Key Allegheny Benefits

Allegheny Dance and Movement Studies is designed to enhance an individual’s capacity for aesthetic experience and response. It is intended that Allegheny College dancers will become available to experiencing, understanding and appreciating the moments when walking becomes dancing.


  • Dedicated performance/rehearsal/studio/classroom space in renovated Montgomery Gymnasium
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Summer dance intensives
  • Special topics weekend dance intensives
  • Holistic and embodied perspective

Key Goals

  • Facilitate holistic perceptions of being, experience, and inquiry
  • Generate ease, flexibility, power, and expressiveness in movement
  • Encourage critical discourse surrounding the implications of dance as a cultural signifier
  • Develop informed awareness concerning cultural debates around the body
  • Cultivate the capacity for presence and aesthetic sensibility
  • Apply insights beyond studio and performance experience.

Dance Performance

Four annual concerts are produced and directed by Dance and Movement Studies program faculty:

  • Allegheny Dance Community, a company of student and community dancers who perform the work of faculty, professional, and community choreographers.
  • Concert of Student Works, a showing of work produced in Creative Processes class.
  • Cookies and Milk: Holiday Concert
  • Dance Minors Concert

Four other student-led groups are funded through the Dance and Movement Studies program:

  • Liturgical Dance Choir
  • Improv unLtd, an open weekly exploration of music and dance improvisation.
  • Social Dance Ensemble
  • JADE (Jazz Allegheny Dance Ensemble)


Indie Weber ’01 English major, Psychology and Dance Minors
” Without the dance minor here at Allegheny College, I don’t think I could write. Dancing has opened up my senses. Because of these senses, I can record emotions and images that would have otherwise passed me by unnoticed. The Dance minor has created, for me, a balance between the two worlds–the real and the imagined. ”

Sarah Salvatera ’01 chemistry major, dance studies minor
” The dance studies minor provides me with the opportunity to integrate both my mind and body in an academic environment. By drawing from the different disciplines of communication arts, philosophy, dance history, anthropology, dance technique, and performance, the dance studies minor harmoniously fuses diversity to create a uniquely broadening academic perspective. ”

Joan Meggitt ’92 Economics Major
” Participating in classes offered by the dance program literally changed my view of the world. It helped broaden my perspective on everything from art to economics. ”

Facilities Strengths

The Dance and Movement Studies Program is housed in the newly renovated Montgomery Gym Facility. Montgomery Gym, an historic turn of the century building, was dedicated to dance in October, 1998. It is centrally located at the literal crossroads of the Allegheny College campus. The facility includes two studio spaces, a performing space, a seminar room, and a dance resources library. In addition, there are faculty and administrative office spaces as well as shower and bathroom facilities.

Student Research and Special Projects

Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Project in his or her major field — a significant piece of original research or creative work that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools an ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and to speak persuasively. Dance and Movement Studies students often interface dance inquiry with other disciplines.

Recent Senior Projects

  • “The Power of Words” by Jill Richards-English
  • “Searching for Voices: An Inquiry into the Changing Culture of Clairton High School” by Jill Tachoir – Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major “American Studies in Education”
  • “An Inquiry: The Function of Arts Education in a General Education Curriculum” by Carrie Loeffler – Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major
  • “Observations of Children at Play” by Melissa Sue Dunbar – Sociology and Anthropology
  • “Over Coffee:Intimacy in Everyday Life” by Jennifer Eden Smith, Student Designed Major-Interdisciplinary Aspects of Creativity-Art/Philosophy/Dance
  • “Migration of the Spirit” by Sam Alison, Student Designed Major- Art/Philosophy/Dance, Concentration Dance Studies
  • “The Benefits of Dance Movement Therapy to Mentally Retarded Children” by Emily MacDuffie, Psychology Department
  • “The Creative Process of Dance and Poetry” by Michael Hartsfield, English Department

Independent Study

Independent Studies in dance can take the form of advanced movement studies in dance composition and dance production, internships in dance education, or internships in dance therapy.

Selected Student Achievements

  • Each year the Communication Arts Department offers a senior award for outstanding student choreography. In 2000 award was presented to Regina McGuigan, a computer science major and dance studies minor.
  • Nicole Chengelis ’00 Biology Major, Dance Studies Minor, was admitted into the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.
  • Erin Kolodziej ’01 Neuroscience Major, Dance Studies Minor was admitted to medical school.
  • Nikki Roseman ’01 Neuroscience Major, Dance Studies Minor was admitted to Lake Erie College of Medicine.