Credits Chosen From:

Required Cognate Courses: 10 Credits

Students who have completed either DRAM 206  or DANC 223  /DRAM 223   must complete 1 credit of DANC 207 / DRAM 207  and 2 credits of DANC 307 / DRAM 307 .  If neither course was taken, students must complete 2 credits of DANC 207 / DRAM 207  and 2 credits of DANC 307  DRAM 307 .

Dance Majors are Required to:

  1. Attend all dance auditions.
  2. Perform in a minimum of one faculty or guest artist concert work.
  3. Attend all workshops and classes of visiting guest artists.
  4. Attend all required Department of Theatre and Dance productions.

Dance Major Policies on Student Grades and Performing:

  1. Any student receiving a grade of 1.0 or less for any course offered through the Theatre and Dance Department will be ineligible for casting in any student directed or choreographed production during the semester immediately following the semester in which the failing grade is issued. Eligibility in faculty directed or choreographed productions will be left to the discretion of the directing faculty member and the Department Chair.
  2. To participate as a choreographer (DANC 390  or DANC 494 ) a student’s overall GPA must be at least a 2.0, and the GPA in dance courses must be at least a 2.3 during the semester preceding the concert.


  • An interview is recommended to declare a dance major. An audition is not currently required.
  • Appropriate technique levels for students are determined during a placement class. Only credit from the above-listed technique courses will be applied toward the fulfillment of the required technique track of the major. The focus of the technique track is modern dance. The academic adviser or program chair will determine applicable credit hours from other dance genres, such as ballet.
  • Students in the major are expected to focus their studies on technique and composition courses. They will continue their studies with enrichment courses in history, repertory, movement theory, and/or dance education.
  • A minimum of 16 credit hours for the major must be taken at the upper-division level.

Total Credit Hours Required: 35 Plus 10 Credits of Cognates