Immerse yourself in the study of modern dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap and more with a major in dance from Dean College.

Raise the Barre

Dance offers a powerful path to creative expression and artistic fulfillment. A Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College provides an ideal blend of purposeful liberal arts studies and conservatory-level training needed to prepare you for success, both on and off the stage. 

the word dean with five dancers wrapped around the text.

Program Overview

Rigorous, well-rounded technical training with a purposeful liberal arts curriculum — ideal for those pursuing performance, choreography, teaching, studio management or other fields. This degree combines academic courses in dance history, dance composition, Laban Movement Analysis, dance pedagogy, writing for the arts, anatomy and kinesiology with conservatory-level training in all techniques. Starting in your first year, you’ll have opportunities to perform, create and engage in real-world experiences.

You can choose a concentration in your area of interest:

  • Choreography
  • Dance Studies
  • Performance
  • Studio Management
  • Teaching

A liberal arts core will complement your training. You can also broaden your career options by adding a double-major or minor.

The only college in New England to offer both associate and bachelor’s degree programs in dance, Dean also offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.

Learn from the Best

For more than 50 years, Dean has been a nationally recognized educational center for dance. Our dedicated faculty and staff foster creativity, broaden perspectives, expand knowledge, develop proficiency and prepare you for excellence in the field of dance. 

Beyond the Classroom

Starting your first year on campus, you’ll have extensive opportunities to perform, choreograph and engage in the real-world experience. 

  • The world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offers private auditions for Dean students interested in professional summer study. 
  • Our dancers have participated in highly selective performances at the Kennedy Center, Joyce Theater and Ailey Citigroup Theater. 
  • The Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance participates in the American College Dance Festival (ACDF), where we've ranked in the top 30 schools nationally. Choreographic works by Dean students have been chosen for performance in the ACDF gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
  • Study abroad in the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and enjoy intensive Spanish language immersion and concentrated studies in dance.

Our dance majors have interned at Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, Battery Dance Company, Broadway Dance Center, Rhee Gold, Boston Ballet and the National Dance Education Organization. They’ve taught creative movement in public schools, worked side by side with our athletic trainer and helped spearhead new dance conventions. 

Today, our graduates have successful careers as performers, choreographers, dance journalists, instructors, studio owners, directors, dance therapists and more.

Uniquely Dean

What makes our Dance program best of the breed? 

  • First-year dance seminars that help you discover the relationship of dance to other fields of study and introduce possible career paths to help you design your future.
  • Live music in class performed by talented local musicians.
  • Participate in master classes with dancers from Boston Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Broadway, Ballet West, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Complexions Dance company and many more. 
  • Receive highly specialized injury prevention and care services, provided by a full-time certified and licensed athletic trainer who has extensive experience in working with dancers. 

Degree Offerings

*The course listing below is based on the Bachelor's Degree program.

Dance Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
DAN 111 The Discipline and Profession of Dance 3
DAN 182 Rhythmic Analysis 3
DAN 204 Dance Composition I 3
DAN 201 Dance History I -- World Perspectives on American Dance 3
DAN 301 Dance History II -- 20th and 21st Century Dance 3
DAN 131 Dance Improvisation I 1
DAN 132 Pilates 1
DAN X5X Ballet 8
DAN X7X Modern 8
DAN X4X, X6X and X9X Tap (2 credit), Jazz (2 credit) and Hip Hop (1 credit) - must fulfill eight credits through these courses 8
DAN 124 Rehearsal and Performance 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 2
DAN 401 Senior Seminar 3
Total Credits 48

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition I 3
ENG 112 Composition II 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
BIO 175 Anatomy Essentials 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
ENG 331 Writing for the Arts and Entertainment World 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 43

Course Number Course Title Credits
Unless completing a double major, students must complete a specialization
DANCE STUDIES SPECIALIZATION
DANCE STUDIES ELECTIVES Dance Studies Electives (preapproved) 15
OPEN ELECTIVES Open Electives 15
STUDIO MANAGEMENT SPECIALIZATION
DAN 100 Creative Movement for Children 3
DAN 206 Pedagogy I 3
DAN 306 Pedagogy II 3
BIO 387, DAN 385, DAN 304, DAN 305, or DAN 481 Must take 6-7 credits selected from the following *courses 7
BIO 387 *Kinesiology (4 credits)
DAN 385 *Film Survey in Dance (3 credits)
DAN 304 *Dance Composition II (3 credits)
DAN 305 *Dance Composition III (3 credits)
DAN 481 *Laban Movement Analysis (3 credits)
BUS 123 or AMGT 102 Foundations of Business or Principles of Arts and Entertainment Management 3
BUS 230 or BUS 235 Principles of Management or Principles of Marketing 3
AMGT 205 or AMGT 203 Fundraising for Not-For-Profit Organizations or Venue Management 3
Open Electives Open Electives 6
TEACHING SPECIALIZATION
DAN 100 Creative Movement for Children 3
DAN 206 Pedagogy I 3
DAN 306 Pedagogy II 3
BIO 387, DAN 385, DAN 304, DAN 305, or DAN 481 Must take 6-7 credits selected from the following *courses 7
BIO 387 *Kinesiology (4 credits)
DAN 385 *Film Survey in Dance (3 credits)
DAN 304 *Dance Composition II (3 credits)
DAN 305 *Dance Composition III (3 credits)
DAN 481 *Laban Movement Analysis (3 credits)
EDU 103 or EDU 111 Foundations of Education or Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
PSY 111 General Psychology 3
PSY 211 or PSY 241 Child Psychology or Adolecent Psychology 3
Open Electives Open Electives 6
Total Credits 92

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2018-19