Dance Major

communication.northwestern.edu/programs/major_dance

The Depart­ment of Theatre also offers a major in dance. The dance major prepares students for further advanced academic work or a wide range of positions in professional dance. The major’s comprehen­sive curriculum emphasizes the study of dance as well as the act of dancing. Students are prepared for lifetime involvement in the field and for continued development intellectually, artistically, and professionally within the dance world. In addition to dance technique and chore­ography, the program provides students with opportunities for writing, research, and analysis in the field. The major presents a well-integrated view of dance while also pro­viding sound technical training in a variety of forms, with modern dance and jazz as the foundation techniques. The department offers a number of dance organizations and performing opportunities.

Students must also complete the Undergraduate Registration Requirement and the degree requirements of their home school.

Program Requirements (13 units)

All courses for SoC majors, minors and distribution requirements must be completed with a grade of C- or higher and may not be taken P/N.

Introductory Courses (4 units)

Course Title
DANCE 101-1
DANCE 101-2
DANCE 101-3
Introduction to the Dance Experience
and Introduction to the Dance Experience
and Introduction to the Dance Experience
DANCE 225-0Dance Composition 1

Dance Technique Courses (4 units)

A minimum of 4 units from the following list (each dance technique class carries .34 units; 3 classes add up to 1 unit of credit); classes in a dance form must be taken sequentially, each in consecutive quarters in a single academic year; classes in a sequence need not be taken at the same level.  Specific Requirements:

2 yearlong sequences in Modern (2 Units)

Course Title
Modern l
Modern II
Modern III

1 yearlong sequence in Jazz (1 Unit)1 

Course Title
Jazz l
Jump Rhythm Technique 1
Jazz II
Jump Rhythm Technique II
Jazz III

1 additional two-quarter sequence in a single form (.68 Units)

Course Title
Movement for the Stage
Topics in Preparation for Performance
Music Theatre Ballet
Music Theatre Dance I
Music Theatre Dance II
Cultural Forms
Modern l
Jazz l
Jump Rhythm Technique 1
Ballet I
Tap l
Jump Rhythm Tap 1
Modern II
Jazz II
Jump Rhythm Technique II
Ballet II
Tap II
Jump Rhythm Tap II
Modern III
Jazz III
Ballet III
Tap lll

1 Cultural Forms course (.34 Units)

Course Title
Cultural Forms

Additional Dance Courses (4 Units)

At least 4 courses chosen from the following categories:

Performance (2 units)

Course Title
At least 2 units:
Anatomy
Choreography for Musical Theatre
Advanced Choreographic Study
Advanced Improvisation
Studies in Collaboration
Summer Dance Institute
Studies in Dance

Dance Studies (2 units)

Course Title
At least 2 units:
Cultural Studies of Dance
Dance History
Dance Criticism
Special Topics in Dance Research
Dance in Education
Expressive Arts Therapy
American Rhythm Dancing & the African American Performance Aesthetic
Independent Study
Music Theatre History

Senior Seminar (1 Unit) 

Course Title
DANCE 395-1
DANCE 395-2
DANCE 395-3
Senior Seminar
and Senior Seminar
and Senior Seminar (1 unit of credit received at end of sequence)

Production Courses (0 Units)

Two registrations for:

Course Title
THEATRE 121-0Production Laboratory ( This is a 0 unit of credit requirement)

Additional Requirements (29 units)

Distribution Requirements (18 units)

18 units of credit outside the school, including 8 units of credit from the School of Communication distribution areas: 2 from science, mathematics, and technology; 3 from individual and social behavior; and 3 from humanities and fine arts.  In addition, 3 courses must be at the 200 level or above, and 3 courses must be at the 300 level or above.  

Electives (11 units)

Electives in communication and other areas to complete a minimum of 42 units of credit.

Honors in Dance

The Dance Program offers an honors program for students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the dance major. Contact the Dance Program for more information on eligibility and requirements.