The Department of Dance Studies serves a wide range of students, who are preparing to discover the dynamic possibilities of a career in the arts or health related fields. The Department of Dance Studies offers a bachelor of arts in dance studies, as well as a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in dance and movement science.

Program Overview

A BA in Dance Studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines dance theory and technique with a variety of departmental courses.

The BA/BS in Dance and Movement Science is a combination of dance theory and technique, with a focus on human science and movement.

Where will my degree take me?

The Dance Studies Department serves a wide range of students, who are preparing to discover the dynamic possibilities of a career in the arts or health related fields. The BA and BS in Dance Studies enhances the focus on dance-related fields, such as choreography, management, education, and multiple health related fields. Both degrees allow students to pursue further education in dance and movement-related areas, such as pursuing an MFA in Choreography or Physical Therapy, or attending medical school.

The BA is an interdisciplinary program that combines dance theory and technique with various different departmental courses that allow students to cultivate their own interests.  The BA in Dance Studies positions itself as a degree that allows women to explore their passions and to reach their artistic goals.  

The BA/BS in Dance and Movement Science is a combination of dance theory and technique, with a significant focus on human science and movement. This degree empowers students to prepare for health related careers, such as dance and physical therapy, fitness education, exercise physiology, and somatic instruction.

Dance Faculty

The dance department is under advisement of Heidi Echols. Receiving her MFA from UNC Greensboro, Heidi has trained with many renowned dance educators and has presented her choreography nationally. Adjunct Faculty includes Shawn Bowman-Hicks, Karola Luttringhaus, and Melissa Pihos. Guest artists include Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp, and multiple local artists. For photos and to learn more about dance at Salem College, visit our website.

Dance Majors (B.A.)

The BA in Dance Studies will position itself as a degree that allows women to explore their passions and to reach their artistic goals. The BA is an interdisciplinary program that combines dance theory and technique.

BA Dance Studies (15 course credits)

Dance Core Courses 6 course credits

Dance Technique Courses 3 course credits

Ensemble 1 course credit

Additional Electives 5 course credits

The BA/BS in Dance and Movement Science is a combination of dance theory with technique, and a significant focus on human science and movement.

BA Dance and Movement Science (15 course credits)

Dance Core Courses 4 course credits

Dance Technique and Ensemble 3 course credits

Science Courses 7 course credits

Exercise Science Elective 1 course credit

BS Dance and Movement Science (18 course credits)

Dance Core Courses 4 course credits

Dance Technique and Ensemble 2 course credits

Science Courses 11 course credits

Exercise Science Elective 1 course credit

Dance Minors

Dance Minor5 course credits

Dance Management Minor 5 course credits

Dance Courses (DANC)

The following dance technique courses may be used to satisfy one-half of the Salem Signature two-course physical education activity requirement: DANC 020, 021, 022, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038 or 039.

020. Dance Company Performance One-quarter course

This is a student dance company that focuses on Modern dance techniques while allowing the exploration of all dance forms. Performances are held at the end of each semester. Students must audition for the company. Full term. Students will receive one physical education activity requirement upon completion of the semester course work and the end of semester performance.

021. Dance Company Choreography One-quarter course

Choreography of a dance piece that is performed in a formal dance concert. Spring.

022. Dance Company Production One-quarter course

Assisting with production aspects of a formal dance company concert. Can include assistance behind stage, lights and sound, marketing and audience relations. Fall and Spring.

034. Beginning Ballet One-half course

This course is an introduction to the basic Ballet vocabulary. Full term.

035. Intermediate/Advanced Ballet One-half course

This course is further development of Ballet vocabulary and personal technique. Full term.

036. Beginning Jazz Dance One-half course

An introduction to basic Jazz vocabulary through various exercises and combinations. Full Term.

037. Intermediate/Advanced Jazz Dance One-half course

Further development of Jazz vocabulary and personal technique. Full Term.

038. Beginning Modern Dance One-half course

Introduction of basic Modern vocabulary through floor work, center exercises, locomotion. Full Term.

039. Intermediate/Advanced Modern Dance One-half course

Further development of Modern vocabulary with more complex movements and phrases. Full Term.

104. History of Dance One Course

A survey of dance from pre-historic times to the present with an investigation of the scope, style and function of dance in various cultures. (WS, AR)

201. Choreography One Course

The art of making dances by studying the elements of structure, time, space and dynamics and movement invention. Approaches to choreography and techniques of handling choreographic material. (AR)

202. Movement Research/Somatic study One Course

Movement Research is a movement class for people who love to be in motion and want to take time to understand how the body works, how movement is created and maintained. It is a somatic class that will explore improvisation, movement principles, and body awareness. This class is for all levels of movement experience. Spring.

210. Dance in the Community One Course

This service learning course engages students in classroom preparation through exploration of theories and ideas finding ways to facilitate creative expression using movement, text, experiences, activities and workshops. The service activity develops and informs the classroom context; structured reflection ties service experience to specific learning goals. Students will work in the community setting of their choice to facilitate creative expression through dance. Fall

220. Special Topics in Dance One-quarter to one course

This course will cover diverse and current topics in dance.

230. Independent Study in Dance One-quarter to one course

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. This independent study may take the form of readings, research, project or field experience. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. Permission of chair of the department required. May not be taken for more than a total of two courses.

270. Internship in Dance Studies One Course

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills learned in coursework to gain experience in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to juniors and seniors with at least a 2.0 cumulative average, admission by application only. Fall and Spring.

350. Capstone - Research Methods in Dance One Course

This senior capstone course examines the current trends, ideas, technology and theory associated with dance studies. Students will design, propose, conduct, write and present a substantive research endeavor. They will examine up-to-date disciplinary ideology and discuss these concepts.  Spring.

Heidi Echols, Associate Professor and Chair

Heidi Echols dancingHeidi Echols, MFA is an associate professor and Chair of Dance Studies at Salem College. Along with teaching dance theory and technique, Heidi is also the artistic director of the Salem College Dance Company. She has trained, performed, and choreographed with many dance artists, including Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, and Twyla Tharp. Heidi has presented her work and teaching pedagogy research nationally. Heidi is the recipient of the NCAAHPERD College Dance Educator of the Year.


Shawn Bowman-Hicks, Adjunct Faculty

Shawn Bowman HicksShawn Bowman-Hicks received her MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University and her bachelor from Columbia College. She has been a guest artist and on the faculties at several schools, including Ohio State, Towson State, Goucher College, Wake Forest University, UNC Greensboro, and Guangxi Arts College in China. She has had numerous dance works produced, and performs regionally.


Karola Lüttringhaus, Adjunct faculty

Karola LuttringhausKarola was born in Berlin, Germany. Merging American experiences with her European roots, she creates interdisciplinary works in dance theatre, installation, scene design, sound, and costume design. She is the artistic director of ALBAN ELVED DANCE COMPANY, and works as a freelance designer, choreographer, and educator at theatres and universities across Europe and the US. She holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a MA/MFA in Scene Design from the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.

Brianna Taylor, Adjunct Faculty

Atiba Rorie, Accompaniment

ALban Elved Dance Company

Twyla TharpALBAN ELVED DANCE COMPANY pursues the creation and presentation of innovative, multi-dimensional, original, and intellectually stimulating art experiences to fulfill some of humanities most fundamental needs: meaningful emotional & intellectual exchange and growth, creativity, and freedom.

  Alban Elved Dance Company Partnership with Salem College 

  Alban Elved Dance Company 

Twyla Tharp (2014)

Twyla TharpTwyla Tharp founded her own dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance, in 1965. She has since choreographed more than 150 works: 129 dances, 12 television specials, five Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows, and two figure skating routines. Tharp is the recipient of a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, 19 honorary doctorates, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has created dances for companies worldwide.


Jason Aryeh (2013)

Jason AryehJason Aryeh is an Assistant Professor of Dance, choreographer, and artist scholar. Aryeh has worked with numerous artists in developing movements of infusion into choreography, He has won many awards, including the prestigious student award at the ongoing American Dance Festival (ADF) as a Faculty Assistant. Aryeh is the artistic director and choreographer for African Alive Dance Company and holds a BFA in Dance and African Studies from the University of Ghana, and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from the State University of New York, College at Brockport.


Ursula Kendall (2013)

Ursula KendallUrsula Kendall was born in Atlanta, GA, and captivated the audience of her peers and teachers as a graduating student of Tri-Cities High School Turner Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Honoree. She landed a partial scholarship for the summer intensive program at The Alvin Ailey School. Ursula has danced for the Dillard Diamonds dance team, where she choreographed some of their featured pieces that were aired on BET’s 106th and Park.


Bill T. Jones (2012)

Bill T. JonesBill T. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director, and writer. He has received major honors, ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to a Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed Fela! He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening, as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award.


Melissa Pihos (2012-2013)

Melissa PihosMelissa Pihos graduated from UNC Greensboro with an MFA in Choreography, where she created PIHOS: A Moving Biography – a documentary dance/film performance that focuses on her father’s fight with Alzheimer’s disease and various aspects of his life. She currently dances for The Jan Van Dyke Dance Group and for Sidelong Dance Company. Her choreography is described as being complicated, gripping, evocative, moving and captivating. She often uses multimedia technology in her work, which adds a layer to the viewer’s visual experience.


Renay Aumiller (2011)

Renay AumillerRenay Aumiller has presented her dance works across the United States and in the Triangle/Triad areas of North Carolina as the Founder/Artistic Director of Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD). She dances with The Kearns Dance Project, and has performed for numerous choreographers and companies including Renée Wadleigh, Christian Von Howard, and Chicago-based contemporary companies, The Dance Team and Thread Meddle Outfit. She teaches regularly at the Samuel H. Scripps ADF Studios in Durham, NC and is an assistant professor of Dance at Elon University.





MoRe is an incubator for research in science, art and creative thinking, a driving force in the discovery of knowledge about human movement, a place for experimentation, an informative and inspiring event series, an instigator of cross organizational and cross disciplinary collaboration, and the organizer of a tri-annual week-long festival of Human Movement, celebrating, educating, empowering and inspiring our community.

MoRe meeting

  MoRe - Movement Research project

  Summer School - MoRe  - Movement Research project

Inclement Weather

Due to inclement weather the College will be opening at 9:30 AM on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Fri Feb 27 12:00:00 EST 2015