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Beginning Musical Theatre Dance


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to Musical Theatre Dance
Defining Musical Theatre Dance
Unique Features of Musical Theatre Dance 
Types of Musical Theatre 
Benefits of Studying Musical Theatre Dance
Basics of Musical Theatre Dance Class
Expectations for Students
Structure of Musical Theatre Dance Class

Chapter 2. Preparing for Class
Dressing for Class
Shoes for Musical Theatre Dance
Foot Care and Personal Hygiene
Carrying Dance Gear
Preparing Yourself Physically and Mentally

Chapter 3. Safety and Health
Studio Safety
Personal Safety
Basic Anatomy
Preventing Injuries
Treating Common Dance Injuries
Training Versus Fitness
Nutrition, Hydration, and Rest

Chapter 4. Learning and Performing Musical Theatre Dance 
Language of Musical Theatre Dance
Learning Steps, Phrases, and Dances
Understanding Musicality
Understanding Artistry and Artistic Development

Chapter 5. Basics of Musical Theatre Dance Technique
Warm-Up Exercises 
Foot Positions on the Floor
Port de Bras and Arm Positions
Stationary Exercises 
Center Work
Partnering and Lifting

Chapter 6. From the Audition to the Stage
The Audition Process
Theatre Protocols, Etiquette, and Safety 
Theatre Staff and Hierarchy 
Preparing to Take the Stage

Chapter 7. History of Musical Theatre Dance
Origins of Musical Theatre Dance
Dance Director Era
Choreographer Era
Integration Musical Era
Concept Musicals and Director–Choreographers
Tap Musicals, Revivals, and Dance Musicals
Musical Theatre in the 21st Century

Promotional Information

Featured at various dance events throughout the UK and Europe. Reviews in UK and European dance websites, magazines and journals including Dancing Times, Dance UK, Dance Today and Dance Europe. Solus emails, inclusion in online newsletters and posted on Human Kinetics' Health and Fitness Blog.

About the Author

Diana Dart Harris has more than 24 years of experience teaching dance to students of all ages. She is a professor and musical theatre choreographer at the University of New Haven. She is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap dance and has performed in musicals. Harris was artistic director of New Haven Ballet’s Nutcracker and assistant director of a musical theatre organization. She is a board member of the Connecticut Dance Alliance. Harris earned a bachelor of arts degree in dance education from Goucher College and a master of science degree in exercise physiology from Southern Connecticut State University.

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