Dance (Contemporary Dance Concentration), BA

College of Fine Arts

Program Description:

The Bachelor of Arts in Dance presents a broad perspective on dance training within a liberal arts context. Students completing the B.A. in Dance are well prepared to pursue both graduate work and professional careers in Dance Education, Dance History/Criticism and Dance Performance. The B.A. has two areas of concentration: Contemporary Dance and Flamenco. Students who choose the Flamenco concentration will be advised to participate for two summers in the annual Flamenco Festival held on the University of New Mexico campus each June. The program also offers minors in Dance, Flamenco, and World Dance. Auditions to be accepted as a Dance major are the last Saturday of January. Faculty dance concert and guest artist auditions are mandatory for all dance majors and are held Tuesday evenings. Dance majors are required to perform in these works if cast.

Dance Program Mission

The mission of the Dance Program at The University of New Mexico is to promote healthy physical practices in dance, encourage artistic exploration that can successfully encompass interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to performance, enhance critical thinking skills that connect theory and practice, and provide an educational landscape that develops multicultural academic and artistic perspective. The Dance Program endeavors to create knowledgeable and skillful dancers, guiding student academic and career goals to align with student affinities and abilities. The vision of the program is to provide the most current, experimental, and sophisticated choreography curriculum and productions in the southwest, and to explore and value the rich tradition of dance history as a living legacy for the contemporary artist/scholar. The program promotes and utilizes national and international faculty connections for student academic and professional experience while offering theatre and dance.

The University of New Mexico Dance program offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance, a Master of Arts degree in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis in Dance History/Criticism and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. The B.A. and M.A. degrees prepare students for further study both in and out of academia and for careers in the Dance field as artists, scholars, teachers and professionals. The M.F.A. degree is designed to serve a small and select population of emerging artists wishing to prepare for professional careers in performance, choreography, and teaching.


Admission Requirements:

To be eligible for admission as a declared major in the College of Fine Arts, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 26 hours of earned credit.

  2. A grade point average of at least 2.50 in all hours attempted or, a grade point average of at least 2.50 in the last 30 hours attempted.

  3. Competency in English writing as demonstrated by: achieving a score of 26 or higher on the English section of the ACT examination or 610 SAT verbal, or completion of ENGL 101 with a grade of C or better, or receiving credit through Advanced Placement Exam.

  4. Competency in Mathematics as demonstrated by: achieving a score of 22 or higher on the Math section of the ACT examination or 510 SAT math, or completion of MATH 120 or Math 101 and 102 with a grade of C or better, or placement into college-level Math by Compass exam.

  5. Completion of 12 credit hours of course work in the major area with at least a 2.5 grade point average.

  6. Students seeking the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Music Education degree must also have approval to concentrate in the appropriate instrument or voice. Refer to the Music section for additional admission requirements to the instrumental and voice programs and the Bachelor of Music Education program.

  7. Students seeking the Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media must also be admitted through the IFDM selection process and have completed the first two IFDM core courses with grades of C or better.

  8. Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Dance must also be approved to enter the program by audition/interview. Contact the Theatre and Dance department office for further details.

If you plan to major in one of the departments in the College of Fine Arts, you should transfer to the college as soon as the above requirements have been completed. To apply for transfer, go to the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center located in the Center for the Arts, room 1102, to obtain and submit the application for admission as a declared major. Applications are accepted during the fall and spring semesters.


Transfer Agreements:

If you are transferring to the University of New Mexico after having studied at another college or university, you may be eligible for admission directly into the College of Fine Arts. In general, the screening procedures and admission requirements are the same as those described above for admission to become a declared major.

Career Opportunities:

Dancers express ideas, stories, rhythm, and sound with their bodies. They use a variety of dance forms that allow free movement and self-expression, including classical ballet, modern dance, and culturally specific dance styles. UNM offers a Bachelor of Arts in Dance that “presents a broad perspective on dance training within a liberal arts context. Students are well prepared to pursue both graduate work and professional careers in dance education, dance history/criticism and dance performance. The Flamenco Focus is the only program in the United States to offer a fully developed curriculum in Flamenco Dance technique” (from UNM Dance Dept. website). 

Students develop wide-ranging skills that can be applied in a wide range of occupations, including the performing arts. “The dance major’s presentation skills, ability to perform in public, and control of the body provides a solid basis for working effectively with others. Dance also develops the ability to concentrate intensely, listen introspectively, observe keenly, sol problems creatively, think critically, collaboratively develop a project, work independently, work under pressure, meet deadlines, and maintain composure when faced with the unexpected” (from University of Texas – Austin Fine Arts Career Services website). A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum formal education required. Some areas may require a graduate degree, or may assist employment in highly competitive areas. 


Contact Information:

College of Fine Arts Student Success & Advisement Center:
(505) 277-4817
finearts@unm.edu