Mission & Vision

Valuing community over competition, we welcome movers of any level of experience.


Fall Dance Concert 2013 - Photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen

Our Mission: The Bates Dance program approaches the field as embodied practice and process. Valuing community over competition, we welcome movers of any level of experience. We foster robust conversation around equity and inclusion with critical studies in the histories of dance, theater, and performance. Our curriculum balances culturally inclusive knowledge with creative process and physical practice, in order to better prepare students in their academic careers and life beyond Bates.

We believe that Dance has a unique capacity to transform embodied knowledge into engaged citizenship, turning ideas and passions into sustainable action.

Our Vision: The Bates Dance program acknowledges our part in addressing the systemic nature of oppression through the arts, which necessitates a critical understanding of the forms we engage and the histories of exclusions and trauma therein. We seek to catalyze a duality of discernment in holding both the joy of dance and the harm that may occur when seeking embodiment. We empower students to cultivate the skills of resilience to develop a sustained activist approach to dismantling structural inequities and personal biases through dance knowledge.

We wish to amplify the abilities of student artists to become aware, articulate, and use their influence to advocate for inclusive diversity and equitable access.