Dance

  • Department Theater, Dance and Film Studies
  • Academic Division The College
  • Offerings Minor

A group of students performs on stage. A group of students performs on stage.

Through the dance minor, students become well-versed in critical analysis and learn to view the world from multiple perspectives. They perform with the award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company, participate in all aspects of productions, and enjoy opportunities through classes in dance history, composition, analysis and design, among others.

Dance 

W&L Dance students become a community of leaders and form a fellowship of integrity grounded in the respect for lifelong learning and creativity. Graduates are expressive individuals who contribute to the world with a unique and individual voice grounded in compassion and forged in mutual respect.

Through the study of the practice and history of theater and dance, students develop aesthetic appreciation for art and culture, learn flexible problem-solving methods, acquire diverse communication skills and employ creative collaborative processes. 

Opportunities

The award-winning W&L Repertory Dance Company is hailed as a company of outstanding artistic excellence by the American College Dance Association. The company performs two fully produced concerts annually on the Keller Theatre stage, as well as a Spring Term aerial concert. Featuring internationally acclaimed faculty and guest artists’ choreography, the company provides students with the opportunity to expand and diversify their dance experience by working directly with professionals in the field.

W&L Dancers Create is an annual fall concert that fully integrates students’ choreography, performance and design work featuring pieces in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, aerial dance, jazz and theater dance, as well as native dance forms such as classical Indian and Chinese dance.

Company trips to perform at arts festivals and concerts have included New York City; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Williamsburg, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Galway, Ireland; and the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The American College Dance Festival is a four-day conference of performances, workshops, master classes and panels taught by instructors from around the country. Choreography and performances are adjudicated by nationally recognized dance professionals to support and promote dance within universities.

Jenefer Davies

Department Head

Sophia Kocevar

Administrative Assistant

News


Flying High

Misha Lin ’25 is taking her dance education to the next level this summer with intensive aerial dance training, finishing with a two-week international festival in August.

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‘W&L After Class’ Podcast Releases New Episode Featuring Jenefer Davies

In this month’s episode, professor Davies talks of creating and building W&L’s dance program to be a place where preconceived notions dissipate and the liberal arts education flourishes.

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Jordan Peimer Selected as Next Lenfest Center Director

The former executive director of ArtPower at the University of California, San Diego will begin his new role in July.

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W&L Repertory Dance Company Presents Winter Concert

The award-winning ensemble’s performances will run March 14-16.

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W&L Repertory Dance Company students and alumni participate in a joint concert in Brooklyn, NY. Alumni include Rasaq Lawal ’10, Elliot Emadian ’17, Runa King ‘21, Amalia Nafal ‘21, and Mary Pace Lewis ‘21.

Alumni and Students Connect Through Choreography

The W&L Repertory Dance Company’s alumni-student dance performance in New York City’s Center for Performance Research returned after a four-year hiatus.

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Sarah Foster-Sproull to Complete Dance Residency at W&L

The New Zealand-based choreographer will teach a master class for the campus community on Jan. 30.

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Washington and Lee Presents ‘W&L Dancers Create…’

The W&L Repertory Dance Company’s performances will run Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.

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Washington and Lee Presents ‘W&L Dancers Create…’

The W&L Repertory Dance Company will perform ‘W&L Dancers Create…’ on Nov. 3–5.

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W&L Repertory Dance Company and University Jazz Ensemble Present Public Performance

The groups will present a combined dance and music performance on March 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. on the W&L campus.

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The Trocks

W&L Presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The all-male dance group will perform their delightful parodies of great ballet classics at the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Feb. 15.

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Washington and Lee Presents ‘W&L Dancers Create…’

The W&L Repertory Dance Company will perform ‘W&L Dancers Create…’ Nov. 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. each night.

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Lenfest Center Opens Ticket Sales for Upcoming Season

Tickets for the 2022 season can be purchased online using a credit card or in-person at the Lenfest Center box office beginning Nov. 30.

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

Aerial Dance students perform suspended from the side of a building.

DANC 250

Aerial Dance Techniques

This course examines a unique array of techniques from across the aerial arts and a diversity of experimental approaches to movement in the air. The history of the form as well as lineage of style and current techniques are expressed through lecture, studio work, required readings and videos, masterclasses, performances and written responses.

DANC 202

Dance Europe

Students travel to the four centers of contemporary modern dance in Europe: Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels. We explore contemporary aesthetics of particular regions, how culture influences movement choices, and the new ways in which European audiences are adapting to new forms of expression.

DANC 220

Dance Composition

A studio course exploring the craft and art of creating dance performances in a variety of styles and contexts. Images, text, music, improvisation and the elements of time, space and energy are examined as sources for dance material leading to group choreography. This course focuses on creating a finished performance piece for presentation.

DANC 230

Musical-Theater Dance Technique

A studio exploration of choreography in musical theater from the 1940s to the present. Composition, theme and form are discussed in concert with practical work in restaging historically significant musical dance numbers.

DANC 292

Ballet Technique

This studio course is devoted to the practice of classical ballet technique and to the exploration of classical and contemporary ballet in performance. The course culminates in a performance presentation.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Jenefer M. Davies
Jenefer M. Davies

Jenefer M. Davies

Department Head, Theater, Dance and Film Studies; Professor of Dance and Theater

Davies teaches courses on contemporary European dance, dance composition, movement for actors and aerial dance techniques. Her research focuses on modern dance composition and the feminine aesthetic.

Owen Collins
Owen Collins

Owen Collins

Professor of Theater

Collins teaches courses on stage craft, special effects, performance design, 3D printing for theater, and scene painting/art. His research focuses on new media and technology in contemporary theater practice.

Liza Deck
Liza Deck

Liza Deck

Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Deck earned her MFA in dance from Arizona State University after attending Hope College, where she received the Florence Cavanaugh Dance Award. She has performed and choreographed professionally with numerous organizations and is currently the head of City Modern Ensemble. She teaches Modern Dance and Musical Theatre at W&L.

Shawn Paul Evans
Shawn Paul Evans

Shawn Paul Evans

Professor of Theater

Evans teaches courses on the fundamentals of theater, stage management, digital production, lighting and dance production. He has researched theater technology, including automation and motion control.

Jemma Alix Levy
Jemma Alix Levy

Jemma Alix Levy

Associate Professor of Theater/Acting, Core Affiliated Faculty, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

Levy teaches courses on acting, directing, Shakespeare and theater history. She is a professional director with critically-acclaimed national and international credits, and for 10 years ran Muse of Fire Theatre Company.

Curriculum Vitae

Sandra Meythaler
Sandra Meythaler

Sandra Meythaler

Adjunct Instructor

Rob Mish
Rob Mish

Rob Mish

Director of the Lenfest Theater; Adjunct Instructor of Theater

Mish, a W&L alum, is responsible for the management and operation of the Lenfest Center for the Arts. In addition, he teaches stage acting, Total Theater, Introduction to the Theater, Musical Theater, supervises student internships and will occasionally direct a main stage production.

Stephanie Sandberg
Stephanie Sandberg

Stephanie Sandberg

Assistant Professor of Theater/Film

Sandberg teaches courses on screenwriting, documentary filmmaking and an ethnographic study of modern-day slavery in Ghana. Her current research focuses on theater for social justice.

Owen Collins
Liza Deck
Shawn Paul Evans
Jemma Alix Levy
Sandra Meythaler
Rob Mish
Stephanie Sandberg
Jenefer M. Davies