learn to dance / dance to learn
The Dance Program at Muhlenberg is designed to challenge students intellectually as well as physically.
“What I find unique about Muhlenberg's dance program is the diversity of dance forms we are able to offer, considering we are such a small liberal arts school... We want our dance students to be prepared for any aspect of the dance world.”
—Charles O. Anderson
In the true liberal arts tradition, the Muhlenberg Dance Program is dedicated to teaching you not just how to dance, but how to think about the art of dance and its connection to the larger world.
The Dance Program is built upon deep commitment to both the art and the science of dance. In an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, students and faculty join to create a program with an inclusive, embracing climate, able to serve a varied community.
What courses of study are available?
The Dance Major: Those who are serious about studying dance may pursue a major in dance, in any of a number of concentrations. The major is designed to flexibly meet the student's needs while providing a solid background in dance history and theory, along with intensive study in a variety of dance techniques.
The dance major serves as excellent preparation for graduate study and careers in dance. Dance majors typically pursue careers in performance, teaching, choreography, dance therapy, physical therapy, and arts management.
Double Majors: Many dance majors choose to pursue a second major in addition to dance. Popular choices include theatre, business, and biology, in preparation for careers in musical theatre, dance therapy, and dance medicine. In addition, Muhlenberg offers a teaching certificate program popular among dance majors.
The Dance Minor: Minoring in dance can also help to prepare students for careers in musical theatre, dance therapy, and dance medicine. Of course, you might also choose to minor in dance because you love to dance, but wish to pursue other academic interests.
Dance Classes: All Muhlenberg students, regardless of major, are welcome to take both technique classes in the studio and academic classes from the Dance Program.
What concentrations are available?
While dance majors are not required to declare a concentration, there are several distinct courses of study in the Dance Program, and most students find themselves pursuing one or two of these areas of focus:
What classes are offered?
Dance Technique: Classes are offered each semester in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern, at four different levels.
Studio classes are taught by accomplished resident faculty and instructors and acclaimed guest artists,. All ballet classes are accompanied by a pianist, and a percussionist accompanies modern classes.
Scholarship and Science: Course offerings vary by semester, but include the following:
- Dance Composition, beginning through advanced
- African Dance & Cultures
- Teaching Methods
- Dance History
- The Black Aesthetic
- Anatomy & Kinesiology
- Dance in Media / Dance on Film
- Dance & Society
- Biology of Movement
What production and performance opportunities are available?
Dancers and choreographers have numerous opportunities to participate in public performances. All Muhlenberg students may audition for concerts and ensembles.
Mainstage: The Department's Mainstage season includes three dance concerts annually: two student-choreographed concerts and the Master Choreographers concert, featuring the work of nationally and internationally acclaimed faculty and guest artists. Each student-choreographed concert features the work of ten to twelve choreographers, and 30 to 50 dancers perform in each of the three concerts.
Informal Concerts: In addition, the student-run Muhlenberg Dance Association presents a series of Informal Concerts each semester, showcasing student performance and choreography. These concerts are the entry-level performances for both choreographers and dancers.
Touring Ensembles: Students may audition to participate in three different dance ensembles that perform on and off campus: Six Meters, an improvisational dance company; Shelley Oliver's Jazz Tap Ensemble; and the new DanceMax ensemble that performs for high school students. Students may earn academic credit for participating in ensembles.
American College Dance Festival: Muhlenberg students and faculty attend the Regional and National ACDFA festivals each year. Muhlenberg dancers have been selected to perform in all of the Gala Concerts and four of the five National Festivals since 2002. Find out more.
Teaching Opportunities: Many of the teachers for Muhlenberg Community Dance Center Youth Programs are Muhlenberg dance students — an excellent opportunity for students to broaden their professional experience and explore a possible career in dance education.
- The Dance Program
- The Theatre Program
- Design & Technology for Theatre & Dance
- Musical Theatre Training
- Dual Majors & Multidisciplinary Studies
- Study Abroad
- Performance & Design Opportunities
Want to know more? Just fill out the form!
Dance performance photo by Matthew Wright.