Please Wait a Moment

Dance History: Global, Cultural and Historical Considerations (Part 2)

A close up of multiple dancers' feet on stage who are wearing blue pants

November 7 - Decemer 18, 2022

Professor: Patricia Cohen

Tuition: $225 member and non-member

OPDI-111a is a pre-requisite for this course. Go back to OPDI-111a.

6 Weeks; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs


This course is offered in two parts. It provides an overview of dance history in cultural and historical context, from its earliest documentation (pre-historic times) to current practices, including the emergence of new dance forms through transmigration (e.g. Kathak to Flamenco, Clogging to Tap, Gumboot to Stepping). Global in its perspective, the course equally emphasizes Western and Non-Western dance forms. Using context as its primary lens, the course covers theatrical, folk and social forms of dance in socio-economic, religious, and political environments. The effects of culture on what and how we dance and the corresponding influence of dance on its society will also be explored. The course is intended to serve the needs of a wide variety of students including: 1) dance students, professional dancers and educators who desire a global overview of dance history, 2) students, professional dancers and educators who are curious about the interconnections of dance and society, 3) students who need a dance history prerequisite for further study, or 4) dance educators preparing for K-12 certification content exams in certain states such as New York.

In Part 2 of this course the student will explore dance forms from pre-historic dance, myths and legends, transmigration, globalization and nationalism. The course then ends with a culminating essay project.

Book Required: Dils, A. and Albright, A. (2001). Moving History/Dancing Cultures. Middletown, CT. Wesleyan University Press.

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"I appreciated Professor Cohen's well-thought out course. She presented material that was thought-provoking, gave excellent feedback in a timely manner, allowed students to research dance forms of interest, and welcomed all viewpoints. I wish I had this experience when I was an undergraduate student."

"I'm currently a student in college and not a teacher, but this course helped me understand more about different cultures in dance and made me think about how they could be integrated more into dance classes. I liked being given the opportunity to explore the cultural backgrounds of the styles of dance I am most interested in."

"I will take many aspects of this class into my teaching. It is so important that we, as dance educators, continue to question the histories that are presented and investigate other points of views and stories. This course allowed me to do this."

"Although I did not have time to fully participate in the course assignments, I was very interested in the structure, clarity and design of the course material. I was also impressed the professor's accessibility for all students in the course! GREAT course organization and content!! And some good ideas to continue with!! Thank you, Pat!!!"

Professor Bio

Patricia Cohen, MA is an adjunct faculty member in NYU/Steinhardt’s MA dance education program, where she mentors student leadership to promote enhanced understanding of diversity and equity. Cohen develops and teaches courses for NDEO’s Online Professional Development Institute, including the Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts; Dance History: Global, Cultural and Historical Considerations, and two mini courses. She presents regularly at NDEO and other national and international conferences. Cohen contributed two chapters to the 2014 book, Jazz Dance: A History of Roots and Branches, Guarino and Oliver, editors. She co-created NDEO’s 2016 and 2019 special topics Jazz Dance conferences, which were based conceptually on the book and on contemporary issues in jazz dance. She contributes to and serves on the editorial board of NDEO’s Dance Education in Practice journal. A founding member of NDEO, Cohen has served on the NDEO Board of Directors. She received the 2011 NDEO Leadership Award. Pat teaches OPDI-101: Introduction to Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts, OPDI-111a&b: Dance History: Global, Cultural and Historical Considerations, OPDI-201: PTSDA Portfolio Development, OPDI-M2: Elements of Movement, and OPDI-M4: Developmental Domains.