Honors in Dance

Honors in Dance can be achieved through a designed project in history, choreography or performance. Invited students begin planning their research in their junior year with a faculty advisor. The entire senior year is devoted to the design, feedback and development of the dance major's creative scholarship.  A committee consisting of dance faculty and at least one outside faculty member evaluate the caliber of the final research project. 

Honors graduates in dance


Laura Briggs, Embodying foma: Dancing to Investigate Themes in Cat’s Cradle 

This project investigated, translated, and challenged themes of science, religion, nationalism, and romance in Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle. Demonstrated through five solos, the process was  a collaborative effort between the artist and the dancers.

serena schmitt
Serena Schmitt performs during her honors concert, 2019

Serena Schmitt, The Intimate Awkward: An Exploration of the Intersection Between Awkwardness and Intimacy on Stage

This project raised questions and attempts to uncover where intimacy and awkwardness coexist in performance, between the dancers and between the dancers and the audience. Serena employed various techniques to make the audience feel involved and intimate with the work while experimenting with technical elements to determine what accentuated this relationship best. 


Rosie Ditre, Exploring the Process of Translation from Stage to Screen

This project culminated in a film entitled, "Adapt". The film was an exploration of the emerging field of screendance and what it means to produce a new work between camera and choreography.

Cherry Fung, 众|从|人 Trilogy:Translating into Movement the Exploration of a Personal Identity in the Context of a Divided Relationship

This project was a personal investigation on conflicting identities in relation to the political relationship of Beijing and Hong Kong.

Julianna Joss, The Moving Identity:  Explorations in the Body’s Capacity for Communication, Expression and Understanding

This project analyzed the body’s means for communication and identity expression. Through group and solo work, the dancers explored this theme through dimensions of individual identity, the relationships between different individuals' identities, and as a collective.

Clara Guyton_photo by Erin Baker
Clara Guyton performs during her honors concert, 2017 (photo by Erin Baker)

Clara Guyton, Whispered Conversations:  The Act of Making via Translation between Poetry and Dance

This project investigated the boundaries between dance and poetry, as tools for a poem can be utilized as tools for choreography. The performance culminated in a series of five solos, or “treatments,” based off of the same poem, choreographed and performed by Clara Guyton.

Eliza Krakower, Between a Rock and a Jazz Hand: A Personal Journey of Movement Style and the Female Experience

This project explored the intersections of musical theatre, jazz, and modern dance. In addition to an analysis of the female body portrayed in Fosse style dance/traditional musical theatre.


Sarah Freeman, All Being Displaced: Movement Translations of Flannery O’Connor

Freeman explored how the presence or absence of a linear plot structure changes the interpretation of text into dance.


Emily Hammond, A Chorographic Exploration of Site Context

This project culminated in a concert that featured four solos performed by Emily Hammond, live and through film. The solos investigated and analyzed the opportunities afforded to movement by the performance stage and an external site.


Kala Seidenberg, The Effects of External Elements on Choregraphic Works

This project was an investigation of the idea of inherent meaning in choreographic works as well as non-movement elements of a piece and how they affect the context of the work.

Alyssa Bruehlman dances
Alyssa Bruehlman performs during her honors concert, 2010


Alyssa Bruehlman, In Consideration of the Performance

This project examined the fine line between performance and non-performance and included video and a PowerPoint lecture performance.

Kaitlyn Pados, Control to Abandonment: Four Solos Exploring Dynamic Range and Character

This project explored the full spectrum of movement dynamics, and the subtlety of character development through movement.


Ellen Lyle, Investigations of a Choreographic Voice: A Personal Approach to Dance-Making

This project focused on the making of three distinctly different dances with the common theme of relationships, past and present.

Caitlin Yuhas, Connection, Dissension: Physical Interpretations of Antagonism

This project explored making the concept of antagonism through four dances by four choreographers.


Laura Codron, The Embodiment of Character in Dance

This project involved the performance and analysis of four solos which focused on character development in both the choreographic and performance process.

Johnna Wickstrom, A Search for Self in the Process of Creating

This project was a study of the creative process of Pina Bausch, Celeste Miller, and Blondell Cummings, and the implementation of those styles into the student's choregraphic process.


Cara Lynch, Body Language: An Investigation of Relationships Expressed through Dance Using Laban Movement Analysis and the Interpersonal Circumplex

This was a performance and scholarship project that explored the duet form, Laban Movement Analysis, and the interpersonal circumplex

Natalie Metzger, Mindscape of the Pre-Dead

This honors thesis was a choreographic project that focused on the illness of hereditary angiodema.


Jessica Moore, Parliamo al Singolare: An Exploration of the Solo Work

This project was a solo honors thesis concert, a lecture/demonstration that was the result of an extensive investigation into solo works that varied dramatically in form, style, content, and time frame.


Rosanne Benavente, The Weight of Warmth

The Weight of Warmth was a group dance work examining the intensity and range of emotions in an intimate relationship.

Lillian Ransijn, Reviving Ophelia

This honors thesis project investigated the history of dance theater, culminating in a solo dance theater performance of pieces exploring female adolescence.