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. The Knowing Dance More lecture series brings internationally recognized artists and scholars to campus six times a year to help us shape a community of rigorous thinking and dancing.

Winter Dance Series 2016 / Helen Simoneau
Spring Dance Series 2017 / Milton Myers
Spring Dance Series 2017 / Facilitated by Lauren Bakst


Spring Dance Series 2017 / Jesse Zaritt
Students Travel to Israel / Jesse Zaritt & Niall Jones

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 Bailey headshot
Kim Bears-Bailey

Douglas Becker headshot
Douglas Becker

Wayne David headshot
Wayne David

Tommie Waheed Evans headshot
Tommie-Waheed Evans

Meredith Glisson headshot
Meredith Glisson

Curt Haworth Faculty
Curt Haworth

Niall Jones Headshot
Niall Jones

Paul Matteson headshot
Paul Matteson

Jimena Paz headshot
Jimena Paz

Sara Procopio Headshot
Sara Procopio

Michael Sheridan headshot
Michael Sheridan

Katie Swords headshot
Kathryn Swords Thurman

Anne White
Anne White

Jesse Zarritt headshot
Jesse Zaritt


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

Robert Battle headshot
Robert Battle

Elisa Clark headshot
Elisa Clark

Thaddeus Davis headshot
Thaddeus Davis

Nora Gibson headshot
Nora Gibson

Marguerite Hemmings heashot
Marguerite Hemmings

Gary W Jeter II headshot
Gary W. Jeter II

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

Bobbi Jene Smith headshot
Bobbi Jene Smith

Teddy Tedholm headshot
Teddy Tedholm

Helen Simoneau headshot
Helen Simoneau

Tanya Wideman-Davis headshot
Tanya Wideman-Davis

Netta Yerushalmy headshot
Netta Yerushalmy


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 earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance, students will complete a total of 129 credits as follows:

  • 67.5 credits in the Dance Major
  • 4.5 credits in Creative Practices and Collaborative Studio
  • 9 credits in Dance History, Theory & Criticism
  • 33 credits in the Liberal Arts
  • 15 credits in free Electives

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

Chanel Howard headshot
Chanel Howard

BFA '18

Onyxx Noel headshot
Onyxx Noel

BFA '17

Gary Reagan headshot
Gary Reagan

BFA '15

Haley Sung headshot
Haley Sung

BFA '17

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

BFA '13

Yazzmeen Laidler BFA '17 (Dance)
Yazzmeen Laidler

BFA '16

Roderick Phifer BFA '17 (Dance)
Roderick Phifer

BFA '17

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

BFA '13

Stanley Glover headshot
Stanley Glover

BFA '16

Keenan Washington headshot
Keenan Washington

BFA '14

Cameron Birts headshot
Cameron Birts

BFA '17


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

School of Dance Performances, Lectures & Showings
Explore upcoming events hosted by the School of Dance. Attend a performance or join us for "Knowing Dance More" - a series of lectures, conversations and informal showings led by visiting artists and scholars in the international field of dance.
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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