Faculty Profile

Sarah Skaggs

Associate Professor of Dance; Director of Dance (2008)

Contact Information

skaggss@dickinson.edu

Montgomery House
717.245.1771

Bio

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.

Education

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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

THDA 111 Ballet Instruction I
Students may earn 2 P.E. Blocks.

THDA 121 Modern Dance I
Students also earn 1 P.E. Block.

THDA 204 Fundamentals of Choreography
A studio-based course designed to introduce the student to various tools to generate and create original dance compositions. Basic elements such as time, space, energy, dynamics, movement generation, and quality are explored in addition to multiple structuring devices. Using an interdisciplinary lens, this course offers a different approach to art making from related fields such as visual art,literature, and media in order to treat dance composition as a relevant response to the contemporary moment. Prerequisite: 200, or permission of the instructor. One studio course in dance is recommended.

THDA 211 Ballet Instruction II
Classes taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet CPYB. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary. Careful consideration to alignment, placement and proper execution of steps will be covered in depth. Dickinson students at all levels of experience are welcome but will be required to take the official placement class usually held during the first week of the semester. All classes are taught at the CPYB Warehouse and Barn studio during studio hours on or after 4:30 Monday through Friday and at 9am Saturday with other possible classes until 4pm. When taken for .5 academic credit, these courses do not fulfill a distribution requirement, but will carry 2 PE blocks. In order to qualify for 2 PE blocks, a student must take three hours of ballet weekly throughout the semester. Classes also count for those students enrolled in the CPYB Certificate program. When taken for 1 full academic credit, these courses satisfy the Arts (Division I C) distribution requirement.

THDA 311 Ballet Instruction III
Classes taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet CPYB. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary. Careful consideration to alignment, placement and proper execution of steps will be covered in depth. Dickinson students at all levels of experience are welcome but will be required to take the official placement class usually held during the first week of the semester. All classes are taught at the CPYB Warehouse and Barn studio during studio hours on or after 4:30 Monday through Friday and at 9am Saturday with other possible classes until 4pm. When taken for .5 academic credit, these courses do not fulfill a distribution requirement, but will carry 2 PE blocks. In order to qualify for 2 PE blocks, a student must take three hours of ballet weekly throughout the semester. Classes also count for those students enrolled in the CPYB Certificate program. When taken for 1 full academic credit, these courses satisfy the Arts (Division I C) distribution requirement.

Spring 2016

THDA 112 Ballet Instruction I
Students may earn 2 P.E. Blocks.

THDA 212 Ballet Instruction II
Classes taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet CPYB. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary. Careful consideration to alignment, placement and proper execution of steps will be covered in depth. Dickinson students at all levels of experience are welcome but will be required to take the official placement class usually held during the first week of the semester. All classes are taught at the CPYB Warehouse and Barn studio during studio hours on or after 4:30 Monday through Friday and at 9am Saturday with other possible classes until 4pm. When taken for .5 academic credit, these courses do not fulfill a distribution requirement, but will carry 2 PE blocks. In order to qualify for 2 PE blocks, a student must take three hours of ballet weekly throughout the semester. Classes also count for those students enrolled in the CPYB Certificate program. When taken for 1 full academic credit, these courses satisfy the Arts (Division I C) distribution requirement.

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.

WGST 300 Dance History Seminar
Cross-listed with THDA 316-01.This course will focus on contemporary dance history using theoretical frameworks that interrogate how race, class and gender resist, assimilate, and converge to create the construction of American modern concert dance. We will explore how the politics of the dancing female body on the concert stage produced a radicalized agenda for contemporary dance. We will address key themes and questions throughout the semester, questions such as: What makes a body "modern?" How does the feminist agenda on the concert stage aid in the construction of a "modern" body? What was the role of appropriating from exotic cultures in the making of contemporary concert dance? What is the role of technology in the creation of modern dance? What are the effects of war and politics on the dancing body? Orientalism, the Africanist presence in Western concert dance, and the restaging of Native American dances by American choreographers will be addressed as part of the overall construction of American modern dance. Through response papers, in-class presentations, and an in-depth research paper, students will engage with significant issues contributing to the development of modern concert dance.

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: 200, 204, 220. 1 credit.

THDA 312 Ballet Instruction III
Classes taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet CPYB. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary. Careful consideration to alignment, placement and proper execution of steps will be covered in depth. Dickinson students at all levels of experience are welcome but will be required to take the official placement class usually held during the first week of the semester. All classes are taught at the CPYB Warehouse and Barn studio during studio hours on or after 4:30 Monday through Friday and at 9am Saturday with other possible classes until 4pm. When taken for .5 academic credit, these courses do not fulfill a distribution requirement, but will carry 2 PE blocks. In order to qualify for 2 PE blocks, a student must take three hours of ballet weekly throughout the semester. Classes also count for those students enrolled in the CPYB Certificate program. When taken for 1 full academic credit, these courses satisfy the Arts (Division I C) distribution requirement

THDA 316 Dance History Seminar
Cross-listed with WGST 300-05.

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: Senior major status.