Jazz Dance I - DANC 120-01 - 2 credits - TTH 10:30-11:50 am - RH 101
Office Hours: SPAC 240H; (208) 282-6143; garijose@isu.edu
Development of the jazz dance vernacular with focus on technique, rhythmic complexity of movement combinations, the ability to perceive movement quickly and accurately, performance quality and intent, and an awareness of jazz and blues forms of music.


  • To develop understanding and control of your body as an instrument of expression through the art of dance.
  • Development of jazz dance technique: lifted center; articulate spine; articulate feet, legs, hands, and arms; isolations; strength, flexibility, agility and speed; floor work; turns; weight, suspension and balance; dynamic, fluid and percussive locomotor and non-locomotor movement.
  • To develop vocabulary of movement and movement qualities.
  • To develop musicality and music awareness.
  • To focus on performance quality and performance intent.
  • To develop observational skills when viewing dance as an art form.


    In order to reach the objectives of this course, experiential learning is the only method acceptable. In order to know dance wholly, it must be experienced kinesthetically, spatially, rhythmically, emotionally, and intellectually through the expression of movement. You will dance in combination with imitation, visualization and interpretation of instructor movement demonstration, verbal guidance, and sound and music. In order to learn, you must be willing to attempt new and challenging activities without fear of failure and be supportive of your classmates’ learning process.

    Classes are designed to follow a natural progression; both conceptually and physiologically. Class most usually will begin with fundamental exercises to warm the body, focusing on body awareness and body alignment narrowing down to specific body parts. This progression is designed to gradually prepare your body for the more active movements and combinations at the end of class. For this reason, you must participate in the exercises at the beginning of each class for you to safely dance the entirety of class. Improvisation may be used to explore movement concepts as well as cognitive skills.


  • Regular participation. Absences will negatively impact your growth, both intellectually and physically. To receive full benefit from the course, and each individual class, you must participate fully from beginning to end. If you cannot participate physically on any given day you will still be expected to participate intellectually by watching the class and writing a synopsis of that class.
  • ANY TARDY STUDENT MUST RECEIVE PERMISSION FROM THE INSTRUCTOR IN ORDER TO JOIN IN THE CLASS THAT IS ALREADY IN PROGRESS! As a general rule, if you hear the music playing and/or it is 5 minutes past the start time of class, you are too late to participate.Two tardies equal one absence.
  • You will be expected to attend each class on time, properly attired. I want to see your body and I expect a neat and functional appearance. Shoes are optional. Avoid big jewelry or loose hair. Be ready to move.
  • Attendance of a dance and/or movement performance. A two page typewritten critical description of what you saw and your honest reaction to the various dances is required. You will need to attach your ticket stub and program to the report. All papers must be typed. I will not accept handwritten or late papers.
  • Participation in final examination during finals week, Tuesday May 5, 10:00 am -12:00 pm. There will be no make-ups.
  • Dance Open House in Jensen, Thursday April 30 at 6 pm is not a requirement for this class although it presents itself as an additional performance opportunity. Towards the end of the semester we, as a class, will decide whether we will take advantage of the performance opportunity or not.
Grading Policy
100-90 A
89-80 B
79-70 C
69-60 D
59-00 F
Skill (technical proficiency) 20
Growth and Development 30
Participation 30
Final 10
Performance Critique 10
Total 100
A=exceptional work, demonstrating consistently excellent performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
B= very good to outstanding work most of the time demonstrating a high degree of excellence in performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding, particularly as the term progresses.
C=fundamental mastery of skill, steady growth, good participation, appropriate attendance, basic theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
D=performance marred by lapses in attendance, attention, attitude or missing course work.
F=performance interrupted by significant absence or failure to complete expected course work.