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

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

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