Fall 2022 - CA 129 D100

Movement Fundamentals (3)

Class Number: 6985

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    GCA 4750, GOLDCORP



This studio/theory course incorporates techniques of body awareness, centering, and structural realignment. The emphasis is on body conditioning and body connectedness. This course will be of interest to dancers, actors, kinesiologists, and athletes. This is one of four courses required for entry into the dance major and extended minor program. Students with credit for FPA 129 may not take this course for further credit.


This studio/theory course is designed to provide students with basic human anatomy as it relates to movement both functional and expressive.   The aim is to provide students with the tools to enhance kinesthectic awareness, technical skills and performance. Anatomically sound principles of the body will be employed and will be contrasted with body myths and misconception which can be unbalanced, harmful and even injurious.  Each student will be encouraged to work constructively with their individual structure to promote efficient use of the body in ways applicable to all forms of movement.

The studio work will incorporate a variety of approaches and methodologies for movement training/investigation, including, an introduction to a variety of somatic practises, conditioning principles, embodied experiential anatomy work, body-mind connectivity, somatic awareness, dynamic alignment, injury prevention tools and wellness.

The theory component will include basic concepts of functional anatomy, including skeletal-musculo systems and applying the principles of dynamic alignment, injury prevention, dance wellness and kinesthestic awareness. This will be taught from an experiential perspective with the goal towards embodying the theory.

Studio work will include:

Experiential practice, that includes various exercises, movement exploration and observation to aid in releasing excess tension in the body, to strengthen and stretch muscle groups, as well as promoting more efficient safe alignment. Observation and analysis of movement with a partner and in group settings. Lectures, assigned readings, class discussions.

Movement sessions will focus on promoting:

Greater kinesthetic awareness for body/mind integration
Enhanced body alignment
Release of unnecessary tension
Increased strength and flexibility
Re-patterning inefficient movement habits

Short written assignments will be required.


Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate the theory with practice. That is, understand and apply movement principles, with regard to optimal functional movement.
  2. Understand the basics of the skeletal/muscular system of human anatomy.
  3. Identify personal movement patterns including strengths, weaknesses and inefficient movement habits.
  4. Apply the course content (practice and theory) to dance or any movement practice in order to strengthen movement skills and prevent injury.
  5. Be able to create your own body-conditioning workout.


  • Studio/Practice 60%
  • Collaborative projects 40%



Please note, I’ll be using the SCA grading guidelines to determine the final grade. See attached sheet.  

Grading is based on the following:

Studio/practice: 60% 

Evaluation will be ongoing throughout the semester and will focus on enhanced:  
  • Kinesthetic awareness
  • Body Alignment
  • Strength and flexibility.
  • Overall body connectivity and movement efficiency
  • Active class participation in all class work, including discussions.

Collaborative projects & Quiz : 40%

Two to three small projects in the form of group presentations. Each presentation will include a short paper submitted by each student in the group.

Total: 100 %

Dance Area Grading Policy in Regards to Attendance

The following policy documents the specific outcomes of missing class. This policy does not give you permission to miss any classes and missed classes will affect your final grade. In special situations related to injury, family emergencies, etc., documentation will need to be provided and excusing these absences will be at the discretion of the instructor and coordinator of the dance area.
Missed classes breakdown   

3 = B- (10%)
4 = C
5 = D (20%)

*Please note assignments may be amended at the instructor’s discretion.

*I encourage you to communicate with me if you have any questions during the course. I will be available to meet with students during the semester by appointment.



Students are expected to commit to all aspects of the course; this includes attending every class and participating fully in the class work. The course work is cumulative in nature and missed classes can’t be made up. You will be graded in each class on the quality of your studio work, including your level of participation.

It is essential that you be on time for class to prepare physically and mentally for the practical work. Latecomers are distracting and tardiness impedes your learning and progress. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you may be asked to observe the class and take notes. These notes will be handed in at the end of class, legibly written. But please note, observing class doesn’t constitute active participation and will affect your final grade.

Chronic illness or injury that prevents your active participation at the start of the semester should be discussed immediately with the instructor. It may be necessary to withdraw from the course.

Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely but please no wear baggy clothing as this prevents the instructor from observing body alignment. And for safety reasons, please no jewelry.

You should be prepared to experience new movement patterns, let go of old habits and gain knowledge and tools for re-directing neuromuscular patterning. Commitment, risk-taking and motivation will assist you in making these changes. Curiosity in learning new approaches to movement training will facilitate your progress.

Discussions are an important part of the course work, please be prepared to contribute to all discussions. Ask questions, it’s likely that others in the group will have a similar question



Required Materials

Students are required to purchase the following items for the studio work:

- A Yoga Mat

-Keep a journal:
You are encouraged to keep a journal as a means to record your process and progress throughout the course.


Jacqui Greene Haas, Dance Anatomy, Second edition. Human Kinetics, 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-4925-4517-0

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html