Dance Department

General Overview

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.

Dancers in black leaping upwards with arched foot.
Students looking over at each other as instructor explains


Learn about the admissions details for the Dance Department, application instructions, FAQs, and plan your visit!

Blue and brown folding chairs reading: Lathrop Hall Chairs


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.

Bare feet pointed down at ground


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.

Dancers balancing on one hand and leg, the other hand and leg in air.

Faculty & Staff

Meet and contact Dance Department faculty, staff, and leadership.

Beige dancer railings lined up side by side.

Performance Information

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.

Instructor teaching dancer how to fully utilize their movement and balance.

Policies & Procedures

Access Dance Department policies, procedures, and forms, including academic and studio space request policies.

Undergraduate Programs

Dance, B.S.

The BS degree was designed for students who wish to prepare for graduate work in theoretical areas of dance, or who wish to combine their interest in dance with other fields of study.


Dance, B.F.A.

The BFA degree program in dance is for students with a strong interest and aptitude in dance or professional dance theater.



Dance, Certificate

A dance certificate (19 credits) provides a general, core curriculum in dance that is available for students in other majors and fields.


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.


Pilates, Certificate

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.


Get in Touch

Sign in front of building saying, "Lathrop Hall 1050 University Avenue"


Lathrop Hall
1050 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Close up of dancers feet in ballet shoes.


Phone: 608/262-1691
Fax: 608/265-3841

Professor Karen McShane-Hellenbrand instructing how to waltz

Karen McShane-Hellenbrand

Recruitment Coordinator; Faculty Associate