Dance Elective

Subject DNCE20021 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: see below
Total Time Commitment:

VOICE – 2 x Studio-based Voice classes – 1.5 hours


BODY MOBILISING/BALANCING – 2 x Studio-based Body/Mobilising/balancing classes - 1.5 hours


IMPROVISATION – 2x Studio Based Improvisation classes – 1.5 hours


DUO PARTNERING - 2 x Studio Based Duo partnering classes – 1.5 hours


IMPROV/DUO 1 x Duo partnering class and 1 x Improvisation classes – 1.5 hours



Estimated total time commitment: 60 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) Dance Technique 3 and Choreographic Process into Performance 3 ensures all students have appropriate background knowledge

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Faculty of the VCA & MCM Student Centre
Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Bldg 860)
Southbank Campus
234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, 3006

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

The dance elective is designed to enhance students’ development as versatile dance artists. Students will maximise their movement potential through deeper, more intensive practice in a selected area OR broaden their skill acquisition and increase their skills in a complementary area. The elective choices will include areas such as Voice, Body mobilising/balancing, Career Planning, Performance Technology, Dance Industry Secondment and Dance Festival Participation. Students can elect to specialise by taking sequential units in Dance Electives in their first and second years or they can select non-sequential units to facilitate breadth.

BODY MOBILISING/BALANCING utilises techniques and approaches from various somatic practices e.g., Yoga, Feldenkrais, Conditioning programs etc., to assist the Dance student to improve individual body range of movement, flexibility, strength and tone. Easeful movement is facilitated through emphasis on correcting muscular imbalances throughout the body.

VOICE is a physical activity, and as such, complements training in dance by allowing the individual to discover interdependence of voice and body. The focus of the work lies in addressing idiosyncratic habits, which may inhibit the dancer who wishes to use their voice generally and specifically, in performance. The subject will include a selection from the following: physical awareness of breath in the body, muscularity, resonance, and rhythm through the kinaesthetic awareness of voice in the moment of speaking. Students will be expected to draw upon their experiences of integrated Mind Body practices to facilitate the interdependence of voice and body.

DUO develops contemporary duo skills with an emphasis on weight taking and sharing based on principles of contact improvisation and efficient kinaesthetic function in movement. Strength, coordination, awareness and sensitivity in partnering work are developed. Emphasis is placed on the practice of safe dance techniques as they apply to the duet form.

IMPROVISATION is explored as a means to tap into creative impulse, as a choreographic tool and as a performance modality in its own right. Through the use of Improvisation structures of ‘scores’, students define the conditions required to enter fully into the present moment, deepening their confidence in and connection to creative impulse. Personal movement vocabularies are expanded, while acute responsiveness to external stimuli is developed.

DANCE INDUSTRY SECONDMENT and DANCE FESTIVAL PARTICIPATION are independent projects developed through negotiation with the Academic Supervisor and the organisation.


This subject will enable students to:


  • Identify muscle imbalances and improve muscle function to promote more easeful movement
  • Improve and retrain neuro-muscular patterning and coordination and work towards freedom from habituated restrictions and greater connectedness
  • Maximise mechanical balance of the skeletal structure and improve whole body integration
  • Improve lumbo-pelvic stability and mobility
  • Develop the ability to make informed choices about appropriate exercises in training and rehabilitation


  • Identify idiosyncratic, habituated vocal patterns and work towards freedom from these restrictions
  • Develop and strengthen spinal support in order to free the breathing process
  • Connect breath and movement and sound
  • Centre the natural voice by creating a physical awareness of sound
  • Work with focus, energy and responsibility


  • Develop skills of the Duo form drawing on content from both contemporary dance and classical ballet genres
  • Demonstrate safe and efficient execution of lifts and falls using counterbalance and low to medium level strength lifting techniques.
  • Develop skill in creating contemporary duo material.
  • Develop skill in timing and spatial awareness, and sensitivity when moving with a partner.


  • Use improvisation as a method to explore personal movement vocabulary, and as a choreographic tool
  • Develop improvisation scores in movement.
  • Work effectively in duet and group improvisations
  • Develop personal movement aesthetic through improvised movement material.
  • Perform improvised movement material.


Objectives developed in consultation with the Academic Supervisor


Hurdle requirements:

Students must attend 80% of all scheduled classes and attempt all elements of assessment to be eligible for a pass in this subject. Regular participation in seminars and studio is required.

Assessment 1:

Contribution and participation to coursework & achievement against defined criteria of one of the following:

Body Mobilising/Balancing


Dance Secondment (to be negotiated with the Academic Supervisor)

Assessment is ongoing and worth 80% of the final mark.

Assessment 2:

Written assignments (1000 words)

A reflective paper relevant to the course content of the chosen elective to be provided in the details of the subject outline

Assessment is timed at the end of semester and worth 20% of the final mark.

Prescribed Texts:

Franklin, E. 1996. Dynamic alignment through imagery. Champaign, IL. Human Kinetics

Contact Quarterly
Magazine; contact improvisation, new dance, movement improvisation


Wunder, A.2004. Positive Feedback. Proximity Magazine. Volume 1
Steinmann, L. 1995. The Knowing Body.2 nd ed.North Atlantic Books

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have acquired the following skills:

  • The capacity for kinaesthetic awareness
  • The ability to interpret and analyse
  • The capacity to synthesise data and evaluate information
  • The capacity for imaginative, transformative and interpretive activity
  • The capacity to work with unconditional positive regard for others
  • The capacity to utilise an internal evaluative mechanism
  • The capacity to give and receive informed feedback
  • The capacity to develop a work methodology
  • The capacity to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team member, whilst respecting individual difference
  • The capacity to engage in productive self directed learning and research
  • The ability to create and organise aesthetic material
  • The ability to exercise imaginative and transformative processes
  • The ability to move within aesthetic domains
  • The application of theory to practice
  • The ability to perform at optimum level
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance)

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