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Department of Dance


The Department of Dance is committed to excellence, innovation, learning in action, and entrepreneurship. Our mission is to bridge dance practice and scholarship and to foster interdisciplinary inquiry. As an internationally renowned faculty, we bring a challenging range of perspectives to our teaching and research, and we continually reexamine our curriculum in order to prepare both young and mature dancers for careers in an ever-evolving field.

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The Dance Department embraces and extends the legacies of 20th-century American modern dance and ballet, ever mindful of the necessity to invigorate contemporary dance forms. Students forge their own creative voice, consolidate a range of technical skills and enjoy extensive performances opportunities. From dancing in the first year Freshman Touring Company to performing onstage at the Power Center, creating multi-media collaborations in the Duderstadt Video Studio or working in the community, dance 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; all practical learning is underpinned by academic courses both within and beyond our discipline.

Dance can also be studied as part of a dual-degree program. Many of our dance majors graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree concurrently with their BFA.



guest artists

In addition to the regular faculty, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of guest artists each semester.


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Congratulations to junior dance major Danielle Fattore, who was one of four winners of the 2016 Joffrey Ballet School Summer Scholarship Contest! Fattore will have the opportunity to participate in a 2016 Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive of her choice!

Michael Parmelee and Maeve McEwen in Richard Alston's "Brisk Singing"
Two MFA dance students receive coveted IRWG Awards

Chosen from a highly competitive pool, Michael Parmelee and Anthony Alterio are among the 23 U-M grad students to receive 2016 IRWG awards.  more

See more department news

image for Asst. Prof. Clare Croft receives Henry Russell Award
Asst. Prof. Clare Croft receives Henry Russell Award

On Feb. 22, Assistant Professor of Dance Clare Croft will receive the Henry Russel Award, one of the highest honors the University bestows upon junior faculty.  more

Photo by Kirk Donaldson
The Department of Dance Presents Momentum (VIDEO)

A behind-the-scenes look at the Department of Dance's production Momentum. more

Jin Ni
International Guest Artists Welcomed to the Department of Dance

The Department of Dance welcomes four international guest artists with a wealth of professional dance experience who will be working with dance students this Winter term.  more

Photo by Patty Soloranzo
The International Language of Dance

Students and faculty enjoyed summer travel abroad, participating in festivals, workshops, conferences, and performances. more

SMTD’s Collage Concert XXXIX

The most anticipated SMTD event of every year, the Collage Concert is a non-stop evening of virtuosity, featuring students from every performance discipline in a riveting display of talent, made even more exciting by unique ensembles, exhilarating repertoire, and unexpected juxtapositions of acts. more


"Lightmotifs" - Choreography by Robin Wilson
"Forest Through the Trees" - Choreography by Peter Sparling"Forest Through the Trees" - Choreographed by Peter Sparling"Been A Long Time" - Choreography by Bill DeYoung"Been A Long Time" - Choreography by Bill DeYoung"Been A Long Time" - Choreography by Bill DeYoungChoreography by Sandra Torijano"Lightmotifs" - Choreography by Robin Wilson"Dance #1" - Choreography by Lucinda Childs"Dance #1" - Choreography by Lucinda Childs
"There's not one element of my life that doesn't revolve around dance...Dance is a metaphor for what's possible in life. To be able to move as a dancer has been a source of joy my whole life."
Daniel Gwirtzman, BFA Dance 1992

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower