A group of students perform in a dance concert.


Dance Program Overview

Just a train ride away from the greatest dance city in the world, New York City, Manhattanville College’s BA in Dance program connects students with actual choreographers and dance companies to improve their technique as well as their employment potential upon graduation. 


  • Flexible core requirements let students experience multiple genres of technique
  • Professional guest choreographers hold masterclasses in addition to technique classes taught by expert faculty; Dance majors meet and dance under multiple professional choreographers each semester
  • Students can audition for six mainstage productions each year
  • Dance majors learn how to choreograph, audition, and rehearse their own movement and perform in dance concerts open to the public
  • Through Dance on Camera, students produce filmed dances and engage with cameras, editing software, and choreography
  • Dance program faculty and the Center for Career Development help students develop and secure internship experiences in various fields of the industry

Whether you seek a degree that allows you to dance as much as possible, or you want a program that provides a holistic foundation for careers and graduate programs in dance, business, education, dance therapy, and more, Manhattanville’s BA in Dance builds the hands-on experience and research and theory-backed knowledge needed to become a dance professional.

Request Information Visit Campus Apply Now Fine and Performing Arts at Mville


The dance program’s curriculum progressively builds studies in contemporary technique, emphasizing composition and choreography. Students will learn how to dance in a variety of genres using traditional styles and methods.

The Bachelor of Arts in Dance program requires core major courses as well as Manhattanville’s general education curriculum, with a total of 120 credits earned. Program requirements include:

  • Entrance audition
  • 44 credits in ballet, modern, choreography, performance, history, dance on camera and production courses
  • Total of 90 liberal arts credits fulfilling Bachelor of Arts requirements
  • A minimum of two public dance performances and one stage crew practicum
  • Completed First-Year and General Education curriculum requirements
  • Attendance at on-campus performances, recitals, and plays
  • Senior Thesis Project

Through general education courses and an experience-driven core curriculum, students in the BA in Dance learn a wide range of professional skills and knowledge in preparation for careers across the industry, from management to performance and beyond. Review dance program requirements and further detail about Bachelor of Arts requirements


Dance Program Courses
The core courses of the BA in Dance include opportunities to refine dance technique as well as learn the process of creative composition, stagecraft, and even foundational sports kinesiology. Students may take courses such as:

  • Modern Dance Technique 
  • Ballet
  • Technique Electives (Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Dance for Musical Theatre)
  • Dance History I and II
  • Dance on Camera
  • Composition
  • Choreographers’ Workshop
  • Acting

In addition to core dance courses and built-in performance opportunities, dance majors develop their skills in a specific area that supports their performance training through a special topics course. Students develop depth and breadth of knowledge of the craft by taking a course in:

  • Costume design
  • Lighting design
  • Scene design
  • Playwriting

Review a list of courses in the BA in Dance program.


Career Outcomes for Dance Majors
Manhattanville’s dance degree program prepares students to become professional dancers, choreographers, teachers, and more. Students in the BA in Dance can also add to their extensive dance training and general studies with a double major or minor in business, marketing, computer science, or another performing arts discipline. Broadening areas of expertise can open unique opportunities to work alongside dance performance and production, from the business and leadership side to the tech side of the industry.

With a BA in Dance, graduates can pursue careers in areas such as:

  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Dance studio teaching
  • Dance production
  • Dance studio management
  • Dance education
  • Dance therapy
  • Community outreach
  • Athletic coach or trainer
  • Physical therapy

Students interested in careers in dance medicine, therapy, athletic training, or dance education may need to earn professional or graduate-level credentials in fields like education, counseling, therapy, or kinesiology.

Alumni of our BA in Dance program have worked in various capacities within the dance industry. They’ve danced for the following companies:

They’ve started their own dance companies:

Their work has been presented by the following entities:

Finally, they’ve taught at the following schools:

Whether you want to perform on stage, envision a career that spans the dance industry, or both, Manhattanville’s versatile BA in Dance ensures students can successfully pursue graduate programs and find their dream role (or many roles) after graduation.

Senior Thesis and Performance Projects
While there are several opportunities to perform both in class and through extracurriculars, each dance major at Manhattanville is required to participate in at least two final dance concerts and many participate every semester. These performances are rehearsed, teched, and performed for the public, each with professional guest choreographers.

Through a guided Senior Thesis, dance majors develop a resume, audition lists, a packet including headshots, and prepare theoretically and developmentally for their final project and performances. Students also gain valuable backstage experience by completing a production practicum, where they work as part of the stage crew on a dance or theatre production.

Backed by the pieces they develop and perform, the guided Senior Thesis, and special opportunities to choreograph other students or create dance on camera pieces, Manhattanville dance majors explore unique interests, career initiatives, and skills, building a resume and collecting content to use in future career auditions.


Dance Internships and Networking Opportunities
Manhattanville’s Center for Career Development helps dance majors who want to secure an internship in their field develop a relationship with an employer and find opportunities. Our students have completed professional experiences with leading dance companies, organizations, presenting agencies, studios, and festivals such as:

We know that to make it in the dance industry, knowing people helps. That’s why our technique masterclasses and dance concerts allow students to collaborate personally with professionals in dance, choreography, production, and more. As a dance major at Manhattanville, every semester will include opportunities to engage with the most prominent professionals in the field. Some of our recent guest artists who Manhattanville students collaborated with include:

Backed by real dance industry experience and a wide professional network, graduates of the BA in Dance program have a leg up after graduation, as the wide network they develop can lead to successful auditions down the road.


Dance Teams and Student Organizations
Alongside the built-in performance projects, Manhattanville dance majors can add to their resume and experience through participating in dance and performing arts student organizations. Some of these clubs can be joined by non-dance majors, and some include an audition process.

Explore all of Manhattanville’s on-campus clubs and organizations.

With all the performance opportunities available to dance majors, there’s never a shortage of dance and theatre productions happening on campus.

Our four exceptional performance spaces include:

  • Little Theatre: Mainstage performance space for musicals, dance concerts, and more
  • The EX Theatre: A black box space used for experimental theatre, workshops, and events
  • Reid Castle: Historical castle used as a backdrop for Manhattanville’s annual Shakespeare Festival
  • Pius X Hall: Performance space for dance recitals and workshops
  • Berman Theatre Dance Studio: State-of-the-art dance studio with theatre conversion
  • Berman Dance Studio: Smaller, wood sprung floor equipped with ballet barres


Current Manhattanville Fine and Performing Arts Season

Hosted in our four on-stage performance spaces, Manhattanville’s dance and theatre season events range from Shakespeare plays to final dance recitals and performances by student groups.

Find out what’s happening in the current Manhattanville theatre season and reserve event tickets

Manhattanville’s flexible and experience-driven approach to dance education allows students to pursue a career that fits their passions. Students can add a double major or minor in one of our Fine and Performing Arts programs or in a subject just as interesting to them.

Dance Minor Requirements

DTH.1000 Creative Process


DTH.2214 Dance History I: Global Contexts


DTH.2216 Dance History II: Contemporary Traditions


  Choose two of the following:  
DTH.4101 Contemporary Dance Technique I


DTH.4102 Contemporary Dance Technique II


DTH.4103 Contemporary Dance Technique III


DTH.3012 Dance on Camera


DTH.4410 Performance Project: Dance


DTH.4500A Production Practicum: Stage Crew


DTH.XXXX Dance Elective (Modern, Ballet, Jazz or Hip-Hop)


DTH.XXXX Dance Elective (Modern, Ballet, Jazz or Hip-Hop)



DTH 4101, DTH 4102, DTH 4103, DTH 4500A and dance electives do not receive Liberal Arts credit

Dance Minor: 19 credits


Fine and Performing Arts  bachelor’s degree programs include:

Review all of Manhattanville’s major and minor programs

Manhattanville’s Bachelor of Arts in Dance degree incorporates specialized opportunities to gain working experience in a variety of fields within the dance industry. Request more information about the BA in Dance and learn how it fuels our graduates’ careers.

Audition Requirements

Explore our robust performance spaces by scheduling a campus visit. In the meantime, learn more about the complete admissions process. Ready to apply? Apply today.