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Dance: A Minor for Any Major

Posted: July 29, 2011
A love for expressive movement is the only prerequisite for Buffalo State’s dance program.

The 21-credit-hour minor is designed for those with or without previous dance experience, allowing students from any undergraduate program to add a fun, engaging minor to their time at Buffalo State.

“People who explore dance develop such breadth,” said Joy Guarino, assistant professor of dance. “Regardless of major, students come away from the program with a deeper understanding of the connection between body and mind.”

Guarino and other dance faculty work to connect a student’s specific major with the dance minor. The result is a blended, customized learning experience. For example, a public communication major taking a dance course will learn the technical dance vocabulary needed for work as a public relations consultant in the arts.

For theater majors, the dance minor is especially valuable as it enhances their core curriculum.

“Dance courses make theater majors more versatile,” Guarino said. “To be comfortable on stage, you have to know your body—dancing makes that happen.”

The minor offers flexibility and broad options. Classes combine a variety of dance styles: ballet, modern, jazz, and tap, allowing students to explore different techniques and approaches.

For those who want to take the dance minor to the next level, Buffalo State’s arts and letters program is an option. The program allows any student interested in the study of human expression, creativity, and/or culture to build their own major. Because a dance major is not offered, some arts and letters students choose to make dance their primary concentration.

In terms of performance, the dance program has created some large-scale productions over the years. Last season's original ballet, Earth, Wind, and Fire, being the program's most recent success.

This year's dance performance, to be held in spring 2012, is Alternative Dimensions: A Multi-Sensory Experience. The production will incorporate kinesthetic and tactile learning, which is Guarino’s research focus.

“A lot of people learn kinesthetically—through touch and movement, not just with audio and visuals,” said Guarino. “I have high hopes for our concert and I’m excited to have some new, enthusiastic dancers to showcase.”

Auditions for the annual Spring Dance Concert will be held at the beginning of the fall semester.

Related stories:

Theater Department Announces 2011-2012 Season

Movement as Communication

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