​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

The CMU Dance Studies major is specifically designed to train you for a wide variety of careers in the expansive dance industry. Turn your passion for dance into a career in performance, choreography, administration, scholarship, film, performance review, and teaching. Classes such as performing arts administration, dance composition, writing about dance, dance teaching methods, and dance for film will partner with technical dance training in hip hop, ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and more to provide varying paths for career exploration and employment.

Program Highlights

As a dance student here, you'll:

  • Participate in a wide variety of faculty and student led projects including dance films, dance photography, interdisciplinary performances, and much more.
  • Have the opportunity to lead dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease in collaboration with the CMU Physical Therapy Program.
  • Learn from visiting artists — recently artists from Natya Dance Theatre (classical Indian dance) and Amy Piantaggini (former principal dancer for the Martha Graham Dance Company) have visited.
  • Produce, direct and/or choreograph productions with guidance from faculty.
  • Access internships with the help of faculty with local, national and international connections.
  • Have the chance to participate in the UT Dance Company spring concert and/or the Student Choreography Showcase in the fall.
  • Audition to perform in state-of-the-art venues, including Bush Theatre, Plachta Auditorium and more.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Why Study Dance at CMU?

The mission of the CMU Dance Studies major is to train and mentor dance-based performers, critical thinkers, writers, choreographers, production technicians, administrators, educators, and scholars who will be prepared to contribute to the field of dance in a wide variety of professional careers. While dance technique courses will be a significant portion of your required course work, critical thinking, writing, and rigorous scholarly exploration will partner with the physical training to deepen the your understanding of dance in a global context.

As a dance studies major, you'll complete an internship in your area of study. You'll also minor in business or entrepreneurship to help maximize your career opportunities. As a dance studies student, you'll learn from faculty with recent experience in major dance productions and initiatives. Our program also regularly hosts guest artists to expose students to diverse and emerging trends in dance.

You can put your learning on display in our 500-seat proscenium, Bush Theatre, and/or the 1,200-seat Plachta Auditorium. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to be in two major performances each year — the University Theatre Dance Company spring concert and the Student Choreography Showcase in the fall.

You can even produce, direct and/or choreograph your own productions under the guidance of faculty. This offers a unique opportunity to tailor your academic experience to your career aspirations.


Program Overview

For a full review of programs and required courses, visit CMU's official online academic bulletin and consult with an academic advisor.