Dance (BFA)

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major: Dance
Program Code: 3267

About This Major . . .

The Department of Theatre Arts offers one of the most successful training degree programs in Colorado. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance is focused on helping students acquire a sound understanding of the performing arts in state-of-the-art facilities.

Dance at CMU is thriving, with an array of dance styles, performance opportunities and travel. Modern, jazz, ballet and tap are offered from beginning to professional levels. Other courses include composition, improvisation, pedagogy, history, music analysis, healthy dancer and repertory performance.

The faculty members have professional backgrounds in all forms of dance and musical theatre. With four dance concerts a year, Colorado Mesa University provides students with a chance to choreograph original works and to dance for and with visiting guest artists from the professional dance world. Students travel throughout the United States to share the art of dance with other universities and colleges. Dance at Colorado Mesa University features courses with an emphasis on positive reinforcement from challenging professors and a strong technical foundation. It is a place where dancers can establish lifelong relationships as they strive for excellence in the art of dance.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Communicate verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication)
  2. Communicate non-verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication)
  3. Create progressively more challenging projects through the use of intellectual and/or practical skills. (Applied Learning)
  4. Demonstrate teamwork and problem solving skills through collaboration and cooperation on creative projects. (Critical Thinking)
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and versatility of the discipline from conceptualization to application. (Applied Learning)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Foundation Courses

(12 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher.)

THEA 153Acting I: Beginning Acting3
DANC 225The Healthy Dancer3
Two consecutive classes in the same foreign language 16
Total Semester Credit Hours12

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(58 semester hours, must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area).

Core Courses
Dance Core
DANC 250Dance Improvisation2
DANC 255Choreography3
DANC 310Dance Pedagogy3
DANC 315History and Philosophy of Dance I3
DANC 316History and Philosophy of Dance II3
DANC 328Music Analysis for Dance3
THEA 401Career Preparation3
DANC 494Senior Dance Capstone3
Ballet Technique Courses
Select three of the following:6
Ballet IIA
Ballet IIB
Ballet IIIA
Ballet IIIB
Ballet IVA
Ballet IVB
Jazz Technique Courses
Select three of the following:6
Jazz IIA
Jazz IIB
Jazz IVA
Jazz IVB
Tap Technique Courses
Select three of the following:6
Tap I
Modern Technique Courses
Select three of the following:6
Modern I
Modern IIA
Modern IIB
Modern IIIA
Modern IIIB
Modern IVA
Modern IVB
Additional Technique Courses
Select four additional semester hours of technique (excluding performance courses)4
Performance/Choreography Options
Select four of the following:4
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Choreography Practicum I
Choreography Practicum II
Choreography Practicum III
Dance Support Courses
Select three semester hours from any Theatre or Dance course3
Total Semester Credit Hours58

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 upper division hours. 13 semester hours, additional hours of upper division may be needed.

Select electives13
Total Semester Credit Hours13
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
THEA 153 Acting I: Beginning Acting 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
KINA Activity 1
Performance Option 1
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
DANC 225 The Healthy Dancer 3
DANC 250 Dance Improvisation 2
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
DANC 255 Choreography 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
Performance Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
DANC 310 Dance Pedagogy 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
Dance Technique Course 2
General Electives 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
DANC 328 Music Analysis for Dance 3
Dance Technique Course 2
General Elective 2
Performance Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
DANC 315 History and Philosophy of Dance I 3
THEA 401 Career Preparation 3
Dance Technique Course 2
General Elective 3
Performance Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
General Electives 4
DANC 494 Senior Dance Capstone 3
Dance Technique Course 2
Support Course 3
DANC 316 History and Philosophy of Dance II 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.