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Dancing for success at Palomar

Palomar Encore Dancers performed at the 25th annual Gala at the Rancho Bernardo Inn on Sept 10. Christopher Jones / The Telescope
Palomar Encore Dancers performed at the 25th annual Gala at the Rancho Bernardo Inn on Sept 10. Christopher Jones / The Telescope

Palomar College has a proud history of success with an extensive dance program, which works to impact students who attend the classes with a love of dance.

Palomar’s Dance department offers classes in 10 different techniques for beginners, intermediate, and advanced dancers. Additionally, it offers degrees for dance in Euro-Western Dance, General Dance, and is one of the few colleges in the United States that offers an associates degree in World Dance.

The Dance program is ran by department chair Patriceanne Mead and is located in the PAC (Performing Arts Center) building on the San Marcos campus.

There is no audition process for the program, only the need to have an interest in experimenting with dance, wanting to try something new and fun, or entertaining your desire for a career. All students are welcome to jump right in and start learning.

Molly Faulkner, Professor of Dance at Palomar College, describes the program as “professional, comprehensive, and fun.”

Additional classes are offered in Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz techniques, Dance on Film, Choreography, Production Management, Dance Improv, Teaching Management, Intro to Dance History, and Survey of World Dance. The long list of classes provides opportunities for dancers of all levels.

Although the dance department does not compete in any dance competitions and therefore does not qualify for awards, there is a great deal of pride in the success that their dancers achieve in the performing arts industry.

“We have a lot of success in placing students in jobs, and I think that is reward enough,” Faulkner said.

Palomar has graduates working at amusement parks, teaching at studios, and dancing professionally in companies throughout San Diego. The program is specifically designed to prepare its students for the rigors of a professional or regional careers.

Anna Lopez, a student and dance major at Palomar College, said she feels strongly that the objectives taught at Palomar have set her on a solid path for achieving her goals of becoming a professional dancer and future dance teacher.

“[Palomar] has definitely provided me with a new perspective on dance,” Lopez said. “What can I take away from the class, but also what can I take away from the teachers?”

The Dance department will also be hosting productions throughout this fall semester. On Dec. 9 and 10, they have the students displaying their own choreography, while on Dec. 17 and 18 the students will be displaying more classical excerpts such as “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty.” These productions are a great opportunity to learn by giving students performative experience.

“We think that performative experience is really important for growth,” Faulkner said. “Nothing is more immediate about learning than being in front of people and having to do it.”

For more information about getting involved with the Palomar Dance Program check out their website at or contact the Performing Arts Department at 760.744.1150 ext. 2316.

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