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Welcome to the Dance Program!

"We are never more truly and profoundly human than when we dance." - Jose Limón



San José State University, founded in 1857, is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. We have been preparing professional dancers and musicians longer than any other school in California. Here you will find one of the most comprehensive programs in the state, served by a select group of extremely talented and dedicated teacher-artists. Our innovative and comprehensive curriculum truly prepares students for success as twenty-first century musicians!

San José State’s dance faculty include a number of America’s most gifted artists, ranging from former members of the José Limon Dance Company to leading dancers and choreographers in the Bay Area. Our faculty include recipients of the Isadora Duncan Award, Bay Area Critics Circle Choreography Award, Theater Bay Area Outstanding Performer Award, and many others.

The Dance program's advanced performing company, University Dance Theater (UDT), directed Raphael Boumaila,  performs regularly at American College Dance Association conferences, and has recently been invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow, the Kennedy Center for the Arts, and other prestegious performance venues across the country. tour

Whatever your career goals may be, San José State has a program for you! The policies and procedures for the School of Music and Dance are described in the following sections. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at the School of Music and Dance Recruitment Office.


The dance program and degrees housed in the School of Music & Dance are fully accredited by the National Associations of Schools of Dance (NASD). 



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 Mission Statement and Program Learning Objectives

Music and dance are essential expressions of human experience. The purpose of the School of Music and Dance is to:

Prepare, inspire, and motivate students for excellence in professional careers in teaching, performance, choreography, composition, research, and related fields;
Engage a diverse university population in experiences that foster life-long learning and a greater understanding of music and dance;
Provide and sustain a unique performing arts culture for the university, Silicon Valley, and the greater Bay Area;
Generate creative activities and scholarship in music and dance that have local, national, and international significance.

Program Learning Outcomes for Bachelor degrees in Dance
Dance Program Learning Outcomes:

A.  Technical Mastery

Highest level of technical skill in at least one area of performance.
Achieve highest possible level of conceptual understanding of the medium and its expressive possibilities.
Technical proficiency standards.
Have a fundamental knowledge of the body and kinesiology
Students must develop basic knowledge and skills in dance pedagogy.

B.  The ability to produce work

Students must develop basic knowledge and skills in choreography and have opportunities to develop their choreographic potential in studies that include traditional and/or experimental approaches.
Students must demonstrate their competence by developing a body of work for evaluation in the major area of study.

C.  The ability to solve professional problems independently

Be able to place dance in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.
Develop and understanding of the common elements and vocabulary and the interaction of these elements and to be able to employ this knowledge in analysis of dance.

D.  A coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals which are evident in their work

Students must have the ability to form and defend analysis and critiques of dance and to communicate dance ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and lay persons related to practice of the major filed.
Learn to analyze dance perceptively and to evaluate
Be able to form and defend individual critiques.