Every semester when I sign up for classes, I am amazed by what is offered. “The Study Of Sexism In America Through Disney Films” and “The Decline Of The Alpha And Rise Of The Nerd” have all been options for myself throughout my time at college. I, however, have not seen a class like the one that will be offered at Amherst College this fall:
(Offered as SWAG 155 and THDA 155) This course will focus on dance performance as it reflects theories of gender, sexuality, critical race, crip (disability), and queer studies. We will look at these theories to gain an introductory understanding of their origins, perspectives, and frameworks, specifically around the physical body and performance. Through readings, discussions, viewing of recordings of contemporary choreographic work, analytic writings, movement experiences, and attendance at live dance events, we will use these theoretical frameworks to deconstruct dance performance to determine how dance is a cultural art practice that is constantly theorizing and subverting the implications of the body through performance.
If you want to learn about how the theories of gender, sexuality, critical race, crip, and queer studies relate to dancing be my guest. This is America after all, right?! What makes me shake my head in this situation is the whereabouts of such education occurring. Amherst College is regarded as one of the top 5 liberal arts colleges in America:
College is widely regarded as the place that prepares a large portion of the young for their journey later in life. It’s typically the last stop before embarking on the “real world.” One of the highest regarded places for one to prepare for the “real world” is Amherst, a college where you can fulfill your requirements for graduating by taking a class in dance that explores the “theory” of gender. What a world.
According to Amherst, you need 32 classes to graduate from their prestigious, dance-filled university that will cost over $70,000 to attend next year:
32 classes for a degree usually means around 4 classes per semester, so 8 classes per year. $75,954 divided by 8 is $9,494.25 (do you think they teach math in the dance class? Or is it too much of a social construct?). So, if you are paying full tuition, it’s fair to say that each class costs around $9,000 at Amherst College. $9,000 to dance and learn about gender theory! Then once you graduate, you get to become even more prestigious and elite by letting all your friends know that you went to the #2 ranked college according to that U.S. News World & Report magazine thing!!! Now you tell me that isn’t money well spent!!!!!!
Hopefully, the dance class will teach the students the theory of living like these three blessed souls who also happen to be great dancers: