In our rigorous program focused on contemporary modern dance, our students learn how the body works, research our art form's expansive history, and define their own voices as performers and choreographers. Together we embrace the messiness of creation and explore how our diverse viewpoints can contribute to the evolution of dance.
Called "a hotbed of choreographic innovation" by the New York Times, our intimate program features one-on-one mentoring from an extraordinary group of resident performers, choreographers, scholars, and educators plus numerous guest artists. Our faculty members have been honored with six New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awards, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, two Fulbright Scholarships, and two Guggenheim Fellowships. They have been performers and choreographers for artists ranging from Mikhail Baryshnikov to Bebe Miller to Paul Taylor. Dedicated educators, they have earned numerous campus awards for excellence in research, teaching, and advising.
Building deep relationships across the professional dance world, we connect students with major ensembles such as the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which have welcomed our alumni as performers, and each year we select a few students for our unique Mark Morris Shadow Program. With broad skills, our graduates choreograph, become artistic directors, dance on Broadway, teach, write, and thrive in body-based professions.
Our collaborative work lives at the forefront of innovative and integrative techniques that transform dancing and choreography. We invite students to take charge of their education, experiment, immerse in the creative process, and lead dance into new territories. All students—in our BFA, BA, and MFA programs or our courses for non-dance majors—are encouraged to locate center and go from there.
The University of Illinois is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.