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.
Performance opportunities for students to showcase performance and choreography in the Center for the Arts’ state of the art facilities include:
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.
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.
An audition is required for our BA and BFA Dance degree programs. Students who have successfully completed their first year of study as a Dance BA can audition for the Dance BFA at the start of their second year. Transfer students can apply during their first year if they have completed a full year at another dance institution. Prospective students are encouraged to audition prior to matriculation at UB. Current UB students who audition for the dance major should contact the Theatre and Dance Academic Manager to discuss their degree completion timetable. UB does not offer a dance minor.
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