Dance at the University of Michigan offers a winning combination: a world class dance education within a leading research university. An extraordinary breadth of resources enables our students to bridge knowledge across disciplines and communities, and to gain an understanding of dance as a significant mode of inquiry. U-M dancers excel within an inclusive learning environment that encourages deep engagement through the transformative experiences of dancing and dance making. Academic courses both within and beyond our discipline inform the studio. Explore our YouTube playlist for more about our work.
We celebrate risk taking, engaged learning, and entrepreneurship. With an expansive approach to the relevance of dance within culture, our internationally renowned faculty provides a range of perspectives that integrate practice and theory, preparing dance artists for resilient and multi-faceted careers in a rapidly evolving field.
Undergraduate dance students forge their own creative voice, consolidate a range of technical skills, and enjoy extensive performance opportunities, from dancing in the first year Freshman Touring Company to performing onstage at the Power Center for the Performing Arts, where many of the world’s great dance companies also perform, such as those of Mark Morris, Meredith Monk, and Trisha Brown. Students also create multi-media collaborations in the Duderstadt Video Studio and present their work in a variety of community settings.
Students develop discipline, independent thinking, creative problem-solving, leadership and team skills, technological competencies, and an appreciation for artistic, intellectual and social diversity. The fundamentals and finer points of dance technique, performance, and composition are stressed.
Beyond our studio dance courses, students gain a comprehensive education at U-M, the number one public research university in the country,* by enrolling in academic courses both within and beyond our discipline, with many students electing to pursue a joint degree program. Graduates of the program join the field as performers, choreographers, artistic directors, and more, graduating with a breadth of transferrable skills relevant to wide-ranging workplaces of the new millennium.
Our fully funded two-year MFA in dance provides world-class dance studies within a major research university, offering multiple avenues for investigating the permeable boundaries between practice and theory. The degree is aimed at outstanding recent dance graduates as well as returning professionals, particularly those seeking to move from careers at the national/international level in performance or choreography to working in higher education. The program builds upon a longstanding foundation of dance at the University while embracing new developments, preparing dancers for diverse opportunities within the field. Students engage in unique interdisciplinary research and performance projects, drawing upon the University’s breadth of resources.
All School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) students receive unprecedented entrepreneurial and career planning support through the school’s EXCEL program (Excellence in Entrepreneurship Career Empowerment & Leadership), poised to become the nation’s top program for funding student entrepreneurial ventures in the performing arts.
The University of Michigan is renowned for developing excellence. Combining the focus and rigor of a conservatory with the academic breadth and depth of a major public research university, an SMTD education is a transformative experience. Dance students receive not only a comprehensive program of instruction, performance, and pedagogy, but also the inspiration and knowledge of a liberal arts course of study, instilling the values of innovation and inclusion. Our graduates excel as artists, scholars, educators, entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, and arts administrators, and also fully-engaged citizens eager to make a difference in their field and community.
*National Science Foundation