2020 Spring Senior Thesis Symposium

Our Bachelor of Arts candidates have customized their respective curricula to allow for intense study of dance and at least one other academic discipline throughout their time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The senior thesis project reflects the candidates' charge to examine dance with an interdisciplinary lens. In a video conference on Friday, May 1, 2020, at 1pm (central daylight time), two of the Department of Dance's graduating seniors will present their culminating research to the Dance at Illinois community at the annual Spring Senior Thesis Symposium.

Join us on Zoom!

Spring Senior Thesis Symposium

May 1, 2020, 1pm central daylight time

Meeting link

Meeting ID: 443 516 131

Password: 370774

Body Therapy for Dancers: A New Approach to Dance Injuries

Dance and Physical Therapy

HannaH Dziura

Hannah DziuraIn this study, Hannah Dziura attempts to develop practical applications of physical therapy and somatics that encourage dancers' scientific understanding of the body and ultimately protect the dancing body from injury. Her research draws on the Alexander Technique, variations in body work, practical and experiential anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. By combining the Western and non-Western fields of care, Dziura explores a hybrid movement practice that assists dancers with maintaining health holistically.

Hannah Dziura is a BA candidate pursuing a degree in dance with a pre–physical therapy concentration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her freshman year, Hannah attended Columbia College Chicago and danced with BOOM CRACK! Dance Company under the direction of Trae Turner. After transferring to the U of I, she returned to her passion for tap dancing. Performance credits include Charlie Maybee's The Promise of Stormy Weather and the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois production of Crazy for You, directed by Sarah Wigley (2019). Upon graduation, Dziura intends to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy while teaching dance in the Chicagoland area.


(Photo by Latosha Pointer '19)

Facilitating Dance: The Effects of Social Facilitation on Dance Education

Dance and Psychology

Nicholas Hittle

Nicholas HittleSocial facilitation centers around the theory that if someone has a lot of experience with a task, the presence of others will improve their performance of that task. On the other hand, if that person is less experienced in that task, the presence of others will debilitate their performance. This research seeks to explore a potential connection between social facilitation and dance education. Through observing and surveying students allied with archival research, Hittle sets out to formulate his own philosophy about how a teacher can structure a class that maximizes a student's growth in their dance studies.

Nicholas Hittle is a BA candidate in dance and a BS candidate in chemistry. He has trained with Deanna Doty at Champaign Ballet Academy, at the San Francisco Ballet School, and with the dance faculty at the University of Illinois, including Endalyn Taylor, C. Kemal Nance, Tere O'Connor, and Abby Zbikowski. His most recent performance was his self-choreographed solo, vinyl historia. He has also appeared in many faculty pieces with Dance at Illinois, including works choreographed by Endalyn Taylor, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Renata Sheppard, and John Toenjes. Other performance credits include The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow/Hunk) with Champaign Urbana Theatre Company, Crazy for You (Wyatt) with Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, and Newsies (Tommy Boy) with Corn Stock Theatre. Hittle has also assisted with choreography for Illini Student Musicals' Carrie the Musical and Urbana High School's Newsies.


(Photo by Latosha Pointer '19)