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Dance: Graduate Program (MFA Dance)

Overview: 

The purpose of this degree program is to provide a rigorous plan of study for students who wish to pursue advanced studies in dance, specifically choreography, and performance.

The M.F.A. is a two-year degree and has two option areas that allow for intense focus in performance or choreography for dance. The program facilitates and nurtures dance artists in their area of emphasis while offering a comprehensive graduate education in dance.

The graduate curriculum in dance allows the student to focus on pedagogy, research, choreography and/or performance for dance. It also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies with other arts, humanities ,and sciences in support of the student’s development as a scholar, teacher, and artist.

The MFA in Dance is a practice-oriented degree which

… prepares students for professional practice directed toward dance performance and/or the creation of works of dance, the application and transmission of knowledge about works of dance, and their interrelationships with each other and with other aspects of culture. [1]

Within the field of dance, the MFA is considered a terminal degree in studio-related areas such as performance and choreography with a minimum requirement of 60 units.

According to the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) accreditation guidelines, 50% of the coursework must be graduate only, 65% of the total credits should be in performance and/or choreography and 15% of the total credits should be in academic studies concerned with dance.

In addition to required coursework and electives, the MFA student must complete the Progress Semester Project (DNC694A-second semester) and Candidacy Semester Project (DNC694A – third semester), which they must pass in order to achieve candidacy. The student then creates a Final Project, usually in the form of a concert or performance during the fourth semester in which they present a body of work demonstrating professional competence in their area of study.




[1] NASD Handbook 2002

 

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Students who are accepted as graduate students in the School of Dance are required to have either an undergraduate degree in dance or another undergraduate degree with significant dance experience and no more than 12 units of deficiencies. In addition, we expect these candidates to have at least 2 years of professional experience in the field of dance. Many of these students have extensive experience in the field and seek a graduate degree in order to expand their knowledge of diverse styles of dance, dance theory, dance history, dance pedagogy, dance technique, and choreography.

The MFA in Dance offers course work, which enables students to gain skills and knowledge of diverse styles of dance, dance theory, dance history, dance pedagogy, dance technique, and choreography. At the end of the degree program, students will be able to:

1.    Perform at a professional level in diverse styles of dance, including ballet, jazz and/or modern/contemporary dance. (Performance option)

2.    Create original choreography or restage classic works at a professional level in diverse styles of dance (choreography option)

3.    Understand and develop scholarly research techniques and be familiar with the written and verbal skills necessary and appropriate for the field

4.    Articulate a personal aesthetic

5.    Teach a dance technique class as well as an academic class.

Assessment Activities: 

DIRECT ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES

Assessment is a daily activity in the field of dance and is demonstrated through group and individual feedback from all of the faculty in all classes. Unlike some university graduate programs, students at the School of Dance have the opportunity to work one-on-one with each faculty member during their time at the university.

1.    Outcome 1: Dance performance is assessed through daily faculty feedback during technique classes, by mentoring of students through the process of learning specific dance roles in performance, and is graded through studio classes and ensemble work.

2.    Outcome 2: Choreography is assessed through close faculty mentoring of graduate choreography projects (DNC694A Masters Project in Dance & DNC909 Masters Report) as well as through classes, which explore the craft of choreography (DNC545A&B Advanced Choreography, DNC596E Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations).

3.    Outcome 3: Scholarly research techniques are specifically addressed through a formal research class (DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance) as well as written proposals for the two Master’s Projects and the Final Project Proposal. Writing and verbal skills are developed and assessed through assignments and projects in course work (DNC546A Careers in Dance, DNC696A Graduate Forum, DNC555 Biomechanics for Dancers, DNC591 001 & 002 Preceptorships). The large lecture preceptorship is particularly valuable to the student as it affords them the opportunity to mentor and grade undergraduate writing assignments.

4.    Outcome 4: The student’s personal aesthetic is developed and assessed throughout their plan of study and culminates in the final project and articulated in the final oral examination.

5.    Outcome 5: Students develop skills and are assessed on their pedagogical knowledge through specific course work including DNC595A Teaching Methods of Dance, DNC591 001 Preceptorship in Teaching Methods of Dance and DNC591 002 Large lecture preceptorship. Teaching Methods of Dance gives the student fundamental knowledge in teaching ballet, jazz and modern dance at the beginning level. The preceptorship allows them to develop advanced knowledge and skills in a particular dance discipline and to apply this knowledge in a classroom setting. DNC591 002, the large lecture preceptorship, enables the student to develop skills and knowledge for teaching a large lecture class. In addition, graduate students are given the opportunity to teach at least one course during their time of study.

 

In the MFA Dance Curriculum, the introduction of concepts and skill sets, the practical application of these concepts and skills sets and the assessment of the student’s knowledge is fully integrated into each course. In the following table, we show the classes in which students are:

·      introduced to concepts and skills sets (I)

·      provided an opportunity for the practical application of these concepts and skill sets (P)

·      assessed on their knowledge (A)

·      OC represents Outcome

Class

OC1

OC2

OC3

OC4

OC5

Technique classes including:

539B Advanced Pointe Technique

DNC540 A&B Advanced Ballet
DNC541 A&B Advanced Modern Dance DNC543 Dance Ensemble

DNC544 A&B Advanced Jazz Dance

DNC551B Ballet Repertoire

DNC 696B Seminar in Dance Technique

I & P

 

 

 

 

Courses in choreography
DNC545 A&B Advanced Choreography, DNC596E Seminar in Music & Dance Collaborations

 

I&P

 

I&P

 

Primary research class
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance

 

 

I&P

 

 

Other courses with scholarly research as a component:

DNC500 Dance and World Culture,
DNC546A Careers in Dance,
DNC555 Biomechanics for Dancers
DNC696A Graduate Forum

 

 

P

 

 

Coursework in Pedagogy

DNC595A Teaching Methods of Dance

DNC591 001 Dance Pedagogy Preceptorship DNC591 002 Large Lecture Preceptorship

 

 

 

 

I&P

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

DNC591 002 Large Lecture Preceptorship

 

 

 

 

A

DNC694A 002 Master’s Project: Performance

A

 

A

I&P

 

DNC694A 001 Master’s Project: Choreography

 

A

A

I&P

 

DNC909 001 Master’s Report (Final Project)

A

A

A

A

 

Final oral examination

A

A

A

A

A

 

 

NOTE: Projects in the performing arts are most often judged subjectively based on the professional experience and opinions of the faculty.

 

Assessment Rubric for GTA Evaluations

See Appendix A

 

Assessment Rubric for Masters Project and Masters Report Proposals

Criterion for Proposals

2

1

0

Purpose Statement clearly written

 

 

 

Problem Statements clearly written and derived from the Purpose Statement

 

 

 

Evaluation Criteria are clearly written and derived from the Problem Statements

 

 

 

Meets the deadlines for submission of the proposal and any revisions

 

 

 

NOTE: 2 = Meets the criterion at a high level. 1 = The proposal has minor revisions that need to be corrected before the proposal will be accepted by the mentor(s).
0 = The proposal needs major revisions or is an unacceptable project.

 

Assessment Rubric for Masters Project and Masters Report: Performance

Criterion for these projects are based on the Evaluation Criteria established by the student in their proposal in addition to the following:

Criterion for Performance

2

1

0

Demonstrates proper execution of movement at a professional level for the genre of dance being performed

 

 

 

Demonstrates understanding of performance qualities of the work including movement vocabulary, style, and musicality

 

 

 

Demonstrates an understanding of the context of the work within the history of dance

 

 

 

Demonstrates an understanding of performance theory in dance

 

 

 

NOTE: 2 = Outstanding. Meets the criterion at a high level. 1 = Acceptable. Meets the criterion with a few errors. 0 = Not acceptable. The student has not met the criterion.

 

Assessment Rubric for Masters Project and Masters Report: Choreography

The criterion for these projects are based on the Evaluation Criteria established by the student in their proposal. Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate advanced choreographic concepts and principles which may include the following:

Criterion for Choreography

2

1

0

Spatial design

 

 

 

Form and phrasing

 

 

 

Development of movement vocabulary which can be original or based on the genre and/or style of the movement.

 

 

 

The relationship of the movement to the sound design of the work

 

 

 

Costume design

 

 

 

Lighting

 

 

 

Set design

 

 

 

Demonstrates an understanding of the context of their work with regard to the history of dance choreography

 

 

 

NOTE: 2 = Outstanding. Meets the criterion at a high level. 1 = Acceptable. Meets the criterion with a few errors. 0 = Not acceptable. Student has not met the criterion.

 

Assessment Rubric for the Final Oral Exam

In the Final Oral Exam, the student has no more than 45 minutes to make a presentation in which they defend their work. This is followed no more than 45 minutes of follow up questions by the faculty committee. In this table, OCA stands for Outcome Assessment

Criterion for the Final Oral Exam

2

1

0

The student presentation is well organized

 

 

 

In the presentation

 

 

 

·      the student discusses each project and demonstrates a clear line of artistic investigation

 

 

 

·      the student discusses and reflects on the success of the projects as well as the resolution of problems that occurred during the process.

 

 

 

·      the student describes their personal aesthetic in relationship to dance

 

 

 

During the follow-up question period, the student is able to clearly answer the faculty questions regarding any aspect of their graduate coursework. This may include dance scholarship, dance history, pedagogy, choreography and performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: 2 = Outstanding. Meets the criterion at a high level. 1 = Acceptable. Meets the criterion with a few errors. 0 = Not acceptable. The student has not met the criterion.

 

INDIRECT ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES

Indirect Assessment of the graduate students in the School of Dance may include the following:

 

·      Number of students who complete the program

·      Number of students presenting at national conferences pre-graduation

·      Number of students presenting at national conferences post-graduation

·      Number of students presenting at international conferences pre graduation

·      Number of students presenting at international conference post-graduation.

·      Number of students placed in academic positions

·      Number of students placed in professional companies

·      Number of students working in dance related fields

·      Publications by post-graduates

 

See data under Assessment Findings.

Assessment Findings: 

At this time, the School of Dance does not have data to support direct assessment findings. The faculty are in the process of developing a rubric for this task. The rubric and findings will be completed by June 1, 2017.

The following indirect assessment findings indicate the noteworthy success of our graduate program in both the scholarly, pedagogical and performances arenas.

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Number of students presenting at national conferences pre-graduation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students presenting at national conference post-graduation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students presenting at international conferences pre graduation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students presenting at international conference post-graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students placed in academic positions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students placed in professional companies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of students working in dance related fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publications by post-graduates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in Response to Findings: 

CHANGES IN RESPONSE TO FINDINGS

At this time, since the School of Dance will not be doing an assessment of findings until June, 2017, we are unable to provide Changes in Response to Findings. These changes will be reported by June 15, 2017.

Updated date: Mon, 09/19/2016 - 10:18