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The Revised BA Curriculum in Dance

Every degree program requires regular revision in order to respond to the changing needs of its student body and the world in which it prepares students to become leaders and citizens. After a two-year revision process, the Department of Dance is thrilled to launch its revised BA with a major in Dance. The revised major advances our diversity, equity, inclusion, and access goals by:

  • Expanding access to the dance major for students from a wider variety of dance backgrounds, including those with little formal dance training prior to entering university
  • Continuing the work of bringing African Diasporic, social, popular, and other dances historically underrepresented in academic dance institutions into a more equal representation with Western concert dance forms
  • Offering students greater choice and flexibility in how they fulfill major requirements so that a wider variety of student interests can be supported

Who do the Revised BA Requirements apply to?

  • All students declaring the Dance Major spring quarter 2022 (effective summer 2022) will automatically be enrolled in the major under the revised requirements.
  • Students who declared the major prior to spring quarter 2022  have the option to maintain their existing requirements or opt into the revised BA requirements. Please consult the Dance advisor ( if you have questions or need guidance for your individual situation. 

View the former BA Requirements here (PDF).

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Dance  

The dance major is a liberal arts degree that takes a broad approach to studying dance as a/an:

  •  movement practice
  •  performance activity
  • choreographic enterprise
  • social practice, a cultural practice
  • creative endeavor
  • subject of scientific inquiry
  • subject of historical inquiry
  • agent of sociopolitical change

The curriculum includes study in a variety of genres, including African and Afro-Diasporic dance, Western concert dance, somatic practices, and social dance. Embodied learning is brought into dialogue with artistic, scientific, and humanistic modes of inquiry throughout the curriculum, which is designed for students with diverse backgrounds and interests. Students have opportunities to engage in academic or creative research, perform, choreograph, and contribute to community projects. Dance majors can elect to pursue an honors track

A number of the courses required in the dance major are offered every other year.

Students are encouraged to meet quarterly with the Dance Advisor to plan a successful progression of the course work.

Dance Major Requirements

The dance major can be completed with a minimum of 56 total credits.
At least 23 of the credits applied to the major must be at the 300 or 400- level. 

Academic Courses 

Minimum of 26 Academic Course credits. 

Must take all of the following Core courses. (17 cr):
Any one of the following Career Transition courses. (3-5 cr):
  • Dance 480 Career Explorations for Dance Majors (3cr)
  • Dance 494 Dance Teaching Methods (3-5cr)
At least one of the following Dance Studies Diversity (DIV) courses:
  • Dance 340 Dance, Gender, and Sexuality (3/5cr)
  • Dance 355 Dance, Power, and Globalization (5cr)
  • Dance 356 Dance, Culture, and Colonization (formerly Dance 234) (3/5cr)
  • Dance 357 Diaspora Negra Afro-Latinx Dance Traditions (formerly Dance 275) (3/5cr)
  • Dance 358 African Dance & Culture (formerly Dance 285) (3-5cr)
At least one additional Dance Studies Course:
  • Dance 232 Somatic Movement Education (1-3cr)
  • Dance 251 Creative Process (3cr)
  • Dance 295 Creativity as Research (5cr)
  • Dance 345 Contemporary Dance Histories (3-5cr)
  • Dance 365 Screendance Making (formerly Dance 266) (3-5cr)
  • Dance 366 Dance Making: Special Topics (3/5cr)
  • Dance 415 Dance Research Methods (3cr)
  • Dance 420 Dance Aesthetics (3cr)
  • Dance 490 Special Studies in Dance (1-5cr)
  • Dance 340 Dance, Gender, and Sexuality (3/5cr) +
  • Dance 355 Dance Power, and Globalization (5cr) +
  • Dance 356 Dance, Culture, and Colonization (3/5cr) + 
  • Dance 357 Diaspora Negra: Afro-Latinx Dance Traditions (3/5cr) +
  • Dance 358 African Dance & Culture (3-5cr) +
  • Dance 480 Career Explorations for Dance Majors (3cr) ++
  • Dance 494 Dance Teaching Methods (3-5 cr) ++

+If not used to fulfill DIV Requirement

++If not used to fulfill Career Transition Requirement

Dance Electives 

6-12 credits. Almost any academic course in the department can count as dance electives, as can the following:

  • Dance 370 Dance Performance Activities (Formerly Dance 270) (1-2cr)
  • Dance 371 Choreographic Workshop (2-5cr)
  • Dance 450 Dance Internship (1-6cr)
  • Dance 499 Independent Study (variable)

Some courses offered in other departments may be counted as dance electives without a petition. See the Dance Advisor ( to discuss options.

Dance Practice/ Technique

Must have at least 18 credits representing at least 4 different movement idioms. 

African Dance
Ballroom Dance
Commercial Dance 
Contemporary Ballet
  • Dance 103 Intro to Contemporary Ballet (2-3cr)
  • Dance 107/108/109 Contemporary Ballet Technique I (2-3cr)
  • Dance 201/202/203 Contemporary Ballet Technique II (2-3cr)
  • Dance 301/302/303 Contemporary Ballet Technique III (2-3cr)
Contemporary Modern 
  • Dance 102 Intro to Contemporary Modern (2-3cr)
  • Dance 104/105/106 Contemporary Modern I (2-3cr)
  • Dance 204/205/206 Contemporary Modern Technique II (2-3cr)
  • Dance 304/305/306 Contemporary Modern Technique III (2-3cr)
Folk- Social Dance 
  • Dance 110/111/112 Jazz Technique I (2-3cr)
  • Dance 210/211/212 Jazz Technique II (2-3cr)
  • Dance 310/311/312 Jazz Technique III (2-3cr) 
Mindful Movement 
Salsa & Latin 
Street & Club Dances
  • Dance 240* Street & Club Styles (2-3cr)
  • Dance 286 Special Topics in Street & Club Dances I (2-3cr)
  • Dance 386 Special Topics in Street & Club Dances II(2-3cr)
Swing Dance
Tap Dance
Courses that Rotate Practices/Techniques 

*classes can count as either academic or technique

What is the difference between “Academic” and “Practice/Technique” courses? 

The majority of Department of Dance courses involve multiple modes of engaging in study of dance, including reading, writing, viewing, discussing, creating, researching, and movement practice. Courses in which more than 50% of the learning is accomplished through movement practice are categorized as “Practice/Technique;” whereas courses in which at least 50% of the learning is accomplished through learning modalities such as reading, writing, creating, and research are categorized as “Academic.” We recognize that the division of our courses into two broad categories is imperfect, as there is much overlap between modes of dance study in courses throughout the curriculum.

Substituting Courses Outside the Department of Dance for Dance Major Requirements

(updated January 24, 2022)

The Department of Dance may offer some flexibility to students to substitute courses taken outside the Department of Dance to satisfy dance major requirements.  Students are advised to plan their degree with a limited number of potential substitutes. The department will apply reasonable, case-by-case limits on the number of non-dance courses accepted toward dance major requirements. All substitutions should be requested in advance to ensure the student can accurately plan their degree. Please see the Dance Advisor for more information. 

Petition Process to Consider Other Courses 

A student may submit a petition to the Dance faculty to consider a course offered outside the Department of Dance to substitute for a Dance B.A. requirement, including an elective.

Students should meet with the Dance Advisor before preparing a petition. 

Petitions must clearly state:

  1. Student’s name and UW email address,
  2. Which requirement is being petitioned, 
  3. A justification for why the original requirement cannot be reasonably met, 
  4. The proposed alternative, and
  5. An explanation of how the proposed alternative meets the learning objectives of the original requirement (100-300 words).

To file a petition, the student must complete this form, which will go to the Dance Advisor and appropriate faculty for review.  During the academic school year, it may take up to two weeks for a decision to be made.  During the summer as well as winter or spring breaks, it may take longer and will depend on faculty availability. The Dance Advisor will notify the student of the outcome of their petition in writing via their UW email address.

Petitions should be submitted as early as possible to ensure appropriate time for consideration, notification, and (if necessary) alternative planning.  Please note that filing a petition is not a guarantee that it will be approved. Students are always encouraged to develop backup plans.