Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only theses

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Teresa Heiland

Second Advisor

Judith Scalin


I began my thesis project with going out into the field and working with dance students in a public school. I returned back to my old high school and participated as a guest choreographer during the summer dance camp in August 2011. I wrote learning outcomes, made lesson plans, and obtained feedback from the dancers. After I had completed a sample assessment of the progress of five students, l wrote an analysis of my experiences, highlighting what worked in my lessons and what I could change in order to lead the student to continuing and increased success.

This information fueled the second portion of my thesis, which was to examine the differences between a private dance education through dance studios and public dance education through high schools. I conducted primary research through interviews and secondary research through reading. I found many conflicting ideas about the training and development of a dancer physically, mentally, and emotionally. Dancers, dance educators, as well as the public hold different opinions about what it means to be a dancer and about what methods are best to achieve desired goals. Some points of view focus on the whole person, mind, body and spirit. Others only look at the physical training of the dancer.

As I was writing the second part of my thesis project, I became particularly interested in the importance of a successful relationship between students and teachers. Statistics showed that better relationships between students and teachers not only benefited the student but also the teacher. Teachers who knew their students better gained increasing knowledge of how to reach their students. Students, therefore progressed more successfully .