Theatre Major: Dance Option B.A.

Dance students wearing red, doing aerial dance
Theatre Major: Dance Option B.A.

What is the dance option in theatre?

By studying dance within the theatre degree program at UNH, you’ll be preparing yourself for a successful career on or off the stage. You’ll take classes in the history of dance, dance composition, choreography and performance, learning techniques in jazz, ballet, tap and even aerial dance. As a graduate of this program, you might work as a performer, choreographer or dance teacher.

Why study dance at UNH?

In addition to our award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 performance opportunities every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts. You’ll be able to pursue independent studies and you’ll be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatre or dance organizations. Our Cultural Stages program brings acclaimed playwrights, choreographers and other theatre artists from around the world to campus. If you’re interested in a teaching career, you might consider the five-year Master of Arts in Teaching program in the UNH Education Department for K-12 dance teacher certification.

Potential careers

  • Artistic director
  • Arts organization director
  • Choreographer
  • Dance fitness instructor
  • Dance teacher
  • Dance studio owner
  • Professional dancer


Department of Theater and Dance
Paul Creative Arts Center
University of New Hampshire
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2919
Fax: (603) 862-0298

Curriculum & Requirements

The dance option offers a diverse program that is designed to give the dance teacher, choreographer, and/or performer the skills needed to embark on a successful career. Technique courses in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and the aerial arts are at the core of this program. Courses in history of dance, composition, choreography and dance pedagogy aid dancers in preparing for a variety of employment opportunities in the dance field. In addition, dancers are introduced to the technical aspects involved in staging a full-scale performance. Performance opportunities include yearly faculty-directed dance concerts and student-created dance showcases each semester. Dancers may focus on one or all dance forms.

Students may choose to combine the dance option with requirements of the UNH Department of Education, in conjunction with a fifth year Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) or Masters in Education (M.Ed.) program. This path will prepare students for dance teaching certification or elementary school teaching certification with an undergraduate specialization in dance. They also have the option of pursuing dance education leading to K-12 dance teacher certification.

Contact Gay Nardone, Newman Dance Studio, (603) 862-1728,

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology, and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course. Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 459Stagecraft4
or THDA 460 Elements of Design
THDA 487History of Dance4
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
Independent Study
and Independent Study (Writing Intensive)
THDA 799Capstone Project2
or THDA 798 Senior Thesis
Theory Courses
THDA 633Dance Composition4
THDA 732Choreography4
THDA 786Dance Pedagogy4
Fine Arts
Select 8 credits of the following:8
Famous Dancers of the 20th Century
Elements of Design
Costume Design for the Theatre
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
Musical Theatre I
Musical Theatre Scene Study
Select 16 credits of the following:16
Ballet I
Theatre Dance I
Ballet II (May be repeated to 16 cr)
Theatre Dance II (May be repeated to 16 cr)
Dance Theatre Performance (Repeatable to 16 cr)
Ballet III (May be repeated to 16 cr)
Theatre Dance III (May be repeated to 16 cr)
Aerial Dance (May be repeated to 16 cr)
Special Topics
Total Credits56-60