1.1 - A major course integrating gospel principles

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Kayla Bagshaw
Learning Outcome 1.1 - An examination of major courses where content was presented in a way
that meaningfully integrated gospel principles and values (2-3 pages)
Learning Outcome 1.1
There is one specific dance major course that stands out to me when I think about gospel
principles being integrated in the curriculum. This class was Dance History (Dance 461) with
Graham Brown and Caroline Prohosky. Within my Dance History class, I was asked to both
watch and read a variety of excerpts talking about different religions and how they choose to
incorporate dance within their culture and lifestyle. One assignment in particular stands out to
me the most, which involves comparing and contrasting Ancient Hebrew Culture and Mormon
Culture. It was very interesting to see what things were different and what things were similar
between these two different cultures.
The ancient Hebrews had such a great interest in and respect for dance. For them, it was a
way of life and nobody could live without it. Although dance can be found in our Mormon
culture today, it is not as popular or necessary within religion as it was back then. Instead, our
culture today uses other forms of worship and celebration to honor different aspects of our
Although we have no evidence of this passion for dance in paintings or murals found
among the ancient Hebrew culture, we are given many references within the bible of this need
for worship and honor through dance. For example, a circular, or ring dance, is the dance around
the Golden Calf portrayed in Exodus 32: 6, 19. The ancient Hebrews danced on every possible
occasion, both in daily life and for special occasions and ceremonies. These dances would
include ring dances, hopping dances and whirling dances.

Within the ancient Hebrew culture, it is stated that at a religious festival the performers
danced a ring-dance to musical accompaniment around the idol of the god who was being
worshipped. In our Mormon culture today, you probably wouldn’t find people ring-dancing
around the idol that we worship, however, you could find us worshipping in other artistic ways
such as singing.
Something that the Mormon culture today has in common with that of ancient Hebrew is
the importance of the priesthood and the idea of it being a very powerful tool and influence in
our lives. In our culture, we honor the priesthood by supporting them, asking them for blessings
and helping them to be worthy of their great gift. For those in the ancient Hebrew culture,
“dance was the chief medium of religious expression,” therefore, they honored the priesthood
through dance.
Dance in our Mormon culture today is used for healing, celebration, entertainment,
enjoyment and grieving. It can be used to overcome trials, build self-confidence, strengthen
happiness and stay motivated. Dance teaches us responsibility, trust, how to work with a team
and challenge our creativity. It also allows us to make new friends, set and achieve goals as well
as learn the value of hard work. In comparison with the ancient Hebrew culture, dance was also
rituals, tradition, ceremonies, worship, etc.
I appreciated being able to talk about our religion and other religions in these different
ways. I enjoyed learning about how dance is incorporated in our cultures as well as other cultures
throughout history. I thought both Caroline and Graham did a great job incorporating gospel
principles within this class. I appreciated being able to feel the spirit in this major course even
though it was specifically created for dance history.

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