Profiles of Current Majors and Minors

The Emory Dance Program usually has between 40 and 50 majors and minors. Below, read about a few of our movers and their thoughts about studying dance in college!

Leah Behm 21C

LeahBehm2.jpgMajors: dance and movement studies, anthropology
Hometown: Potomac, MD

Movement research has no bounds and that’s what I love so much about it. There are endless possibilities and infinite things to discover. All of the works I have been in so far have lead me to firmly stand by my choice to major in dance and I am so happy I have the Emory Dance Program in my life. I have learned so much about not only dance, but myself. I can thank the dance major for allowing me to think deeper and fuller in my other major, anthropology, as they balance each other out perfectly. Every class I have taken has allowed to further understand so many things about my body and the other bodies around me.

Joe Chen 20C

Joe-Chen.jpgMajor/Minor: major in quantitative sciences with a track in sociology; minor in dance and movement studies
Hometown: Aurora, CO

At first, I didn’t want the label of dancer applied to me. I feared I wouldn’t live up to the expectations of a dancer, having started dancing in my sophomore year of college. I took my first dance class at Emory because I was curious about movement and wanted to learn something new. But during my time in the dance program, I’ve slowly learned what makes a dancer: someone who is invested in the culture, someone who makes dancing a priority, and someone who is not afraid to put themselves out there and fail. In my final year at Emory, I’m going to start labeling myself as a dancer so that I can continue growing. Whenever I choose to dance, I am a dancer.

Merryn McKeough 22C

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Major/Minor: major in sociology, minor in dance and movement studies
Hometown: Wilmette, IL

I chose to minor in dance after taking movement improvisation, a course that cultivated artistic sensibilities and bodily awareness through interesting (and incredibly fun!) improvisational scores. The curiosity, creativity, and investment of the movers in this course is present throughout the Emory Dance Program, inviting innovation and risk-taking within a supportive space. From investigating musical relationships in movement improvisation to learning about Martha Graham by taking Graham technique in the dance history class, the opportunities for movement exploration abound.

Maria McNiece 20B

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Majors: dance and movement studies, business administration
Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

Being a student in two different departments at Emory has been one of the brightest highlights of my college experience. I’ve found that this is a university that encourages students to explore everything they’re interested in (32% of students here double major), and balancing two majors has been surprisingly manageable for me. If you’re unsure about majoring/minoring in dance, or worried about balancing your interests and time, you’re exactly where I was when I entered my first year! My best advice is to join a dance organization on campus and/or enroll in at least one dance class and be open to the possibilities of this department in your college experience. My time at Emory wouldn’t have been the same without dance, and I think you’ll find managing multiple interests here isn’t as scary as it seems!

Nate Snyder 20C

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Major: dance and movement studies
Hometown: Gastonia, NC

I research movement by taking paths less traveled. In addition to dance choreography, I have done fight choreography for stage productions and designed technical elements for stage and dance productions. This forces you to really learn how to see movement, and to understand it intrinsically without embodying it, so that you may support it through your designs. In addition to the major, I take diverse production and theory classes, such as lighting design and dance pedagogy. I also take business classes and serve on a board of directors for a dance non-profit. This allows me to diversify my skillsets within the realm of dance, so that there are other options on the table. I decided to major in dance after starting in pre-nursing classes, where I found no reward in the material or the work. It was only by taking a leap of faith and following my passions for dance and education that I discovered that there is so much more one can give to the world of dance than simply performance skills. Dance at Emory will welcome you, empower you, and launch you headfirst towards your dreams.

Fred Thompson 20C

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Majors: dance and movement studies, linguistics
Hometown: Augusta, Georgia

I love the fact that Emory dance faculty really want to see you grow and question the material, in order to see how it manifests in your body. There is no right or wrong! My advice is to really consider how you can explore dance in a more personal manner in order to create something meaningful for yourself and so that what you do in the studio moves out of the classroom into all areas of your life.

Unique Wilson 21C

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Major/Minor: major in dance and movement studies; minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies
Hometown: Washington, DC

I try to integrate my major and minor when analyzing different dance pieces. For example, I take note of the roles certain genders play, the specific demographics represented onstage and behind the scenes, and the implications of various patterns seen in choreographic works. I hope to choreograph pieces during my time at Emory with these details in mind, learning from past dance pieces to create a world of dance that I am proud to be a part of. I chose to major in dance and movement studies because I wanted to pursue a passion of mine that I was not able to fully dive into before college. I hoped to push myself by receiving training that I never had before, such as ballet, modern, and jazz. However, since becoming a dance major, my perspective on what is considered dance and movement has expanded into a question I want to explore rather than answer. More than anything, I have gained a new confidence in my voice as a dancer and appreciation for the multiple interpretations this field offers.

Emilio Zurita Ontiveros 21C

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Majors: dance and movement studies, biology
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

I started dancing a couple years back, and I realized it meant too much to me to be just a pastime, so I chose to major in dance. What blew me away about the dance program here is how free and creative they encourage us to be. In high school, dance was just about following instructions, but here I get to discover my own voice and move authentically.