Faculty Profile

Sarah Skaggs

Associate Professor of Dance; Director of Dance (2008)

Contact Information


Montgomery House


Sarah Skaggs, artistic director of Sarah Skaggs Dance, is an internationally renowned choreographer from New York City. She has received numerous fellowships -- from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Jerome, Harkenss, Greenwall, and Rockefeller foundations. Her work focuses on the relationship between the body and spirituality as impacted by social and political crises. Recently, she completed a multi-year cycle of choreographic works dealing with the body and disaster, particularly with respect to September 11th. At Dickinson she teaches Dance History, Modern Technique, Somatics, and Choreography.


  • B.A., Sweet Briar College, 1979
  • M.F.A., Hollins University, 2007

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

THDA 102 Intro to Global Dance Studies
This is an introductory course that explores dance forms from six different regions: Africa, India, North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Focus will be on how dance functions within various social structures and how these functions operate to re-inscribe, contest or legitimate race, class, and gender identity formations. Issues such as authenticity, hybridity, cultural tourism and globalization will be examined. Through an interactive classroom, guest artists and studio work, we will gain a deeper kinesthetic understanding of how dance can operate as a powerful cultural tool, glue or agent for social change. Offered every two years.

THDA 111 Ballet: Classical Ballet
Students may earn 2 P.E. Blocks.

THDA 127 Contemporary Ballet
Students also earn 1 P.E. Block

THDA 495 Senior Project
A culminating experience for students completing the Theatre major with emphasis in Dramatic Literature, Acting/Directing, or Dance. The specific nature of projects will be determined on an individual basis, but all senior projects will consist of at least two of the following: a) scholarship, b) technical/production work, and c) performance. Students will register for .5 course credit in the fall semester, during which planning and research will be conducted, and .5 in the spring, during which presentation of the project will occur. Prerequisite: four .25 course credits in THDA 190.

Spring 2018

THDA 222 Modern Dance II
Studio courses in modern dance offered at three levels: I. the basic level, which assumes no previous dance experience; II. the intermediate level, open to students who demonstrate basic accomplishment in dance technique; III. the advanced level, open to students who demonstrate substantial technical skill. All courses will explore the principles of modern dance, emphasizing body awareness and the expressive use of weight, space, and time. Materials will be selected from a variety of contemporary dance and movement training practices such as Pilates, yoga, somatics and ballet to promote performance of a range of movement dynamics, as well as musicality, strength, flexibility, and improved body alignment. Each course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Each carries .5 academic credit and 2 PE blocks.

WGSS 300 Feminist Perspect & Theories
Cross-listed with THDA 316-01.

THDA 304 Applied Choreography
This course will focus on the principles of choreography as they may be applied to the development of original dance works for inclusion in the fully produced, mainstage Dance Theatre Group Spring Concert. Through weekly workshop/discussion sessions, readings, and rehearsals, selected elements of dance composition as well as issues of aesthetic perception and articulation are explored. The processes involved in generating movement material, running constructive and creative rehearsals, and working with lighting and costume designers, are our primary concerns. The course work will include an audition showings, production of the dances, and the final performance. Prerequisites: 204, 220. 1 credit.

THDA 316 Dance History Seminar
Cross-listed with WGSS 300-01.