Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Dance
The BA in dance is for students seeking a broad liberal arts education with a specialization in the area of dance.
Students pursuing the bachelor of arts in dance are enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. While an audition is not required as part of the admissions process for the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, an audition is required to declare the BA major or minor in dance. BA and minor dance auditions are held each semester in November and April for current Rutgers students.
BA dance majors complete 41 credits in dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts. Courses include modern technique, ballet technique, improvisation, choreography, production, dance history, kinesiology, rhythm, Laban Movement Analysis, dance studies, African fusion technique, as well as electives in other dance and movement forms.
The study of fusion dance forms evolved from traditional and contemporary African and African-American dance forms, offering practice in performance techniques.
Pointe classes include participation in a ballet barre and center work. The focus will be on the practice and principles of the classical ballet vocabulary with an emphasis on strengthening foundational skills in pointe technique. Advice will be given on how students can best prepare and maintain their pointe shoes. Men’s ballet classes emphasize strengthening foundational skills in men's technique. Advanced-intermediate courses explore barre and center-floor ballet technique, emphasizing adagio, allegro, barre, and center floor work.
Choreography courses focus on development of solo and group choreographic process with emphasis on movement invention and experimental forms as well as communication through movement with emphasis upon structural development. The completion of all four courses culminates with individual creative projects resulting in the production of a dance concert.
Improvisation courses explore the use of kinetics, movement design, and spatial sensing as potential sources of movement and partner interaction. Students also learn to explore dance improvisation as the source of movement for choreography. The courses focus on the development of improvisational skills with an emphasis on form as an integral part of creative and performance processes through exploration of contemporary dance practice and interdisciplinary performance practices.
Laban Studies explores a systematic study of Laban's theoretical model describing concepts and principles of human movement. It includes an overview of Bartenieff Fundamentals (BF), an integrative tool for reeducating the body.
Our modern technique courses allow students to practice advanced skills in modern dance. The Dance Rotation Workshop introduces BFA dance majors to diverse dance techniques and somatic practices through studio-based experiences including, but not limited to, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Klein Technique, Graham Technique, Cunningham Technique, contact improvisation, Gaga Technique, ballroom dance styles, yoga, capoeira, dance forms of the African diaspora, Latin dance forms, Asian dance forms, Pilates, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais Method.
Performance courses focus on development of performance skills through the study and performance of works from the modern dance repertory—both historical and contemporary—by guest or resident choreographers. Students also participate in public performances of faculty choreography in department productions and gain performance experience in the student touring dance company, University Dance Works.
Dance Appreciation is an introduction to the domain of dance practice, within a humanities context. Students observe and describe dance as a performing art and as cultural intervention. Guest artists provide performance demonstration on a variety of topics. This course can be taken in-person or through Rutgers Arts Online.
Dance education courses are part of the Five-Year BFA/EdM Teacher Education Program.
Dance history and theory courses explore the study of dance in diverse cultures and times through film, video, reading, lectures, discussion, and directed research. Instruction includes the study of the influences on contemporary concert dance of diverse cultural, artistic, and social movements.
Science and wellness courses explore functional human anatomy and the study of the scientific basis of human movement as they relate to dance training. Courses include somatic studies of diverse movement disciplines with programs for Pilates and yoga for dancers.
Production courses explore the theoretical and practical applications of computer, video, audio, and technical theater skills necessary to produce, promote, and direct a dance concert. Students develop skills in a fully equipped audiovisual computer laboratory with attached dance studio and two professional theaters. In the "Video for Dance" course, students explore communication through dance as a video art with emphasis on video shooting and editing techniques, environmental controls, and improvisational dance movement structures used in the creation of video dance projects.
Sound and movement courses focus on analysis of the relationships of music and dance in content, form, and structure. Study includes analysis of rhythmic structure relative to movement, sight-reading note values, movement dictation, and composition.
Minor in Dance
The minor in dance program provides introductory experience in dance training and dance theory. Minors in dance complete 20 credits in dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts. Auditions are required to take courses beyond Modern Dance II. A minimum of 2.5 GPA is required to apply and students must earn a C or better in required courses to complete the minor. Online versions of many courses are available through Rutgers Arts Online.
Non-Majors and Non-Minors
The Dance Department offers both studio courses as well as theoretical dance studies courses for non-major and non-minor students. Multiple general education dance online courses are available that introduce students to historical and theoretical frameworks of diverse dance forms. See available online dance courses.
- 07:203:101 Dance Appreciation (Fall and Spring)
- 07:203:123 Modern Dance I (Fall and Spring)
- 07:203:124 Modern Dance II (Fall and Spring)
- 07:203: 149 Ballet I (Fall and Spring)
- 07:203:150 Ballet II (Spring only)
- 07:203:155 Introduction to Jazz Dance (Fall only)
- 07:203:110 Introduction to Urban Fusion Dance (Fall and Spring)
- 07:206:326 Adaptive Movement through Dance (Spring)
Certificate in International Dance Studies – Online
Unique to Rutgers, students may pursue a certificate in International Dance Studies Online through Rutgers Arts Online. The International Dance Studies Online Certificate offers elective dance studies general education courses. Each course is an inquiry into international dance practices in their social, cultural, political, religious, and historical contexts. All courses are taught by dance artist/scholars with master’s and doctoral degrees in dance studies and dance education. By completion of this certificate, students will demonstrate:
- Knowledge of a variety of international dance practices in their social, historical, cultural, political, and/or religious contexts.
- Critical analysis of dance practices from an array of global/local cultural contexts.
- Understanding of the complexities of globalizing pressures on changing dance practices.
- Critical thinking in the form of print text and graphic format argumentation about a variety of international dance practices.