I’m not a dance student per se, but I happen to live with about 10 of them, and honestly you’d have to try pretty hard at walking around with your eyes and ears shut to avoid hearing about it everywhere here! To make a series of wildly broad generalizations that I’m sure I’ll get several angry texts about in a few minutes: Dance is to Bennington what football is to Oklahoma State what physics is to MIT. Modern dance was born here, and 75 years later Bennington students and teachers are still innovating and generally doing incredible things.
Kenny could hop on here and provide more specifics, but alas, he is in San Francisco working in a dance studio for field work term, so I’ll do my best. Dance at Bennington is generally more composition-centric (as opposed to technique-centric) and in addition to specific coursework, a Bennington dance student can expect to be involved in student work starting their first term. That might mean doing lighting or stage crew, but for most dancers that means actually dancing!
By the time you’re a junior you’ll be getting into doing your own compositions for Martha Hill (the big-deal dance showcase that anyone who’s anyone attends) as well as whatever independent shows you might invent for yourself to do.
The Dance community here is a ton of fun, and what’s most admirable is how seriously they take their work. The best of the best come here to dance, and it can be pretty demanding (again, ask Kenny), but it’s really a special treat for the rest of us to see the things they do. There really is nothing else quite like it.
- Mike ‘14