Senior Project

Dance 510 (Senior Capstone)

Course Syllabus

Kansas State University Dance Program
Dance 510 (1 credit) Senior Project

Kate Digby, Assistant Professor/Associate Director of Dance,

Neil Dunn, Instructor,

Stephen Loch, Instructor,

Julie L. Pentz, Professor,

Course Description

Senior Project is the capstone project for K-State Dance Majors in which the student presents a project in one of three areas:

  • a pedagogical study,
  • scholarly research, or
  • a major performance.

Seniors will propose, create, and present a performance or a body of written work that serves as a culmination of the student’s interests and emphasis supported by the curriculum of their degree(s). All three must demonstrate advanced level of achievement. A written proposal for the project must be submitted to and approved by the Dance faculty no later than at midterm of the semester before the project (October for projects taking place in the spring semester, March for projects taking place in the fall semester). After completion of the project the student will meet with the Dance Faculty to give a Senior Project Presentation. (See Academic Handbook and the Dance website for further details.)

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate an assimilation of the material covered in their degree course work through the creation of the Senior Project. Therefore, the student should demonstrate competency in the areas below that relate to their project:

  • Technique
  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Pedagogy
  • Technical Production
  • Movement, Verbal, and Written Creative Response
  • Research and analysis as it pertains to historical significance, dance science or somatics


Students must:

  • Complete all dance course work before enrolling in Dance 510 and must be in good academic standing. A student must hold the grade of C or higher in all dance courses
  • Request a faculty advisor.
  • Attend ALL scheduled meetings, both as a class and with your project faculty advisor
  • Propose the project by assigned date with complete description explaining your purpose, learning outcomes and schedule of completion.
  • Complete the project and turn in the paper prior to the Senior Project Presentation.
  • Present your project outcomes during the Senior Project Presentation
    1. A 3-5 page paper discussing the artistic vision for a completed performance or piece of choreography
    2. An 8-10 page paper discussing a process oriented, pedagogical experience
    3. A 12-15 page paper for a historical or analytical research

Concert (Choreography)

A single concert (Senior Concert) will take place in the spring semester in Nichols Theatre (or other location to be determined in coordination with (by) the Dance faculty Mentor). All seniors who wish to produce a concert are required to follow K-State Dance production procedures as outlined by the K-State Theatre and Dance Production Handbook and the Dance Production Coordinator. All seniors must contribute choreography.

  • The Production Coordinator and your mentor must approve activities.
  • The Dance Program will provide up to $50.00 to cover the cost of printing for programs and posters. All other costs such as equipment and space rental, reception costs, personal costumes, videographer fees, and etc. will be the responsibility of the student(s). See the Director of Dance, Julie L. Pentz, to secure these funds.
  • The student must develop a previous dance project from at least one or the following courses: Improvisation, Composition 1, and Composition 2. This must be performed in the concert.
  • All choreography and dancing must be done by K-State students
  • No more than one guest choreographer may be used in this concert and must be included in the project proposal to be approved by the dance faculty.
  • Costumes may be borrowed from the K-State Dance costume inventory for Senior Concert. Any borrowed costume pieces must be checked out by a faculty member and must be cleaned and returned within one week after the performance. A $50.00 deposit will be required and can be in the form of a personal check.

Note: Senior concerts will be held during the spring semester. The K-State Dance faculty determines dates and location. Students with senior status and in good academic standing may produce senior concerts. Students graduating on a December date and wishing to produce senior concert must participate in the senior concert date during the previous (spring) semester.

Assisting the K-State Musical or Another Major Choreographic Project

The student may elect to serve as Assistant Choreographer to a K-State Dance faculty in the production of the K-State musical or another major, evening-length choreographic project. A K-State Dance faculty member must be the choreographer.

  • Student must be available for auditions, rehearsal times, and performances of the project
  • The faculty choreographer will serve as mentor for this project
  • Student must submit a reflective paper 3-5 pages long (See above #1, performance or piece of choreography)


The student may elect to pursue a research project, which will culminate in a 12-15 page research paper with work cited. The nature of the research and choice of faculty mentor must be established by the student’s junior year. Possible options for research include but are not limited to:

  • A relevant dance history topic
  • Somatics or dance science
  • A specific world dance topic
  • The faculty will consider alternative proposals on a case by case basis


The student may complete a pedagogical project for their senior project. To be eligible to select the pedagogical project option, students must complete Dance 505, Methods and Materials of Teaching Dance and Anatomy for Dancers with a C or above. Students should have completed at least one (1) teaching preceptor-ship with a member of the Dance Faculty. It is recommended that students complete preceptor-ships in each area they plan to focus on for their pedagogical project. It is further recommended that a student wishing to complete a Senior Project focused on Teaching begin to plan their course of study to include preceptor-ships in their Junior year.

Students must acquire a teaching engagement, of no fewer than eight hours of teaching time. Prior to beginning the teaching engagement the student must review their 8-class series of progressive lesson plans with their Dance Faculty Mentor. Students will arrange an onsite observation that will be video taped for review with their Dance Faculty Mentor.

The final reflective paper, 8-10 pages, must include student learning outcomes (for student as teacher), lesson plans must include learning outcomes for the dance students, self-reflection of success in achieving student learning outcomes (SLOs) – both SLOs for self as teacher and dance student SLOs, for any dance student SLOs not achieved include a statement of proposed methods of approaching this activity to achieve success with future students.

Proposal Guidelines

  • 250-300 word abstract describing your project
  • Completed outline (content)
  • Timeline (sequence and dates)

Due the first Monday in October for spring projects and first Monday in March for fall projects

Presentation Procedure

The purpose of the Presentation for graduating seniors is to provide an opportunity for the graduating senior to present a summary of the Senior Project. Students should dress in “business dress” for this presentation. Please see advisor if there are any questions.

This interview will take place on the Friday of the last day of classes or during finals week.


The senior project is a process-oriented course. You are learning practical experience on how to use the information from your course work. You will work with an advisor to present drafts until the faculty accepts your project. This means that each project will be viewed individually and that an incomplete will be given until your project meets entry-level professional standards.

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Kansas State University has an Undergraduate Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that in academic matters one’s work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Undergraduate Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. For more information, please visit the Honor System web page.

If you have any condition, such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify the instructor in the first two weeks of the course.