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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Anna J Mansbridge
DANCE 231
Seattle Campus

Folk-Social Dance Forms

Studio course in folk dance and social dance forms. Topics vary, and may include salsa, ballroom, or swing. Prerequisite: one year of previous dance experience.

Class description

This course will focus on European court and social dance during the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. Dance forms to be studied will include the Italian Ballo and Bassadanza (fifteenth century), the Italian Balletto and dances described by the French author Thoinot Arbeau in his treatise Orchesography, including the galliard and Lavolta (sixteenth century), English Country Dancing (seventeenth century) and Baroque Dance (seventeenth/eighteenth century). An emphasis will be placed on the students experiencing these dance forms kinesthetically, thereby gaining a knowledge of European history through the body: how it moved, and how it interacted with others within the physical environment. Students will learn how dancing reflected the cultural and political beliefs and structures of society during these times.

Students will also experience the intimate connection between the dancing and the music. How in reconstructing dances from the past music is crucial to understanding the structure of the dances and the rhythm of the steps. For example, Misure means ‘proportion,’ and was a fundamental concept of Renaissance thought. It refers to the ability of the dancer to keep time with different measures that vary in speed and tempo. In the Baroque, dance rhythms such a Allemande, Courante, Minuet, Bourée and Gavotte evolved into musical suites popular with composers such as Bach and Corelli.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Anna J Mansbridge
Date: 09/10/2013