The Department of Dance Studies continues to offer programmes in African dance and related fields.
Programs lead to a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree, four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and a two-year Diploma in Dance Studies. A master of Fine Arts and Master of Philosophy are available under the post-graduate programme of the Department of Theatre Arts for the benefit of students interested in combined studies of dance and drama.
The Department’s teaching and research programmes are developed from four central concepts of appreciation, choreography, performance and documentation.
The Department of Dance Studies, under the School of Performing Arts, has gained wide acceptance as the promoter of a valuable educational discipline and has accomplished a lot including in the International Exchange Programs of the University of Ghana. The breadth of faculty and students is normally equaled to major universities’ dance programs in the world. The Department is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance. The Department of Dance Studies teaches approximately 600 Ghanaian students and 150 foreign students in a year. The Department has 9 full-time Lecturers.
Objectives and Vision
The Vision of this department is to become the Dance Institution of choice in the West African sub-Region, showcasing all that is best in African and world performance and scholarship.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR PLAN PERIOD
a) Broad goals.
I. The dance department wishes to decouple the graduate programme from the Theatre Arts Department in order to own it, to encourage researched publications, and improved well researched dance productions that will make the programme a beacon of academia in dance across the world in 5 years time.
II. Through consultations with affiliate universities, world acclaimed lecturers and professors and other professional dance organizations tailor our programme to produce lecturers, graduates and undergrads well vested in academia, researched publications and productions that will match, if not surpass that of the best tertiary dance schools in the world by 2016.
b) Specific goals
I. Implement our proposed syllables to make the graduate programme a world class graduate programme
II. Strategize the redesigning of our courses to improve the current standard of students both in theatre practice and excellence in scholarship.
III. To develop through face-lifting the conditions in the dance hall and mirror rooms to attract more international students.
IV. Increase the number of lecturers to ensure student-lecturer ratio is reduced drastically to allow for quality time in practical classes.
V. Organize vacation and sandwich courses for students who do not have the requisite university entrance qualifications to help feed the department with interested students during vacations.
VI. Invite visiting lecturers, professors and resource persons from within and without to train and educate faculty and students on researched publications and new practices in dance productions.
VII. The Department of Dance Studies in collaboration with PAWS/NOYAM will explore the possibility of creating a National Festival of Protest Arts in November 2011 ahead of 2012 elections. This festival will bring together people from all sides of the political spectrum, along the lines of such traditional forms of expression as La/Teshi Kpaa and Apoo. It would be a major contribution by the Department of Dance Studies and the collaborating bodies towards the development and sustenance of a variable democratic culture in Ghana, through the promotion of free speaking in the spirit of non-recrimination. Lack of political tolerance is becoming a problem in Ghana and African countries; we have to learn manage our differences.
VIII. The Department will record selected traditional and creative dances in our repertoire for teaching and documentation. Also the conversion of works from VHS to DVD will be implemented
I. Prepare a strategic proposal to the academic board indicating our intention to decouple, improve staff strength and invite qualified, sought-after dance academics and practitioners as visiting faculty and/or artiste-in-residence to augment our faculty strength. The Department of Dance Studies will like to host two Dance Professors from the US, and an Artiste-in-Residence from the Ivory Coast between June and October 2011. In October, 2011 the Departments of Dance Studies and Music would like to host Mr. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley to culminate in institutionalizing the “Simigwa” Dance and Music.
II. Develop and re-design courses through round table staff deliberations with the input of other affiliate universities, renowned dance academics and affiliated international bodies to the department during the long vacation. To achieve our aim of becoming world-class leaders of dance education and professional training in the world, the introduction of new courses like the following is very important:
a) Dance and Wellness (aerobics physical therapy)
b) Video Choreography
c) Jazz & Tap dance
Some of these programmes are fundamental to the study of dance but are not run in the department. Thus, doing so would not only help in achieving the above mentioned objective of the department but, would also help in opening up the dance programme.
III. Make a request through a budget proposal to the university and interested corporate bodies to release funds to start work on the dance hall for a comprehensive face-lift in the next academic year.
IV. Work assiduously to help get some of our Teaching assistants on board through special letters reminding the outfit in charge of employment of lecturers, of our peculiar departmental predicament.
V. Prepare a proposal during the vacation outlining the various courses to be taught, the duration of the course, the number of lecturers and students required and the fees involved. The department hopes to increase the diploma intake to 20 students in three years.
VI. Encourage members of faculty and students to participate and also present seminar papers during the department’s seminar series.
VII. Set a target of the attendance of at least one international conference or workshop by faculty members during which they will present papers in every two years.
VIII. To form a committee that would research and dialogue with government and interested co-operate bodies from within and outside the country to help put
the necessary resources together to make the function a reality.
IX. The department through budgeted applications will contract services of videographers to convert all VHS tapes to DVD and prepare the appropriate costumes, make-ups and props of the various dances for proper documentation.
ACTIVITIES (Specific sets of costed activities).
I. The actual proposal development will involve reconvening a meeting in consultation with other dance academics in well established dance faculties in the world, which will revisit the previous decoupling proposal and fine tune it for another presentation.
ii. Assign each faculty member to relook at the course outline of the courses they teach and see if there are new areas that can be grafted in whiles making a comparative analysis with course
Encourage members of faculty and students to participate in and present seminar outlines of other institutions.
iii. Prepare a budget proposal to be sent to the university and a few located interested companies and organizations to solicit their support within the shortest possible time.
iv. Head of department to follow up on outstanding applications of teaching assistants waiting to go through interactions with the department’s faculty.
v. Set up a committee in charge of the outreach programme and also task them to draw a complete structure of the form the sandwich course and vacation dance classes will take.
vi. Task the committee members of the seminar organization to prepare a complete outline of seminars to be organized every semester and send memos round every two weeks to encourage lecturers and student to present papers.
vii. Faculty during this vacation will liaise with international organizations that organize conferences and workshops to check out the possibility of participation and presentation of papers by members of faculty in the near future.