wide angle of dancer jumping into the air on stage

BFA – Dance

Director, Dance Programs: Prof. Lori Katterhenry: 973-655-7080

BFA Dance: The Big Picture

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance program combines a conservatory-based approach to training with a liberal arts curriculum to prepare students for extraordinary lives and careers as professional dancers. Our intensive course of study is based on anatomically sound, sequential technique to train dancers in modern dance, ballet, jazz, African dance and hip-hop.

We offer ample opportunities to choreograph and perform works, including travel to compete in the American College Dance Festival and to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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

What You Will Study

The BFA Dance curriculum consists of 80 credits in Dance, 36 required credits in General Education, and 12 credits of Free Electives. Courses include:

  • Daily classes in ballet, modern and/or jazz
  • Improvisation
  • Choreography
  • Dance history
  • Laban Movement Analysis
  • Rhythmic analysis
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pedagogy
  • Repertory

Montclair’s reasonable tuition costs mean that you can pursue a major in dance and a concurrent major in any of our 250 fields of study. Or, you can major in dance and pursue a minor in another field.

Careers in Dance

Performance Opportunities

BFA Dance majors maintain extensive rehearsal and performance schedules that include opportunities to perform with our Dance Repertory Company, which performs works choreographed by faculty, guest artists and alumni. Students also choreograph, produce and perform their own original works. Since the department does not offer a graduate program in Dance, there is less competition for solo and ensemble roles.

The Dance Division presents three main annual dance concerts, which are staged within Montclair’s campus facilities and which often travel to community, regional and even foreign locations. 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.

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 can often lead to opportunities beyond the classroom.

Dance Facilities

Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications.  You will perform in six well-equipped theaters, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre. The Dance Division also has exclusive use of the versatile Montclair State Dance Theatre plus two rehearsal studios – one of which boasts a view of the NYC skyline.

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

Awards and Accreditation

Montclair State Dance and Dance Education 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 Festival and often move on to compete at the national level the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. They regularly return home with awards recognizing their excellence in choreographic presentations, ensemble work, and performance.

The BFA 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.

Apply Now

To apply to the BFA Dance 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.