Notre Dame College Enhances Performing Arts Programs with Dance Offerings

Notre Dame College continues to provide opportunities for students to pursue their passions as well as prepare for their professions with the addition of dance to its performing arts programs.

The College is offering a series of one-credit dance classes for the first time starting in the fall 2018 semester and is opening a new dance studio space on campus. Dance courses continue throughout the academic year and can count toward minors in theatre, music and performing arts, as well as arts electives in multiple major degree programs at Notre Dame. The studio rehearsal and study space, which features a performance surface and wall-to-wall windows that look out over a section of campus, is located in Regina Hall.

The progression of dance study at Notre Dame begins with a two-semester sequence Introduction to Dance course and continues with two-semester cycles of 200-, 300- and 400-level Dance Ensemble classes in subsequent years. The courses are open to all students at the College. Community members also can apply to take the courses as non-degree seeking students.

Programs of study and careers related to dance at Notre Dame vary from education majors, who become dance teachers and instructors in schools, theatres or entertainment industries to business majors, for those seeking jobs in arts administration, marketing and public relations. The College also offers a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in exercise science.

Notre Dame will feature students in its dance courses and various co-curricular dance programs during its first ever Dance Showcase on campus in March 2019. Details are forthcoming.

Co-Curricular

Dance Ensemble courses are required for students on the Notre Dame Falcons Dance Team, which features male as well as female members. The squad performs high energy, choreographed dance routines to a wide variety of music at campus gatherings, community events and sports contests, including NCAA Division II football and basketball games and wrestling matches at the College, throughout the academic year.

Students of dance at Notre Dame often participate in musical theatre productions, cheer squad and marching band flag corps co-curricular activities at the College as well as on the Falcons Dance Team. Notre Dame dance groups also exhibit the College spirit for service, contributing to Make-A-Wish fundraisers and other community and campus volunteer efforts.

Scholarships are available for eligible students in vocal, instrumental, theatre studies and now dance performing arts programs at the College.

The College also offered a hip hop dance workshop, taught by a guest artist, in spring 2018.

Athletes of all sports also benefit from training and coursework in dance, as it relates to footwork and hip flexibility, technique and conditioning, according to Timothy Little, M.M., executive director of performing arts and instructor of introduction to dance courses at the College.

“The performing arts are a vital part of the Notre Dame College experience. As a liberal arts college, we value the importance of arts education because it provides the holistic development of our students. It is our mission to cultivate tools within our students that are transferable to various academic, social, and artistic interests,” Little said.

Courses

Students in the Introduction to Dance sequence develop an understanding of dance techniques, movement styles and dance as a creative art form and aesthetic practice. They explore and hone weight, momentum, alignment, breath, focus and muscular efficiency fundamentals during classes. Students also build physical coordination, footwork and footskills, strength, flexibility, balance, body awareness and an understanding of the basic principles of dance and movement.

The Dance Ensemble progression of study imparts a physical understanding of dance techniques, movement styles and dance as a creative art form at a more advanced level. Students perfect weight, momentum, alignment, breath, focus and muscular efficiency fundamentals through weekly rehearsals, dance repertory and dance productions. They also build physical coordination, strength, flexibility, balance, body awareness and an understanding of the basic principles of dance and movement.

Both courses are offered in fall and spring semesters each academic year.

Coaches

The Introduction to Dance and Dance Ensemble courses are co-taught by Mandy Means, M.Ed., Notre Dame’s dance coach, in conjunction with Little, who also is director of choral studies at the College, and Pierre-Jacques Brault, B.M., artistic director of theatre at Notre Dame. Means is certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators.

“Falcon Dance Team members build long-lasting friendships, team camaraderie, and the opportunity to experience collaborative dance performances at its finest,” Means said. “Our dance team pride themselves on being a high-quality and high-energy group that focuses on precision and safety.”

Means served as cheer and dance captain at Baldwin-Wallace College. She is director of the new student experience at Notre Dame. She also is a graduate of Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School where she was a three-year varsity letter-winner in cheerleading as well as captain of the varsity squad.  She was also captain of the Honeybees Dance Team.

Brault also is co-founder and artistic director of Mercury Theatre Company.

“Notre Dame College offers a tradition and school spirit unlike any other institution in the area.  It is an especially exciting time to be a student at NDC because of its growing enrollment and addition of many academic and co-curricular programs,” Means said.

June 2018

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.

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