To the Editors:

I support the decision of the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee to deny the proposal for a theater and dance major ("Theater and dance major rejected," May 7). I have enjoyed dance classes at Bowdoin with the current full-time dance professors Gwyneth Jones and Paul Sarvis, but still harbor concerns. Khalil LeSaldo '11 asks, "Who would doubt the legitimacy of theater as an area of study?" Who indeed? But are we trying to sneak dance into the equation behind the screen of the more established theater department? The acquisition of a new dance professor brings the current total to only three. Jones and Sarvis both teach modern or contemporary dance. The field of dance has as much range and potential as the visual arts, a department that has nine faculty members this semester. In addition, visual arts majors are required to take two art history courses, establishing a clear connection with the liberal arts. Is the dance department prepared to offer similar courses?

The dance department lacks both breadth and depth. A specific criticism might be that no ballet classes are offered, which are widely considered to develop a solid foundation of strength, flexibility, musicality and body kinesthetic that can be transferred to other dance forms. The dance department needs more development before receiving status as a major.


Jessica Everett '12