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    The University of the Arts
  Feb 21, 2018
2017-2018 University Catalogue

Dance, Master of Fine Arts

Programs   >  Programs in the College of Performing Arts  
Contacts     Description     Program Objectives     Program Requirements


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Ric Allsopp
Donna Faye Burchfield \ \ 215.717.6580
Thomas F. DeFrantz
Meredith Glisson \ \ \ 215.717.6110
MFA Coordinator

School of Dance Office
Terra Building 3rd Floor | 215.717.6110 | School of Dance Website


This flexible program will offer students continued growth as dancers with the opportunity to situate their practice within an unfolding contemporary landscape of overlapping artistic, cultural, social and economic contexts. The curriculum is built on the idea of “the commons,” or community-sourced knowledge, within which new practices and pedagogies are always “in the making” and constantly emerging.  The program relies heavily on a collaborative interdisciplinary network of international artists and mentors, as well as local and international partners.  

The Year Residency Program is designed for highly motivated young artists with a strong interest in expanding their knowledge and experience in an uninterrupted way.

The Low-Residency Program is designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals.  

Program Objectives

The School of Dance educates dance artists through a in-depth study of dance as part of the academic life and academic life as a part of dance at the University.  Students become proficient in studio practice, and are consistently asked to express themselves through their practice, as well as verbally and in writing.  Emphasis on languaging dance within the contemporary world is emphasized through course work that includes history, theory and criticism alongside courses that focus heavily on making & doing.  We prepare them to become leaders in the field they will enter, and encourage them to take part in helping to shape that field.

  •  Students will share an expanded understanding of dance as part of culture and history.
  • Students will gain direct exposure to and actively engage in a wider arts culture and community, whether at the local, regional, national, or international level.
  • Students will have a deepened awareness of the role of dance in society within both local and global contexts.
  • Students will develop constructive critical feedback methods alongside their peers, and demonstrate the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Students will archive, document, collect and share their research, practice, and creative projects in a multitude of ways.
  • Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of somatically informed physical techniques, body practices, and exercise modalities that shape contemporary dance training and dance-making.
  • Students will develop innovative and experimental ways to language dance both verbally and in writing.

Program Requirements (60 credits)

Major Requirements - Year Residency

Electives (4 credits)

  • Complete 4 credits of graduate level elective coursework. This requirement is satisfied by 500, 600, or 700 level courses and may be completed through independent study.