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.

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

Dance
Kim Bears Bailey headshot
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
Niall Jones Headshot
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
Anne White
Anne White

Dance
Jesse Zarritt headshot
Jesse Zaritt

Dance

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

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
Gary W Jeter II headshot
Gary W. Jeter II

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
Spring 2019

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February 27 | Orientation
March 6 | Marguerite Hemmings & Simone White
March 27 | Maria Hassabi & Jenn Joy
April 17 | Study Hall

All events take place on Wednesdays from 11:30-12:50pm.
Y Gym Dance Theater | 401 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA

Curated by Lauren Bakst
University of the Arts School of Dance

In this Orientation, curator Lauren Bakst introduces the spring session of Knowing Dance More, which features choreographer Marguerite Hemmings alongside poet Simone White, and choreographer Maria Hassabi alongside scholar Jenn Joy, culminating in a Study Hall with the student body. Pairing choreographers and writers, the spring sessions highlights the emergent knowledges that take shape in the dialogue between dancing and discursive practices.

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Marguerite Hemmings, performance artist and educator, is Jamaican born, raised in New Jersey, and has been living in the NYC area for over a decade. She graduated from Columbia University in Education and Urban Studies. Hemmings is a movement improviser that specializes in street and social dance styles. She has been working inside of a dance practice called Experimental Dancehall, a term she uses to reference her connection to and study of one of her homelands, Jamaica, and to more broadly reference her belief in social dance practices as a real time embodying of liberation, reparation, and social change.

Hemmings’ work centers itself in liberation. She has been subverting, working, and creating with youth as a teaching artist for a very long time. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Harlem Stage, University Settlement, and Dancing While Black to further her work as an artist/youth organizer. She is most recently a recipient of the 2017-18 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellowship, and through that, also the Projecting All Voices Fellowship at ASU. She, along with 19 other comrades, is a 2017 recipient of the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Skeleton Architecture. She is currently working on a self-directed, multimedia endeavor called we free. we free is a multi-media project that looks at the millennial approach to liberation through its music, social dance and social media. we free is centered in the livelihood and reparation of the African continent and diaspora. It is a social experiment, a conversation, a non-performance, a call to action, a revival, a bashment party, an ode to, and in moments a critique of, the millennial generation and what we are doing, right now, to be free.

Simone White is the author of Dear Angel of Death, Of Being Dispersed, Unrest and House Envy of All the World. Her work has appeared in e-flux, Frieze, BOMB, Chicago Review and Harper's, among other places. She teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Brooklyn.

with Linda Caruso Haviland*

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Maria Hassabi: PLASTIC (2015-16) Installation view Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, January 31-March 1, 2015. Courtesy the artist; Koenig & Clinton, New York; The Breeder, Athens. Photo credit, Thomas Poravas.

Maria Hassabi is an artist and choreographer. Her performances and installations are presented worldwide in theaters, museums, galleries, and public spaces including Centre Pompidou (Paris); K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf); documeta14 (Kassel); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); Museum of Modern Art (New York); Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); The 55th Venice Biennale (Venice); Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels); ArtSonje (Seoul); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), steirischer herbst (Graz); Performa (New York); The Kitchen (New York); Performance Space 122 (New York), amongst others. Hassabi received the 2016 “Bessie” Award; the 2015 Herb Alpert Award; 2012 President’s Award for Performing Arts from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2009 Grants to Artists Award from Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Jenn Joy is a Senior Critic in Sculpture at Yale School of Art and founded collective address as a choreographic research space in Brooklyn (2014-2016). She published visions (2018) with Heather Kravas and The Choreographic (MIT Press, 2014). A Contributing Editor in Performance for BOMB magazine, she edited Planes of Composition: Dance, Theory and the Global with André Lepecki (Seagull Press, 2009); other writing has been published in DANSE: An Anthology (Les Presses du Réel, 2014), DANCE (Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2012), BOMB, BOMBLOG, Movement Research Performance Journal. As scholar-in-residence at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC she co-edited the catalogs Diary of an Image and JUDSONOW and curated Conversations without Walls with Judy Hussie-Taylor, a series of conversations around issues in contemporary choreography. She received her PhD in Performance Studies from NYU.

*Knowing Dance More with Maria Hassabi & Jenn Joy is co-presented by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in conjunction with their latest publication, The Sentient Archive: Bodies, Performance, and Memory and will include an introduction to the book by editor Linda Caruso Haviland.

Knowing Dance More Study Hall is a platform for knowledge-exchange through which the UArts School of Dance students become the series experts—reflecting on and responding to the ideas that have been proposed throughout the spring series.

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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
Freshmen 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 Project & Critique
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

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, Director of School of Dance Dance

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