Subject at Iowa

Iowa Dance: Artistic and academic leadership for the 21st century

The University of Iowa Department of Dance immerses students in dance: as a practice, performance, and field of study, fostering students’ discovery of their unique aesthetic and critical body/voices as dance artists.

The program provides comprehensive education in dance performance, choreography, and theoretical studies. We approach studio-based training, scholarship, and creative research, in the framework of a liberal arts education, tailoring each student’s learning journey to their specific talents and interests. Embracing a diversity of dance techniques and aesthetic points of view, dance faculty engage with students as collaborators in their creative and scholarly research.  

Integrating studies in dance and the liberal arts, the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs establish foundations for creative and intellectual development and cultivate multiple approaches to dance, career, and citizenship. Students take daily technique classes in Western classical and concert dance, complemented by courses in multicultural movement techniques, improvisation, choreography, dance history and theory, digital arts, kinesiology, pedagogy, and community engagement.

Through a vibrant artist residency program and partnership with Hancher Auditorium and the Office of Performing Arts and Engagement, students build bridges with visiting artists from the professional field. 

Our faculty engage in teaching and research to support and deepen the role of dance in higher education and in society. We foster a welcoming and inclusive learning and teaching environment, and our rigorous creative and scholarly research represents diverse aesthetics and viewpoints. We work closely with students through our coursework and our research, expanding the field of dance and developing young artists as creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Students have ample opportunities to perform in the work of faculty, guest artists, and fellow students, produce their own work, and collaborate with artists within the department and across the performing arts campus at Iowa.  

Our ongoing professional work enables us to bring valuable real-world insight into our classrooms and studios, and to connect students with experiential learning opportunities and career advancement.

The University of Iowa is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).


The only comprehensive
dance program in Iowa

94 %

6-month job/grad school placement rate

100 %

MFA students receiving fellowship/assistantship funding

Why Iowa?

Develop your artistry and your career in a supportive, creative community.

As a dance student at Iowa, you'll train rigorously and perform regularly while earning a well-rounded liberal arts education. You'll enjoy the resources that only a major university can offer and the support of the students and professors who are the Iowa Dance family. You'll prepare for a successful career and a fulfilling life.

The Iowa experience

Our professors are artistic and academic leaders who bring their extensive professional experience into Iowa's studios, classrooms, and performance venues.

Meet Our Faculty


We teach and conduct research in a liberal arts context to support and deepen the role of dance in higher education and in society.

Mission, Vision & Goals