Bachelor of Arts Program in Dance

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) program in dance is an interdisciplinary curriculum in dance studies that empowers students to examine performance, choreography, and/or history from varied epistemological lenses. It is designed for students who want to pursue more integrated approaches to art making and/or students who want to use dance to interrogate larger social, cultural phenomena.

The BA program in dance is self-directed in that it relies on students' individual academic interests. BA students will study three core areas in dance:

  1. physical practice,
  2. creative process, and
  3. dance theory.

They will also identify at least one other key area of interest from the myriad of studies offered by the University of Illinois in which they will complete three or more focused electives. Focused electives are a coherent group of classes in a specific subject proposed by the student and approved by a dance faculty advisor.

Because of the flexibility of the BA program, students are empowered to dance and perform as much or as little as they want, and they have the space in the course allotment to pursue either minors or second majors in other fields of study. To qualify for graduation, students will work with a thesis advisor (dance faculty member) to create a senior thesis project in their senior year as a synthesis of the studies within dance and another area of study.

To get into the BA program in dance, students must first audition and be admitted into the BFA program. Those interested in the broader education provided by the BA program will submit a proposal to the BA Committee by their sophomore year that will include the student's individual plans for a dual major, minor, or focused electives. A faculty member from the BA Committee will mentor this process and ultimately approve/disapprove of their entrance into the program. Transfer students will audition to assure skill levels but will be able to petition to move directly into the BA program.


The mission of the BA program in dance is to provide an integrated and individualized approach to undergraduate studies of dance. The program promotes interdisciplinary approaches to art making and supports student ambition to simultaneously pursue a minor or major in another discipline. 


The student graduating with a BA in dance will be able to:

  • Dance with physical, technical, and performance skills;
  • Utilize knowledge of anatomical and somatic approaches in theory and practice;
  • Engage in creative processes and collaborate across domains;
  • Design and create research in dance studies by producing a senior thesis project and paper that reflect synthesis of studies in dance and other fields;
  • Employ diverse modes of thinking, both orally and in writing, to communicate ideas relating to dance and other fields;
  • Demonstrate critical self-reflection, curiosity, self-motivation, and entrepreneurial spirit in creative processes and final products.

Apply to the BA Program »