About the Department of Dance

dance ensemble

Our mission is to contribute innovation and leadership to the field of dance through creative/scholarly research, teaching, service, and community engagement. Through comprehensive, innovative courses we provide our diverse student body with an exemplary liberal arts education grounded in dance as a cultural practice, art form, and interdisciplinary subject. We embrace and celebrate dance as a way of learning about ourselves and the world around us. Committed to access, equity, and inclusion, our program develops artists, educators, scholars, and arts-literate citizens who can thrive in an increasingly complex global environment and make sustained contributions to their communities. 

Our inclusive curriculum welcomes all students – dance majors, dance minors, public school dance licensure candidates, and elective students –to build an awareness of the human body’s propensity for movement while developing the discipline required for the study and appreciation of dance. Dance degree study includes courses in diverse dance practices, among them modern dance, ballet, vintage jazz, and styles from West Africa and Latin America; improvisation; choreography; performance; dance history; anatomy; ballet pedagogy; and music and writing for dance. 

The unique research interests, expertise, and professional connections of our faculty provide extraordinary opportunities for our students.  By audition, students perform in concerts featuring original works by faculty and guest choreographers, as well as re-staged masterworks. In Fall 2016, students will work with Taylor 2 dance company in a two week residency and perform works by Paul Taylor.  In Spring 2017, AGA Collaborative will be in residence and create a work with students.  In recent years, students have worked with and performed choreography by Christal Brown, George Faison, Martha Graham in concert with the Graham Company and have welcomed Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. A major National Science Foundation grant allowed students to join in groundbreaking research in dance and technology.  Artists touring Charlotte, such as dancers from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, conduct master classes on campus.

Students interested in dance scholarship receive mentoring in research and writing and have presented work at university symposia and regional and national conferences. Faculty also nurture student choreographers, who may present their choreography on stage for credit.

The skills and attributes developed in dance are essential to a professional arts career as well as many other professional and personal endeavors.  Motivation, concentration, self-confidence, creativity, flexibility, problem-solving, communication skills, and teamwork are enhanced through the study of dance. Graduates may move directly into the profession as performers, choreographers, and teachers, attend graduate school, or combine their dance backgrounds with complementary areas of study to pursue many distinctive career paths.

For more information, please see our Student Handbook.

Support our Department

Donor support provides invaluable opportunities to our dance students. To support the work of the Department of Dance, please contact:
Mark Colone, Office of University Advancement 
P: 704-687-5526 / M: 704-905-5153