The Mills Dance Department is at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area's large and dynamic urban dance community. Launched in 1938 as one of the first and most visionary dance programs in the country, dance at Mills uniquely trains students to be both artist-thinkers and refined practitioners competent in multiple dance idioms. The curriculum is designed to develop each dancer's technical, performance, and choreographic abilities while urging students to seek creative inspiration in the world around them. Within the broad context of liberal arts, students study dance history and theory and are introduced to some of the fundamental philosophical ideas of dance and culture studies.
Dance majors develop expertise in three areas: technique, choreography, and history/theory. Each arena is arranged progressively, allowing students to move from elementary to advanced levels in contemporary modern dance and ballet, the department's core areas of practice. Choreography classes are designed to become increasingly complex and varied over the course of study, while dance history and theory are arrayed chronologically, with knowledge building upon prior knowledge, preparing students for graduate studies should they wish.
In a program with a robust dance practice, dancers at Mills have many opportunities to perform their own work or the work of students, professors, and visiting artists in the Mills Repertory Dance Company (MRDC) concerts. Additional opportunities arise from BA and MFA thesis concerts. Undergraduates also benefit by working closely with the College's small, committed group of MFA and/or MA students. The Dance Department also forges new and ongoing collaborations with renowned dance artists of the Bay Area, affording students opportunities to work with esteemed local organizations. Additionally, national guest artists are invited to Mills to offer master classes and to choreograph for the annual repertory company season.
For more information on graduate studies in dance, see the Graduate Catalog.
Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
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