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Office of Undergraduate Research

Research Opportunities by Department

Undergraduate Research in the Program of Dance & Movement



Undergraduates in the Program of Dance and Movement typically carry out research through independent studies or honors projects, often in conjunction with a Dance or Movement Studies Minor, or a Take Five. Students usually work with a faculty adviser to define and carry out their specific research projects and are encouraged to discuss ideas with faculty at any time.

Undergraduate research in dance has included academic projects (movement or choreographic analysis and historical research), composition (choreography), and performance—including a recent project that culminated with a video documentation of a performance of original choreography.

A recent undergraduate research project includes: 

Jazz Dance and the Integration of America, Scott Lucchini

Awards: 3rd Place Visual Art in Undergrad Research Competition and Professors Choice Award for Undergrad Research in Humanities

  • Lucchini explored the relationships between jazz dance and music in their various forms to racial integration in America during the first half of the 20th century. This was a two step process: first he studied the different styles of jazz dance that grew out of the swing era of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Then he looked into the racial stigmas of the era and compared the perception of race in the general American public versus how race was treated and integrated within the jazz community.  This project was presented through a poster presentation and a video documentation of creative work.  


Students participating in the KEY (Kaufmann Entrepreneurial Year) Program have utilized a fifth year at the University of Rochester to pursue entrepreneurial ideas. An example of a previous dance-related KEY project includes:

•  inspireDANCE Festival - Arielle Friedlander initiated this 4-day festival that grew out of a simple idea to find a way to connect student dancers with each other, with the Program of Dance and Movement and with the larger dance community in the Rochester area.  With over 500 students involved in dance and movement groups and classes on the University of Rochester campus, along with several excellent local university dance programs and a cohesive community of professional dancers in the Rochester area, inspireDANCE is an opportunity to unify, develop and strengthen the dance community at large.  The festival was conceived in January 2010 out of a desire to give students opportunities to grow as dancers, to broaden their perspectives in dance, to communicate with one other, to share the rich and diverse dance activities that exist at the UR and in the Rochester region, and to take classes and interact with faculty and professional dancers and choreographers, right on campus.  Since 2010, the festival is now led by the Program of Dance and Movement with substantial student involvement and has expanded into a 6 day festival with nationally renowned guest artist performances and residencies.  

Take Five Program

Undergraduate non-majors have used the University’s Take Five Program to delve into dance and movement education in a University-funded fifth year. Independent coursework has included:

•  The Language and Poetry of Dance - Olivia Earle (2014)

•  Contemporary Circus Arts and Physical Theatre - Adam Lanman (2013)

•  Exploring the Self: Body, Mind and Spirit - Ari Stoler (2013)

•  Intersections of Architecture and Dance - Nicole Zizzi (2014)

Research Opportunities by Department—Main List