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New dance minor approved

The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts has added a dance minor to the curriculum. This minor is one of three new degree offerings added in the last 15 months. “My hope is this will open up some doors for [the school],” said Marvin Curtis, Dean of the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts.

Beginning January 2010, the dance minor will be offered along with three new dance classes. According to the National Association of Schools of Dance, the classes, Dance History and Choreography, are required for accreditation. Each class is three credit hours and mandatory for the dance minor. Introduction of Latin Dance, a two credit hour class, was also added to the course list. Modern Dance I and Ballet I are necessary for the degree, along with at least eight credit hours of elective classes.

The minor offers tree areas of concentration:  ballet/modern dance, musical theatre dance, and ethnic dance. Each focus includes the four required courses and uses specific classes to fulfill the electives for its specialty. The specialties “give more options so students can spend more time in one area because dance is so varied,” said Curtis.

Carolyn Hine-Johnson, teacher of Flamenco and Ballet, will teach Dance History and Choreography. Johnson wanted to bring a dance minor to IU South Bend because “a lot of students said they wished they had a dance major and minor, and the classes often have waiting lists.”

Dean Curtis hopes that the School of the Arts can offer a Bachelor of Arts in dance, as well as create a musical theatre degree in the future. The growth of the dance program could bring the School of the Arts many benefits. “More trained dancers will supplement the theater and music programs,” said Johnson.

All dance classes offered at IU South Bend also meet the campus-wide general education health and wellness requirement. The expansion of the dance program will increase availability of dance classes for all students on the IU South Bend campus.