Canada’s largest and most comprehensive dance program.
Theatre Students



We prepare dance professionals who are strong, innovative, articulate and thoughtful-who are engaged leaders in diverse communities.

From the beginning, the vision of the York University Dance Department has been to produce graduates who make important contributions to the field in all areas, including performance, choreography, teaching, writing, and research. To advance this mandate, the department has regularly revised and expanded its curriculum since opening its doors in September 1970. In that first-year, under the guidance of the founding Chair, Grant Strate, five faculty members welcomed the inaugural class of 32 majors. Not long after, in 1976, the department achieved another milestone when it launched Canada’s first master’s program in dance.

Theatre Students

Fast forward to today and the department of Dance also has a PhD and an MFA program. The field of Dance has broadened in the past 50 years to include technological advances that have pushed the field to new innovations in education, creation and dissemination. We have refined our curriculum offerings to respond to the current contemporary climate and to offer a spectrum of study options that will serve our students for the future. Our alumni represent the full range of active dance professionals––creative and performing artists, scholars, educators and administrators––who contribute significantly to diverse cultural scenes locally, nationally and internationally.

The faculty members in York’s Department of Dance are committed to student-centered, experiential learning. Our courses are designed with the diversity of our student population in mind, and students’ multiple ways of learning. We put knowledge into action, providing students with studio, lecture, and seminar experiences that will facilitate deep embodied and intellectual learning. Our mission is to inspire, develop and enhance creative and critical thinking.

Our curriculum is focused on preparing students for a range of dance-related professions and the step-by-step building of the transferable skills they will need to succeed. In addition to studio dance technique which we view as the basis of all our undergraduate degrees, we also train our students in critical thinking and writing. Such skills will provide a strong foundation for whatever career graduates may choose. Above all else, we aim to inspire leadership skills in our students, so they go out into the world prepared to be active innovators in the global field of dance.


McLean Performance Studio


A Brief History

The Dance Department is founded by Grant Strate.
The Department of Dance establishes the first Master’s program in Dance in Canada.
The York Dance Ensemble (YDE) is founded by Donna Krasnow and debuts with a staging of José Limón’s A Choreographic Offering. Current YDE Artistic Director Susan Lee was in this first ensemble.
The Accolade buildings (East and West) are built, greatly expanding the Faculty and creating the facilities in which the Department of Dance now resides.
The Faculty of Fine Arts changes its name to the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD).
Theatre at York, the YDE, and the Digital Media Program collaborate to produce a multimedia performance of Aristophes’ The Birds directed by Yvette Nolan.
Dance Student’s Association (DSA) launches Bloom, a showcase of student work.


People of Dance


Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt

Associate Professor

Mary Fogarty

Associate Professor

Danielle Robinson

Assistant Professor

Bridget Cauthery

Assistant Professor

Catherine Glasser

Course Director

Terril Maguire

Course Director

Tracey Norman

Course Director

Keiko Kitano Thomson


Patrick Alcedo

Associate Professor

Modesto Mawulolo Amegago

Assistant Professor

Susan Lee

Jennifer Jimenez

Contract Faculty

Tanya Berg

Suzanne Liska

Contract Faculty

Evadne Kelly

Syreeta Hector

Contract Faculty

Jessica Runge

Contract Faculty

Jonathan Osborn


Getting Involved

Dance Students Association

Dance Students Association (DSA): The DSA is a student-run association that encourages and coordinates services and activities to enhance the University experience for students in the Department of Theatre.

Creative Arts Student Association

Creative Arts Student Association: Representing students in all areas of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, the Creative Arts Student Association (CASA) sponsors events throughout the year, including coffee houses in the Fireside Lounge every Wednesday with free coffee and themed snacks.