About Dance at Princeton

At Princeton, the Dance program’s depth, diversity, and flexibility nurture beginners and challenge pre-professionals. With over 20 dance courses offered per year, the curricular program serves more than 400 students annually, and a committed group of 10-20 students earn a minor in dance each year.

The Dance program is located in the Wallace Dance Building within the Lewis Arts complex, in close proximity to the Lewis Center’s Program in Theater & Music Theater and the Department of Music. Students have access to three spacious studios designed for dance and the Hearst Dance Theater, a 100-seat convertible studio/theater.

With an active student-led Performing Arts Council, Princeton also supports more than 15 student-run dance companies, and many dance students assume leadership roles and participate in these organizations.

The Program is open to students of all backgrounds and areas of training. We focus on movement, the body, and dance as primary sites of exploration and ways of knowing and experiencing other fields.


Dance Courses

Course offerings in the Program in Dance include:

  • Comparative approaches to training in modern and contemporary dance, hip-hop, ballet, diasporic African dance, and improvisational forms.
  • Repertory workshops expose students to significant works from the choreographic canon and emerging choreographers; interdisciplinary and collaborative courses centered on embodiment, pedagogy, and choreographic research.
  • A range of seminars in diverse topics in dance studies including “Moving Writing: Memoir and the Work of Dance”, “Are you for sale? Performance Making, Philanthropy and Ethics”, “FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body”, and “Special Topics in Dance History, Criticism, and Aesthetics: Mobilizing Bodies/Dancing the State.”
  • Courses are cross-listed with other Lewis Center programs in theater & music theater and visual arts as well as University departments such as Gender and Sexuality Studies, African American Studies, Anthropology, American Studies, and Urban Studies, among others.
  • Dance courses fulfill several distribution requirements. Most dance courses fulfill the Literature and the Arts (LA) requirement, and several courses may also fulfill the requirements of Epistemology and Cognition (EC), Ethical Thought and Moral Values (EM), Social Analysis (SA), Historical Analysis (HA), and Culture and Difference (CD).
  • The curriculum offers expansive, rigorous training and the creation of original works of choreography, performance, and academic analysis with professional choreographers, dancers, interdisciplinary artists, and scholars.
  • Co-curricular drop-in classes in a variety of practices are offered on a daily basis and have included hip-hop, dance for musical theater, ballet, yoga, and somatics.
  • Students can design their study focused on performance, choreography, dance scholarship, or interdisciplinary projects and undertake advanced creative work with faculty mentoring and a professional production support team.
  • Dance courses frequently include trips to New York City and Philadelphia to see a range of performances, studio visits, and meet artists.
  • Most classes integrate live music by a stellar group of accompanists.


Dance Performance

  • Multiple performance opportunities in the newly-built Lewis Arts complex, Hearst Dance Theater, Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center, and site-specific, interdisciplinary independent projects.
  • Students have recently performed works by renowned choreographers Robert Battle, Trisha Brown, Rena Butler, Peter Chu, Merce Cunningham, Francesca Harper, Bill T. Jones, Loni Landon, Mark Morris, Ohad Naharin, Martha Nichols, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jermaine Spivey, and Oliver Tarpaga.
  • Dance program staff includes a music director and a stellar group of accompanists, who support and collaborate with faculty and students and student projects frequently feature original, live music, often coordinated with the Music Department.
  • Students and faculty also benefit from engagement with professional costume and lighting designers and the support of staff in the areas of costume, scenery, lighting, and stage management.
  • Dance students in performance courses receive support for injury prevention and have access to dance-specific physical therapy.


Visiting Artists & Fellows

  • Visiting artists enhance program offerings and have included Lil Buck, Phil Chan, Elisa Clark, Misty Copeland, Patricia Delgado, William Forsythe, Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Theresa Ruth Howard, Robert LaFosse, John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow, Katy Pyle, Claudia Schreier, Melissa Toogood, Heather Watts, and Wendy Whelan.
  • The Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence Program provides professional choreographers with resources to develop their work and performance opportunities exposing students to diverse creative practices. View a list of Hearst Choreographers
  • Hodder Fellows and Princeton Arts Fellows enhance program offerings through performances, choreographing original work, or teaching courses, workshops and seminars. Recent fellows have included Nora Chipaumire, Beth Gill, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Michael J. Love, Okwui Okpokwasili, Will Rawls, Pam Tanowitz, Netta Yerushalmy, and Pavel Zustiak among others.