Mar 04, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Dance Major, B.A.

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Department of Theatre and Dance  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The MSU Denver Dance major is unique in its versatility and in its partnership with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD). CPRD is recognized worldwide for their dynamic cross-cultural curriculum, community engagement, innovative choreography, and promotion of American dance heritage. In this exciting program, CPRD’s mission of social transformation through dance and MSU Denver’s academic rigor and focus on real-world experience converge. 

The dance curriculum includes coursework in jazz, hip-hop, tap, African dance, belly dance, ballet, modern, Ballet Folklórico, dance history, community-based dance practices, somatics and anatomy, pedagogy, improvisation, choreography, contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance, movement analysis, dance production, and arts entrepreneurship. The Dance Program allows students to combine their interest in dance with other fields, taking classes in non-profit management, teaching or arts administration, among others. The program utilizes service learning, field experience, and internship programs to enrich students’ learning and to foster a connection between MSU and its student body and the Denver community. We aim to prepare students for their future in dance and beyond, supporting their specific career and educational goals through concrete learning experiences and creative exploration.

Student Outcomes

  • Students will understand and communicate the ways in which diverse dance practices reflect and contribute to historical, religious, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts, using scholarly research, criticism, and analysis. 
  • Students will evaluate various entrepreneurship opportunities in dance, develop an original sustainable dance-related business, and/or create an artistic dance production suitable for a variety of contexts. 
  • Students will attain an intermediate level of technical movement competency, or higher, in at least one dance form by performing movement patterns skillfully and by demonstrating a kinesthetic understanding of proper alignment and body mechanics. 
  • Students will develop versatile performance capabilities and exhibit artistic intent through mind-body awareness, and by using space, time and energy expressively. 
  • Students will integrate innovative creative ideas, collaborative approaches, compositional skills, and/or theatrical elements in the creation of choreography, including a fully realized choreographic performance work that expresses meaning according to artistic intent, and which is presented in a public context. 
  • Students will examine the potential of dance as a tool for social change as they design a community-based performance project that includes a thoughtful project model and narrative, effective facilitation strategies, and relevant creative activities. 
  • Students will comprehend and implement a variety of pedagogical skills and methodologies as they present purposeful creative and/or technical exercises, teach collaborative dance lessons, and design effective short and long-range instructional plans.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “C-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is not required for this program.  
  • Dance majors must participate in a dance production every semester, starting in their third semester. Past dance production experience will be considered for transfer students and for those declaring their dance major after their sophomore year.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Areas of Emphasis in Dance

Below are recommended areas of emphasis; however, we encourage all students to create a customized program that suits their specific career goals. Students will consult with a faculty advisor to create a degree plan that includes electives centered around the selected emphasis.

Performance and/or Choreography: Ideal for students seeking a career in performance and/or choreography, or artistic direction.

  • Recommended courses in Dance, Theatre, and Music, among others

Dance Pedagogy: Ideal for students seeking to own, manage, or teach at a studio. Also ideal for students aiming to get a dance endorsement along with their teaching license. A secondary dance endorsement enables graduates to teach dance in the public school system if they attain primary licensure through another discipline.

  • Recommended courses in Education, Dance, and Psychology, among others

Dance Organization/Nonprofit: Ideal for students seeking a career in dance administration, entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, studio ownership, artist management, production/stagecraft, or grant writing/fundraising.

  • Recommended courses in Human Services, Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Accounting, and Marketing, among others

Social Transformation through Dance: Ideal for students seeking to integrate dance into the community and/or arts programs as well as those interested in being a dance historian, writer and/or critic.

  • Recommended courses in Africana Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Psychology, Social Work, and Gender, Women, and Sexualities Studies, among others

Core Dance Technique Courses: 18 credits

Students choose from the below dance technique courses to attain 18 credits, according to level. At least 1 of these courses must be chosen from the following dance forms: African Dance, Ballet Folklórico, or Belly Dance.

Dance Major Electives: 11 credits

In consultation with an advisor, the 11 dance major elective credits can be fulfilled through Field Experiences (up to 12 credits), Internships, additional technique courses, repetition of specific dance courses for credit, and/or through courses within other departments relevant to the student’s area of emphasis.

Senior Experience

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Dance Core Courses 33 credits
Dance Technique Courses 18 credits
Major Electives 11 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Unrestricted Electives 19-22 credits
Total for the Dance Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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