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University offers first combined dance and kinesiology degree in Canada

Faculties of Art and Kinesiology collaborate on new program

Anne Flynn has always lived between the faculties of Art and Kinesiology, so she has always seen dance as both exercise — a powerful therapeutic wellness activity — and as art form. In leading therapeutic programs such as Urban Dance Connect in Calgary’s East Village and the innovative Dancing/Parkinson’s research collaboration, Flynn has demonstrated the power of dance in practical and empowering ways.

This fall, she’s excited to see the launch of a new five-year combined degree program which will offer students a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Kinesiology. “Not only are we going to have the dance expertise of being able to organize and plan dance classes, and work to music, and figure out what's appropriate for that age group,” says Flynn, “but they will come with this whole body of knowledge from kinesiology including anatomy, physiology, motor learning, growth and development, and more. They will come into the classroom and be much richer and much better informed about how to approach different populations, like the senior citizens in the East Village.”

The combined BA Dance/BKin degree is the first of its kind in Canada and, as Flynn explains, the innovative program will “allow students to focus on the intersections of dance and science preparing them for graduate work in a variety of fields. The combined degree is designed to educate a new generation of students who will be equipped to provide leadership and support for active living through dance to people of all ages and abilities.”

The discipline of dance and the Faculty of Kinesiology have a long history of interaction dating back to the 1960s when the University of Calgary became an autonomous institution. Dance Montage, now in its 44th year, was created in the Faculty of Kinesiology along with a dance education major that was offered from 1976 to 1990. The BA Dance, offered by the Faculty of Arts, began in 1996 as a collaborative program with Kinesiology, but the emphasis was largely on dance. Over the years, students have expressed a desire for more in-depth study in kinesiology.

Dean Richard Sigurdson of the Faculty of Arts and Dean Penny Werthner of Kinesiology officially announced the new degree on the opening night of Dance Montage 2013 on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Applications for the Fall 2014 program are now open.