About the Dance Program
Statement of Purpose: The Bachelor of Arts in Dance is for students seeking a broad and rich background in both theory and practice.
The Bachelor of Arts in Dance is for students seeking a broad and rich background in both theory and practice. The degree is designed to foster the skills, understanding and discipline of young dance artists. The performance-based curriculum includes intensive training in ballet, modern/contemporary dance and dance composition; complemented by improvisation, dance history, kinesiology, pedagogy, jazz and diverse performance experiences. Our graduating students leave prepared technically and creatively to pursue work in dance and related areas.
Our students have been invited to perform on numerous American College Dance Gala Concerts and honors at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The dance professionals who served as adjudicators have spoken highly of our performers saying the following:
"This quartet, set against a spacious and storied relationship to the music, engages the performers’ delicacy, strength and presence in a breathtaking, swirling choreography. They were an amazingly sensitive group able to create huge emotional shifts. The dancing had a complexity and directness giving us a challenging message, both culturally and personally. Exactly what dance can do!” - Elizabeth Johnson, Darrel Jones and Katiti King (2016)
“The dancers blew my mind! They took the movement beyond the physical edge.” - Zvi Gothenier (2014)
“Danced so beautifully! The dancers’ ensemble performance came from deep within their own body giving each other focus.” - Bebe Miller (2014)
“The dancing was achingly beautiful!” - Susan Douglas-Roberts (2014)
“Phenomenal! The dancers danced through the skin to the belly of the muscle and then through to the bone within.” - Susan Hadley (2012)
“I loved how the dancers motions would affect the space. Their space seemed to have weight, their space had energy. Really powerful!”
James Sutton (2012)
“Excellent technical, clean and passionate performers.” - Mary Carbonara (2010)
“Bold, confident, powerful dancing. Powerful classically grounded technique.” - Bill Evans (2010)
“Mysteriously dramatic and beautifully danced.” - Stephen Koester (2004)
“Brilliant performing by entire ensemble. They created a poetic resonance on stage.” - Doug Elkins (2004)
California State University, Fullerton has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance since 1982.
In the News
Welcome to the Department of Theatre and Dance
Students reflect on dancing through the pandemic
CSU, Fullerton’s Dance Program celebrates our resilient students and their many achievements this year. The lessons learned from the wholistic teaching of our dedicated Dance Faculty transcend the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of our student’s reflections on their experiences:
“I cannot begin to explain how much I have learned about mindfulness this semester. I honestly feel that if mindfulness wasn’t (in our) curriculum, I would’ve struggled a lot more than I was already. With learning mindfulness, I was able to also learn about myself. I learned new ways to deal with my stress instead of overwhelming myself. I also learned how to regulate my emotions a little better and understand them too. This new exploration of my mental health really benefit my dance life and my personal life too. Even though we didn’t have classes in studio, I feel like my brain still went into “studio mode” and I would have one mindset for class but then a different one once we logged off. Eventually I realized it and had to teach myself."
As I read through the series of journals I wrote throughout this semester I found a lot of self-discovery and growth within my writing. I learned what it is like to be challenged by dance in a way I have never felt before and I cannot say it has been easy. This semester has been one that has tested my limits but proven to me no matter what happens my passion for the art of dance remains untouched.
Yoga days really helped because it was during the times I was stressing. Maintaining mindfulness is something I will keep with my everyday life. It is so grounding and necessary to check in on myself. I also will be more performative in all my classes and really utilized my technique. I am eager to continue my training with the dance program and see how much my dancing improves.
I am very grateful for all of the support all of my peers, professors, and family have given me. It has given me the motivation to finish the semester strong. I am fully confident in my dancing ability and have noticed improvement in areas that I would not have improved if we were to be in person.
This modern course definitely changed me as a dancer. The mindfulness and dance techniques we learned challenged me at first, but I was motivated to keep going until I got things right. I wish to do it again and again. This was the best class for me to wake up to. I was genuinely hungry to learn. Despite the heaviness I would feel in the morning, this class always woke me up. I felt energized every time I left the meeting
Being mindful of emotions has changed how I learn, create and share art with others in the "studio" and out in the world, it has broadened my view of dance.
One of the things that I am very proud of is my use of breath and how it has improved over the semester. I started off only using my breath when I was instructed to or I was thinking about it. Now, I am using my breath for almost everything and I am getting better at not thinking about it. I feel more connected to my movement and my body feels better and more comfortable doing exercises. The time we take to breath at the beginning and end of class helped me to prepare myself for class and for the rest of my day.
Being mindful while dancing is a very new concept for me. I never thought about my mindfulness in class before I started dancing at CSUF. I love that each of my dance professors had mindfulness activities for us to do throughout the semester. When I am more mindful, I dance better, I am more positive, I feel better at the end of class, and my dancing is more enjoyable to watch. Mindfulness leads to artistry.
I am so glad I have been able to realize just how much I have learned during this difficult time in history.
The information that I learned in class could be utilized everywhere. I think it's important to constantly synthesize one's experiences and interpret them so that they could be used elsewhere.
The perseverance I learned in class can help me push past a conflict or tough time. The expression in class could help me not only in my artistic practices, but showing love or kindness to those around me. Mindfulness is a valuable form of introspection and making sense of the world. What I am learning now is much more than just technique, but skills that will help me thrive in life for years to come.
Over this virtual semester I’ve come to quite a few “aha moments”… When I’m really focusing on the task at hand, I find myself more awake and alert, as well as more physically challenged. Secondly, applying my breathing to my dancing helps with stress and my overall performance as a dancer.
In the News
Absence Project for Summer 2020
I invited my CSU, Fullerton students from last semester, plus some recent Dance Program graduates to join me in learning a solo, creating a video-dance and using that to engage with the community. The purpose of the project was to empower our CSU, Fullerton Dancers, and create a vehicle for them to engage in our art, share it, and help to bring positive changes to our world. For the project, I choose Colin Connor’s poignant solo Absence Is Never Far, which was first created during the AIDS epidemic. These dancers and this work can remind us that each moment we share is precious. -- Debra Noble
Graham Technique Leaps Into Spring Dance Theatre
Halfway through a busy fall semester, Katie Munder and some of her fellow dance majors found a weeklong window in which to learn an energy-fueled piece with the help of Liberty Harris, rehearsal director for Dance Kaleidoscope.
Alvin Rangel-Alvarado, associate professor of dance, grew up in Puerto Rico and wanted to become an aerospace engineer.
Why Introverts Make Great Dancers
Catie Robinson, a dance major, recently wrote this article for Dance Magazine, on introverts in the dance industry.
The Dance Program is committed to fostering a full experience for each of our students. We mindfully respect and value students of every race/ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, body type, political view and religion. Each of our student’s unique experiences, beliefs and values brings an awareness and consciousness that contributes greatly to our community of learners. We as a faculty pledge to listen, learn and respond by seeking out meaningful steps to treat every member of our community with respect. We are continuously evolving our program, policies, and practices to ensure that all individuals are supported, nurtured, and thriving. Land Acknowledgement The Department of Theatre and Dance acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation.
We pay our respects to the Indigenous land caretakers past, present, and emerging. For more information please visit the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe website