Dance program

Undergrad minor

A blend of artistry and athleticism.

UW-La Crosse offers a dance minor within its nationally-recognized Department of Theatre and Dance. The dance minor is committed to developing dance artists who will promote the arts in creative ways throughout society. Students will experience a variety of dance styles, study dance history, acquire knowledge of injury prevention, and gain performance opportunities.

Dance students receive one-on-one attention from faculty, gain a tremendous amount of on-stage experience, and join a positive, collaborative and artistically-stimulating environment.

Why minor in dance?

The creative activity that accompanies dance appeals to students from all fields across campus who have an interest in dance. For many students declaring a dance minor is not only an enjoyable addition to their daily routine, but also a way to improve creativity, physical development, discipline, dedication and mind-body connection.

Students are encouraged to embrace their individual creativity, explore new ways of moving, and recognize their personal growth. By incorporating dance into their college experience, students can apply these valuable lessons toward all future careers.

Career opportunities

  • Dancer
  • Choreographer
  • Dance educator/instructor
  • Dance studio owner
  • Dance science researcher
  • Dance/Movement therapist
  • Dance designer (lighting, sound or costume)
  • Arts administration for dance organizations
  • Dance collaborator (musician, photographer or videographer)

What distinguishes UWL's Dance program?

National recognition

UWL Theatre and Dance students and productions have been nationally-recognized for excellence and professionalism by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Faculty and students have been recognized for their production work in the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) Irene Ryan Competition, as well as design/tech/management certificates of merit.

Top program in Wisconsin

A national theatre blog placed UWL's Department of Theatre and Dance as the best theatre program in Wisconsin in a listing of top programs in all 50 states. OnStage editors say identifying top college programs begins with finding those doing “amazing things and giving their students fantastic preparation for their various industries.”

Classroom learning + practical, production experience

In UWL's program the performance stage is a natural extension of the classroom where students can demonstrate, refine and expand the skills they have learned. Students gain a well-rounded education with an emphasis on the collaborative and creative process. Additional hands-on experience is also available through classroom projects, senior recitals and designs, undergraduate research grant-funded productions and more.

One-on-one student attention

The student-to-faculty ratio in the program is smaller than many comparable programs, allowing for more individualized attention. Each student receives regular feedback on their progress and development as a student and artist. Department faculty and staff know who students are and how they’re performing academically and artistically.

Global perspective

UWL's Department of Theatre and Dance provides a diverse and global perspective by teaching coursework in a cultural context from various cultures/geographic regions around the world, maintaining non-traditional casting whenever possible, and linking with other organizations to provide culturally-rich programming. Students in the program have had opportunities to study and travel to Vietnam, London, Russia, Spain, Italy, India and more.

Reputable faculty and guest artists

UWL Theatre and Dance faculty have a wide range of professional experiences including designing for the American University in Cairo, Egypt; performing with the Boston Lyric Opera; technical direction for the Great River Shakespeare Festival; directing and performing for The Alternative Truth Project; authoring The Stage Manager’s Toolkit; and leading study abroad opportunities in London. The department also frequently brings guest artists to campus from professional and educational theater.

Sample courses

THA 227 Ballet Dance I This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of ballet techniques and styles. As a technique, ballet focuses on grace and fluidity while strengthening control and body awareness. Through physical practice, this course focuses on beginner level technique, vocabulary, coordination, movement retention, and musicality. Emphasis is placed on proper alignment and technique for injury prevention. Lect. 1, Studio 2. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.

THA 304 History of Music Theatre A survey of music theatre history and literature from origins to the present and its effect on popular culture, this course provides an understanding of the development of music theatre into the present day. Particular attention is given to the writers and composers who greatly influenced and/or continue to influence the development of this art form. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

THA 311 Dance Improvisation This course is the exploration of improvised movement through exercises and fundamentals. Through physical practice, students learn how to create movement in the moment and connect that movement to ideas, sounds, or concepts. By understanding the tools for movement generation, this introductory experience of dance improvisation works as a skill for developing the core conceptual elements of dance composition. Focus is placed on personal aesthetic and individuality. Prior dance training is not required. Lect. 1, Studio 2. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.