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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: growth of dance in America
(Summer-Fall, 1976)

Symposium: training the dancer,   pp. [346]-[355] PDF (8.9 MB)

Page 351

Shirley Ririe
Co-Director, Ririe-Woodbury Company;
Professor of Dance, University of Utah.
What kind of dance education can/should
universities provide?
A well-rounded one, with the best possible
experiences in performance, choreography,
and teacher-training.
Is there a philosophy of dance education
There is extreme variation.
What is your personal philosophy of dance
We can and should train for excellence with
very high standards in all the above areas,
with room for specialization in these and
other such areas as therapy, theory, analysis,
I also feel we should certify specialists in
elementary dance education who can be
resource and in-service assistants for class-
room teachers. I am thoroughly convinced
that dance should be an integral part of ele-
mentary education. It should be taught as a
subject, and the role of movement as a tool
for other subject areas should be understood.
We need dance desperately, not as a fringe
area but central to the curriculum. FJ
Mary Alice Brennan. Photo by Karin
Denissen, 1968.
Shirley Ririe conducting teacher workshop.
Should dance teachers be certified?
Yes. I feel we should expand our dance pro-
gram in secondary education to the point
where every state department of education
certifies dance as a subject of instruction.
Dance should eventually be moved to the
status of a fine art and not be protected
under the umbrellas of physical education,
music, or theatre.
Mary Alice Brennan
Assistant Professor in Dance, University of
What kind of dance education can/should
universities provide?
Dance opportunities should be provided for
any interested university student who wishes
to participate in such experiences. A variety
of types of classes should be offered but in
particular those that develop the creative
potential as well as the technical proficiency
of the student. Where budget, faculty, etc.,
permit, major programs should be provided
for those students who would prefer to pursue
dance for professional careers (performing,
choreography, teaching or therapy). Because
of the opportunities for interdisciplinary
cooperation with other arts and with move-
ment sciences, dance has a unique oppor-
tunity to flourish in the collegiate community.
This presumes, however, that dance receives
support as an important art form.

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