For Future Students

Welcome to the St. Olaf Dance Department

The Dance Department at St. Olaf College is a charter member and accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance, and is one of only two schools in the state of Minnesota to be an accredited institutional member.

We believe that dancing is moving, exploring, creating, AND knowing ourselves as whole people. Since time began, dance has threaded itself through the fabric of personal, social, cultural and religious traditions. It excites, invigorates, and entices us — echoing our life experiences. Dance reflects our human desire to shape feelings, ideas, and images with an artistic sensibility.


Creating dance opens up new connections within ourselves, with others, and with entire communities. At St. Olaf we lace together a dance experience which emphasizes the American modern dance tradition in its technical training while encouraging study and performance of styles and dances from world cultures. Performance opportunities range from mainstage productions to off campus events, from chapel services to informal showings.

In combining studio and theory work, the Dance major prepares students for a variety of career possibilities. Recent graduates have performed with professional companies in the Twin Cities and also with companies or free-lancing, on either coast. Others have pursued post-graduate study in a range of dance-related disciplines including choreography and performance, dance therapy or somatics. The emerging field of dance medicine will beckon many in the future, as will careers in arts/dance administration or teaching in public schools, private studios, or community service agencies. Dance in the church, either as a part of formal worship or through social-recreational events for youth, also provides a compelling career option for a number of St. Olaf graduates.