Courses and Classes

A student dancer in mid-movement on a darkly lit stage during a performance, lit by blue stage lighting. She is wearing gray pants and a navy blue long sleeve shirt.

Spring 2022

Embodied Intelligences: Koteba, Lindy Hop, Hip Hop, Philosophies & Culture (TDM 148P)

TeacherJeffrey L. Page, Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media 
Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 3-5:45pm
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1
Description: The origin of blues music—and therefore gospel, jazz, and hip-hop—has been traced directly to Mali, West Africa. Within Malian ideology, dance is a culture and there is no separation between dance and theatrical practice. Koteba is a masquerade performance tradition that utilizes the theatrical elements of satire to comment on and confront civic injustices within the Bamana ethnic society. Koteba is a word that means “big snail” in the Bamana language, and like the snail, it carries the ideologies and cosmologies of the Bamana people on its back. There are nearly 20 rhythm and movement stylings situated within Koteba. In a multiday festival, these dances are traditionally performed in succession, and often executed with the dancers forming concentric circles, which gives this theater tradition its snail-like name. Traces of this masquerade tradition can be found throughout the Caribbean and the United States in the form of Carnival and Mardi Gras. This class will focus on unpacking four of the dance and rhythm stylings over the course of 12 weeks: (1) Forokotoba, (2) Tansole, and (3) Bara/Baradong. The traditions of Noh drama, Sanskrit theater, and Greek tragedy have informed the development of American dance and theatrical forms, and similarly, a deep investigation of Koteba masquerade performance traditions will offer students of theater and dance informative tools as theorists, practitioners and historians.
Visit TDM 148P course website

Movement Lab (TDM 141)

TeacherLaura Rodrguez (LROD), Lecturer and Interim Head of Dance, Theater, Dance & Media
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10:30-11:45am
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1
Description: Movement Lab is a dynamic research studio exploring the intersection of dance, architecture, and anatomy. Individuals enrolled will learn interdisciplinary tools for curating motion and design for the stage, screen, or site-specific work. The movement lab focuses on rigorous movement practices each week to investigate individual tasks for constructing movement. These labs are informed by anatomical studies for motion and HTL from architecture, dance, and theater. Over the semester, we will view and analyze structure, dramaturgy, sets, digital design, and lighting design in seminal dance, theater, and site-specific works worldwide. The course aims to co-creatively understand how bodies in motion move, the importance of the places they move with, and the in-process method of movement research. Course facilitated with radical tenderness by Professor LROD and Teaching Fellow Lisa Kostur, using adaptive, liberatory, and decolonial approaches. Visit TDM 141 course website for more info

No experience necessary. Space is limited. Petitioning? Please fill out this form:
Questions? Email Professor LROD:

Performing Culture: Exploring Identity and Power Through Hip Hop Dance (TDM 149UB)

TeacherAysha Upchurch, Visiting Lecturer, Theater, Dance & Media; Lecturer in Education, Graduate School of Education
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 3-5:45pm
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1
Description: Hip Hop is music, is dance, is commentary, is revolution, is a way of being, is culture.  The roots of Hip Hop are steeped in the traditions of the African Diaspora. So what of these roots remain as Hip Hop dance simultaneously allows itself to push across borders with other genres and is pulled into spaces for commercial and popular appeal? What does it mean to perform Hip Hop dance as an expression of culture that one may or may not be a part of? How is Hip Hop dance an embodied social critique on power?  How does Hip Hop dance embrace diverse identities while also asserting and preserving its own? 

In this new course, students will have an opportunity to engage these questions as they study and explore Hip Hop dance technique and history.  Through a mix of learning activities that allow for skill development, dialogue, and engagement with artists/practitioners, students will investigate what it means to participate in or perform Hip Hop dance with an intentional eye on how it defines and intersects with various cultures, empowers identities, and interrogates power dynamic.  Students will track their own progress with skills through a Movement Diary, while conditioning and flexing critical analysis muscles through group discussions, film assignments, and choreography projects. The course promises to be a boat load of “conscious fun.”This course is a 70-30 split on time moving versus time in discussion.

No dance experience required. Open to students who took TDM149U. Students in TDM or interested in developing a movement/performance practice encouraged to enroll. Visit TDM 149UB course website for more info. 

Production Studio: Harvard Dance Project (90DR)

TeacherLaura Rodrguez (LROD), Lecturer and Interim Head of Dance, Theater, Dance & Media
Meeting Time: Mondays, 12-2:45pm
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1
Description: The Harvard Dance Project is a production-based course focusing on professional movement exploration, choreography, and process. For the Spring 2022 season, Aysha Upchurch, Jeffrey Page, and LROD will be in choreographic residence with the enrolled company at the Harvard Dance Center. The Harvard Dance Project offers the enrolled company an in-depth experience working closely with choreographers’ diverse methods and practices in the dance production universe while simultaneously examining the intersections of dance and performance studies, choreographic processes, and intermedia. HDP Spring '22 will culminate in an end-of-term performance and production experience at Farkas Hall. In addition, each enrolled company member will simultaneously cultivate a short dance studies article relevant to their research over the course of the semester. Professor LROD will facilitate the course using co-creative, adaptive, and liberatory methods with a decolonial approach. Visit TDM 90DR course website for more info

All are welcome. Space is limited.
Petitioning? Fill out this google form: Questions? Email Professor LROD: 

(re)Facing (g)Odds: Black improvisational music, and dance (MUSIC 108R)

Teacher: esperanza spalding, Professor of the Practice, Music Department
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 12:45-2:45pm
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1
Description:  Through a north American jazz lens, this immersive research-performance course charts and explores the histories, connections, evolutions and fissures between Black improvisational-dance and live improvisational-music.  Guided and informed by elder/expert teach-ins, archival research, audio and video transcription, dance-based ancestral recall, physical improv, performance devising, failure and iteration, members of this class will develop and curate performances and performance-environments where improvisational-dance, and live improvisational-music are reintegrated. 

Part lecture series, part lab, and part performance-workshop, students in this class will learn and practice through a combination of: 

listening-to/watching -  conversations and live-explorations between Prof. Spalding and visiting scholars, practitioners, and elders in improvisational-dance and jazz idioms. (such as, but not limited to: Terri Lyne Carrington, Donald Eno Washington, Shamel Bell, Joh Camara, Intisar Abioto, Maurice Chestnut)

transcribing (sound and movement) - Each week, we will transcribe (within, and out-of class) rhythms, melodies, forms, gestures, steps, movements, group-performance-structures, and more, from archival audio and video recordings, as well as from in-class demonstrations and teachings.

integrating prompts, transcriptions and research into new, exploratory performance – Each 3rd week of class, students will prepare and offer an iteration of their own dance and live-music performance, guided by the prompts of our guest lecturers/elders/scholars/practitioners, and Prof. Spalding.
Visit MUSIC 108R course site for more info

The Power and Relevance of the American Musical: 1776 and Other Musicals (TDM 194)

TeacherDiane Paulus, Ryan McKittrick, Jeffrey L. Page
Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 12-2:45pm
Location: TBA
Description: With a focus on the American Repertory Theater’s upcoming revival production of the musical 1776 co-directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus, this course examines how the musical theater can uniquely and powerfully inspire audiences to reflect on history, politics, race, and identity.  

Analyzing scenes and songs from 1776 and other musicals including West Side StoryCabaretHairThe Wiz, and Hamilton, students will explore the multiple layers of meaning created by the combination of music, lyrics, choreography, staging, book scenes and design.  

 Students will read works by theorists, historians and practitioners, examining the cultural significance of these shows in the years they opened on Broadway, how they have evolved in revivals and adaptations over time, and how they resonate today.  In addition, students will engage directly with guest artists who will share their practical experience creating work in the musical theater. 
Visit TDM 194 course website



Argentine Tango: Poetry, Music, and the Dance (COMPLIT 120)
Ballet, Past and Present (SLAVIC 121/TDM 121K)
Contemporary Repertory: Dance Authorship in the 21st Century  (TDM 145B)
Deconstructing a Novel for Choreographic Thinking (TDM 147)
Fundaments of Improvisation & Composition, Dance (TDM 140R)
Gaga People: Movement Language (TDM 143)
Gaga Dancers: Movement Language (TDM 143B)
Hip Hop Dance: Exploring the Groove and the Movement Beneath and Beyond the Beat (TDM 149U)
Koteba Performance: Traditions of the Bamana (TDM 148P)
Latinx Movement Practice (TDM149)
Poetry in Flux - Dance Afoot (COMPLIT 119)
Repertoire for Advanced Dancers (TDM 145A)
Motion for Performers (TDM 148) 
Movement Lab (TDM 141)
Master Work: The Choreographic Process of William Forsythe (Music 103r)
Modern Motion: 100 Years of American Dance (Freshperson Seminar 31x)
Practical Tools for Presence: Countertechnique and Dramaturgical Thinking (TDM 142)

The Processes of Inter-Media and Choreographic Exchange (TDM 147L)
Performing Culture: Exploring Identity and Power Through Hip Hop Dance (TDM 149UB)
Production Studio: Harvard Dance Project (TDM 90DR)
Street Dance Activism: Embodying Liberation Through Somatic Practices and Rituals of Breath (TDM 181B)
The Garden (ARTS 20)

These courses are offered on a semester-to-semester basis, depending on the academic year. 

Additional Course Information 

To register, enter the Student Planning Portal.

These courses are cross-listed in Theater, Dance & Media and may be applied to the concentration. For a complete listing of courses offered and for information on the concentration, please visit TDM

A grid of 9 squares with 8 headshots of the Dance Center's Spring '22 non-credit community class teaching artists and 1 square in the upper left corner that is a Kelly green background with "HARVARD DANCE CENTER SPRING '22 TEACHING ARTISTS" in white font.NON-CREDIT COMMUNITY DANCE CLASSES

The Harvard Dance Center is offering live, hybrid classes in the 2022-2023 academic year, with options for both in-person as well as virtual participation. Classes are in a broad range of movement styles and dance traditions  and are designed for all levels and abilities. Taught by the Dance Center's exceptional teaching artists, many classes also feature live musical accompaniment. 

Classes are open to the Harvard community, which includes Harvard students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as MIT affiliates.

Classes run as a 10-week series each semester, with drop-ins options also available. Fall 2022 classes will run from Sept 6-Nov 12 with additional Monday classes Nov. 14 and 21 to make up for holiday observances. Registration will open on August 22, 2022. 


To ensure a safe and healthy community, the Harvard Dance Center continues to observe the Univervity's COVID protocols as of Spring 2022.  All students, staff and faculty are required to be vaccinated and boosted, with limited exemptions for health or religious reasons. Everyone present on campus beyond seven (7) days will be part of the University’s testing cadence, currently set as one self-administered test per week for vaccinated, non-campus residents. Face masks are generally optional for indoor activity, including Dance Center classes, though individual teachers may require them. Physical distancing is not required for vaccinated individuals.

The Dance Center is continuing the upcoming academic year with equal parts excitement and caution. With the pandemic ongoing, we continue to keep close watch on the evolving situation and will make adjustements to protocols in accordance with the University's guidelines and recommendations. The goal is always to be inclusive, responsive, and adaptive throughout the year.

We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about dancing in our studios. 

FALL 2022: SEPT 6-NOV 12

Offering hour and a half in-person classes with a live virtual option via Zoom. Classes will run for a total of 10-weeks. Additional Monday classes will be held on Nov. 14 and 21 to make up for holiday observances Labor Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day. Drop-in options will be available!



  • Face masks are optional, according to University policy, though some teachers may require face masks. Please pay attention to specific class requirements.
  • The Dance Center has  extra disposable masks available if necessary. 

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

  • Please bring your own water bottle(s). There are two working water fountains at the Dance Center.

No Food or Drink

  • There is no food or drink (other than water) allowed anywhere in the Dance Center. 


Google Classrooms

  • For students electing Virtual Only or Combination In-Person and Virtual participation, virtual access will be provided via Google Classrooms where a Zoom link will be posted each Monday.
  • An invitation to Google Classrooms will be emailed to you on January 28.
  • A Google email is preferred for accessing Google Classrooms; please let the Dance Center staff know if you need assistance accessing this platform.
  • Register once to join us for the full series or simply drop in as your schedule permits - your access will be the same.
  • Classes will not be recorded.


All Dance Center community classes are offered via a 10-week series. We encourage enrolling for the full series to experience the breadth, engagement, and community that each class offers. We will continue to offer the drop-in option as well, beginning the 3rd week of the series on Tuesday, September 20, and running through the end of the series. All participants must register online whether they enroll in the full series or drop-in. 

Read our Spring 2022 Non-Credit Community Class FAQ sheet 

(Updated Fall 2022 FAQ sheet coming soon.)

Note: There will be no classes held on Monday, September 5, for Labor Day, or Monday, October 11, for Indigenous Peoples' Day. Monday make-up class will be held on Noember 14 and November 21. 


Harvard Undergraduate and Graduate Students


Harvard Community - Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and MIT Affiliates

  • 10-week series
    • Virtual only: $70
    • In person: $100
    • Combination: $120
  • Individual drop-in classes after Tuesday, September 20
    • Virtual: $10
    • In person: $15
  • Harvard’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for eligible employees: $40
  • Multi-class discount: 25% off registering for more than one class series

Refund Policy

  • Full refund available with withdrawal by Monday, September 12.
  • Half refund available with withdrawal by Monday, September 19.





Hip Hop, 6-7:30pm,  Studio 1, taught by Tarikh Campbell
Contemporary, 7:30-9pm, Studio 1, taught by Lonnie Stanton


Soca Fusion, 6-7:30pm, Studio 1, taught by Ella Wechsler-Matthaei
Bharatanatyam II, 6-7:30pm, Green Room (lower level), taught by Soumya Rajaram
Ballet Fundamentals, 7:30-9pm, Studio 1, taught by Lonnie Stanton


West African Dance, 6-7:30pm, Studio 1, taught by Joh Camara
Ballet III, 7:30-9pm, Studio 1, taught by John Lam (with guest teacher in March, TBA)


Hip Hop, 6-7:30pm, Studio 1, taught by Tarikh Campbell
Ballet II, 7:30-9pm, Studio 1, taught by Jean-Robens Georges


Soca Fusion, 6-7:30pm, Studio 1, taught by Ella Wechsler-Matthaei


Conditioning: Strength & Stretch, 10-11:30am, Studio 1, taught by Nailah Randall-Bellinger
Contemporary II/III, 11:30am-1pm, Studio 1, taught by Nailah Randall-Bellinger
West African Dance, 1-2:30pm, Studio 1, taught by Joh Camara 

Note: Classes will continue to be held during Spring Recess. There will be no classes held on President's Day, Monday, February 21. Monday make-up class will be held on Monday, April 11.


All classes are taught specifically to be inclusive of people with a range of abilities. A virtual option provided for all classes with automated closed captioning. The Dance Center’s main floor, housing Studio 1 and two all-gender restrooms, is wheelchair accessible. For elevator access to the lower level, or for any other access needed, please email We welcome the conversation! 


A grid of 9 squares with 8 headshots of the Dance Center's Spring 2022 non-credit community class teaching artists and 1 square in the upper left corner that is a Kelly green background with "HARVARD DANCE CENTER SPRING '22 TEACHING ARTISTS" in white font. Headshots from left to right are Soumya Rajaram and Tarikh Campbell in the top row; Joh Camara, Nailah Randall-Bellinger, and Lonnie Stanton in the second row; Ella Wechsler-Matthaei, John Lam, and Jean-Robens Georges in the third row.