The UW–Madison Dance Department is a leader and innovator in the undergraduate study of the field of dance, with diverse, world-class faculty members and state-of-the-art facilities. Our degree programs are designed to develop well-rounded dance artists working within a global and technological community.
Contemporary dance is foundational to the curriculum, and is enhanced by the study of somatic practices, ballet, and cultural dance. Our programs emphasize individual growth through creative investigation, innovation, and rigorous dance training. Through an interdisciplinary, well-rounded approach to dance studies, our students leave the program prepared to dance professionally, teach, pursue careers in arts administration, and more.
Our mission is to create, investigate, and practice dance as a dynamic and integrative process of self-awareness, interdisciplinary learning and engagement with local and global communities. Through teaching, performance and scholarly research, we illuminate those aspects of self and culture that are uniquely manifested in human movement. Our students are challenged to navigate risks, think critically and live creatively.
The first university to offer a degree program in dance
The first dance: UW–Madison became the first university to offer a degree program in dance in 1926. The program was founded by Margaret H’Doubler, who championed the “thinking dancer” – a revolutionary view of dance as a means of expression and intellectual exploration.
Prominent artists are among our alumni ranks
Many prominent artists are among our alumni ranks, including Mary Hinkson, who broke racial boundaries in dance, and Anna Halprin, who spearheaded the art form of postmodern dance. Students have the opportunity to work with nationally renowned guest artists, including the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Pilobolus, Meredith Monk, Elizabeth Streb, David Parsons and Tim Miller.
Lathrop Hall, our departmental home
Lathrop Hall, our departmental home, has five dance studios covering 12,600 square feet and a fully equipped 240-seat theatre, the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space. Specialized studio spaces include a Sound Lab, Video Lab, Pilates Studio, Costume/Sewing Room and Drum Room.
Learn about the admissions details for the Dance Department, application instructions, FAQs, and plan your visit!
Each freshman cohort working toward BS and BFA Dance degrees is assigned a faculty advisor who works with the group until graduation. In their first year, all dance majors receive targeted advisement from Karen McShane-Hellenbrand.
The Dance Department is proud to have prolific and esteemed alumni among our graduates. If you are an alum of the UW–Madison Dance Department and wish to share or showcase your work, please contact us.
Faculty & Staff
Meet and contact Dance Department faculty, staff, and leadership.
The Dance Department hosts multiple annual concerts, giving faculty and students alike opportunities to present their work to the rest of the Department and the wider community.
Policies & Procedures
Access Dance Department policies, procedures, and forms, including academic and studio space request policies.
Movement Therapy, Certificate
The dance therapy certificate introduces students to the fascinating nonverbal aspects of human communication and its applications to a wide range of other fields such as social work, teaching, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and communication disorders.VIEW PROGRAM
The Pilates certificate includes coursework in Pilates mat and equipment exercises, teaching methods, and functional anatomy. The certificate prepares students to teach Pilates in a studio setting and creates a practical foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate work in movement-based fields.VIEW PROGRAM
LATEST NEWS & EVENTS
- Five School of Education faculty members receive Honored Instructor awards
Each semester, University Housing residents have the opportunity to recognize outstanding classroom instructors through the Honored Instructor program.May 13, 2019
- UW-Madison’s 2019 senior class gift a sculpture from School of Education alum Reed
UW-Madison’s 2019 senior class unveiled its class gift on May 6 — a sculpture, called “The Monarch,” that celebrates the 150th anniversary of women earning undergraduate degrees at UW–Madison.May 13, 2019
- ‘Yallahs,’ from UW-Madison’s Walker, performed in Jamaica
A piece from UW-Madison's Chris Walker, “Yallahs,” was performed by the national Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica in Kingston on Easter Sunday during the Morning of Movement and Music.May 9, 2019
- More News
- May 26
- May 26
- May 26Staggering Losses: World War 1 & the Influenza Pandemic of 1918Saturdays and Sundays: open only for UW Wiscard holders12:00 PM, Ebling Library Historical Reading Room & 3rd Floor Galleries, Health Sciences Learning Center