University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Apply Now

School of Dance

DEFINE YOUR FUTURE: UA DANCE MFA

WHY UA DANCE

THE GRADUATE STUDENT

GRADUATE CURRICULUM

GRADUATE ADMISSION

MFA CURRICULUM - CHOREOGRAPHY OPTION (course grids & descriptions)

MFA CURRICULUM - PERFORMANCE OPTION (course grids & descriptions)


Why UA Dance

1. Recognized for excellence

With decades of academic and artistic achievement, we continue to pave the way educating the movers (and shakers) of tomorrow.

Bucking tradition, in 2015 the School of Dance faculty together were the recipients of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Hero Award, a recognition typically given to one individual, for outstanding contributions to teaching in dance. And we’ve been noteworthy from the start. Due to the highly interactive approach linking undergraduate students, graduate students and dance faculty members, in 1995 the School of Dance was honored as the top department for undergraduate education at the University of Arizona (the first program on campus to receive this award). As a charter member of the National Association of Schools of Dance, we continue to honor the standards for dance education established by this accrediting body.

2. Engaged Faculty

Our vibrant ten-member faculty has extensive expertise in both the professional and academic worlds. Three of the faculty (Melissa Lowe, Michael Williams, and Amy Ernst) have been recipients of the prestigious Irene Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching, and James Clouser has been the recipient of the James R. Anthony Sustained Excellence in Teaching award. Faculty are in demand nationally and internationally as teachers and scholars at festivals, workshops, schools and conferences world-wide.

>> Meet our Faculty & Staff

3. State-of-the-art facilities

Home to the UA Dance Ensemble, our Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility. The 29,000 square foot complex, which houses a 300-seat theatre with spacious stage, full-fly system and full orchestra pit, is host to more than 40 performances a year by the UA Dance Ensemble.

Providing a brilliant blend of form and function, the theatre complex has won four major awards, including being identified as one of only fifteen on the list of “Arizona’s Greatest Architectural Wonders.”

4. Top talent

With a competitive undergraduate selection process of only 40-45 incoming dancers a year, the close alliance between the graduate and undergraduate students provides you an opportunity to choreograph on and perform with some of the top undergraduate dance students in the country.

5. Our visionary triple-track curriculum

We are one of only a handful of programs that offer ballet, jazz, and modern dance with equal emphasis, and the only program nationwide that requires undergraduates to be well versed in all three styles. As graduate students in the program, you will be working with dancers ready to respond to your artistic voice.

6. World-class performance

The UA Dance Ensemble has been invited to perform around the world including China, Japan, Germany, the Nether¬lands, Scotland, Ecuador, and Mexico, as well as in twelve states throughout the U.S. – including the Kennedy Center in DC and the Joyce Theater in NYC. And we perform upwards of 40 concerts a year for Tucson audiences, more than any other dance program in the country.

7. Real-world-wide ready education

Our MFA alumni contribute to every facet of the dance world from academia, to artistic direction, arts administration, community cultural development, K-12 education, and performance. And with faculty supporting you along the way, you’ll develop your individual teaching style and skillset by instructing our undergraduate general education dance classes.

>> See where MFA Alumni have gone - coming soon!

8. Professional community

With 10-12 MFA candidates at any given time, and 135 undergraduate students, we are a tight-knit, collaborative, and diverse community in which students can learn from various perspectives.

9. International community of arts patrons

With the city of Tucson as its home, the University of Arizona benefits from a rich, cultural environment.  Tucson is populated by savvy arts patrons, many of whom have come here from major metropolitan areas around the world. Enthusiastic support from these arts patrons has enabled us to build a year-long robust performance season.

10. Primed for the future

From state-of-the art facilities, to groundbreaking faculty, to masterwork repertoire, we are the forefront of dance. And together, with you, we are creating the future of our cultural landscape.

The Graduate Student

Building on a well-balanced undergraduate education, graduate students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of a specific academic discipline. A fundamental purpose of the Graduate College is to encourage each graduate student to demonstrate outstanding standards of scholarship and to produce high-quality original research, creative or artistic work. Graduate education provides an opportunity to increase knowledge, broaden understanding and develop research and artistic capability. The student’s academic achievements therefore should reflect a personal commitment to the discipline and to scholarly standards.

Graduate Curriculum

The graduate curriculum in dance allows the student to focus on teaching, research, choreography or performance for dance. It also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary studies with other arts, humanities and sciences in support of the student’s development as a scholar, teacher and artist.

The M.F.A. degree has two emphasis areas that allow for intensive focus in performance or choreography. The program facilitates and nurtures dance artists in their area of emphasis while offering a comprehensive graduate education in dance. The M.F.A. degree is 60 units requiring 2-3 years of residency at the University of Arizona. The curriculum includes core courses and dance technique as well as courses in theory and pedagogy.

Graduate Admission

To apply for admission to the M.F.A. in Dance program, the candidate must have extensive dance training, hold an undergraduate degree in dance, and meet the minimum requirements of both the School of Dance and the UA Graduate College.

For specific application requirements, please refer to APPLY GRADUATE page.

For questions contact Amy Ernst, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at:
520-621-2923, or ame@email.arizona.edu

Dance Graduate Curriculum:
M.F.A. in Dance with an option in Choreography

MFA in Dance-Choreography
CC denotes Co-Convened. Some coursework is co-convened to provide to the graduate students the benefit of dancers on which to set and present material. This is the case for DNC 545 A & B, DNC 596E and DNC 595A.
GO denotes Graduate Only courses
 
Course # Course Name Units Type
DNC545A Advanced Choreography 4 total GO
DNC545B Advanced Choreography 4 total CC
DNC555 Biomechanics for Dancers 3 CC
DNC546A Careers in Dance 3 CC
Technique Classes Some combination of the following:
DNC540A and/or B Advanced Ballet
DNC541A and/or B Advanced Modern
DNC544A and/or B Advanced Jazz
DNC551B Ballet Repertoire
DNC539A Advanced Pointe
7 total CC
DNC591 001 Preceptorship (Teaching Methods) 1 GO
DNC591 002 Preceptorship (Large Lecture) 3 GO
DNC591 003 Preceptorship (Based on student’s plan of study) 3 GO
DNC596E Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations 3 CC
DNC595A Teaching Methods for Dance 3 CC
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4 total GO
DNC694A 001 Master’s Project in Choreography (2 projects) 6 total GO
DNC909 001 Masters Report Choreography (Final project) 9 GO
TOTAL Core Curriculum 56 GO
Elective DNC 696B Seminar in Graduate Technique 4 GO
TOTAL MFA Total units 60  

 

Studio or Related Areas: at least 65% must be studio or related areas (at least 39 units out of 60)

Course # Course Name Units
DNC545A&B Advanced Choreography 8
Technique Graduate Technique (2-3 units per semester) 7
DNC591 001 Preceptorship (Teaching methods) 1
DNC591 003 Preceptorship (based on student’s plan of study-could be studio class) 3
DNC596E Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations 3
DNC595A Teaching Methods for Dance 3
DNC694A 001 Master’s Project in Choreography (2 projects) 6
DNC909 001 Masters Report (Final project) 9
TOTAL Studio/Related Areas 40

 

Grad Only: at least 50% must be grad only (at least 30 units out of 60)

Course # Course Name Units
DNC591 001 Preceptorship (Teaching methods) 1
DNC591 002
DNC591 003
Preceptorship (Large Lecture)
Preceptorship (Based on student’s plan of study)

3
3

DNC545A Advanced Choreography 4
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance 3
DNC694A 001 Master’s Project in Choreography (2 projects) 6 total
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4 total
DNC696B Seminar in Graduate Technique (2 units per semester) 4 total
DNC909 001 Masters Report (Final project) 9
TOTAL Grad Only courses 37

 

Academic: at least 15% must be academic (at least 9 units out of 60)

Course # Name of Course Units
DNC 546A Careers in Dance 3
DNC 555 Biomechanics 3
DNC591 002
DNC591 003
Preceptorship (Large Lecture)
Preceptorship (Could be an academic class)
3
3
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance 3
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4
TOTAL Academic courses 19

 

Course Descriptions

DNC696B - Seminar in Graduate Technique (elective) is a graduate only course. (2 units) This seminar course will provide an opportunity for graduate students to discuss technical training in ballet, jazz, modern and tap at the beginning and intermediate major levels.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E. Offered: Fall, Spring

DNC 545A -- Advanced Choreography  (2 units)
Description: Movement, motif development for solo and group composition. Graduate-level requirements include completion of a full-scale group composition, which will be evaluated by the dance faculty.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
May be convened with: DNC 445A. Offered: Fall

DNC 545B -- Advanced Choreography  (2 units)
Description:  Balancing the intuitive and intellectual components of the creative process to create meaningful and well-crafted dances. Graduate-level requirements include completion of a full-scale group composition, which will be evaluated by the dance faculty.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
May be convened with: DNC 445B. Offered:  Spring.

DNC595A -- Teaching Methods for Dance  (3 units)
Description:  This course is for dance majors and dance graduate students who are interested in developing skills in teaching ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques at the beginning level. The course is designed as a workshop where students will have an opportunity to directly apply information in a classroom setting. Dance injury prevention and the application of music to the technique class are also explored.
Graduate Requirements: Graduate students are expected to show an understanding of advanced concepts and to demonstrate more sophistication in their work. This should be illustrated throughout the semester through class discussions, critiques, written materials and quality of work presented. In addition, graduate students are required to register for DNC591 001 Preceptorship (1 credit) to be taken concurrently with the course.
Grading:  Regular or alternative grades can be awarded for this course: A B C D E or S P C D E.
Prerequisite(s):  intermediate level ballet, jazz, or modern dance techniques.
May be convened with:  DNC 495A. Offered:  Fall.

DNC 596A -- Critical Issues in Dance  (3 units)
Description:  The purpose of this class is to identify current topics in dance, and to research those topics using traditional and contemporary research methods. Students will develop a research topic and write a research paper, an abstract, create an annotated bibliography and make a 20-minute power point presentation on their topic.
Grading:  Regular or alternative grades can be awarded for this course: A B C D E or S P C D E.
Prerequisite(s):  graduate status.
May be repeated:  for a total of 6 units of credit. Usually o ffered:  Fall

DNC 596E -- Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations  (3 units)
Description:  This course is designed for dancers and musicians, specifically choreographers, composers and performers in music and dance. In this class, students will explore the collaborative process through class readings, discussion, assignments, improvisation and by creating artistic works.
Graduate Requirements: Graduate students are expected to show an understanding of advanced concepts and to demonstrate more sophistication in their work. This should be illustrated throughout the semester through class discussions, critiques, written materials and quality of work presented
Grading:  Regular or alternative grades can be awarded for this course: A B C D E or S P C D E.
May be repeated:  for credit 1 time (maximum 2 enrollments).
Identical to:  MUS 596E. May be convened with:  DNC 496E. Usually offered:  Spring

DNC 546 -- Careers in Dance  (3 units)
Description:  Knowledge and skills to manage and pursue professional careers in dance.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
Usually offered:  Spring in even years

DNC 555 -- Biomechanics for Dancers  (3 units)
Description:  The student will become familiar with the evolution of human body form; systematically study skeletal, muscle, connective tissue, and joint anatomy; review principles of mechanics and fundamental Cartesian system for analysis of movement; study basic patterns of movement; assess anatomical illustration styles and uses and become familiar with stress and injury potentials and their prevention. Graduate-level requirements include a research paper and poster project.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
May be convened with:  DNC 455. Usually offered:  Spring in odd years

DNC 591 -- Preceptorship  (1-3 units)
Description:  Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Teaching formats may include seminars, in-depth studies, laboratory work and patient study.
Grading:  Alternative grades are awarded for this course: S P C D E.
May be repeated:  an unlimited number of times, consult your department for details and possible restrictions.
Offered:  Fall, Spring, Summer.
There are three sections for this class. Section 001 is for one unit and is associated with the Teaching Methods course. Section 002 is for a preceptorship in a large lecture class. Section 003 is open and is designed based on the student’s plan of study

DNC 694A Masters Project in Dance (3 units)
Description:  This course is for graduate students in the School of Dance who are working towards their Progress Semester or Candidacy Semester requirements for the MFA in Dance with an option in choreography or performance. For students exploring the choreography option, the purpose of the course is for the student to design and implement an original, graduate-level choreographic project. For students exploring the performance option, the purpose of the course is for the student to perform a graduate level work from the dance repertoire or an original work. These projects must meet the guidelines for the Progress Semester or Candidacy Semester syllabus in accordance with the student’s individual focus and specific degree program objectives.
Grading:  Alternative grades are awarded for this course: S P C D E.
May be repeated:  for a total of 12 units of credit.
Usually offered:  Fall, Spring, Summer
There are four sections for this class. Section 001 is for choreography projects. Section 002 is for performance projects. Section 003 is for production projects. Section 004 is for research and pedagogy projects.

DNC 696A -- Graduate Forum  (1 unit)
Description This course is for graduate students in the School of Dance pursuing the MFA in Dance. Seminar topics vary by semester depending on the focus of the class but may include: teaching, grant writing, job applications, music, choreography, artist statements, and evaluation and assessment.
Grading:  Regular or alternative grades can be awarded for this course: A B C D E or S P C D E.
Prerequisite(s):  graduate status.
May be repeated:  for a total of 4 units of credit. Offered: Fall, Spring

DNC909 -- Master's Report  (9 units)
Description:  Individual study or special project or formal report thereof submitted in lieu of thesis for certain master's degrees. Section 001 is for the choreography option. Section 002 is for the performance option.
Grading:  Alternative grades are awarded for this course: S P E K.
May be repeated:  an unlimited number of times, consult your department for details and possible restrictions.
Usually offered:  Fall, Spring, Summer.

Dance Graduate Curriculum:
M.F.A. in Dance with an option in Dance Performance

 

MFA in Dance Performance
CC denotes Co-Convened. Some coursework is co-convened to provide to the graduate students the benefit of dancers on which to set and present material. This is the case for DNC 545 A & B, DNC 596E and DNC 595A.
GO denotes Graduate Only courses
 
Course # Name of Course Units Type
DNC543 Dance Ensemble 2 CC
DNC545A OR
DNC545B
Advanced Choreography OR
Advanced Choreography
2 total GO
CC
DNC546A Careers in Dance 3 CC
DNC555 Biomechanics for Dancers 3 CC
DNC591 001 Preceptorship (Teaching methods) 1 GO
DNC591 002 Preceptorship (Large Lecture) 3 GO
DNC591 003 Preceptorship (Based on the student’s plan of study) 3 GO
DNC595A Teaching Methods for Dance 3 CC
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance 3 GO
DNC596E Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations 3 CC
DNC694A 002 Master’s Project in Performance (2 projects) 6 GO
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4 GO
Technique Classes Some combination of the following:
DNC540A and/or B Advanced Ballet
DNC541A and/or B Advanced Modern
DNC544A and/or B Advanced Jazz
DNC551B Ballet Repertoire
DNC539A Advanced Pointe
9 total CC
DNC696B Seminar in Graduate Technique (2 units per semester) 6 total GO
DNC909 002 Masters Report Performance (Final project) 9 GO
  Core Curriculum 60  
TOTAL UNITS   60  

 

Studio or Related Areas: at least 65% must be studio or related areas (at least 39 units out of 60)

Course # Course Name Units
DNC543 Dance Ensemble 2
DNC545A or B Advanced Choreography 2
Technique Classes Some combination of the following:
DNC540A and/or B Advanced Ballet
DNC541A and/or B Advanced Modern
DNC544A and/or B Advanced Jazz
DNC551B Ballet Repertoire
DNC 539AAdvanced Ballet Pointe
9 total
DNC591 001
DNC591 003
Preceptorship (Teaching Methods)
Preceptorship (Based on student’s plan of study)
1
3
DNC596E Seminar in Music and Dance Collaborations 3
DNC595A Teaching Methods for Dance 3
DNC694A 002 Master’s Project in Performance (2 projects) 6
DNC696B Seminar in Graduate Technique (2 units per semester) 6 total
DNC909 002 Masters Report (Final project) 9
TOTAL Studio/Related Areas 44

 

Grad Only: at least 50% must be grad only (at least 30 units out of 60)

Course # Course Name Units
DNC545A Advanced Choreography 2
DNC591 001 Preceptorship (Teaching methods) 1
DNC591 002
DNC591 003
Preceptorship (Large Lecture)
Preceptorship (Based on student’s plan of study)
3
3
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance 3
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4 total
DNC694A 002 Master’s Project in Performance (2 projects) 6 total
DNC696B Seminar in Graduate Technique 6
DNC909 002 Masters Report (Final project) 9
TOTAL Grad Only courses 37

 

Academic: at least 15% must be academic (at least 9 units out of 60)

Course # Name of Course Units
DNC546A Careers in Dance 3
DNC555 Biomechanics for Dancers 3
DNC591 002
DNC591 003
Preceptorship (Large Lecture)
Preceptorship (Could be an academic class)
3
3
DNC596A Critical Issues in Dance 3
DNC696A Graduate Forum (1 unit each semester) 4
TOTAL Academic courses 19

 

Course Descriptions

DNC694A 002 Master’s Project in Performance. (3 units) It will replace DNC694A 001 and is for Performance emphasis students only. The syllabus provides guidelines for those students pursuing an MFA in Dance with an option in performance.

DNC 543 -- Dance Ensemble  (1-3 units)
Description:  Rehearsal methods, repertorial development, and performance of dance with particular emphasis on ensemble.
Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
Prerequisite(s):  repertory audition, intermediate level in ballet, modern and jazz  (DNC 340A-340B, DNC 341A-341B, DNC 344A-344B).
May be repeated:  for a total of 18 units of credit.
Offered:  Fall, Spring.

Other course descriptions may be found on the MFA-Choreography Grid