Our mission is to collectively create a relevant program which perpetually evolves in response to our communities and planet. The program is designed to accommodate people at various phases of artistry, from the practicing professional to the recent BA/BFA graduate. This is a 60-credit hour program which usually takes 3 years (6 semesters) to complete. Students generally take 10 credit hours per semester. These credit hours include a secondary emphasis identified and designed by each MFA candidate. The MFA is considered a terminal degree in dance and positions students to be practicing artists, teaching careers in higher education, future PhD study, and/or a variety of other careers in the evolving fields of dance.
Through our diverse and flexible curriculum and a commitment to social justice, our program simultaneously supports individual artists and the cultivation of community.
The MFA in Dance program does not have a low residency option at this time, but we do offer a modified program for currently working professionals. All enrolled students are expected to reside regionally and be present for in-person activites in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
In summary, there is no shortage of performance and choreographic opportunities. For that reason, trying to juggle more than 3 projects in a single semester is not advisable.
The goal of the modified program for professionals is to provide flexibility in the pursuit of individual goals and the fortification of specific educational gaps. In close consultation with the faculty and graduate advisor, the student will be able to propose and develop new areas of research and creative work. All modifications to the MFA program must receive the approval of program directors and the CU Boulder Graduate School. The number of required credits and semesters will be determined based on the individual’s exceptional professional experiences.
For more information about a modified MFA program, please contact us for consultation and prescreening before completing the formal application process.
The primary core MFA curriculum focuses on the development of the individual artistic voice in performance, choreography, teaching, research and writing. The presentation of new creative work is bolstered, augmented and enriched by the study of theory, history and other artists.
The dance program takes small cohorts to achieve full funding for all MFA candidates through a combination of teaching, teaching assistant, and graduate assistant positions. Our Grads teach movement classes across forms as well as lecture classes on dance and popular culture. Various funding to support creative research is available by application throughout the program. Funding packages for all grads include full tuition remission, insurance, and monthly stipends.
We believe dancing is essential to the survival and evolution of our species. We value diverse approaches to, and reason for dance making. Liberatory work, including antiracism and decoloniality, is central to our approach to dancemaking, pedagogy, and department culture. We believe that by making art, unpacking lineages, checking assumptions, and being in conversation with current geopolitical realities, dance can help unlock unexpected, healthy, and just futures. We insist the body is a site of knowledge production and a repository of ancestral knowledge.
- To encourage the clarification and uniqueness of one’s choreographic voice, embodied scholarship, pedagogical excellence, and awareness of one’s positionality.
- To prepare and support grad students in empowering themselves to fulfill their chosen path, both in their graduate studies and in the professional world.
- To investigate traditional and contemporary approaches to movement invention, choreography, community exchange, collaboration, and performance.
- To deepen somatic awareness and increase fluency in dance technique, including but not limited to Improvisation, Jazz, African Caribbean, Aerial, Hip-hop, Transcultural Fusion, North and West African dance, Ballet and Contemporary.
- To engage in and expand the definition of dance research, with particular attention to practice-based research and the generative relationship between scholarship and creative work.
- To foster inclusive pedagogical strategies including aesthetic, cultural, personal, and anatomical perspectives.
- To build a community of maker-thinkers committed to clear communication, collective support, and convivial research.
- To present choreography and creative work on a regular basis and perform in the creative work of faculty, peers, and guest artists.
Yes, we mean it!
There are prerequisites, such as composition and history, that are advantaged by a degree in dance. But highly motivated students can bridge those gaps of knowledge through our current graduate program. If a high number of deficiencies would prevent completion of the MFA within three years, then we will alternately suggest augmenting your bachelors degree with a fast-track Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Our degree in dance does not centralize any single genre of dance or idolize a specific body type. We are imaginarians who’ve decolonized and expanded our definitions of virtuosity.
We have a current menu of courses that reflect the faculty’s body of knowledge: Hip-hop, dances of North Africa and the Arabian Diaspora, Ballet, European-lineages of Modern dance, dances of the West African Diaspora (including the Caribbean and Americas), Mexican Folklorico, Improvisational dance, Modern dance traditions of the African Diaspora, and an inclusive/abolitionist approach to Somatic Science and embodiment. Importantly, our ideologies and methodologies in dance are not limited by our regional specialties.
If applicants to our graduate programs do not have a conventional dance degree, we embrace the opportunity to evaluate a dancer’s capacities to move safely, problem-solve intelligently when encountering unfamiliar movements, and execute with superb emotional and physical embodiment. We welcome the opportunity to collaboratively support and guide students of all dance forms in their efforts to deepen expertise and practice in humanity’s current and emerging movement practices.