Remote Learning Updated Syllabus

The University of Richmond

Department of Theatre and Dance

Spring 2020 

Advanced Contemporary 365 (1 Unit) 

Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:45 AM

March 23-April 24 = ZOOM MEETINGS

 Prof. Alicia Díaz

Office hours: Via Zoom by Appointment





As you know, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the unprecedented global challenges we are experiencing, our class is transitioning to remote teaching and learning for the remainder of the semester. We know that this pandemic is a fluid situation and that new information and measures may affect our circumstances at any time as we continue our work. Communication will be of utmost importance as we move forward. Be sure to read emails and respond to let me know you received them (a simple “got it” might suffice at times), and to check Blackboard frequently for updates on assignments. Please do not ever hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. Participating in a dance class online will likely be a new experience for most of us and will require a learning curve for both you the students and for me as the facilitator of this new format. I ask that we all remain open minded, patient, and flexible. We will simplify as much as possible while at the same time taking the opportunity to explore new realms together. Again, please be patient as there will likely be revisions to the syllabus and assignments as we move through the semester. Let’s remain positive, curious, and above all calm. We can do this!


Some things will remain more or less the same as our original syllabus:

  • Class Time: For now we will continue to meet (via Zoom) at our regular class time on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:30 am. There may be times when you are not able to attend due to specific circumstances at home. My intention is to record our Zoom meetings and make them available online so that you can access them when you are able to connect at another time if necessary. I will reevaluate our synchronous class time once we see how things work with everyone’s specific circumstances.
  • Blackboard: We will continue to use Blackboard as our home base. Here you will find our new Remote Learning Syllabus and Weekly Calendar, which I will continue to update and provide more specific information as we move through the semester. Unless otherwise noted, you will continue to submit assignments on BB.  Note that I’ve moved our Remote Learning Calendar to the top of the Weekly Calendar.
  • Midterm Projects / Mini-Classes: For those of you that had not yet presented your Midterm Project/Mini-Class, we will discuss how you may present your work, perhaps by leading a yoga class during our Zoom meeting or via video (Anna and Melisa); adapting choreographic ideas that could be shared via video (Kayla, Helene, and Hera), or preparing a presentation on what you had intended to teach and share it during our Zoom meeting on Thursday, March 26. All of you will still submit a Written Reflection Paper on the BB Discussion Board: Midterm Mini Class Reflection Papers. 
  • Independent Movement Research: You will continue to investigate and deepen your independent movement research twice a week for 1 hour: 45 minutes of physical work, and 15 minutes of documenting your session in your movement research notebook, including what you did, what you experienced or discovered, and plans for the future. If you find that you want to shift the focus of your movement research to better suit your needs or interests now, you may do so. There will be weekly updates submitted on Blackboard throughout the remainder of the semester. Create one thread on the Discussion Board: Independent Movement Research Weekly Updates and continue to use it for the remainder of the semester. Weekly updates are due on Sundays at 11:59 PM.
  • Weekly Readings, Video, Research:  I will continue to assign readings, videos, and/or online research pertaining to our ongoing discussions about the role of dance in society,  links to performances you would have attended at UR, movement assignments, and your final project. Brief reflections will be submitted on BB. 

Some things will be new:

  • Zoom: We will be using Zoom to conduct our class. The university has purchased a Zoom license so that we can schedule meetings or classes.  For more information to start Zoom visit this site.  Zoom also offers a series of videos. If you need technical support contact IS at I have posted these links and additional information on Zoom on Blackboard under the content area: Zoom. Please install and try out Zoom by Monday, March 23 and let me know via email if you have any difficulties or concerns.

You will soon receive an email invitation for our Zoom meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a link for you to connect. I will also post that invitation on BB for you to be able to access it at any time. 

  • Google Drive Folder: We will use a Google Drive Folder to upload videos of movement assignments, creative process towards your final project, and your final project. 
  • Final Project: Due to the new circumstances we now find ourselves in with distance learning, I have designed new guidelines for your  final project.  You will work collaboratively to create one final group dance-on-video project. Using the dance films Exquisite Corps and Globe Trot (50 filmmakers, 23 countries, 1 dance), as a springboard, you will: 1)  work as a group to identify a common concept and choreographic methodology; 2) create individual videos of your section(s); 3) edit the videos to link them together. We will discuss options for how to best go about editing the final piece. Héctor Barez will work with you to compose an original sound score for the piece. In lieu of a public performance at the end of the semester, we will share this video online to our campus community and beyond. 
  • Course Reflection Questionnaire: I will provide a questionnaire at the end of the semester with course-specific questions for you to consider. 

Some things will be cancelled:

  • Digital Portfolio
  • Individual Artist Statements


We will continue to think about the enduring questions you have brought up during the first half of the semester and new ones that will undoubtedly arise as we experience dancing in a totally new way.

  • What role(s) does dance play in society?
  • How is dance itself a way of learning and knowing?
  • How can the knowledge(s) embedded in the dancing body foster inclusivity, equity, and justice? 


    • What differentiates dance from other art forms?
    • In a world with diverse dance forms, what makes a certain dance genre valued over the other and who gets to decide what’s better and what’s not? 
    • How do the 8 ways of knowing affect dancers, space, and classroom dynamic/politics? (Language, sense perception, emotion, reason, Imagination, faith, intuition, and memory)
    • How am I aware of my mind, body, and environment while dancing compared to other aspects of my life?
    • How can dance impact the perspectives of both ourselves as individuals and the roles we hold in society?
    • How does dance reflect and create society’s values and morals?
    • How does dance enable and/or constrain spiritual strength and awareness?


Grading will be based on a 100-point system: 

20    Independent Movement Research

10    Attendance and Response to Events

5      Midterm Mini Class

15      Final Project

50 Class participation: disposition and effort. Students are expected to be open to learn   new and unfamiliar material, participate both physically and verbally in class discussions, and complete all assignments on time. During the remote learning period, students are expected to stay active in their learning process, communicate if they experience difficulties with synchronous online connectivity or other circumstances and work with the professor to find alternative ways to participate. Fulfillment of assignments related to weekly readings and videos will come out of the total points of class participation.


As we transition to remote teaching and learning, I ask that you continue to contribute to create and participate in an inclusive, compassionate and respectful environment that supports exploration, promotes learning, and supports the work of each member of the class as we navigate these unusual circumstances.. You are expected to remain active in your learning process, to participate in discussions (synchronous or online) regarding readings/assignments, to listen carefully to others, and to offer thoughtful and informed contributions. Please let me know if you are experiencing specific challenges that are hindering your participation and we will work together to find new alternatives.


Academic Honesty: Students are expected to uphold the Honor Code (htpp://  The honor pledge, written in full and signed, is required on all work submitted in this class.  Students cannot submit the same work to different instructors if registered for more than one dance class per semester.

Learning Differences: Students with learning, physical, or psychiatric disabilities enrolled in this course that may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see me as well as consult with Tinina Cade, Associate Vice president for Student Development.

If you experience difficulties in this course, do not hesitate to consult with me. There are also other resources that can support you in your efforts to meet course requirements.

Academic Skills Center (, 289-8626 or 289-8956): Supports students in assessing their academic strengths and weaknesses; honing their academic skills through teaching effective test preparation, critical reading and thinking, information processing, concentration, and related techniques; working on specific subject areas (e.g. calculus, chemistry, accounting, etc.); and encouraging campus and community involvement.

Career Services ( or 289-8547):  Assists students in exploring their interests and abilities, choosing a major, connecting with internships and learning experiences, investigating graduate and professional school options, and landing a first job.  We encourage students to schedule an appointment with a career advisor during their first year.

Counseling and Psychological Services ( or 289-8119): Assists students in meeting academic, personal, or emotional challenges. Services include assessment, short-term counseling and psychotherapy, crisis intervention, psychiatric consultation, and related services.

Speech Center ( or 289-6409): Assists with preparation and practice in the pursuit of excellence in public expression.  Recording, playback, coaching and critique sessions offered by teams of student consultants trained to assist in developing ideas, arranging key points for more effective organization, improving style and delivery, and handling multimedia aids for individual and group presentations.

Writing Center ( or 289-8263): Assists writers at all levels of experience, across all majors. Students can schedule appointments with trained peer writing consultants who offer friendly critiques of written work.

Boatwright Library Research Librarians ( or 289-8669):  Assist students with identifying and locating the best resources for class assignments, research papers and other course projects.  Librarians also assist students with questions about citing sources correctly.  Students can schedule a personal research appointment, meet with librarians at the library’s main service desk, email, text or IM.