Fall 2020: School of Dance Climate Progress Report
The School of Dance is committed to building a sustainable, equitable and inclusive environment, where
cultural diversity and race are celebrated and valued. For the fall semester, faculty
and staff worked to address equity, diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways which
Curricular expansion and adjustments that celebrate the work of a wide array of artists
Engaged diverse guest faculty, choreographers and lecturers;
Expansion of our dress code to include flesh-toned dancewear; and
Outreach conversations with our Preparatory Dance and year-round programs to provide dance education to local underserved communities.
Curricular expansions and modifications
Dance History II 20th Century Modern course expansion and modifications:
Added a wider range of Black dancers and choreographers into the introductory PowerPoint
of thumbnail biographies/photos, including lesser-known figures such as Edna Guy,
Hemsley Winfield and Mary Hinkson;
Added a study unit on Josephine Baker with readings and viewings. Added discussion
about the question of dance as ‘entertainment’ ‘art’;
Added study units on five important Black choreographers who are often overlooked
in the ‘canon’ – Pearl Primus, Talley Beatty, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare and Garth
Increased readings and viewings in the units on Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey and
Bill T. Jones.
Dance Perspectives I Course presented a diverse group of alumni as weekly guest speakers:
Lina Puodziukaite (Director of Contemporary Dance program in Lithuanian national conservatory)
Supplemental Topics course expansion included:
Exploring and recognizing important contributions made to Pilates by a diverse group
of teachers and citing their influences. Teachers mentioned include Kathy Grant, Blossom
Leilani Crawford, Marimba Gold Watts, Maria Earle and Brett Howard.
Dance Music History curriculum expansion and modifications included:
Non-Western perspectives: Introduction to Quranic recitation in the Islamic tradition
Inclusion of Islamic recitation to core medieval curriculum, as well as multiple female
composers of the Middle Ages
Inclusion of female baroque composer, as well as African Canadian-American Black composer
Nathaniel Dett’s 20th-century take on the dance suite incorporating African and African
American dance styles. Excerpt from African American choreographer Robert Garland’s
New Dance representing 21st-century choreography to Baroque music.
Non-Western perspectives: Form in the Japanese Gagaku repertoire
Drawing comparison between European minuet and Dominican merengue. Introduction to
the classical era via the work of Joseph Bologne, earliest Western concert composer
of African descent, and introduction to form in traditional Japanese music. “Giselle”
introduced via all-African American “Creole Giselle” production.
Introduction to Dance Theatre of Harlem. Discussions of Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,”
and the African American spiritual. Discussion of Chinese-American choreographer Shen
Wei’s “The Rite of Spring.”
Guest faculty, choreographers, lecturers
Da'Von Doane, guest teaching artist, fall semester
Lauren Alzamora, guest teaching artist, fall semester
Laura Gutierrez, guest teaching artist, fall semester
The Dance Costume Shop cquired tights and undergarments in a wide range of skin tones and provided guidance
to students for purchasing skin-toned garments. Also provided guidance in painting shoes to match students’ skin tone.