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DANC 222/322 Modern I/II

Instructor: Cynthia DuFault




The modern dance technique I/II course is a progressive development of movement concepts and vocabulary from the previous semester course with emphasis on movement vocabulary development and versatility. 



This course is designed for students of beginning to intermediate modern levels with the ability to adapt their technical skills to a variety of forms within the modern dance discipline. In this course, students will be provided with technically challenging material to expand their movement capabilities and to aid in their artistic growth as performers. Technique and performance is strongly emphasized.



The student-dancer is provided with the opportunity to:

  • advance and further develop technical, kinesthetic, intellectual, and creative capacities in movement; 

  • interact with other dancers, creating a shared experience of class work;

  • demonstrate a personal ownership of movement; 

  • participate in the process of giving, receiving, and incorporating feedback from peers and the faculty;

  • explore and discover the full potential of ability under the guidance of the faculty;

  • preserve a grand appreciation of dance as an art form.



Upon successful completion of this course, the student-dancer will be able to:

  • apply effective technical skills in a variety of movement material;

  • understand components of proper technical use of the body in anatomically sound application of movement;

  • demonstrate an improved ability in using the body as an instrument of artistic expression;

  • develop a personal movement style in performance of more advanced sequences of movement;

  • demonstrate the ability to learn and retain more complex movement sequences in a variety of technical styles;

  • demonstrate movement with a sensitivity to performance and full bodied commitment;

  • understand the importance of self-discipline and self-motivation in the continual effort to improve individual performance and enhanced satisfaction in dance as a performing art form;

  • recognize, discuss, and critically appraise modern dance and its relationship to the other dance forms, including its evolution into the twenty-first century;

  • analyze and discuss personal artistic and technical growth through instructor feedback and self-assessment;

  •  comprehend the origins of modern dance and its history;

  • understand the field of dance by critically analyzing a live concert dance performance in a four-page critique essay;

  • apply skills learned to attend professional auditions with confidence.



50%   Attendance/Participation: (see Attendance Policy below for details).

15%   Assignments: In-class projects and homework

15%   Midterm & Final Exam: Practicum exams are given based on technique and lectures. 

20%   Virtual Performance Attendance & Critique Essay: 

Students are required to view the Fall 2020 Media Dance Works Series and the coming-up Spring 2021 Media Dance Works Series and write a critique essay.

NOTE: Dance majors and minors are required to attend ALL virtual Department productions. 


This will be a 3 to 4 page essay (1,200-1,600 words). Included in your writing will be elements of description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. All specific requirements for the essay can be accessed on this link Critique Essay Guidelines and on the link from your class page. It will be due on the final day of class. Late essays will not be accepted. Students performing in the Media Dance Works Series (spring or fall) can include their experiences as a participant as well as what they observed.


All written materials for this course are on this website. Go to the site menu above, click on Classes, and  then click on Modern I/II in the drop menu. This will take you to your class page , where you will find a list of  links. These links include the syllabus, the weekly self-assessment form, recorded Zoom classes, additional class and workout reels, etc.


This F2F/hybrid course will be taught during class time (M/W/F, 1-2:45pm) in the studio (PAC, Rm. #126 - Studio A) and via recorded Zoom for remote learners. Please refer to the Studio Safety Guidelines (below) before entering the studio on the first day of class.


If you plan to attend  Zoom dance classes, you will need a device with a camera. This is a MUST in order for me to observe and give corrections while you take class. You will also need a large enough space (8'X8') to move freely.


You can contact me 5 WAYS: (1) school email,  (2) clicking on Contact in the site menu above, (3) clicking on the site 'chat bubble' in the lower right of the site page, (4) sending a message in the contact section in the lower portion of the homepage, (5) make a Zoom appointment Here.


Information about safety facts and policies related to SUNY Potsdam:



  • Students are expected to arrive on time and ready for class. Participation is not permitted if later than 10 minutes and a written one (1) page observation is due at the end of that class. Two (2) late arrivals will result in one (1) absence.

  • Students are allowed three (3) unexcused absences and three (3) written observations for the semester. Each additional unexcused absence will lower the final letter grade by one (1) grade-point as implemented by departmental policy. If a student has excessive unexcused and/or excused absences and cannot fully participate in class, it is highly encouraged to withdraw. 

  • Qualified excused absences include: religious holy days (advanced notice is required); family emergencies (contact instructor ASAP by e-mail if traveling out of town and factual documentation of the emergency is required upon return); serious illness or medical emergencies (factual documentation/doctor’s note is required upon return); a university sponsored event such as band trips, sports team events, conferences, etc. (advanced notice is required and documentation signed by the school coordinator is required). Students must provide appropriate documentation for any additional University sanctioned event in order for it to be excused.

  • Students are responsible for missed work due to excused absences. Make-up classes are not offered. Make-up work is permissible ONLY for excused absences, and it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor.


This course has a required dress code. Each class, students are expected to be dressed in the appropriate dance attire, as listed below, and in a neat and clean manner. There is no access to changing rooms, so you must come to class in your dance attire. 


Basic Dress Code:

  • Women: Dark-toned leotard; tights or leggings; if applicable, wear appropriate undergarment support, dance or sports bra; socks; and a face mask. 

  • Men: Dark-toned tights or leggings; black or white fitted tank or T-shirt, tucked in; dance belt; socks; and a face mask.


Additional Dress Code Information:

  • Hair must be worn in a traditional ballet bun, and bangs must be clipped away from the face. The goal is to have hair off the neckline for better alignment assessment.

  • Warm-up clothing will be allowed before class and at the teacher's discretion during class in the cold weather.  Only dark-toned fitted "dance" sweaters, dark-toned fitted pants, or dark-toned leg warmers are allowed.  No loose or baggy clothes, including T-shirts or sweatshirts, permitted under any circumstances.

  • Out of respect to all, personal hygiene, a clean body and clothing, must be observed.

  • No Jewelry, except small studded earrings.  Dangling earrings and hoops are strictly forbidden due to safety reasons.

  • For the safety of all dancers, if eyeglasses are needed, please attach with a sports strap. Contacts are highly recommended for the more advanced dancer as an alternative to glasses. 

  • No street shoes in the studio at any time. All shoes worn in the dance studio may NOT be worn outside. Please carry all dance shoes into the studio and put them on before class begins and change back into street shoes before leaving the studio. 



  • No gum, food, or beverages are permitted in the dance studios/theatres, except water in an enclosed container.

  • Turn off/mute and pack away cell phones or any electronic devices before class begins. 

  • Discussing topic-related observations are welcomed in class but side conversations are discouraged.



No text is required for this course. Any reading assignments will be provided as PDFs on


Late work is permissible upon approval of the professor. It is the 'sole responsibility of the student' to keep track of any missing assignments and turn them in before the agreed deadline.




This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.

Almost Finished...

Click on the link below, fill out the form,

        and submit it by  the end of the first week.


Guidelines and Expectations Agreement

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