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Dance course, open to all, Fall 2018


Vernacular Dance PracticesFall 2018

MUHL 4300-004 (CRN 16369) / 5320-004 (CRN 33751)

MWF 12-12:50pm:  SOM M125 (MW) & Creative Movement Studio #110 (F)

Instructor: Christopher Smith (

TA: Anne Wharton (


Course Description and Purpose:

Vernacular Dance Practices is an integrated, interdisciplinary, and multi-modal approach to various branches of global dance and related body practices as intercultural performance, combining academic study, creative scholarship, and a movement “lab” or practicum. The goal of this class is to facilitate critical analysis of and experiential engagement with a range of culturally-specific movement vocabularies and modes of learning; to enhance and deepen the qualities of attention and concentration, to enhance health and well-being, and to increase physical and mental stamina in music performance and practice settings. Students engage both physically and critically with dance forms from around the globe, situating dance as communication, personal expression, and human culture, and as encoded forms of a society’s religious, artistic, political, economic, and familial values, while working to deepen interdisciplinary, collaborative, and multi-modal performance skills. Through intellectual and kinesthetic participation in unfamiliar patterns, and the theoretical and methodological resources of Arts Practices Research (APR), the student is thus physically and conceptually challenged and informed. This class is open to all majors.

Meets MWF 12-12:50pm, SOM M125 (MW) & Creative Movement Studio #110 (F)

Open to All Music Majors; other majors by permission (contact

Prerequisite: MUSI4000 “Dance Practices for Musicians” (or permission of instructors)

Limited Enrollment

Movement Lab component

The course will employ an innovative multi-modal (2 lecture sessions + 1 movement-lab session) hybrid format to permit students to develop ability to employ both movement and sound vocabularies expected in those traditions. All students enrolled are required to participate in both lecture and movement-lab activities. Students must inform the instructor of any specific needs or physical limitations that may require special accommodations.

Service learning

A component of this class will be the fulfillment of Service-learning criteria, which will involve active participation by course members in events and programs offered through the Vernacular Music Center / Louise Hays Underwood Center for the Arts “Healing Arts” partnership, as well as various other VMC events. Students will maintain a journal detailing their Service-learning experiences and reflecting on the impact of these participatory arts upon community cohesion and well-being. The S-L experiences are a mandatory part of course requirements.


Intercultural understanding, expressive intentions, technical specifics, interplay of movement and sound, dance as an expression of cultural and personal identity, dance as reflective of social, cultural, and historical forces. 

Outcomes and Assessments

Students will develop ability to employ both movement and sound vocabularies expected in those traditions. Students will have experienced a diversity of learning modes and methods and a range of enculturated movement aesthetics. Students will be able to lead themselves through a dance practice appropriate for the movement vocabularies addressed, including warmups and other bodywork from the source vernacular traditions.

Grading based upon attendance, participation, journal, research project.

More information and to reserve a seat:








School of Music

Event Information
Time: 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Event Date: 8/27/2018

M125 School of Music & CMS 110 (Creative Movement Studio)