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Beginning Musical Theatre Dance With Web Resource

Beginning Musical Theatre Dance With Web Resource


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    Beginning Musical Theatre Dance introduces students to basic musical theatre dance techniques from a variety of genres, forms, and styles and explains how to put them into practice for performance on stage. Part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series, the text and web resource offer students what they need to know about auditions, rehearsals, performing, and caring for themselves so they can have a successful experience in a musical theatre dance course.

    Designed for students enrolled in introductory musical theatre dance courses, the text contains photos and descriptions of basic warm-up exercises, center work, steps from a variety of dance genres used in musical theatre dance, partnering, and lifts. For those new to dance, the text provides an orientation to the structure of a musical theatre dance class and includes information on meeting class expectations, dressing appropriately, preparing mentally and physically, maintaining proper nutrition and hydration, and avoiding injury.

    The accompanying web resource presents more than 60 instructional video clips to help students practice and review musical theatre dance forms, techniques, and adaptations. A glossary builds students’ fluency in the vocabulary of musical theatre dance terminology, adaptations of steps, and styles. Each chapter contains learning features to support students’ knowledge, including experiences, e-journal assignments, web links, and interactive quizzes.

    To dance on the musical theatre stage, students need to know how the world of musical theatre works; the expectations they must meet; and how to audition, rehearse, perform, and care for themselves. Beginning Musical Theatre Dance will arm them with the practical information as well as the historical background they need for success.
    Beginning Musical Theatre Dance is part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series. The series incudes resources for ballet, tap, modern dance, and jazz that support introductory technique courses taught through dance, physical education, and fine arts departments.

    Each student-friendly text includes a web resource offering video clips of dance instruction, learning aids, assignments, and activities. The Interactive Dance Series offers students a guide to learning, performing, and viewing dance.


    A textbook for college and university general education and dance students. Also applicable for high schools offering beginning musical theatre dance courses.

    Table of Contents

    How to Use the Web Resource
    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
    References and Resources
    About the Author

    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.


    The web resource features 55 photos and 125 video clips that provide students with a personal tutor for practicing or reviewing basic jazz dance techniques learned in class. Also included are assignments, work sheets, glossary terms with and without definitions, interactive chapter quizzes, and web links to help students develop basic knowledge and skills.

    The video content meets WCAG 2.0 level AA accessibility standards.

    All ancillary materials for this text are FREE to course adopters and available online at