Feb 07, 2023  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dance, B.A.

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Mr. Rubén G. Graciani, Interim School Director

Phone: (540) 568-6342 Email: graciarg@jmu.edu

Location: Forbes Center for the Performing Arts Website: http://www.jmu.edu/theatredance


D. Beck, T. Dean, R. Graciani, P. Johnson, S. Miller-Corso, S. O’Hara, C. Thompson, K. Trammell

Associate Professors

K. Arecchi, E. Becher-McKeever, J. Burgess, R. Finkelstein, K. Sherrill, J. Matos

Assistant Professors

R. Corriston, I. De Sanctis, Z. Dorsey, B. Lambert, R. Lustig, J. Stewart, J. Streeter


The School of Theatre and Dance is rooted in the belief that the relevant artist is the thinking artist who couples the mastery and embodiment of concrete skills with knowledge of and sensitivity to the cultural environments of ideas, artistic forms and other persons. The school trains and educates artists, scholars and teachers in the rich traditions and current practices of dance, theatre and musical theatre. Dedicated to the value of the intensive B.A., the school’s programs blend liberal arts education and critical thinking with intensive, pre-professional training and practice. Faculty foster an environment that values and cultivates creative, passionate, disciplined, curious, innovative, engaged, articulate, collaborative and independentthinking artists and scholars. Committed to a teaching approach that emphasizes mentorship and individual attention to students, faculty members of the school empower students in the development of their own personal strengths, provide them with tools and opportunities to realize their potential, and equip them for successful work in professional environments, graduate programs and to be lifelong learners.


To realize this mission, the School of Theatre and Dance strives to:

  • Develop in students the ability to work productively and sensitively in creative and collaborative processes.
  • Offer multiple opportunities for students to self-initiate and self-produce work in a context supportive of experimentation.
  • Produce performances and creative experiences of high quality.
  • Present performances by and learning experiences with visiting artists. Motivate students to take active responsibility for their work, processes and careers.
  • Promote, support and enable faculty professional development so that teachers continue to provide the education for students that only growing, current and active creative artists and scholars can provide. Inspire and prepare students to be advocates for the arts.
  • Foster an understanding of the roles of the artist and the arts in society.
  • Advance dynamic partnerships with diverse communities.

Career Opportunities

For information about career opportunities in theatre and dance, contact the appropriate coordinator:

  • Theatre Coordinator: Zachary Dorsey, dorseyza@jmu.edu
  • Dance Coordinator: Kate Trammell, trammekx@jmu.edu
  • Musical Theatre Coordinator: Kate Arecchi, arecchkm@jmu.edu

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a number of cocurricular activities and organizations. They allow students to apply and experiment with the theories they learn in the classroom and gain practical experience in their field.

  • Alpha Psi Omega
  • Associate Dance Ensemble
  • JMU Summer Theatre
  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble
  • Dance Studio Productions
  • Dance Theatre
  • Studio Theatre Productions
  • Experimental Series Productions
  • Workshop Productions
  • Mainstage Productions
  • National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • Stratford Players
  • Virginia Repertory Dance Company
  • USITT Student Chapter

Special Admission and Retention Requirements

Admission to the dance major is competitive and an audition/interview is required. Contact the school office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information. Admission to the musical theatre major is competitive and an audition/interview is required. Contact the school office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information. Admission to the theatre major is competitive and an audition or portfolio review and interview is required. Contact the school James Madison University 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 307 office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information. A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all courses that apply to a major in the School of Theatre and Dance. All School of Theatre and Dance majors must complete the General Education program. Theatre/Musical Theatre majors cannot take THEA 210. Introduction to Theatre, to meet the visual and performing arts requirements. Courses from other academic units may not be counted both for the School of Theatre and Dance majors and for another major.

Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Dance

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a B.A. in dance. A dance major must fulfill degree and major requirements.

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 0-14 Credit Hours 2
  • Philosophy course (in addition to General Education  courses) 3 Credit Hours
  • University electives 14-28 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (listed below) 48-49 Credit Hours

Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ placement test.

Major Requirements

All students pursuing a B.A. degree in dance must complete the core requirements.

Total: 8-9 Credit Hours

Program Requirements

Technique Courses

The student is required to complete 10 credits in modern and four credits in ballet technique, with placement to be assessed in conference with dance faculty. Modern, ballet and jazz technique classes all have an advanced level course in the curriculum. The requirements listed below are the minimum level expected of dance major students. Most majors will take additional technique courses as university electives throughout their study in the dance program.

Total: 48-49 Credit Hours

Recommended Schedule for Dance Majors

Fourth Year

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