Dance : About The Program

About Our Degrees

Acceptance Criteria

Audition and University Acceptance.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in the following prerequisite courses: TH 106; TH 135 or TH 136; THD 202, THD 214, THD 264.
Minimum grade of C+ in all required courses.

Acceptance Information

Number of applicants/year: 170 (majors)
Number of accepted majors/year: 25-28
Total number of majors currently enrolled: 90

Degree Requirements

Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Facilities

The million Center for the Arts benefits UB students directly through outstanding public performance and exhibition facilities. The center houses the Departments of Art, Media Study, and Theatre & Dance, showcasing both academic and public presentations of the arts in its many intriguing and interdisciplinary forms. The Department of Music is housed in adjacent Slee and Baird Halls, allowing music students to also discover a genuine intermingling of the arts.

Theatre and dance students have a variety of theatres and studios in which to work and learn. The range and complexity of theatre spaces allow students great versatility in their professional preparation. Supporting this effort are excellent shop facilities for costumes, scenery, properties, paint, and makeup.

The 400-seat Drama Theatre is intimate, with inviting decor and technical advantages that make it ideally suited to theatre and dance department productions and chamber operas. The orchestra pit can accommodate approximately forty musicians.

Mainstage is an 1,800-seat theatre that houses the majority of the professional touring companies at the Center for the Arts. Other features include a custom-built orchestra shell, allowing stage concerts to take place without the need for microphones and speakers. Computer-controlled panels on the walls of the auditorium are designed to adjust the acoustics at the touch of a button.

Also available to UB arts students are twin black box theatres that allow almost any kind of theatrical presentation, especially multimedia and experimental works. A 200-seat media study screening room can be used for departmental programming, as well as for the public presentation of films, speakers, panel discussions, poetry readings, and press conferences.

Dance studios are spacious with Marley flooring over maple-sprung wood floors engineered for maximum resiliency, twelve-foot mirrors, upper-level observation spaces, and specially designed sound systems.

Locally, the students of theatre and dance enjoy a working relationship with Alleyway Theatre, Artpark, Buffalo United Artists, Irish Classical Theatre Co., Buffalo City Ballet, Buffalo Contemporary Dance Co., LeherDance, MusicalFare, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Studio Arena Theatre, Theatre of Youth, and Western New York affiliated Dance Masters of America dance establishments. Studio Arena is a LORT theatre located in the heart of the theatre district in downtown Buffalo.

About Our Courses

Suggested Introductory Courses:

The typical class size for:

Freshman/introduction courses is: 25-30
Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 15-30
Upper level/advanced courses is: 15-20

In the Dance program, what do teaching assistants (TAs) do?

They serve as demonstrators and generally assist in the studio classes and receive practical experience in structuring a class, under continual supervision from the faculty member.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

The dance faculty is intensely involved in a wide range of dance and theatre-related activities extending beyond the campus, including: American College Dance Festival Association, the Joffrey Ballet, National Dance Education Organization/NYSDEA, Philadanco, the Western New York Institute for Arts in Education, choreography for state Miss America pageants, Greater Buffalo Opera, Irish Classical Theatre, Lehrerdance, Moving Miracles, Shakespeare in the Park, MusicalFair, Studio Arena, the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, and master classes and workshops across the country and abroad. The faculty's multifaceted activities have won the program widespread recognition.

The UB Center for the Arts is the home of the National Dance Masters of America Teachers' Training School and has the distinct honor of having hosted the Jazz Dance World Congress for three unprecedented years: 1999, 2000, and 2003.

See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers BA and BFA degree programs in which students may study a broad range of production, design, technology, performance, historical, and literary aspects of theatre, dance, and music theatre. A central curriculum of courses is shared by all theatre, dance, and music theatre majors from which students go on to pursue separate majors in theatre, dance, music theatre, or theatre and dance areas. Auditions are required for entrance into the BA Dance and all BFA programs.

Department classes balance scholarship and practical training. In theatre, there is a full sequence of courses in theatre technology and design, acting, playwriting, directing, and history and literature. In dance, there is a full sequence of courses in jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, tap, choreography, teaching methods, history and research.

Performances and productions are essential parts of the curriculum, providing hands-on learning experiences. There are four performance spaces in the Center for the Arts: the Drama Theatre with 400 seats and the 1800 seat Main Stage, and two multipurpose black box spaces. The Katharine Cornell Theatre provides added dimensions to performance opportunities for student directed productions. The department's Zodiaque Dance Company and Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble perform at the university and present in the community; membership is by audition held at the beginning of the fall semester. Emerging Choreographer's Showcase, features the work of upper level student choreographers, mentored by the dance faculty.

The theatre and music theatre programs both offer one major proscenium production and one black box production each year. Recent works include: Merrily We Roll Along, A Winter's Tale, The Trial, The Good Women of Szechuan, Steel Pier, Spinning into Butter. These performance opportunities are augmented by classroom projects that culminate in a performance at the end of each semester, as well as "Poor Theatre." directed by the faculty.

Dancers Workshop, a student-run organization, also generates a production annually. Workshop advisors are members of the faculty. The GUILD, a student theatre and dance organization, acts as a liaison between students and faculty, and generates performances through Proba, a student run production company for workshop productions.

Students may shape the courses that complete the requirements for the B.A. major by following sequences in such areas as general dance studies, music theatre, dance performance, theatre performance, choreography, design/technology, dance education, playwriting, directing, history, and literature.

Students in dance work with nationally and internationally known guest faculty, directors, and choreographers in yearly residencies with the UB Center for the Arts. Annual residencies have included: American Ballet Studio Co., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Doug Varone and Dancers, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Jump Rhythm Jazz, Jose Limon, Taylor 2 Co, Elisa Monte, and Urban Bush Women.

Auditions are required for all dance and music theatre majors.

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

Internships in dance teaching are available. The Department of Theatre & Dance encourages students to seek out this opportunity, and expects it of majors. A partnership with Moving Miracles Dance Studio, a dance/movement program for children, adolescents and adults who are exceptionally challenged mentally, physically and/or emotionally, places qualified dance majors in teaching residencies. Students interested in pilates may apply for an internship.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

  • Amanda C. Occhino Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Department Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
  • Departmental Honors
  • Jean Taylor Bear Foundation Award, granted to upper class dance majors for excellence in dance and for guest choreographers to create original dance works for the UB dance companies
  • Performing and Creative Arts Scholarships

Performing and Creative Arts Scholarships are available through the University Honors College. Auditions are required for applicants. To qualify for consideration, students must have a minimum high school average of 90 percent and a combined SAT score of at least 1230 or ACT score of 28. Transfer honors applicants must hold a minimum GPA of 3.8. The Perry Watkins scholarship is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology. Presidential Gala Scholarship for Dance, granted to an incoming dance major. Auditions, portfolios, and a personal interview are required for all scholarship students.

Extracurricular Activities

The principle performing spaces for all of the following are the theatres and studios in the Center for the Arts. See

Dancers Workshop

Dancers Workshop is a student organization that offers non-credit performing and related opportunities to the university community at various levels of ability and interest. Workshop advisers are members of the dance faculty.

From the Wings

From the Wings is a student organization that offers non-credit performance opportunities primarily, but not exclusively to music theatre majors. Faculty advisors are members of the music theatre faculty.

The Guild

The Guild is managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, is the liaison among department faculty, staff, and students, and produces evenings of new works by students.

Emerging Choreographers Showcase

Emerging Choreographers Showcase is faculty directed/mentored. Advanced-level student choreographers are invited by the faculty to present concerts of their works.

Zodiaque Dance Company

The Zodiaque Dance Company is a performance training company that requires a major time commitment. Membership for the year is by audition early each fall.

Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble

The Ensemble is a performance training company with a fall semester commitment.

For more information on the above, please see Performance Opportunities.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Majors that Complement Dance

Minors that Complement Dance

Courses Outside the Major that Could Improve Employment Opportunities

Links to Further Information About this Program

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:50 EST