Dance (BFA)

Under the leadership of Donna Faye Burchfield, the School of Dance at University of the Arts in Philadelphia is a community of 300 talented, expressive students and an exceptional faculty of world-recognized artists with expansive and far-reaching abilities and experiences.

The school reimagines and reinvigorates curricular approaches to reflect the ever-expanding landscape of dance, while training and supporting the futures of young dance artists. Students are encouraged to discover their interests; articulate their perspectives; and situate themselves as participants capable of developing critical approaches to dance, performance and study. The curriculum takes the depth and rigor of a discipline-based dance conservatory, while actively interweaving practice and theory and maintaining international collaborations and exchanges at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

We look for dancers who are curious, independent thinkers and have an openness that transcends the formality of an audition. We take time to imagine how a student will grow and contribute within our community as well as the world."
— Donna Faye Burchfield, Dean of The School of Dance

Faculty & Mentors

Your classes will be led by passionate instructors who love dance as much as you do. From ballet to hip-hop, jazz to modern, you'll have the opportunity to learn from instructors with a variety of dance backgrounds and expertise. Click on the images below to meet faculty of the Dance program.

Donna Faye Burchfield Headshot
Donna Faye Burchfield

Kim Bears
Kim Bears-Bailey

Douglas Becker headshot
Douglas Becker

Wayne David headshot
Wayne David

Tommie Waheed Evans headshot
Tommie-Waheed Evans

Curt Haworth headshot
Curt Haworth

Shayla-Vie Jenkins headshot
Shayla-Vie Jenkins

Gary W. Jeter II headshot
Gary W. Jeter II

Niall Jones
Niall Jones

Jenn McGinn headshot
Jen McGinn

Paul Matteson headshot
Paul Matteson

Jimena Paz headshot
Jimena Paz

Sara Procopio Headshot
Sara Procopio

Michael Sheridan headshot
Michael Sheridan

Katie Swords headshot
Katie Swords Thurman

Jesse Zarritt headshot
Jesse Zaritt

See More Faculty

Recent News

UArts Assistant Professor of Studio Practice Tommie-Waheed Evans was named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in choreography. Read more about Evans' plans for the fellowship.

Curriculum

 

The School of Dance’s major course of study takes the depth and rigor of a discipline-based dance conservatory while engaging students in open discussions within their own practice, valuing their voices as capable of developing new and critical perspectives in dance. These strategies give way to student driven pathways and expand the ways students can access and think about the practices and techniques of making and performing dance. 

It is divided into two parts: Foundation Series (freshman and sophomore years) and Portfolio & Research Series (junior and senior).

The faculty of the School of Dance have developed five essential learning goals that help to shape the school’s curriculum and the young dance artist and professional.

  • Mutuality: Students will activate relationships in dance on personal, collective, regional and global levels.

  • Relationality: Students will engage with the world through multiple lenses of collaboration, exchange and difference.

  • Expressivity: Students will develop tools and ideas of expression to speak, write, and dance about/with/of/alongside.

  • Sustainability: Students will be immersed in anatomically sound technical training that consistently weaves and references both historical and emerging techniques, forms and styles through informed somatic practices.

  • Resourcefulness: Students will develop and sharpen skills of reciprocity, relationship and network building through consistent contact with professional artists in the expanded field both within their communities and in the world.

These learning goals are mapped across courses in six different categories: Studio Practice; Body Pathways;  Thinking, Making, Doing; History, Theory and Criticism; Capstone Experiences; and Performance Pedagogies of Dance.

 

Sample Curriculum

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First Year

First Year

Studio Practices (includes a wide range of offerings, such as ballet, traditional modern dance techniques, hip hop, jazz, contemporary forms and more)
Body Pathways I & II
Intro to Improv Performance Practice
Contemporary Art Practices
Languaging Dance, Thinking Choreographically
First-Year Performance Workshop
Writing Placement I & II
Free elective (student choice)

Second Year

Second Year

Studio Practices (includes a wide range of offerings, such as ballet, traditional modern dance techniques, hip hop, jazz, contemporary forms and more)
Sophomore Performance & Coaching Project
Body Pathways Movement Lab
Critical Dance Studies I
Thinking, Making, Doing (student choice - course offerings include Activism, Social Justice & Choreography; Choreography & Alternative Media; Drawing objects: Extending the Choreographic; Duet Forms; Improvisation as Research in Performance; Solo Studies and more)
Critical Studies (student choice)
Free elective (student choice)

Third Year

Third Year

Studio Practices (includes a wide range of offerings, such as ballet, traditional modern dance techniques, hip hop, jazz, contemporary forms and more)
Junior Seminar I & II
Body Pathways Research Lab
Critical Dance Studies II
Pedagogies of Performance in Dance
Thinking, Making, Doing (student choice - course offerings include Activism, Social Justice & Choreography; Choreography & Alternative Media; Drawing objects: Extending the Choreographic; Duet Forms; Improvisation as Research in Performance; Solo Studies and more)
Critical Studies (student choice)
Free elective (student choice)

Fourth Year

Fourth Year

Studio Practices (includes a wide range of offerings, such as ballet, traditional modern dance techniques, hip hop, jazz, contemporary forms and more)
Senior Seminar
Senior Thesis Workshop
Pedagogies of Performance in Dance
Thinking, Making, Doing (student choice - course offerings include Activism, Social Justice & Choreography; Choreography & Alternative Media; Drawing objects: Extending the Choreographic; Duet Forms; Improvisation as Research in Performance; Solo Studies and more)
Critical Studies (student choice)
Free elective (student choice)

Explore the Full Curriculum

Dance (MFA)

With the goal of educating thinking artists as world citizens, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia sets in motion a new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Dance that extends the context of learning from the studio, theater and classroom to the international festival environment as a space for learning.

Learn More

HomeSchool

 

A virtual performance and exhibition space presented by the School of Dance at the University of the Arts.

 

Learn more

Knowing Dance More Series

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Presented by the UArts School of Dance, Knowing Dance More is a series of lectures, conversations, and informal showings led by important artists and scholars in the international field of dance. This series brings into focus current issues within the production, performance, and practice of dance works and will hopefully foster ongoing conversations about knowing dance (more).

Upcoming events TBA.

View past KDM Events
 

Visiting Artists

Robert Battle headshot
Robert Battle

Ronald K. Brown
Ronald K. Brown

Arcell Kabuag
Arcell Cabaug

Elisa Clark headshot
Elisa Clark

Thaddeus Davis headshot
Thaddeus Davis

Fana Fraser Headshot
Fana Fraser

Beth Gill Headshot
Beth Gill

Gerard Kelly Schindler
Gerard & Kelly

Juel D Lane headshot
Juel D. Lane

Andrea Miller headshot
Andrea Miller/Gallim Dance

Milton Myers headshot
Milton Myers

Jennifer Nugent headshot
Jennifer Nugent

Kaneza Schall headshot
Kaneza Schall

With Care Bobbi Jene Smith Matthew Placek
Bobbi Jene Smith

Teddy Tedholm headshot
Teddy Tedholm

Helen Simoneau headshot
Helen Simoneau

Maleek Washington headshot
Maleek Washington

Thom White headshot
Thom White

BFA '17

Tanya Wideman-Davis headshot
Tanya Wideman-Davis

Netta Yerushalmy headshot
Netta Yerushalmy

Alumni Spotlight

Amanda K'mett Pendry BFA '13 (Dance)
Amanda K'mett Pendry

BFA '13

Dance (BFA)
Close-up of Mark Crousillat looking to his right, orange background
Marc Crousillat

BFA '13

Dance (BFA)
Keenan Washington headshot
Keenan Washington

BFA '14

Dance (BFA)
Gary Reagan headshot
Gary Reagan

BFA '15

Dance (BFA)
Wendell Gray
Wendell Gray II

BFA ' 15

Dance (BFA)
Yazzmeen Laidler BFA '17 (Dance)
Yazzmeen Laidler

BFA '16

Dance (BFA)
Stanley Glover headshot
Stanley Glover

BFA '16

Dance (BFA)
Donovan Reed
Donovan Reed

BFA ' 16

Dance (BFA)
Onyxx Noel headshot
Onyxx Noel

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Haley Sung headshot
Haley Sung

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Roderick Phifer BFA '17 (Dance)
Roderick Phifer

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Cameron Birts headshot
Cameron Birts

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Michele Dooley
Michele Dooley

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Marco Farroni
Marco Farroni

BFA '17

Dance (BFA)
Chanel Howard headshot
Chanel Howard

BFA '18

Dance (BFA)
Teigha Beth Bailey
Teigha Beth Bailey

BFA '18

Dance (BFA)
Mikhail Calliste
Mikhail Calliste

BFA '18

Dance (BFA)
Thom White headshot
Thom White

BFA '17

How to Apply

UArts offers recommended priority deadlines; students who apply and submit all required materials by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for scholarship aid from UArts. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis. 

International students requiring an F-1 visa for study in the U.S. might be subject to earlier deadlines to provide time for completion of the visa process. Contact Admissions for guidance if you are an international student who wishes to apply after the priority deadline.

Spring 2022 priority deadline: Dec. 4, 2021

Fall 2022 priority deadline: Feb. 15, 2022

We cannot accept spring 2022 applications after Jan. 10, 2022, and cannot accept fall 2022 applications after Aug. 12, 2022.

The following materials are required for your application.

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A completed application

Start or resume your application. 

  • The application includes two required short-answer questions: What excites you about UArts? What inspires you?

A nonrefundable $60 application fee
  • If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.

Official high school transcript

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

  • International transcript requirements 

  • Transfer student transcript requirements

    • High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.

    • Official college(s)

      • Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

      • If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available

Audition
  • Auditions are required for the Dance program. After submitting your application, go to your applicant status portal to register for your virtual or on-campus audition day. View a full list of audition requirements.

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency
Optional letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to undergradcredentials@uarts.edu or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service.

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