The Dance program at the University of the Arts is one of the top-rated, most diverse undergraduate dance populations in the country. Our location is in the heart of Philadelphia's thriving art scene. You'll have the opportunity to study with some of the finest professional teaching artists in the world, and extend your dancing into our city and beyond into some of the most important dance and cultural centers in the world.

Apprenticeships, internships and international study cycles will be woven into your college experience. Many choreographic and performance experiences abound right on campus, such as those available through our Thinking, Making, Doing curriculum series and Senior Projects.

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 Dance

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

Dance
Douglas Becker headshot
Douglas Becker

Dance
Wayne David headshot
Wayne David

Dance
Tommie Waheed Evans headshot
Tommie-Waheed Evans

Dance
Curt Haworth headshot
Curt Haworth

Dance
Shayla-Vie Jenkins headshot
Shayla-Vie Jenkins

Dance
Gary W. Jeter II headshot
Gary W. Jeter II

Dance (MFA)
Niall Jones
Niall Jones

Dance
Jenn McGinn headshot
Jen McGinn

Dance
Paul Matteson headshot
Paul Matteson

Dance
Jimena Paz headshot
Jimena Paz

Dance
Sara Procopio Headshot
Sara Procopio

Dance
Michael Sheridan headshot
Michael Sheridan

Dance
Katie Swords headshot
Katie Swords Thurman

Dance
Jesse Zarritt headshot
Jesse Zaritt

Dance

Click on the images below to meet visiting artists of the Dance program.

This fall, the School of Dance will also host a dynamic programming series called the School for Temporary Liveness.
Learn more. 

Robert Battle headshot
Robert Battle

Dance
Ronald K. Brown
Ronald K. Brown

Dance
Arcell Kabuag
Arcell Cabaug

Dance
Elisa Clark headshot
Elisa Clark

Dance
Thaddeus Davis headshot
Thaddeus Davis

Dance
Beth Gill Headshot
Beth Gill

Dance
Marguerite Hemmings heashot
Marguerite Hemmings

Dance
Gerard Kelly Schindler
Gerard & Kelly

Dance
Juel D Lane headshot
Juel D. Lane

Dance
Andrea Miller headshot
Andrea Miller/Gallim Dance

Dance
Milton Myers headshot
Milton Myers

Dance
Jennifer Nugent headshot
Jennifer Nugent

Dance
Kaneza Schall headshot
Kaneza Schall

Dance
With Care Bobbi Jene Smith Matthew Placek
Bobbi Jene Smith

Dance
Teddy Tedholm headshot
Teddy Tedholm

Dance
Helen Simoneau headshot
Helen Simoneau

Dance
Tanya Wideman-Davis headshot
Tanya Wideman-Davis

Dance
Netta Yerushalmy headshot
Netta Yerushalmy

Dance

Knowing Dance More Series

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February 12 | Orientation
February 26 | Jasmine Johnson and jumatatu m. poe
March 25 | Rosy Simas: Sovereign Movements
April 1 | Study Hall

Knowing Dance More events take place from 11:30-12:50pm in the Y Gym Dance Theater | 401 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA.

Curated by Lauren Bakst
University of the Arts School of Dance

Orientation

Wednesday February 12

In this orientation, curator Lauren Bakst will contextualize and introduce the Spring 2020 session of Knowing Dance More, focusing on how the invited artists and scholars situate their practices within the world.

Jasmine Johnson and jumatatu m. poe

Wednesday February 26

In this conversation, scholar Jasmine Johnson and choreographer jumatatu m. poe will discuss the ways they are coming together within, through, around Black dance and their con/divergent reflections of dance and its motivations within their respective social analyses. Together they will examine the various constellations of people and social phenomena that inform their work, and how that work was brought together. 

Jasmine Elizabeth Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She writes and teaches about dance, black feminism, diaspora and performance. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and elsewhere. 

jumatatu m. poe is a choreographer and performer based between Philadelphia and New York City. jumatatu's early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where jumatatu's parents studied and worked, but jumatatu did not start formal dance training until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. jumatatu's work continues to be influenced by various sources, including recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham.

Pelenakeke Brown and Rosy Simas

Wednesday March 25

On the occasion of the recent launch of Issue 52/53 of the Movement Research Performance Journal, Sovereign Movements: Native Dance and Performance, this Knowing Dance More will feature guest editor of the issue and choreographer Rosy Simas alongside artist Pelenakeke Brown.

Pelenakeke (Keke) Brown identifies as an immigrant and uninvited guest to Mannahatta, Lenapehoking. She hails from Aotearoa/New Zealand and is a Samoan, afakasi, disabled, queer artist. Her practice is multidisciplinary and spans drawing, writing, movement, and storytelling. Her work is rooted within the Samoan concept of the ‘va’ or 'in-between space’ and she is always interrogating the relationships amongst the in-between spaces that we each inhabit. She is a 2018 Create Change Fellow with the Laundromat Project and a founding and current member of the Alien Support Service (ASS) Collective, a collective for immigrant artists, living and working in New York City. She is a member of Dance/NYC’s Immigrant Artists Taskforce and NYFA Immigrant Artist Program alumni. She has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center (VT), Denniston Hill (NY) and Ana Pekapeka Studio (NZ) and exhibited her work in San Francisco, Auckland and across New York. Her non-fiction creative work has been published in The James Franco Review, Movement Research Performance Journal, Hawai‘i Review, and Apogee Journal's Indigenous #NoDAPL special edition. She is a founding member of Touch Compass, New Zealand's first mixed-ability dance company. She attended the National Academy School of Fine Art, Studio Intensive Program, NY and received a BA in English literature and Pacific Studies from Auckland University, NZ. Currently she is the Assistant Director of Culture Push, a NYC-based non-profit arts organization.
 

Rosy Simas is a citizen of the Seneca Nation, Heron clan. She is a choreographer and visual artist based in Minneapolis. Her work investigates how culture, history, and identity are stored in the body and expressed in movement. For more than twenty years she has created work dealing with a wide range of political, social, and cultural subject matter from a Native feminist perspective. Simas is a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, First Peoples Fund, Guggenheim Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Dance USA Fellow; as well as a Joyce Awardee. Simas' choreographic works include Weave, Skin(s), and We Wait In The Darkness which have toured extensively to venues throughout Turtle Island. Simas' visual art work has been exhibited at the Soo Visual Arts Center, Plains Art Museum, Abrons Arts Center, the Edge Center for the Arts, Gimaajii-Bino-Bimaadizimin, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, and All My Relations Arts.

Study Hall

Wednesday April 1

In this Study Hall, students will generate an immediate publication that collects their reflections on the past semester of Knowing Dance More. We will also celebrate the launch of the School for Temporary Liveness publication.

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Sample Courses in the Dance Major

First Year
Body Pathways
Studio Practice: Ballet
Contemporary Art Practices
Studio Practice: Modern, Jazz & Hip-hop
First-Year Performance Workshop
Introduction to Improvisation Performance Practice
Languaging Dance, Thinking Choreographically

Second Year
Sophomore Performance & Coaching Project
Studio Practice: Ballet
Studio Practice: Modern, Jazz & Hip-hop
Movement Invention & Theatricality
Expanded Field in Dance & Performance
Dance History, Theory and Criticism I
Extended Studio Practice Somatic Lab

Third Year
Junior Seminar
Performance Pedagogies of Dance
Studio Practice
Solo Studies
Collaborative Practice and the Choreographic
Dance History, Theory and Criticism II

Fourth Year
Senior Seminar
Senior Thesis Workshop
Performance Pedagogies of Dance
Studio Practice
Choreography as Research
Improvisation as Research in Performance

About the 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.

To explore the full curriculum, click here.

Explore profiles of some of our recent graduates. Click each image below to learn more.

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

BFA '13

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

BFA '13

Dance
Keenan Washington headshot
Keenan Washington

BFA '14

Dance
Gary Reagan headshot
Gary Reagan

BFA '15

Dance
Wendell Gray
Wendell Gray II

BFA ' 15

Dance
Yazzmeen Laidler BFA '17 (Dance)
Yazzmeen Laidler

BFA '16

Dance
Stanley Glover headshot
Stanley Glover

BFA '16

Dance
Donovan Reed
Donovan Reed

BFA ' 16

Dance
Onyxx Noel headshot
Onyxx Noel

BFA '17

Dance
Haley Sung headshot
Haley Sung

BFA '17

Dance
Roderick Phifer BFA '17 (Dance)
Roderick Phifer

BFA '17

Dance
Cameron Birts headshot
Cameron Birts

BFA '17

Dance
Michele Dooley
Michele Dooley

BFA '17

Dance
Marco Farroni
Marco Farroni

BFA '17

Dance
Chanel Howard headshot
Chanel Howard

BFA '18

Dance
Teigha Beth Bailey
Teigha Beth Bailey

BFA '18

Dance
Mikhail Calliste
Mikhail Calliste

BFA '18

Dance

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.

Explore Dance MFA Program

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