Approved by Faculty Senate March 17, 2003




Department _Theatre and Dance____________________________                                 Date ____2/5/2003____________  


______THAD 155________                 ____MODERN DANCE I        ____________________                  ____1________

Course No.                                                   Course Name                                                                                                      Credits


This proposal is for a(n)                          ___X__ Undergraduate Course                                 ______ Graduate Course


Applies to:          ______ Major                                                 ___X__ Minor                                            __X___ University Studies*

_____ Required                                           __X__ Required

_____ Elective                                           _____ Elective


Prerequisites        _______None                                                                                                   ______________________


Grading method   ______ Grade only                     ______ P/NC only                                    ___X__ Grade and P/NC Option


Frequency of offering  __every semester (2x/year)___


*For University Studies Program course approval, the form Proposal for University Studies Courses must also be completed. submitted according to the instructions on that form.


Provide the following information (attach materials to this proposal):


A.         Course Description

         1.     Catalog description.

         2.     Course outline of the major topics and subtopics (minimum of two-level outline).

         3.     Basic instructional plan and methods.

         4.     Course requirements (papers, lab work, projects, etc.) and means of evaluation.

         5.     Course materials (textbook(s), articles, etc.).

         6.     List of references.


B.         Rationale

         1.     Statement of the major focus and objectives of the course.

         2.     Specify how this new course contributes to the departmental curriculum.

         3.     Indicate any course(s) which may be dropped if this course is approved.


C.         Impact of this Course on other Departments, Programs, Majors, or Minors

         1.     Does this course increase or decrease the total credits required by a major or minor of any other department?  If so, which department(s)?

         2.     List the departments, if any, which have been consulted about this proposal.


D.         University Studies Course Proposals

The form Proposal for University Studies Course must also be completed and submitted according to the instructions on that form.


Attach a Financial and Staffing Data Sheet.


Attach an Approval Form.


Department Contact Person for this Proposal:



___Gretchen Cohenour                            _________________            ___457-5665__              ___gcohenour@winona.edu_____

Name (please print)                                                                                         Phone                        e-mail address




Department __Theatre and Dance___________________________                                                            Date ___2/5/2003_____________  


         ____THAD 155_________           _____MODERN DANCE I_______________________                             ___1_________

         Course No.                                          Course Name                                                                                                               Credits


         This proposal is for a(n)                 ___X__ Undergraduate Course


         Applies to: ______ Major                                                 ___X__ Minor

_____ Required                                           __X__ Required

_____ Elective                                           _____ Elective


         University Studies (A course may be approved to satisfy only one set of outcomes.):

Course Requirements:

                       Basic Skills:                                                             Arts & Science Core:                                 Unity and Diversity:

                       _____ 1. College Reading and Writing                       _____ 1. Humanities                                       _____ 1. Critical Analysis

                       _____ 2. Oral Communication                                     _____ 2. Natural Science                               _____ 2. Science and Social Policy

                       _____ 3. Mathematics                                                  _____ 3. Social Science                                 _____ 3. a. Global Perspectives

                       _____ 4. Physical Development & Wellness              __X__ 4. Fine & Performing Arts                  _____     b. Multicultural Perspectives

                                                                                                                                                                                    _____ 4. a. Contemporary Citizenship

                                                                                                                                                                                    _____     b. Democratic Institutions

         Flagged Courses:                               _____ 1. Writing

                                                                        _____ 2. Oral Communication

                                                                        _____ 3. a. Mathematics/Statistics

                                                                        _____     b. Critical Analysis


         Prerequisites ______None                                                                                     ______________________



Provide the following information (attach materials to this proposal):


         Please see “Directions for the Department” on previous page for material to be submitted.



Attach a University Studies Approval Form.


Department Contact Person for this Proposal:




__Gretchen Cohenour___________________                   __457-5665__                mailto:_gcohenour@winona.edu________

Name (please print)                                                                       Phone                                          e-mail address






DEPARTMENT:   THEATER AND DANCE           DATE: February 5, 2003




COURSE TITLE:    Modern Dance I                 NUMBER OF CREDITS:   1


CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the theory, technique, terminology, and history of modern dance as a performing art. The focus of expressive movement training is enhanced through experiences with improvisation and choreography. Grade only. May be repeated once for credit.


This course previously existed in the department of Physical Education and Recreation under the category of Physical Development and Wellness and is being transferred to the Department of Theater and Dance. This proposed course is designed to satisfy the requirements in: Fine and Performing Arts.


Department and contact person for this course: Gretchen Cohenour, PAC 212; 457-5665





This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to:


a. explore the language, skills, and materials of an artistic discipline: Through the knowledge and practice of modern dance theory and technique, students will develop movement skills and experience the creative and integrative processes of this performing art. Students will be introduced to basic modern dance phrases and styles from a range of historical periods and viewpoints. They will be introduced to principles of alignment that support solid dance technique, and will deepen awareness of their physical and expressive potential.

b. use methods of an arts practitioner to actively engage in creative process or interpretive performances: Students will participate in movement and dance experiences during each class period.  Students will create and perform an original modern dance (1 1/2 - 2 minutes) based on a movement style researched and interpreted by the student. The dance will be performed for the class as a final project.

c. to understand the cultural and gender contexts of artistic expression: Through video, lecture and discussion, and research, students will be exposed to the history and evolution of twentieth century modern dance theory and technique as it has evolved in both America and Europe. Students will explore the changing roles of men and women dance artists throughout the evolution of the form.

d. engage in reflective analysis of their own work or interpretive performance and respond to the work of others: Students will view, discuss, and respond in written form to a broad range of modern dance performed by professionals and experienced through video. Students will also reflect upon and assess, in written form, their own creative process and product and descriptively critique projects performed by their peers.


Course activities and assignments that address these Fine and Performing Arts Requirements will be identified in the syllabus by letter (a), (b), (c), (d)                         



1.             To strengthen, open and integrate body, mind, and spirit through expressive movement training, improvisation and choreography projects. (a), (b)

2.             To gain a basic understanding of anatomy, body mechanics, efficient energy use and breathing techniques and to apply those principles in a free-flow movement style. (a), (b)

3.             To become familiar with Laban Movement Theory concepts of space, time, weight, flow and eight basic effort actions. (a), (c)

4.             To increase awareness, rhythmic clarity, coordination and qualitative range of movement through training, self-observation and assessment. (a), (d)

5.             To develop an appreciation for modern and post-modern dances from both performer/creator and audience viewpoints within an historical perspective of the form. (b), (c)


Course Outline of Major Topics and Subtopics

I.     Alignment Principles (a), (b)

       a.)  Core support to peripheral expression

       b.)  Economy of effort

       c.)  Oppositional lengthening through vertical axis

       d.)  Ideokinesis- the nine lines of movement

II.    Movement Principles (a), (b), (c)

       a.)  Breath-based phrasing

       b.)  Balance between flexibility and strength

       c.)  Laban Movement Analysis (effort,space,time,weight,flow)

       d.)  Daily technique and skill development/ phrase work: floor, center, and traveling

III.   Performance and Choreography Skills (a), (b), (d)

       a.)  Focus and Projection

       b.)  Inner motivation

       c.)  Clarity of intent

       d.)  Improvisation

       e.)  Creative projects

IV.    History and Criticism (c), (d)

       a.) Overview of the development of 20th century modern dance

       b.) Key 20th century modern dance artists research paper

       c.) Peer assessment process- oral and written

       d.) Self-assessment process- written

       e.) Audience development: Professional Dance Company written response         



This is a beginning dance class emphasizing movement expression through technique (skill acquisition), improvisation (creative problem-solving) and composition (making dance studies). Theory and history of modern dance will be integrated into the curriculum.  Exposure to diverse world music forms will be included as accompaniment for dance phrases.


The succession of events in class will vary from day to day according to a

rotation of exercises.  They consist of floor work, center work (stationary and traveling), structured improvisations and Ideokinesis (guided imagery).  Both classmates and the instructor will offer individual and group feedback on performance.  Questions are encouraged.  Videotape of current modern dance companies will be viewed and discussed during the semester.


Course Requirements and  Assessment


75%    Class attendance, participation with an open and respectful attitude, and quality of progress.  No more than two (2) absences are permitted per term. *  See attached sheet for attendance policy. (a), (b), (c), (d)


 5%    required attendance-DANCESCAPE- Feb.14-16, 7:30 p.m. PAC Main Stage. 1-2  page typed response due T. Feb 19 (c),(d)


 5%    Research paper and group presentation (2-3 pp., typed) exploring the ideas of      a 20th century modern dance artist.  The paper focuses on the artist’s personal movement vocabulary and aesthetic choices in choreography. Bibliography must include at least 2 sources- 1 of which is a videotape of the artist’s work, from which you describe the dance (if available in the IRC located in the Basement of Howell Hall). See list below for topics. 2-4 student researchers per artist Topic choice Due: T. Jan. 22, 12:30 p.m.  Paper Due: R. 1/31, 12:30 p.m.   (a), (c), (d)


10%    Creative Project: Create an original dance piece (no more than 2 length)       which is informed by the research papers and class work, and structured and performed by student dancers (solo or small group). Projects performed in class: R 2/21 and T 2/26,12:30 p.m. (a), (b)           


 5%    Self-assessment (1-2 pp., typed) including observations about how your dancing and thinking has developed through the term. Did you start the course with assumptions about yourself or dance that have now changed in any way?   Self-Assessments Due: R. 2/28, 12:30 p.m. (d)


       *Extra Credit opportunities and absence make-ups -See Calendar


Research Topic Choices- 20th Century Modern Dance Artists

Isadora Duncan                     

Loie Fuller

Ruth St. Denis

Ted Shawn

Martha Graham

Doris Humphrey

Charles Weidman

Rudolf Laban

Mary Wigman

Hanya Holm

Anna Sokolow

Agnes de Mille

Alwin Nikolais/Murray Lewis

Paul Taylor                                                                                  

Erick Hawkins

Merce Cunningham

Daniel Nagrin

Pearl Primus

Katherine Dunham                                                              

Lester Horton

Alvin Ailey

Jose Limon

Twyla Tharp

Deborah Hay

Mark Morris

Trisha Brown

Liz Lerman

Bill T. Jones

Meredith Monk or     Your Choice (with instructor approval)



Bare feet, tights and leotards, hair pinned off face and neck. No gum. Sweats allowed for warmth.



Penrod, James and Plastino, Janice.  The Dancer Prepares: Modern Dance for Beginners.

       Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishers, 1998.



Olsen, Andrea.  Body Stories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy. Barrytown, NY:  Station

           Hill Press, 1991

Rolland, John.  Inside Motion.  Northhampton, MA:  Contact Editions, 1997.

Brown, Jean Morrison (ed.).  The Vision of Modern Dance.

       Princeton, NJ: Princeton Book Company, 1979.

Cohen, Selma Jeanne, ed.  The Modern Dance: Seven Statements of Belief.  Middletown,

       CT:  Wesleyan University Press, 1965.

Laban, Rudolf.  Modern Educational Dance.  Boston:  Plays, Inc., 1975.

Dance Class Attendance Policy

Winona State University

Gretchen Cohenour


Attendance is mandatory.  Absences will affect your grade in two ways:

                      1.     It will affect the percentage of your grade designated for participation.

                      2.     More than two (2) absences will lower your final grade by one letter for each excessive absence.


An Excused Absence includes, for example, death in the family, or debilitating illness.


Tardiness           If you are more than ten minutes late to a dance class without having notified the instructor in advance you may not participate in the class, and that class will be counted as an unexcused absence.  Being late to class twice is equivalent to one unexcused absence, if the lateness is less than ten minutes.


Make-Up Classes    Absences may be made up where there are appropriate substitutes in the curriculum, (see calendar) at least 1 week before end of term.  Make-ups must be indicated in writing to the instructor for record-keeping purposes.


Active Observation Without Participation: You are responsible for assessing your own state of health in consultation with their doctor.  If you are unable to dance, you may actively observe class for up to two weeks without participating. (This may include notating movement phrases, drawing floor patterns, giving peer feedback, journalizing, etc.)



Injury Policy     Credit for all technique classes is contingent upon participation.  If a student has or incurs an injury in the course of study resulting in a long term (over two weeks) lay off from dancing, it is the student's responsibility to consult with the teacher as to creative options in the learning process or withdrawal from the class.



B.         Rationale


1.     Statement of the major focus and objectives of the course.


         See attached


2.     Specify how this new course contributes to the departmental curriculum.


It is required in the dance minor program, and will also serve as a Fine Arts Core in the University Studies Program.


         3.     Indicate any course(s) which may be dropped if this course is approved.


                       PER 116 Modern Dance I


C.         Impact of this Course on other Departments, Programs, Majors, or Minors


1.     Does this course increase or decrease the total credits required by a major or minor of any other department?  If so, which department(s)?




2.     List the departments, if any, which have been consulted about this proposal.


Department of Physical Education and Recreation

Department of Music





                                                                                                                                                                    Course or Program__THAD 155 Modern Dance I_


Include a Financial and Staffing Data Sheet with any proposal for a new course, new program, or revised program.


Please answer the following questions completely.  Provide supporting data.


1.     Would this course or program be taught with existing staff or with new or additional staff?  If this course would be taught by adjunct faculty, include a rationale.



This course will be taught with existing staff, including adjunct faculty.  The Dance Minor program has one full-time faculty member and historically has depended on adjunct faculty to meet the needs of the program.  Although WSU is currently experiencing a hiring freeze, the CLA dean has committed necessary adjunct money to maintain the Dance Minor program.





2.     What impact would approval of this course/program have on current course offerings?  Please discuss number of sections of current offerings, dropping of courses, etc.



Since this class is currently being offered under a PER course number, approval of this course in THAD will enable us to maintain the Dance Minor at its current level and support the Fine Arts Requirement for the University Studies Program.


When the PER Department revised its curriculum in Fall of 2002, they decided to drop dance technique classes and their involvement in the shared Dance Minor program, and offered these courses to the THAD Department.


Modern Dance I classes are taught two or three times each semester.


Since this course has existed in the Dance Minor program for years as a PER course, transference of the course to the THAD Department will have no impact on current offerings.




3.     What effect would approval of this course/program have on the department supplies?  Include data to support expenditures for staffing, equipment, supplies, instructional resources, etc.



Approval will have no effect on department supplies.  The Department of Theatre and Dance within the College of Liberal Arts has supported the administration of the Dance Minor program for years, and has provided equipment and supplies.  A portion of the full-time THAD dance faculty member’s load has been dedicated to teaching PER dance classes, and CLA has covered PER dance adjunct salaries.  Bringing the dance courses into the Department of Theatre and Dance will have a positive effect in that there will be greater efficiency in the Dance Minor program being contained within one department (THAD) and one college (Liberal Arts).