BA in Dance

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Course of Study

The UB Dance Program is a nurturing and challenging artistic community where Versatility Matters. We value education fueled by performing and teaching experiences that prepare students for a variety of careers in the professional world of dance and beyond. Our BA and BFA programs include comprehensive training in modern, ballet, tap and jazz, along with coursework in choreography, pedagogy, somatic practices, Laban Movement Analysis, history and criticism, research, dance kinesiology, improvisation, music theatre dance, and social dance. 

Unique to our programs are offerings in comparative jazz styles. This broad course of study combined with strong interdisciplinary general education requirements cultivates resourceful and informed artists who work in concert dance, commercial dance, private sector, higher education, dance entrepreneurship, dance journalism and pursue graduate study. 

With numerous performance and choreographic opportunities and a robust roster of guest artists, UB graduates find success working on Broadway, national tours, Cirque du Soleil, Chicago Tap Theatre, Urban Bush Women, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Disney, and cruise ships, among many others. Because UB Dance is situated within a large research university and students have access to coursework in the humanities and sciences, our graduates also go into careers in dance science, education and arts management.

UB Dance on Stage

Performance opportunities for students to showcase performance and choreography in the Center for the Arts’ state of the art facilities include:

  • Zodiaque Dance Company, UB's pre-professional student dance company with faculty choreographers and a robust roster of guest artists.  Zodiaque presents two fully produced concerts each year in the Center for the Arts, with additional performances in Buffalo in various venues that have included the Botanical Gardens and Kleinhans Music Hall. 
  • UB Choreolab,  A performance and choreographic research laboratory dedicated to supporting diverse artists, their creative process and their role within society and culture. Built on a shared value of educational knowledge and professional experiences; ChoreoLab seeks to develop intelligent, resourceful working artists that embody a rigorous investigation in dance making, performance and physical practice. 
  • Emerging Choreographers Showcase, A concert of works choreographed and performed by student dance majors.  Advanced level student choreographers are invited to present their work under the guidance of faculty mentors.
  • Dancers Workshop, A student directed dance concert open to the UB community held each spring.

In addition to these regular performance opportunities, our students are also involved in special university and community projects throughout the year, which can range from industrial style performances to private and public outreach performances. 

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Professional Dance Residencies

Dance residencies engage with and enhance the BA, BFA and MFA curricula, featuring a variety of professional choreographers, educators, and performers working across genres (modern, post-modern, hip-hop, ballet, Bharatanatyam, jazz, tap and more.) Annual residencies range from a few days to a few weeks and take many forms. Students at all levels participate in technique classes and creative workshops, attend lectures and performance demonstrations, and perform in new pieces of choreography and repertory works. Learning from industry professionals is a formative part of the student experience at UB and has resulted in internships, summer scholarships and other career building opportunities.

THD currently hosts an annual Urban Bush Women (UBW) Dance Residency. Over a two-week period each academic year, the company teaches classes and workshops for Department and University students and develops new work for UBW in the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre.

Past residencies include: Entity Contemporary Dance, Dorrance Dance, Koresh, Kimberly Bartosik / daela, Netta Yerushalmy, and Pilobolus, among many others.


Application Requirements

An audition is required for our BA Dance degree program. Interested students are encouraged to audition prior to matriculation at UB.  Current UB students who audition for the dance major should contact the department Academic Manager to discuss their degree completion timetable. UB does not offer a dance minor.

  • UB students who are non-dance majors wishing to take dance technique courses should see the course schedule for dance courses listed as “open”. 
  • Prospective students are encouraged to review the admissions requirements prior to signing up for an audition.

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