What performing opportunities do you offer?

The dance program presents at least seven, separate, fully produced concerts annually with a total of eighteen to twenty performances on campus. A student company also perform outside the university. In addition, the program sponsors six informal showings each year of studies from choreography classes. All performances take place in the Studio Dance Theatre that is fully equipped with a Marley floor, theatrical draperies, lighting, and sound.

What types of dance are presented, and who directs and choreographs for the student companies?

The dance program sponsors University Dance Theatre, a performing company that focuses on contemporary repertory, including modern, jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop. The company is directed by faculty with professional experience as performers and choreographers. Guest professionals regularly choreograph pieces for our students. Membership is by audition the previous spring. University Dance Theatre represents the university at the American College Dance Festival each year.


Are students allowed to perform outside of school?

Students are eligible to perform outside the school; this happens rarely, however, due to the frequent opportunities offered by the dance program.

Are students encouraged and supported in their efforts to create new works?

Students are encouraged to find their own voice creatively and in the style or technique of their choice. Students benefit from many opportunities to have their works produced.

Is there an annual student concert?

Three concerts of student choreography are produced annually. Second semester choreography students present a concert in the spring. Any student who has completed two semesters of choreography is eligible to choreograph for the fall concert. Each fall, graduating seniors in the BA program present a senior project in the form of performance or choreography. All majors are eligible to perform in these concerts, including freshmen. Each spring, seniors in the BFA program present the Senior Portfolio concert wherein they are evaluated in performance and/or choreography.

What opportunities are available to work back stage?

Each dance major is required to serve on back stage crews of three concerts before graduation and must complete the Dance Production course, which includes an introduction to dance lighting, costuming, stage management, and publicity.

Is an audition required?

Yes. Students interested in the BA program must complete a placement audition. Students interested in the BFA program must audition for acceptance. Contact the dance director, Professor Heather Cooper, heather.cooper@sjsu.edu to register.

What types of dance classes are offered?

The dance program offers four levels of classes in ballet, jazz, and modern technique, and two levels of tap. Also offered are hip hop and the Techniques of World Dance course, which in the past has included Capoeira, African-Caribbean, East Indian (Bharata Natyam), Polynesian, Flamenco and Mexican Folkloric. All classes meet twice a week except advanced levels in modern, jazz, and ballet, which meet three times a week. Classes are one hour and forty-five minutes in length.

Can I specialize in one area of technique?

Juniors must declare primary and secondary areas of specialization in technique in either modern or jazz. Ballet, though not an area of specialization, is required for all BA candidates.

Is live music provided for technique classes?

Yes, all modern and ballet classes have accompanists.

How many majors are in the program?

The program has approximately 70 majors, a number that allows for significant individual attention.

Do graduates from the program go on to professional careers?

Graduates from the dance program have gone on to careers as professional performers and/or choreographers in concert companies and in musical theatre, both nationally and regionally. Many go on to teach in private schools, while others obtain a credential and teach in public schools. A number of graduates go on to earn advanced degrees.