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Dance BFA

(HEGIS: 10.08 DANCE, CIP: 50.0301 Dance, General)

Department of Theatre and Dance

285 Alumni Arena
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-5030

Anne Burnidge
Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance

Melanie Aceto
Director of Undergraduate Dance

Veronica Sedota
Assistant to the Chair

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Dance BFA at UB?

The UB Dance Program is a nurturing and challenging artistic community where Versatility Matters. The program values education fueled by stimulating professional performing and teaching experiences. The BFA dance degree includes a depth and breadth of curriculum with equal emphasis on ballet, modern, jazz and tap. The department does not offer a minor in dance. Various options in preparing for professional dance careers are available. Coursework includes performance, choreography, pedagogy, somatic practices, movement analysis, history, criticism and research.

Learning Outcomes


  • Will demonstrate: Technical proficiency, rhythmic acuity moving musically & dynamically
  • Will demonstrate: cognitive complexity in insightful use of dance vocabulary
  • Will demonstrate: a well developed sense of placement, elevation, control & style
  • Will demonstrate: a sense coordination, use of weight, directional focus
  • Will demonstrate: an understanding of musical accompaniment
  • Will demonstrate: knowledge of the theory of diversified techniques
  • 23 Dance Technique courses, from lower to upper levels that include: Ballet (6 levels), Modern (6 levels), Jazz (6 levels), Tap (3 levels); Social Dance; Pas de Deux; and TH 108 Basic Acting


  • Will be able to: Demonstrate a knowledge of historical facts, as well as social and cultural issues that influenced development of dance as an art form
  • Will be able to: Discuss, articulate, express, and debate a variety of cultural movement contexts technically, historically, philosophically, and aesthetically
  • Will be able to: Examine and communicate the importance of dance history in relation to other arts, social! and political concerns that influenced the dancers and choreographers of the time
  • Will be able to: Discuss the role of dance in various cultures and historical periods
  • Will be able to: Research theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches to dance arts aesthetics


  • Will be able to: Apply choreographic principles, processes, and structures to create original work that exhibits choreographic intent
  • Will be able to: Investigate and generate new movement solutions and constructively apply feedback to rework, revise, and refine choreography
  • Will be able to: Verbally articulate informed ideas about choreography and dance performance
  • Will be able to: Incorporate the process of movement exploration, concept development, manipulation of ideas, to generating original choreography for performance
  • Will be able to: Move spontaneously, without premeditated choreographing


  • Will be able to: Explain kinesiological principles of the human body
  • Will be able to: Assess & record anatomical strengths, weaknesses
  • Will be able to: Examine the function of dance science and its role in building technical and artistic proficiency in dance technique
  • Will be able to: Have a working knowledge of basic care for such injuries, and to correctly utilize conditioning practices
  • Will be able to: Relate the principles of dance science in relation to dance and healthful living

The Learning Environment

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers a comprehensive catalog of courses including seminar-based instruction, studio training and hands-on mentoring through experiential learning opportunities. All modes seek to integrate theoretical and practical instruction. Seminar and lecture courses, ranging from 20 to 100 seats, engage students in discussion on historical trends, contemporary practice, philosophical and aesthetic principles, criticism and analysis, and technical skills. Studio courses apply theory to technique in small, practice-based classes ranging from 16 to 28. Coursework often includes attendance at live performances as well participation in live production and contributes to the development of professional portfolios, performance reels and academic resumes. Practicums, tutorials and independent studies supplement classwork with focused, in depth exploration of the discipline through close mentorship with faculty and guest artists.

About Our Facilities

UB’s Department of Theatre & Dance possesses broad resources for both instruction and practical preparation for productions, including performance and classroom space in the Center for the Arts (CFA) on UB’s North Campus. Within the CFA students directly benefit from the use of:

  • The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre
  • The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space with seating of 100-120
  • Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theater equipped for acting and dance classes, as well as rehearsals
  • Dance Studios: 4 spacious studios with full-length mirrors, Marley floors, and specially designed sound systems
  • Scene Shop
  • Costume Shop
  • Craft Studio
  • Katharine Cornell Theatre: a unique performance space that functions as a rehearsal room, acting classroom, and performance venue
  • Alumni Arena: includes the Design Suite with drafting studio, lighting lab and 10-seat computer lab; an acting classroom and rehearsal space; dance studio; a seminar room; and departmental offices

About Our Faculty

Our eight full-time dance faculty and three adjunct faculty are intensely involved in a wide range of dance and theatre-related activities on and off campus, including:

  • American College Dance Festival Association
  • American Dance Guild
  • Dance Masters of America
  • Dance Studies Association
  • Chicago National Association of Dance Masters
  • Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston
  • Dace StudioLife Magazine and Conferences
  • Dance Kinesiology Teachers’ Group
  • International Association of Dance Medicine and Science
  • National Dance Education Organization/NYSDEA
  • Master classes and workshops across the country and abroad

The UB Center for the Arts is the home of the National Dance Masters of America Teachers' Training School (TTS) and Student Honors Intensive Program (SHIP), and has the distinct honor of having hosted the Jazz Dance World Congress for an unprecedented three years: 1999, 2000 and 2003.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Dance department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Career Choices

  • Arts manager
  • Choreographer
  • Company director/artistic director
  • Dance consultant
  • Dance costume designer
  • Dance critic
  • Dance historian/writer
  • Dance notator
  • Dance performer
  • Dance production
  • Dance teacher
  • Dance therapist
  • Stage director
  • Studio owner/teacher

Alumni in Dance have been employed in the following ways:

Positions in dance at Disney properties, Eric Hawkins Dance Co., Hubbard St. Dance Co., Urban Bush Women, Complexions, DCDC, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Elisa Monte, Twyla Tharp, Billy Siegenfield-Jump Rhythm Jazz, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Radio City Rockettes, River North Dance Co., Murray Louis Dance Co., Ballethnic in Atlanta; and performers/choreographers in national and international touring companies of major musicals, television, music videos, Las Vegas attractions, and cruise ships. 70% percent of graduates goes on to find related employment, 30% go on to grad school.

Academic Advising

First semester students are required to meet with their academic advisor. All students are expected to meet with their departmental major advisor each semester to ensure progress towards their degree.

Prospective majors should also arrange for an interview with the department academic advisor to ensure they are taking courses in the proper sequence and to obtain the most benefit from departmental advisement.

Academic Advising Contact Information

For advising on the BA and BFA Dance program, please contact:
Department of Theatre and Dance

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Nov 28, 2022 13:03:17