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WinterWORKS. Photo: Jim Carmody (2019)
winterWORKS (2019) Photo: Jim Carmody.


UC San Diego's Department of Theatre+Dance offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, a Dance minor, and courses that satisfy the university's general education requirements at the Undergraduate level.

The Dance program strives to maintain an artistically and culturally diverse curriculum that serves to enrich the creative lives and education of all students.The university setting provides a solid academic base on which to build dance technique, creative skills, self expression and expand perspectives. Dance students are encouraged to develop theories and practices that enable them to engage creatively with the world and society, find their own individual artistic voice, and become confident, positive, responsible, respectful and proactive citizens.

The Dance program serves the university campus by offering a diverse range of classes for all students who wish to include dance into their schedule for their arts and humanities requirements. These classes include all levels of dance techniques such as ballet, hip hop, jazz and contemporary approaches to dance practice, as well as world dance courses in West African, Indian, Latin and Flamenco dance. There are many creative dance making courses, contact improvisation and dance improvisation as well as history and theory courses. There are performance opportunities for all students who wish to be included in the creative processes and presentation of choreographic works by faculty, guest artists, MFA choreographers and in particular the New Directions concert that features the works of our undergrads.

There are many benefits that dance classes provide for all students, regardless of whether or not they are choosing dance as a major or minor, which positively complement their academic studies.

Majoring in Dance

The dance Major offers students an opportunity to specialize their training in the creative, aesthetic and conceptual discipline of dance as a contemporary art form, within the context of a broad undergraduate education. The Dance Major allows students to study a range of techniques and dance practices that include traditional and contemporary forms, world dance, somatic movement approaches, dance making, history and theory. Our program emphasizes innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration, encourages hybridization of dance vocabularies and aims to push forward the boundaries of dance as a culturally and aesthetically diverse art form. Integral to the practice and appreciation of dance is relationship, interaction and exchange with others, both physically and intellectually. Our program fosters an open, respectful, imaginative, inventive, curious, and noncompetitive approach to all areas of practice, and encourages students to be self motivated, rigorous, proactive and reflective to prepare them for the demands of a variety of professional careers.

Click here to view the Dance Major requirements

Minoring in Dance

The Dance minor provides a balanced educational experience for students who has a strong interest in dance but who wishes to major in another area of study. The minor provides movement courses in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and various world dance perspectives. . Students have the opportunity to perform in our Dance productions and receive academic credit. The Theatre and Dance productions are held in our Theatre District shared with the Tony award-winning La Jolla Playhouse. The Dance minor consists of seven courses, one of which is Practicum. It is recommended that students declare the dance minor as soon as possible as priority enrollment in Practicum is given to majors and minors.

Minors can be declared online at TritonLink. No audition required. All courses taken for the minor must be taken for a letter grade and only grades of “C-“ or better will be accepted.

Click here for the Dance Minor requirements


Dance Productions

Dance students have the opportunity to perform in two fully produced dance concerts in each academic year: WinterWorks In winter quarter, features choreography by faculty and guest artists and in spring quarter, students perform in the experimental choreographic works of other students in the New Directions concert. In addition, UC San Diego's University Events Office, Art Power, presents an annual dance series with companies of international stature performing and providing master classes within the Theatre and Dance department.


Dance Faculty

The Dance faculty is made up of one full-time dance professional of national and international recognition, sixteen part-time dance specialists and visiting guest artists, who collectively provide an artistically and culturally diverse curriculum.

About UC San Diego

The campus of UC San Diego sits on 1,200 acres of eucalyptus groves near the Pacific Ocean. Surrounding the campus is La Jolla, a picturesque community of boutiques, bistros, and businesses that enjoys a Mediterranean climate. San Diego is seven miles south of campus, with its world-acclaimed zoo, museums and theatres. Mexico is a 45-minute drive south, and Los Angeles is a 2-hour drive north.

UC San Diego ranks fifth in federal funding for research and development and in the top ten of all doctoral degree-granting institutions in a National Research Council study. The intellectual climate is enhanced by a variety of social, educational, professional, political, religious, and recreational opportunities and services. Student housing, financial aid and scholarships are all available.