Mission & History

“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 Department of Dance 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. Today, our complement of more than one dozen full-time faculty members augmented by numerous part-time instructors allows the Department to offer a full spectrum of study options to over 250 dance majors pursuing BA and BFA degrees at the undergraduate level, as well as 45 students pursuing MA, MFA, and PhD degrees at the graduate level.