The Department of Dance at Bridgewater State University is committed to cultivating excellence, innovation and leadership in dance as education, as a performing art form, cultural practice, scientific inquiry, and interdisciplinary application. The dance program is dedicated to fostering scholarly artists and educators in dance, and developing arts-literate citizens.
Through diverse dance techniques and pedagogies, dance science, somatics, cultural dance forms, historical inquiry, dance composition, and dance production and performance, students gain comprehensive knowledge of dance forms and practices, critical thinking skills, and practical experience in a variety of dance applications.
Dr. Donna A. Dragon, CMA, SMT is Associate Professor and Dance Education Specialist in the Department of Dance at Bridgewater State University. She is currently the Coordinator for Part Time Faculty Development for all part-time faculty at BSU as well. Dr. Dragon’s doctoral research examines the utilization of embodied practices, historically and culturally, as they impacted the development of somatic education in U.S. higher education dance. Her current research and practices focus on the development, assessment and use of embodied education for transformation and social justice and culturally responsive teaching and learning for example her article, “Creating Cultures of Teaching and Learning: Conveying Dance and Somatic Education Pedagogy” in the Journal of Dance Education (2015). Dr. Dragon presents her research across disciplines regionally, nationally, and internationally where she asks participants to observe and investigate somatic/embodied practice--the intrinsic, intelligent, synergetic processes of body, mind, spirit and emotions—toward understanding individual, historical, cultural and behaviors.
Drawing from embodied experience, neurocognitive sciences and her training as a Somatic Movement Therapist, a Laban Movement Analyst, and a dance performer, Dr. Dragon specializes in developing pedagogy, curriculum, courses and workshops that utilize the body as a text for creating meaning and knowledge that can reflect, meditate, challenge and change individual and group motivations and values. She has developed and implemented somatic and embodied education paradigms for infants to elderly people and for beginners and professionals alike in public, private, urban and rural environments, corporate settings, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric facilities, and in K-12 and higher education.
Dr. Dragon is an entrepreneur. She has organized and operated businesses offering dance education and somatic movement therapy in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina including, Donna’s School of Dance, and The Center for Movement Alternatives. Her choreography has premiered in many Northeastern and mid-Atlantic colleges and universities; regional and community theaters; and, has been seen on PBS television. Dr. Dragon’s recent choreography explores themes that integrate nature and human behaviors and conditions.
Renowned as a master teacher, she earned the prestigious National Dance Education Organization Outstanding Dance Educator Award (post secondary) (2014) for her contributions to higher education as an innovative educator, researcher, and practitioner in somatics and embodied education.
CMA, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Students
MEd, Temple University
GC, Temple University
PhD, Temple University
Dr. Jody Weber received a BFA from SUNY Purchase in 1988. She was deeply influenced by teachers Sarah Stackhouse, Kevin Wynn, and Mel Wong. In 1992 she received an MA from American University focusing on dance history. At American University she was a recipient of a full teaching fellowship. In addition to teaching and graduate school studies, she continued to participate in the professional community through the works of Debra Riley and Beth Davis. In 2005 she completed her doctorate in dance history at Boston University.
Her professional company, Weber Dance, has been presented through numerous local outlets including Boston Center for the Arts, Green Street Studios, Mobius, Central Square World’s Fair, Cambridge Access TV, Somerville Artbeat, Boston First Night, Casco Bay Movers, Salem State University, Framingham State University, Bates College, The College of the Holy Cross and Boston University. The company has also worked nationally with projects in Juneau, Alaska, The Dance Place in Washington DC, Spoke of the Hub in Brooklyn, Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco, and with Yow Dance in Florida. They have also toured Montana, British Columbia and Colorado. In the 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011& 2013 seasons, Dr. Weber received Artist Fellowship Grants from the Somerville Arts Council to support her choreography. She has also been awarded a Somerville “Artist of the Month” honor. She is a two season recipient of residencies at the Workspace for Choreographers in Virginia, a Boston Center for the Arts residency, and the recipient of a Boston Dance Alliance Retreat and Residency Award among others.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Dr. Weber has an avid interest in dance history. She presented her original research as a selected speaker at the Dance History Scholars Conference held at the New York Public Library in 1993. Her work as a dance historian and guest speaker was also funded through the Hall of Black Achievement at Bridgewater State College. In June 0f 2001, she worked on the Boston Dance History Survey with Ruth Benson-Levin through the Boston Dance Alliance. This project established the foundation to build an archive on local dance history. Her first book, The Evolution of Aesthetic and Expressive Dance in Boston, was published in 2009 through Cambria Press.
Dr. Weber has worked as part-time faculty at Stonehill College, Bates College, Emerson College, Salem State University and The College of the Holy Cross. Currently, she is Chair of the Dance Department at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Weber also teaches classes for the community at Green Street Studios and the Dance Complex in Cambridge.
BFA, State University of New York at Purchase
MA, American University
PhD, Boston University
The department offers a BA in Dance, an honors program, an interdisciplinary minor and an education program for teacher certification in dance. The dance program offers a wide variety of dance technique training and a solid theoretical foundation for performance and choreography. In addition, the program offers an emphasis on dance pedagogy in either the private or public sector. Learn more about our curriculum and suggested course sequence.
The program of dance presents two mainstage productions annually in the 1300-seat Rondileau Campus Center auditorium. The productions usually include faculty, student and guest choreography. Any interested student is invited to audition for productions.
Several student clubs are actively engaged in cocurricular activities supportive of the academic programs in the department including the BSU Dance Company and the Student Chapter of the National Dance Education Organization.
Interested in auditioning for the dance major at BSU? Please visit our online audition site.