Theatre & Dance
Helanius Wilkins, Director of Dance
University Theatre Building
Office C335
T: 303-492-0677

The University of Colorado Boulder offers a well-established, nationally recognized dance program that encourages the pursuit of one’s artistic voice, embodied scholarship and pedagogical exploration. 

CU Boulder has an exciting and diversified dance program. Our curriculum is designed to use dance and the body to challenge assumptions about practices, values, technology and sustainability. Our program scaffolds entrepreneurial approaches to art-making based in personal initiative, curiosity and versatility.

We support the vital cultivation of self-awareness alongside a nuanced appreciation of one’s positionality within the global conversation. Somatic studies serve as the integrative tissue in our highly diverse and forward-thinking program.

We are a contemporary program—one that values and provides study in a range of styles and fusion of forms that influence and reflect the multifaceted nature of dance performance today. Our curriculum is designed to develop concrete skills in performance and choreography and to instill an appreciation of the role that dance plays in human culture around the world. 


Required Courses and Credits

The Bachelor of Arts provides a well-rounded dance education in both technique and theory courses. Students must receive a C- or better in all required courses. No more than 45 credits in DNCE may be applied to overall graduation requirements. Students must have a grade point average of at least 2.000 in the major in order to graduate.  Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below.

Students are expected to take a variety of technique styles. A minimum of three different styles, as well as African dance, are required. Students who have not placed in the major technique class (DNCE 2021, DNCE 3041 or DNCE 4061) by their second semester in dance program are strongly advised not to continue in the major program in dance. Placement into and successful completion of major technique is a prerequisite for enrollment in other required dance courses.

Required Lower-Division Courses
DNCE 1012Dance Production2
DNCE 1013Dance Improvisation2
DNCE 1027Dance in Cultural Perception and Expression3
DNCE 1908First Year Dance Seminar1
DNCE 2501African Dance2
Required Major Technique Courses
Take 6 credit hours from the following courses: 16
Major Technique
Major Technique
Major Technique
Upper-Division Music Course
Choose one of the following courses:2
Inside the Groove: Developing Rhythmic Skills
SOUND Choices: Enhancing the Music/Dance Relationship
Upper-Division Creative Process Course
Choose one of the following courses:3
Choreographic Resources
Choreographic Process
Required Production Practicum Courses
Take 2 credit hours of production practicum, including 1 credit of Run Crew.2
Production Practicum
Required Upper-Division Courses
DNCE 3005Movement Awareness and Injury Prevention for the Dancer3
DNCE 4017Dancing Histories: Sex, Gender and Race in U.S. Concert Dance3
or DNCE 4037 Contemporary Concert Dance: Shifting Perspectives in Performance
or DNCE 4047 Hip-Hop Dance History
DNCE 4036Dance Teaching Practices: Inclusive Approaches to Instruction3
DNCE 4939Dance Internship1
THTR 4029Performance and Community Engagement3
THTR 4081Senior Seminar3
Electives in Dance Technique
Take 6 credit hours of DNCE courses with course numbers that end in 1.6
Required Theatre Production Course
Choose one of the following courses:2-3
Introduction to Performance Design
Costume Design 1
Scene Design 1
Stage Management
Stage Lighting Design 1
Sound Design
Scene Painting
Stage Lighting Design 2
Special Topics in Theatre Design and Technology (Some sections including Tailoring or Product Design)
Theatre Make-Up Design
Costume Patterning and Construction
Total Credit Hours47-48

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for more information on eligibility. The concept of "adequate progress" as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress toward a BA in dance, students should meet the requirements in the Four-Year Plan section.

Recommended Four-Year Plan of Study

Through the required coursework for the major, students will fulfill all 12 credits of the Arts & Humanities area of the Gen Ed Distribution Requirement and will fulfill the Global Perspective category in the Gen Ed Diversity Requirement.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
DNCE 1012 Dance Production 2
DNCE 1027 Dance in Cultural Perception and Expression 3
DNCE 1908 First Year Dance Seminar 1
DNCE 2021 Major Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Natural Science and Lab) 4
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: Lower-division Written Communication) 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
DNCE 1013 Dance Improvisation 2
DNCE 3035 Production Practicum 1
DNCE 3041 Major Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: QRMS) 3
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Natural Sciences) 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours14
Year Two
Fall Semester
DNCE 2501 African Dance 2
THTR 4029 Performance and Community Engagement 3
Gen. Ed. Distribution/Diversity course (example: Social Sciences/US Perspective) 3
Elective 4
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
DNCE 3005 Movement Awareness and Injury Prevention for the Dancer 3
DNCE 3035 Production Practicum 1
Additional DNCE Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Natural Sciences) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall Semester
DNCE 3014
Inside the Groove: Developing Rhythmic Skills
or SOUND Choices: Enhancing the Music/Dance Relationship
DNCE 4036 Dance Teaching Practices: Inclusive Approaches to Instruction 3
Additional DNCE Technique 1
Gen. Ed. Distribution/Diversity course (example: Social Sciences) 3
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: Upper-division Written Communication) 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
DNCE 3033
Choreographic Resources
or Choreographic Process
DNCE 4061 Major Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Social Sciences) 3
Required Theatre Production Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours14
Year Four
Fall Semester
DNCE 4017 Dancing Histories: Sex, Gender and Race in U.S. Concert Dance 3
DNCE 4939 Dance Internship 1
Additional DNCE Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Natural Sciences) 3
Upper-division Elective 3
Upper-division Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
THTR 4081 Senior Seminar 3
Additional DNCE Technique 2
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Social Sciences) 3
Elective or Upper-division Elective (if needed) 3
Upper-division Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours17
 Total Credit Hours120

Learning Outcomes

The following areas of knowledge and experience are central to all the undergraduate degrees in dance:

  • Physical accomplishment in a range of dance styles and within fusions of various forms, including contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, transnational fusion, African dance, performance improvisation and other dance traditions from around the world.
  • Experience with the process and underlying aesthetics of dance creation, composition and collaboration.
  • Basic familiarity with cultural, sociological and aesthetic issues important to the contemporary realities of the field of dance, including a working knowledge of major world dance styles, works of dance literature, theoretical lenses and the history of dance.
  • Knowledge of the various means, such as stagecraft, costuming, lighting, make-up, production and projections, through which a public presentation of dance is realized.
  • Study and practical experience in dance pedagogy, identifying our purpose, goals and objectives as future educators.
  • Basic knowledge of tactics for sustaining wellness, including various somatic approaches to dance training, injury prevention and rehabilitation from injury.
  • Experiential study of the relationship between dance and music, including concrete practice of skills in playing and hearing music.
  • Opportunities to explore the power of performance for effecting positive social change.

In addition, students completing a degree in dance are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • Define their positionality as a maker and thinker of art with responsibility and awareness within their local setting and global conversations.
  • Create and perform through dance, theatre, design, technology, research, scholarship and writing.
  • Make art that is relevant to their medium of expression, that generates resistance to and expands developed techniques towards contemporary relevance, and aesthetic and artistic excellence.
  • Apply diverse theories to critically analyze various performance practices, approaches, compositions, forms, histories, events and scripts.
  • Engage with the histories of their art form and the impact of these histories on contemporary performance challenges and opportunities.
  • Build communities of greater equity and inclusion within the cultures of theatre and dance, and the broader world.
  • Cultivate their responsibility as artist-citizens to have a positive impact on the world and the future.