Dance (BFA)

The Department of Dance is a community of diverse individuals trained on a common nexus of inquiry, the rich and complex phenomenon of dance. At the heart of the Ohio State dance experience is the notion of embodied scholarship, embracing the intertwining areas of movement practice, creative activity and theoretical inquiry.

As one of the premiere dance programs in U.S., the Ohio State Department of Dance is at the forefront of contemporary modern dance through choreographic and performance exploration, creative use of technologies and reimagining the documentation of dance traditions. Visiting artists and scholars enrich all dimensions of the program and regularly augment the resident faculty.

The bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in dance provides a comprehensive education across the field of contemporary modern dance with a core focus on the dancing experience. The dance minor is organized to merge course work in three core areas — creative activity, theoretical inquiry and physical practice.

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Ohio State has produced graduates of high caliber who have gone on to successful performing careers with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Pilobolus, David Parsons, Ron Brown, Stephen Petronio, Sweden’s Cullberg Dance Company and Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. Others such as Senta Driver, Dianne McIntyre, Lynn Dally, Bebe Miller and Timothy Buckley have built successful careers as choreographers. Ohio State students have also gone on to careers as dance notators, historians, movement analysts or specialists in dance productions.

courses you might take:

DANCE 2367 / DANCE 2367H: Writing about Dance

This lecture-based Second-Level Writing General Education (GE) course uses language to engage students in the viewing, describing, critiquing and appreciation of the art form of dance. Dance 2367 is open to all Ohio State students.

Number varies by level: Contemporary Technique

This studio-based course in movement practice lies at the heart of the Department of Dance's mission to develop skills and appreciation for contemporary dance, including established modern dance techniques and the expansion of unique, new movement vocabularies. Our dancers successfully navigate a wide range of technical styles. Coursework is available in elective, minor, and major programs.

Number varies by level: Composition

Composition explores the creative process of dance making. Coursework is available in elective, minor and major programs. The program for majors is an in-depth yearlong experience; additional higher-level courses are offered for upperclassmen.

DANCE 5121: Improvisation

The study of improvisation nurtures the creative process and strengthens movement range and fluency. Through the physical embodiment of movement, students develop a sense of community and engage in critical thinking and problem solving.

DANCE 5211: Dance - Film I

An introduction to creating short films of dance made specifically for the camera. Basics of camera and Final Cut Pro are taught as three film projects are created. Prereq: Jr standing, and enrollment in Dance major; or grad standing; or permission of instructor.



Asha Whitfield



Asha Whitfield, a senior dance major, traveled with a group of 11 dance majors — nine undergraduates and two graduate students — to Salvador, Brazil, to perform and to engage with Brazil's rich culture. The ensemble of dancers performed in schools, community centers, studios and theatres around Salvador. Everywhere the Brazil tour went, they were greeted by enthusiastic audiences who were more than willing to share their own dances with the company.

"To me, the overarching effect of studying abroad — any time I go abroad or take the steps to learn about another culture — is that I learn a lot about me, what I value and my identity. The more I take time to learn about someone or something else, the more I understand me," said Asha.

Learn more about Asha and the trip to Brazil >



Dance with Buckeyes Callie Lacinski and Calder White, who are studying in the highly competitive contemporary dance program at Ohio State. 



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