Jun 20, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 [Archived Catalog]

Community Dance - MA

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Master of Arts in Community Dance

Dance -  MA 5055

School of Dance
137 Putnam Hall
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall

Program Overview

Community Dance is a rapidly growing professional and academic field, in which dance professionals engage with community participants through collaborative, inclusive practices. Our M.A. program is the first in the United States in this hybrid, dynamic field. Our curriculum develops knowledgeable, effective, creative advocates for dance as form of research and an adaptable, socially relevant practice. Graduates will be prepared to explain the value of dance participation, and to lead dance experiences that foster community and enhance civic responsibility.

This program is primarily delivered on the Athens campus, with one required course conducted online. The M.A. in Community Dance requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, and can be completed in three semesters (normally, Fall, Spring, and Fall). Students who prefer part-time study can complete the degree in two or more academic years.

Students in the M.A. in Community Dance can also complete a complementary graduate certificate. These include Arts Administration, Gerontology, Global Health, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, War and Peace Studies, African Culture Through Music and Dance, and Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Most of these certificates can be completed with 12 to 18 credit hours, with 3 credit hours counting as electives in the M.A.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Community Dance will be able to:

  1. Evaluate, critique, and synthesize scholarship on community dance practices.
  2. Identify, apply, and interpret research and practice in dance pedagogy, including national standards for dance education.
  3. Identify appropriate methods for applied dance research.
  4. Demonstrate strong professional skills, including effective communication, creative problem-solving, organization, and project management.
  5. Refine proficiency in dance-movement practices, sufficient to teach, perform, and/or choreograph in at least one dance genre.
  6. Communicate research-based evidence for the value of dance participation in educational and community contexts.
  7. Create and lead dance experiences that foster community and enhance civic responsibility.
  8. Affirm that dance can be an inclusive practice, and critically question barriers to dance participation.

Opportunities for Graduates

  • Teaching Artist in wellness programs such as those with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Teaching Artist in community action programs such as those focusing on domestic abuse shelters or anti-violence programs
  • Director of dance school or studio
  • Community-engaged Dance Artist/Choreographer
  • Arts administrator
  • Community youth group leader
  • Director of dance/movement program for senior center
  • Community Engagement Director for dance companies and non-profit dance organizations
  • Teaching Artist in community arts centers, dance companies, museums, pre-K-12 private and public schools, and other organizations
  • Dance Integration Specialist

Further Information

Link to Program:  https://ohio.edu/fine-arts/dance/master-arts-community-dance

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in dance in an accredited program, or a bachelor’s degree in a related field with demonstrated experience and training in dance.
  2. GPA 3.0 or higher

Applicants must submit a resumé or CV, statement of intent, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. At least one of the recommendation letters should be from someone in the field of dance, and at least one should be from someone who has supervised, mentored, or observed the applicant in a professional setting.

Applicants who meet the above criteria will be invited to interview with the dance faculty.

Transfer Credit Policy: Students are expected to complete all of the required coursework for the M.A. in Community Dance at Ohio University. In certain circumstances, students may be awarded transfer credit based on prior graduate-level academic coursework and/or professional experience. These opportunities will be discussed and considered on an individual basis. All transfer credits are subject to Ohio University policy.

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

The M.A. in Community Dance requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.


Complete at least one of the following studio courses:


Complete a minimum of 7 hours of electives. A minimum of 3 hours must be from outside of the School of Dance. Eligible electives are as follows:

Additional Requirements

Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one dance genre, sufficient to teach, perform, and/or choreograph in that form. Achievement of this outcome will be determined by a faculty committee. Additional studio coursework (such as DANC 5360 or 5230) may be necessary for some students to demonstrate proficiency in dance studio practices.

Culminating Experience

The final course is a capstone project in which students generate new knowledge through research, implementation, and analysis of a community dance project. There is no thesis or comprehensive exam.

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