Academics (Dance)

Dance at Bates provides a balance of physical practice, creative development and contextual understanding of the art form. Cultural context is explored through courses in dance history, contemporary issues, and dance research and writing, as well as through the experience of dancing. Composition and performance skills are developed through our composition series, performing with the Bates Dance Company, and through a variety of opportunities to present your own choreographic work.  All courses are equally available to majors/minors and non major/minors alike.

While modern dance is the central focus of our program because of its scope, a variety of dance techniques are regularly taught at Bates. We also have active dance clubs in step, bollywood, ballroom, hip hop, yoga and more.

Theory & Context

The theory and cultural context of the art form are investigated in courses that concentrate on dance history and current areas of contextual study in dance, such as gender, cultural diversity, dance writing, entertainment, globalization, the larger context of the arts and the politicized human body.

Composition & Performance

There are also creative courses that focus on composition and performance skills.

  • DANC 251 – Dance Composition
  • DANC 351 – Advanced Composition Seminar
  • DANC 253 – Dance Repertory Performance I & II
  • DN/ED s29 – Tour, Teach, Perform


Modern dance is the central focus of our program, supported by a variety of contemporary dance practices from contact improvisation to ballet.

  • DANC 240 – Technique: A Kinesthetic Approach
  • DANC 340 – Technique: The Body in Motion
  • DANC 270 – Studio Dance Series

Bates Dance Festival

The renowned Bates Dance Festival is offered for Short Term credit. This intensive three week program brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators and students to study, perform and create new works.

A variety of courses are also available through the Bates Dance Festival including Improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Anatomy, Issues in Contemporary Dance, Music for Dancers as well as technique classes with some of today’s most interesting teachers and choreographers.

Physical Education

All dance classes in the 270 Studio Dance group also fulfill PE requirements. For details please email
Physical Education also offers dance classes which satisfy the mandatory requirement for PE credits.

Dance Education