Dance

Union College is the ideal place to discover the power and beauty of movement. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, you will thrive in a collaborative, close-knit learning environment with experienced faculty who emphasize discipline, experimentation and creativity. All students can take individual dance classes or pursue a minor.

Jillian Callanan '16

Jillian Callanan '16

Being able to explore my passion for dance in an academic setting has enabled me to grow in countless ways. I've gained invaluable skills from taking classes where I am not only asked to create physical movement, but to think deeply about the importance of dance and its development through researching, writing, and performing."

The dance program offers multilevel technique classes in ballet, jazz, modern, Broadway, hip hop, tap, lyrical and more, as well as courses in choreography, dance history and performance. Courses range from American Musical Theater and Dance to choreographic practicums to Dance Project, an independent study that culminates in a research presentation or performance.

As a Union College dancer, you'll come to appreciate the richness of dance traditions from different cultures. You’ll work with guest artists who bring a range of styles and forms of expression to campus. Workshops in classical and modern dance have been taught by the legendary Edward Villella and Jacques d’Amboise and members of Paul Taylor II.

Each fall, the Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency brings in world-class companies that offer master classes, lecture-demonstrations and performances. Troupes have included David Dorfman Dance, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Rioult, RUBBERBANDance and Camille A. Brown & Dancers. The Edward Villella Dance Fellowship has enabled students to study with companies and professional groups all over the world, from the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn to the Kyoto Art Center in Japan.

One of the highlights of the academic year is the Winter Dance Concert, a showcase of original choreography based on conceptual themes such as life in Paris from 1880 to 1920, South American culture and 21st century lifestyles. Each spring, the Steinmetz Dance Performance at the Nott Memorial features dancing by students and faculty. In addition, throughout the year students with a love of dance take part in the Ballroom and Hip Hop dance clubs, Bhangra, U Break (break dancing) and Union Dance Team.

Off campus, our mini-term abroad on the Indonesian island of Bali gives you a chance to learn gamelan (percussion instruments) and dance with performing arts masters; visit cultural and arts venues; and attend professional performances.