For Future Students

Welcome to the St. Olaf Dance Department

Dance students at St. Olaf will find:

  • A student-centered, non-competitive program with opportunities for majors and non-majors alike to take classes and audition for all performing companies
  • Two performance venues and three beautiful studios with full video, sound, and technology support systems
  • Live music for ballet, modern, and the African Diaspora in Contemporary Dance classes
  • Emphasis on experiential anatomy and body awareness
  • Faculty who have a range of professional dance experience, with strong connections to the vibrant Twin Cities dance community
  • One of only two colleges in the state that is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance

The studies and experiences provided by the Dance Department guide students toward lives and careers with strong physical, creative, and analytical skills at their foundation. Dance majors come away from St. Olaf with the ability to manage, direct, and perform with professional companies or as freelance artists. Some pursue graduate study in dance therapy, teaching, choreography, performance, or the somatic disciplines, while others enter related fields, such as the healing professions, arts management, psychology, environmental studies, and the media.

In short, a degree in Dance from St. Olaf engages students in the study of dance as a personal art, a cultural art, and a fine art, preparing them for a wide range of life and career possibilities.

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 global and social dance forms.  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 freelancing, on either coast. Others have pursued postgraduate study in a range of dance-related disciplines including choreography and performance, dance therapy or somatics. The B.A. in Dance prepares dance majors for a range of career and vocational options including performing, creating, teaching, and writing about dance, as well as integrating their dance studies’ skills and experiences into myriad other fields.