About the Major

The creative process is at the core of Hamilton’s dance and movement studies program, which focuses equally on performance and scholarship. Theory-based courses, which cover a spectrum of disciplines and styles, explore the human body from an anthropological, physiological, psychological, and even philosophical point of view. Faculty emphasize ideas, imagination, problem-solving, spontaneity, discipline, cooperation, and commitment. Students enjoy ample opportunities to work alongside their instructors and independently on directing, choreographing, performing, and producing. 

Students Will Learn To:

  • Learn the fundamentals of movement through coursework in technique 
  • Develop a vocabulary enabling them to analyze, discuss, and write about a wide range of dance and movement practices 
  • Apply these concepts and principles in performance and the creation of original work including in solo and group performance, choreography, and improvisation
  • Develop an understanding of dance and movement in a broader cultural context

A Sampling of Courses

Student cultural organizations


An investigation of the musculoskeletal system and use of biomechanical principles to improve efficiency of motor behavior. Emphasis on joint, muscular and alignment analysis. Lectures, discussions and practical application of movement concepts.

Explore these select courses:

Observing, analyzing and recording movement using Laban's principles. Emphasis on cultural and aesthetic concepts of movement as a system of communication. Investigation of alignment techniques, movement behavior and kinesiological principles.

An investigation into the relationship between martial arts and dance emphasizing the abstraction of movements of self-defense into dance. The study of many cultures that utilize body awareness and movement efficiency in their performance and fighting forms. A major component is the implementation of impact weapons such as olisi (Philippines/Malaysia) and the jo (Japan).

Developing the technical skill and comprehension of jazz vocabulary and history beyond the elementary level. Focusing on proper alignment and increasing strength, flexibility, endurance as applied to jazz technique.

Study of the history of ballet from the Imperial Ballet of the Tsars to the present. Study of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet of England and the Kirov and Bolshoi of Russia. Examination of aesthetic principles and their influence on the development of modern ballet. Study of dancers, choreographers, composers and visual artists associated with the ballet world.

The application of fundamentals from 305 to more complex choreographic work, incorporating set, props, costume and text. Exploration and analysis of other art forms as related to dance composition.

Meet Our Faculty

Craig Latrell

Upson Chair for Public Discourse and Professor of Theatre, Chair of Dance and Movement Studies


Asian and intercultural performance, performance studies, and directing

Heather Buchman

Chair and Professor of Music, Associate Chair of Dance and Movement Studies


orchestral repertoire and conducting; ballet and opera conducting; trombone and low brass; solo performance; 20th- and 21st-century music

Sarah Jacobs

Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance and Movement Studies


contemporary dance, improvisation, somatics, early childhood and K-12 pedagogy

Bruce Walczyk

Professor of Dance and Movement Studies


martial arts and dance, kinesiology, and choreography

Richard Lloyd '73

Lecturer in Dance and Movement Studies


Laura Ann Samuelson

Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance and Movement Studies


Sandra Stanton

Senior Lecturer in the Dance and Movement Studies


Paris Wilcox '95

Lecturer in Dance and Movement Studies



Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in dance and movement studies are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Professional Dancer, Antaeus Dance Company
  • Policy Advisor, U.S. Treasury Department
  • Dance Professor, Ohio University
  • Latin Dance Instructor, LatinEmotion, Cypress
  • World Dance/Martial Arts Teacher, San Lorenzo Unified Schools
  • Pediatric Resident, Emory University Hospital
  • Director of Development, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
  • Marketing Assistant, Random House
  • Public Relations Manager, New York City Ballet
  • Adjunct Dance Professor, Lake Erie College
  • Owner, Kimmotion Pilates

Explore Hamilton Stories

Maggie Maselli ’24

On Pointe with Physics

Many students weigh how to balance their contrasting interests, whether they be STEM, the arts, or the humanities. Maggie Maselli ’24, however, has found the key to combining all of these seemingly different disciplines.

Faby Alvarez ’22

Building Connections Across Cultures

An interest in Japanese language and culture led Faby Alvarez ’22 to participate in the 72nd Japan-America Student Conference (JASC), a program that brings students from the two countries together to research, study, and discuss Japan-U.S. relations across a breadth of topics. The highly competitive program emphasizes building connections across cultures through reflective, educational conversations.

Jackson Bedward ’21

A Custom Equation: Knot Theory, Dance, and a Summer Job

A couple of delayed flights gave Jackson Bedward ’21 plenty of airport time to kill as he made his way from Fort Worth, Texas, back to Hamilton College after a break. Waiting for a connection in Philadelphia, another student in transit gave him a line on just the summer job he'd been hoping for.


Department Name

Dance and Movement Studies Department

Contact Name

Craig Latrell, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

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