The goal of Hamilton's Dance Department is to help students find and develop their own voices and identities through classes, workshops, projects an productions that consider dance from creative, technical, historical and scientific contexts.
The program in dance at Hamilton has both an educational and an artistic mission. It explores the power of human movement to express and communicate. It studies the rich cultural context in which dance takes place. And it celebrates the creation of performance art and the growth of the performer. Students in dance develop the tools with which to approach other disciplines with creativity and rigor. The demands and rewards of artistic performance encourage personal responsibility and empowerment, and they build a sense of community both within the creative ensemble and between performer and audience.
The Hamilton curriculum considers dance from a range of approaches and perspectives: creative, technical, historical and scientific. The technical aspects of dance are given depth and balance through theory-based courses that explore the human body from an anthropological, physiological, psychological and even philosophical point of view. The program emphasizes a spectrum of disciplines and styles, including contemporary dance, martial arts and dance, ballet and health-related forms of movement.
At the core of the program, however, is the creative process. It is not only the source of performance; it helps students to understand dance in its rich social and cultural context, and to explore movement as a central element of life. Dance challenges students to develop intellectually, creatively, physically and emotionally. In addition to teaching the skills of dance as an art form, the curriculum emphasizes ideas, imagination, problem solving, spontaneity, discipline, cooperation and commitment. The dance community at Hamilton is a dynamic, challenging community that aims to awaken and cultivate every student’s creative potential and presence.