Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have access to Dance Studios for personal practice and rehearsal purposes?
Yes. Dance majors will be able to book out studios in Kerry Hall, MCC, the Commons, and LUI to work on their choreography, complete homework assignments, and engage in personal technique and conditioning practice. There will be a limit placed on how many dancers can be in a studio at any one time, in line with the Governor’s plan for phased re-opening of the state of Washington.
How will I study technique this Fall?
If we are still within Phase 2 of Washington’s plan for re-opening, the maximum number of people in any of our studios at any given time will be 5. Our plan is to offer you 2 credits of technique in the form of a daily 50-minute class in groups of 4. This model will limit the duration of your exposure to any possible virus, allows time for cleaning the studios between classes, and will ensure that each of you gets a significant amount of personalized feedback to help you continue to progress in the development of your skills as a dancer.
The College will be utilizing spaces across the College in order to ensure that Dance majors have access to studio space for classes and personal practice (practice space can be booked 7 days/week).
Why only 2 credits of combined technique instead of 2 credits of Contemporary Techniques and 2 credits of Ballet?
Due to social distancing requirements and other federal and local health and safety guidelines, the Department has been reviewing the scheduling of technique classes in order to prepare for a safe fall. Overall, the goal is to ensure that students have access to small group technique classes, intensive faculty mentorship, and an opportunity for private practice seven days a week.
Depending on the phase Washington State is in when the College reopens, it is challenging to schedule the large number of small groups that would be required for you all to complete 4 credits of dance technique. That would be more than 10 hours of studio time per week for each group of 4 students. The Department is aware that many of you do not have sufficient space where you live, the right kind of flooring, robust enough internet bandwidth, and so forth, to expect that you can safely and effectively undertake technique study in your own homes. The current technique class schedule will ensure that all Dance students have access to technique classes in a safe environment. As a question of equity and safety this should not be compromised.
What is the plan for Cornish Dance Theater and for New Moves?
We are working with our partners at the Seattle Center to identify a range of locations to host a fully site-specific season of Cornish Dance Theater. Shifting our attention to site-specific work will allow for a safer rehearsal process, in small groups and maintaining social distance, without compromising the artistic integrity of the work our choreographers will create with you. It will also make it possible for live audiences to see your performances while also maintaining social distance. Currently, the plan for New Moves is to push back the performances until the beginning of Spring semester, in the hope that access to the theater for performers and audiences alike will be easier by then. Choreographers for New Moves may focus on solo, duet or small ensemble work that conforms to protocols around social distancing.
Will any technique electives be offered?
The Dance Department is still working on the finer points of our scheduling for Fall as we think about the many creative possibilities. Social distancing and other health and safety guidelines will mean it will not be possible to offer a course such as Ballet Partnering, but Urban Dance Styles will likely still be possible. Stay tuned for more information and feel free to reach out with ideas!
Will I have to wear a mask when I am dancing?
Yes. This is another reason why we are limiting class sessions to 50-minutes. The Department recommends that you have a separate mask for use in dance class so that you can take the sweaty one off, wash your hands, and then put a fresh one on once class is over. You should make sure to thoroughly wash and dry your dance masks between uses.
If I am doing fewer credits of technique and technique electives, what will I be doing instead and will this slow my progress to graduation?
The changes and enhancements being made to the curriculum this Fall will not slow your progress to degree. It may change the order in which you complete some of your degree requirements, since it makes sense to do a few more of those courses that lend themselves more easily to a hybrid form of teaching and learning while our ability to dance up close and personal with one another is still limited.
Rising seniors, be assured that the Department is working closely with the Dean of Academic Services and Registrar to ensure that each of you can satisfy all the remaining course requirements to ensure you are able to graduate on time.
The Department is working hard this summer to identify some new courses to address long-standing requests from students for more work on critical theory and social and racial justice, and that make a virtue of our online learning environments and by accessing experts in our field from beyond the Pacific Northwest region.