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Bridging The Gap: Between Commercial Dance and Dance in Higher Education

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

Commercial dance is employment in which dancers are hired to perform in and on film and TV, music videos, corporate events, advertising campaigns, musical artist’s tours, exhibitions, industrials, Broadway and for-profit venues such as Las Vegas nightclubs. Many dance programs in higher education have a concert dance focus (ballet and modern), and do not have a curriculum that fully prepares dancers for the commercial dance sphere.

Arts based qualitative research was utilized for the pedagogical intent of furthering dancers’ knowledge with regard to commercial dance, so that they have an embodied understanding and can make a living in the field. Interviews were conducted with dance professionals Carmit Bachar, Brian Friedman, Lauren Gaul, JoAnn Hunter, Scott Jovavich, Lisa Lindholm, Terry Lindholm, Rhonda Miller, Elizabeth (Liz) Ramos, Desmond Richardson, Jamal Sims, Jamal Story, and Charlie Sutton. The interviews with the professionals gave rise to pertinent topics and information that can help create more versatile and marketable dancers for all facets of the commercial dance world, and be implemented into university dance departments.

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