B.A., Barnard College, 1975; M.A., Columbia University, 1980
B.S., Michigan State University, 1973; M.F.A., Temple University, 1994
Sandra L. Lacy
B.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1976
B.A., Grinnell College, 1997; M.F.A., New York University, 2007
Courses in this program are listed under DANC.
Updated and current information is available on the Dance department website.
The dance department faculty brings extensive professional experience in various techniques and styles to teaching dance at UMBC. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, the curriculum fosters growth in skills, artistry, and creative inquiry. With a primary focus on modern dance and contemporary methods of work, the curriculum gives students opportunities to develop strong technique, composition, and performance. By studying the history of dance and related courses, students also gain an understanding of the origins of dance, cultural traditions of dance and the changing world of contemporary dance. The program focuses on performance and choreography. Students have regular opportunities, both formal and informal, to develop their performance and choreographic skills. Students perform in department concerts at the end of each semester, in dances choreographed by faculty, visiting artists or other dance majors. Students also may have the opportunity to choreograph for department concerts and to create self-designed projects through independent studies courses. Because dance is studied in an atmosphere with many opportunities for connection with the other arts, students also develop their awareness of potential influences and new possibilities in performance. The artist-in-residence program brings well-known contemporary choreographers and/or teachers to the UMBC faculty for a full semester each year. This offers students the opportunity to work intensively with established dance artists and to be exposed to different ideas and methods of choreography. The program further develops students’ versatility in different techniques and styles. Past visiting artists have included Robin Neveu Brown, Erica Rebollar, Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, Florian Rouiller, Helanius Wilkins, Hallie Dalsimer, Tzveta Kassabova, Susan Rethorst, and Adrienne Clancy.
Career and Academic Paths
Some graduates of the dance program have danced professionally with dance companies in New York, the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond, including Pilobolus, Taylor 2, City Dance Ensemble, Dakshina, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Others have performed in in a variety of venues including regional companies such as Goodspeed Opera House, Disney in Tokyo, Jubilee in Las Vegas, the national touring companies of Chicago and The Producers, and performances on Broadway. Alumni have performed with Pilobolus and Taylor 2. Several graduates have formed their own dance companies, including Dakshina, Nona Lee Dance Theatre, Pacing Bodies, and Masala Soul Project. Alumni who graduated with education certification teach in public and private middle and high schools in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Many graduates teach in community studios or own private dance studios. Some have pursued graduate study in dance or in related fields such as physical therapy or dance therapy.
Students entering the program are placed in classes appropriate to their level of previous training. Placement is determined through interview and observation of the student. If an instructor feels that a student has been placed in the wrong level, adjustments may be made during the add/drop period.
Students pursuing dance as a major course of study receive a Dance, B.A. The major includes courses that explore important relationships between dance and other disciplines that are involved in the shaping of dance as a performing art. The curriculum is composed of sequences in contemporary modern dance technique, ballet, performance, and choreography. Sufficient previous training may enable students to enter the sequence in technique at the intermediate or advanced level, subject to the approval of the chairperson.
The Bachelor of Arts in Dance
The focus of the Dance, B.A. is on performance and choreography. Students take courses in dance technique, dance history, choreography and performance, dance and technology, and may choose electives in dance and related disciplines. All candidates for the B.A. in Dance must complete the degree requirements.
Through its relationship with the Department of Dance, UMBC’s Education Department offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study leading to K-12 Dance teacher initial certification, recognized in Maryland and 30 other states. Acceptance into UMBC or a degree program at UMBC does not guarantee admission to the Education Department’s teacher education certification programs. Dance majors must apply and be accepted to the Education Department’s K-12 Dance program and complete all requirements for both the B.A. in Dance and K-12 Dance initial teacher education certification.
Regular Classes in Dance Technique
All dance majors are expected to enroll in technique classes every semester. The dance department highly recommends that students pursuing the Dance, B.A. take both ballet and contemporary every semester. Dance majors are required to enroll in a minimum of one technique course in ballet or contemporary each semester.
Gateway Course for Majors
DANC 320 - Intermediate Contemporary Dance Techniques II (3)
This course has been designated as the “gateway course” for dance majors. This course must be passed with a grade of ‘B’ or better for a student to continue on as a dance major.
The dance department produces eight full-length dance concerts each year. Six of these concerts feature students and student choreography. Talented upper level students may be invited to work as apprentices with the Baltimore Dance Project, UMBC’s professional company in residence. The company performs throughout the region and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
Council of Majors
The dance department has an active Council of Majors. This student-run group puts on benefit concerts, sponsors master classes and supports an annual trip to the American College Dance Festival.
Recognized UMBC Dance Alumni
UMBC dance alumni active in the field include:
Ryan Bailey ‘16
Artistic Director of Pacing Bodies Dance Company, work selected for Young Choreographers Festival 2017.
Heinz Adjakwah ‘15
Performer with Vincent Thomas Dance and Rebollar Dance
Mary Dell’Erba ‘14
Director of Program and Administration for Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance
Alexis DeVance ‘14
Recipient of Baltimore RUBYS Award, Artistic Director of Masala Soul Project, choreography selected for Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage
Franki Graham ‘14
Program Director of Dance at Annapolis High School’s Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program, Co-artistic Director of Lucid Beings Dance
Angel Chinn ‘08
Artistic Director of Nona Lee Dance Theater
Robin Masella ‘07
National tours of Evita, and Chicago, Broadway productions of Cats, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Lauren Tait ‘02
Artistic Director of Kinetics Dance Theatre
Eric Jenkins, ‘94
Performed with Brandy, Missy Elliott and Ricky Martin
Teaches at Broadway Dance Center in New York City
Robin Branch ‘93
Toured Africa with Taylor 2
Many UMBC alumni currently teach in public and private schools in the Baltimore area and beyond.