Dance Minor

"Dance can be physically and mentally challenging and at the end of the day it is so much fun."

Emelie Ahrendsen '19

Train to become a versatile dancer

At Cornell, you can immerse yourself in all aspects of dance One Course At A Time. You might spend one 18-day course developing your own choreography. In the next 18 days, you might take a master workshop on the Martha Graham technique with a guest artist. And you’ll see how it all works together in a musical theatre performance where you act, sing, and dance.

Performers with a wide range of dance techniques find more opportunities. For this reason, Cornell’s theatre and dance faculty teach across the spectrum of movement. The more training in performance (acting, dance, choreography), the better prepared you are to work in the demanding arts industry, which seeks out multi-talented artists.

You’ll learn modern dance techniques, but, you won’t stop at modern dance. You’ll take on hip hop, then jazz, or maybe you’ll tackle ballet and follow with musical theatre. Combining a dance minor with a BFA in musical theatre can set the stage for a prolific career in performance. With a wide range of experience, you will be able to step into any role on stage that the industry is seeking.

One Course

Step by step

Cornell students perform in Triggered.

Move to the beat

You will have the opportunity to perform in two mainstage productions every year, so you start gaining experience right away. In addition to your dance courses and performances, you’ll connect with and be mentored by guest artists in workshops and master classes. We prepare you through intensive technique and performance-focused courses covering:

  • Jazz
  • Musical Theatre
  • Ballet
  • Contemporary modern dance
  • Acting

"The body is a multivalent vessel."

Alvon Reed, Dance Artist in Residence

We want to see you

Audition for a dance scholarship

Dancing is poetry in movement

Dancing is technique personified. The art of performance is moving beyond the technique, connecting yourself to the greater cannon of dance. You will spend time exploring, investigating, thinking critically, and learning to take risks. When you take a risk you can go further than the limitations you set upon yourself. 

You will benefit from the relationships that faculty have within the international dance community as well as the art and entertainment industry. Faculty bring three to four guest artists to Cornell each year. And while they’re here, you’ll get individual attention from successful professionals actively working in the industry.

Some recent guest artists included:

  • Angi Di Sannio, an international choreographer from Munich, Germany
  • Dassy Lee, season 14 contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance”
  • Duane Lee Holland, Assistant Professor of Dance at Boston Conservatory; former dancer in Disney’s “The Lion King” and Rennie Harris’ Puremovement, “Hot Feet”
  • Ethel Calhoun, West African choreographer and dancer
  • Jesse Factor, former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company; MFA candidate at the University of Iowa
  • Ramon Flowers, Assistant Professor of Dance at Butler University; former dancer with Frankfurt Ballet, Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Cats”
  • Adam McKinney, Assistant Professor of Dance, Texas Christian University; former dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Bejart Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet
  • Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Artistic Director of Elisa Monte Dance

Take a look at our performance spaces

Cornell students dance and perform in Triggered.

Take center stage

You can earn a dance minor or you can create your own dance major. At Cornell, you can develop your own liberal arts degree program, an individualized major, earning a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or a bachelor of special studies (B.S.S.). You might declare a B.S.S. in dance, in theatre and dance, in production and dance, or you might combine dance with another academic area of study altogether, like dance for social change.

At Cornell, you can work with your academic advisor to craft a major that targets your specific career goals.

It's your cue.

Ready to step into the spotlight?