About This Program

Available as a major and a minor.

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Contact

Sarah Zehnder
Director of Dance
(413) 748-3805
szehnder@springfield.edu

In our dance major, you’ll develop your individuality, creativity, dance knowledge, and technique while preparing for a career in dance, a related field, or graduate programs in dance education, dance/movement therapy, somatics, or similar studies.

You can combine dance with other areas of study, such as psychology, to further prepare yourself for a career in dance education or therapy. Or, you can take courses in management and economics to prepare for a career as a dance studio owner. 

See below for more information on the audition process for our dance program.

Dancers practice contemporary moves in the Springfield College dance studio
Auditions

Are you a passionate dancer looking for a college dance program? We invite you to campus to audition in front of our dance faculty.

  • Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 (Join us for an open house on this date as well! Learn more.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022

Auditions are held in the Dance Studio on the Springfield College campus.

To register for an audition, please email the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@springfield.edu. Applications may be submitted anytime (even before auditions) here.

For more information about the auditions, contact Sarah Zehnder, director of dance, at szehnder@springfield.edu.

Dance at Springfield College

Take a look inside the Dance Program at Springfield and what makes it unique. 

Group of dancers leap in the studeio
LIFE AS A DANCE MAJOR
Study what you love

Have a passion for dance? Students in this major study dance in depth and prepare for a career in dance or a related field. Read about Alexandra MacPherson's '21, DPT '23 experience as a double major in Dance and Physical Therapy. 

Two dancers perform an African Dance piece on stage
LIFE AS A DANCE MAJOR
Get moving

Dance students are often involved in performances that are part of our William Simpson Fine Arts Series

dancers in the dance studio
LIFE AS A DANCE MAJOR
Enjoy your studio

As a dance major, you'll be able to practice in our expansive dance studio space, right on campus. 

Two dancers perform a hip hop routine
LIFE AS A DANCE MAJOR
Pursue your passion

The dance major gives students many opportunities to develop their individuality, creativity, dance knowledge, and technique.

Springfield College Dance Professor Sarah Zehnder led her students in her Repertory Dance class through a community dance project.

Springfield College Dance Professor Sarah Zehnder led her students in her Repertory Dance class through a community dance project in which dancers interviewed seniors currently isolated, creating gestural movements from their answers, teaching the senior the movements via zoom or facetime, and doing some video editing to create a duet.

From the interviews with the isolated participants, the students created gestures from their stories, taught their interviewees the gestures and recorded the movements, and created a larger movement phrase from these gestures for themselves and pasted it together as one dance. This project is another example of the art of Dance being powerful, healing, and bringing communities together. 

Watch the videos

Meet the Dance Faculty

  • Sarah
    Zehnder

    Director of Dance

    Sarah Zehnder is an NYC-based dance artist. Her company, Zehnder Dance, was established in 2010 and is known for commanding physicality, boldness, and architectural precision. It has been produced nationwide, performing in such prestigious festivals as Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Reverb International Dance Festival, Pasadena Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, the MAD Festival, Midwest RAD Festival, and the Women in Dance Project (NYC and Chicago). Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Gowanus Arts, Triskelion Arts Center, 92nd Y, Greenspace, and the Center for Performance Research. 

    Read SaraH's profile
  • Tatiana
    Desardouin

     

    Tatiana Desardouin is of Haitian origin, born and raised in Switzerland, and a professional dancer, dance instructor, dance consultant, choreographer, organizer, curator, and culture bearer with a Master's degree as an adult educator from the University of Geneva. Tatiana is very involved in the growth of the Swiss hip-hop scene and has been teaching and mentoring since 2005. She is the director and choreographer of Passion Fruit Dance Company, a street dance theater and educational company which she founded in 2016. The company's mission is to explore the human experience, address social issues such as racism, and strive to inspire young artists to share their voices. 

    Read Tatiana's Profile
  • Tara
    Murphy

     

    Tara Murphy is originally from Washington, D.C., and grew up studying ballet and theater. She earned her B.A. in theater and religious studies at Yale University.  Tara also began exploring her heritage through African studies and was awarded a fellowship to study traditional dance and drumming at the University of Legon in Ghana, West Africa. For the past 25 years, she has studied closely with many African and Afro-Caribbean artists in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston. In addition to African dance, Tara has also practiced yoga and meditation since she was a child. Tara recognizes the practice of African dance and drumming as a tremendous force for healing, meditation, empowerment, and community. It is her greatest honor to share the inspiration of these ancient traditions.

    Read Tara's Profile
  • Lani
    Nahele

     

    Lani Nahele (a.k.a. Lisa Schmidt) is deeply dedicated to the study of movement and the body. Formerly, as a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, she performed and taught throughout the United States and Europe. Her work has been presented at numerous theaters in Germany, France, and the United States.  She has guest taught at Bard College, Smith College, Julliard College, and Keene State College.  She is the director of Studio rEvolution, in Florence, Massachusetts.  She is a Certified Practitioner of Body-Mind Centering and her studio is the home of her private bodywork practice.

    Read Lani's Profile
  • Jennifer
    Polins

     

    Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement practitioner, and performance maker, bridging somatics-performance practices and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT). She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University and has danced professionally in America and Europe. Jen specializes in combining dance technique and composition with rigorous improvisational practices, influenced by many mentors. Jen is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, and Massage and studied Body-Mind Centering. Jen's ongoing somatic studies deeply affect her curation, teaching, and making. Jen is a guest lecturer in the Five College Dance Department and creates work and guest teaches in many regional colleges and universities. 

    Read Jen's Profile
  • Maureen
    Shea

     

    Maureen Shea is a dance artist, researcher, and Pilates instructor. Originally from Canada, Maureen graduated from the Professional Performance program in Contemporary Dance in 2001 at The School of Dance (Ottawa) and danced for choreographers Sylvie Desrosiers, Yvonne Coutts, and Marc Boivin. Maureen founded the Grasshoppa Dance Exchange in 2002 to create and perform dance works in public spaces for unsuspecting audiences. In 2007 she moved to Massachusetts and continued to develop her choreographer’s voice, primarily by teaching creative contemporary dance for children and by creating dozens of dances that were performed in local community settings. In 2018, she began the Master of Arts program in the dance department at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) where she is currently completing her thesis on the subject of Movement-observation analysis (MOA) as an observation tool for Pilates instructors.

    Read Maureen's Profile
  • Kodee
    Van Nort

     

    Kodee Van Nort began her dance experience on the plains of Western Nebraska with Vaudeville veteran, Iris Besaw. Kodee has an extensive background in dance including a Bachor of Arts in Theater and Dance from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Fine Arts in dance performance, choreography, and pedagogy from Sam Houston State University. During her performing career, she was able to explore a variety of roles from ballet to musicals and theater. Kodee has shared her passion for dance with students at the University of Wyoming, Western Nebraska Community College, Western Oregon University, Sam Houston State University, Austin Dance Company, University of Kentucky, Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, Miami Valley Ballet Theatre, and St. Xavier High School. Kodee serves on the Ohio Dance board, is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization, and is a Language of Dance Master Practitioner.

    Read Kodee's Profile
  • Angela
    Vital-Martowski

     

    Angela Vital-Martowski was a University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor’s Award recipient and received her certificate in ballet Pedagogy from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She is trained in the Vaganova technique. Combining dance and fitness has become a passion and she is certified in all forms of Zumba, Barre Method, and Hoop fitness. Angela has been teaching for over 20 years all over New England, including in her own studio, The Dance Studio of Wilbraham,  where she has been the artistic director for 18 years. Vital-Martowski is a member of The National Dance Education Organization, National Dance Week and Corp de Ballet (an organization for ballet in higher education). She has been a part of the Springfield College faculty for 13 years teaching ballet and mentoring and hosting interns from the College dance program. 

     
    Read Angela's Profile
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Study Dance At Springfield College
William Simpson Fine Arts Series

Celebrate the arts

The William Simpson Fine Arts Series entertains and inspires. Experience the arts with magnificent work from artists and performers from both inside and outside the Springfield College community. Attendees will be dazzled by dance performances and theater presentations, captivated by art exhibitions and thought-provoking film, and delighted by concerts and literary events.

William Simpson Fall 2019 Program