Dance Science Area of Emphasis

Students perform dancer assessments in the WVU Dance Studio

Dance science, a special area of emphasis offered by the WVU Division of Exercise Physiology, provides students with the training to work directly with professional dancers and performance artists. It allows students to learn and engage in the application of principles of movement, mechanics, conditioning, training, and prevention of injury in these special populations. Internship opportunities will be available in conjunction with students enrolled in the WVU Dance major.

The first classes will be offered in Fall 2022, and can be taken beginning in the junior year. The area of emphasis curriculum includes a total of 12 credit hours, and can be taken over 3 or 4 semesters (Fall and Spring semesters only):

  • EXPH 480 (3 hours): Dance Milieu
    • Offered: Fall
    • Prerequisites: Junior standing; PSYC 101, EXPH 364
    • This course introduces students to the foundational concepts of dance medicine and science for health professionals. Students are encouraged to enroll if they are interested in dancers as a patient or client population.
  • EXPH 481 (3 hours): Performance Enhancement
    • Offered: Spring
    • Prerequisites: EXPH 388, EXPH 480
    • This course introduces students to principles of performance enhancement for dancers. This includes training, performance, and recovery from a physiological and psychological lens.
  • EXPH 482 (3 hours): Injury and Illness
    • Offered: Fall
    • Prerequisite: EXPH 481
    • This course introduces students to common physical injuries and psychological issues that dancers encounter through the etiologies and presentations of each.
  • EXPH 491 (3 hours): Professional Field Placement
    • Offered: Fall and Spring
    • Prerequisite: EXPH 481 and Corequisite: EXPH 482
    • Students will have hands-on experience working with dancers and trained professionals in a clinical format.

Questions? Contact Jillian Descoteaux, PhD, AT.