dancers performing on stage

BA – Dance

Concentrations in Studio Teaching; and Dance Education with P-12 Certification

BA Dance: The Big Picture

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Dance trains students as both artists and educators, recognizing that hands-on teaching experience is essential preparation. As teachers, our graduates share their passion for dance with children, teenagers and adults in a variety of educational settings. The BA in Dance degree offers two concentrations that prepare students to teach in a range of dance settings, including public and private PreK-12 schools, dance studios, community centers, after-school programs and recreational facilities. BA Dance majors take most of their dance coursework with the BFA Dance majors.

The Dance Division is dedicated to a program that is welcoming and inclusive of diverse viewpoints and lived experiences, including gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture.

We holistically educate our students by developing and cultivating a deep knowledge of dance in many facets. We seek to enhance the student’s mind/body connection and their technical facility; encourage their sense of play, creativity and critical thinking; deepen their appreciation/understanding of the historical and cultural relevance of dance in our global society; and promote their engagement as global citizens as well as their understanding of the democratic principles that enable them to be free-thinking artists. We continue to evolve our anti-biased, anti-racist stance to affect learning and teaching. We actively work to revise curriculum and course content to be inclusive of all people.

Dance is a powerful art form that encourages communication and helps us find our commonalities as well as celebrating uniqueness. In the many hours of dance classes and rehearsals, our dance majors come to know their classmates with an intimacy that very few people in other fields will ever experience. By participating fully in this spirit of team-consciousness, they develop humanity and citizenship in equal proportion to performance abilities. We believe that these qualities are absolutely vital in today’s world.

We offer ample opportunities to choreograph and perform on campus as well as off campus at locations such as the American College Dance Association conferences, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Joyce Theater and the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Our proximity to Manhattan allows us to attract outstanding faculty and prominent guest artists who work closely with students each semester. With Manhattan just 30 minutes away, students connect with both world-class dance productions and numerous internship opportunities.

For 2022-2023, has named Montclair State University as having one of the 25 “Best College Dance Programs” in the United States:

What You Will Study

All BA Dance students enter the program under the Dance Studio Teaching concentration with the option to apply for the Dance Education PreK-12 Certification concentration in their sophomore year. Because dance educators must bring a high level of artistry to their teaching, you will take intensive dance courses alongside BFA Dance classmates and perform a broad range of repertory.

Dance Education with P-12 Certification Concentration

In the spring of their sophomore year, students who have completed four pre-requisite courses in education and who wish to pursue the Dance Education with PreK-12 Certification concentration may formally apply to the program. The application process includes an interview and submission of writing samples. Successful candidates proceed to intensive coursework in education, gaining hands-on experience through supervised teaching in public schools. They continue to take dance courses and may also continue to perform.

BA in Dance, Dance Education with P-12 Certification Concentration curriculum
Teacher Education Program Overview

Studio Teaching Concentration

Dance Studio Teaching students take four business courses along with courses in dance and education. These business courses comprise four of the required six courses to complete a minor in business and prepare you for the financial and marketing aspects of operating a dance studio. You will also complete an internship at a dance studio to gain valuable hands-on experience.

BA in Dance, Studio Teaching Concentration curriculum
Performance Opportunities

BA Dance majors maintain extensive rehearsal and performance schedules that include opportunities to perform works choreographed by faculty and guest artists. Students also choreograph, produce and perform their own original works.

The Dance Division presents three annual dance concerts, which are staged within Montclair’s campus facilities. There are also opportunities to perform off campus at schools and other performance venues, including the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Visit our Productions and Image/Media Gallery pages to see examples of current and past student performances.

Students learn by watching as well as doing. You will be able to attend more than 500 professional events on campus each year, including those presented by the Theatre and Dance Department as well as by Montclair’s Peak Performances program of theatre, dance and music productions. Students – who are sometimes cast alongside seasoned performers and renowned actors – are admitted FREE to these campus events.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The Dance Division offers study abroad opportunities to Sweden and Spain. Accompanied by dance faculty for these 10-12 day visits, students take classes at local universities and studios, attend performances, and visit major landmarks and museums.

Our Faculty

More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals teach, choreograph and share insights (gleaned from their professional experiences in the “real world” of dance) with students in workshops and master classes. Faculty mentoring often leads to opportunities beyond the classroom.

Dance Facilities

Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications. Students  perform in three well-equipped theaters, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium, and our Black Box Theatre. The Dance Division also has primary use of four rehearsal studios – one of which boasts a view of the NYC skyline.

This exceptional range of performance and rehearsal spaces reflects industry standards and prepares students for future performances in a variety of settings.

Awards and Accreditation

Montclair State Dance majors are recognized regionally and nationally for their accomplishments as performers. Nearly every year, Montclair students compete in the regional component of the American College Dance Association and often move on to compete at the national level at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. They regularly return home with awards recognizing their excellence in choreographic presentations, ensemble work, and performance.

The BA Dance program meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) – a distinction that places us among the nation’s most competitive programs.

We have been designated a 2023 DEL Lab School, through the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. 

Apply Now

To apply to the BA Dance Education Program, or to any Department of Theatre and Dance program, please visit Department Admissions.

For additional information about our programs, please visit us to tour our facilities and/or plan to attend one of our Arts Days and Open Houses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dance at Montclair State

Director of Dance Division

Elizabeth McPherson profile photo

Elizabeth McPherson

Professor, Theatre and Dance

Life Hall

Program Coordinator, BA Dance

Susan Pope profile photo

Susan Pope

Adjunct, Theatre and Dance