The Barnard College Department of Dance is the center for performance and research for all of Columbia University. All current Barnard, Columbia College or General Studies students may participate in the Department’s academic and artistic programming at any level – from beginner to advanced – and whether you are a major or not. Unlike other university dance departments, Barnard does not require its students audition to enroll in department courses or to declare a Dance major or minor. During the first week of each semester, Instructors will assess all students in studio/technique classes to ensure they are enrolled in the appropriate class level. The only formal audition the Department holds is for students interested in being cast in Department concerts. Audition information is announced here.
The Department regularly hosts virtual information sessions (typically in July, October, and April) for prospective and admitted students. This is the best forum for you to hear about Department programming and to ask current faculty and students questions. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be notified of the next virtual information session.
Prospective students should address questions about applications and campus visits to the appropriate admissions offices at Barnard and/or Columbia. Though Barnard and Columbia offer campus tours, the Department of Dance does not currently allow prospective students to observe dance classes nor does its faculty meet individually with prospective students. Please do not write to Dance faculty with inquiries nor send them resumes or links to performances. Faculty are not involved in admissions decisions and are unable to review or otherwise advise on your application. Please address all application questions directly to the appropriate admissions officer.
Admitted/incoming students may address questions to email@example.com
How can I take a tour of Barnard ?
For more information on admissions and visiting campus, please see the Admissions Office.
How many dance studios are there?
There are four dance studios on campus. All studios have sprung floors, professional floor surfaces, barres, and media systems. The Barnard Movement Lab is also affiliated with the Department of Dance.
Is there live accompaniment for dance courses?
Yes. Nearly all technique courses have live accompaniment.
Who can take a dance course?
Nearly all dance classes are open to all Columbia undergrads at Barnard College, Columbia College, School of General Studies of Columbia University, and SEAS. (Some courses, including Senior Capstone classes are limited to Dance Majors.) Graduate students may also register for a Dance class with permission of Instructor and in accordance with the policies of the program and school in which they are matriculated, by completing the Add/Drop Form.
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Can Barnard College students receive credit for dance technique classes?
One-point dance technique courses taken by non-dance majors for credit over and above the physical education requirement are included in the maximum of 18 points of studio, performing art, or professional school courses which may be credited toward the degree; a maximum of twelve courses in dance technique can be credited. (Dance majors have no limit, but cannot receive credit for a lower level after a higher or for the same level more than twice.) The default value for dance technique courses is 0; a student may receive academic credit for a dance technique class only if she has completed or is concurrently completing the Physical Education requirement, and only upon filling out the Request Credit for a Dance Technique Class in Slate. Ballet I and Modern I receive a P/F grade and have no prerequisite. Global and Somatic Forms courses require a placement audition at the first class meeting or permission of the instructor and are grade bearing courses.
How many dance courses can I take per semester?
You can take as many courses as will fit into your schedule.
How is level determined in technique courses?
The first class of the semester serves as an audition/placement class. Individual instructors determine whether students are the appropriate level for their course.
How many dance majors are there?
Approximately 1200 students take dance classes per week. There are approximately 30 majors and minors.
How many faculty members are there?
There are 7 full-time, 25 part-time and guest artists, and 3 full-time staff.
Are there performance opportunities?
Absolutely. Please check the Auditions page for current opportunities.
Can I major in two departments?
Yes. In fact, most dance majors are double majors.
Does Barnard provide career counseling?
Yes. Visit Beyond Barnard for all current information and internship opportunities.
What do dance majors do when they graduate?
Former dance majors become professional dancers, choreographers, doctors, teachers, professors, executives, art administrators, and everything else you could possibly imagine.
Can I audit a dance course?
No. All dance courses must be taken for credit and students must be officially enrolled in them through the Office of the Registrar.
Does a studio technique class fulfill a Physical Education requirement and how?
It can. Students are required to complete 122 points for the degree. Of those 122 points, a studio technique class fulfills the 1 course Barnard PE requirement and 2 may be used to fulfill the Columbia College requirement. Students must pass two courses (any combination of PE classes at BC or CU and/or varsity sports and/or dance technique), in different semesters, one by the end of the first year and the second by the end of the junior year. Students will receive 1 point for each of those courses, and may receive a maximum of 2 points for fulfilling the PE requirement. (Students entering as transfers but with fewer than 24 transfer credits are subject to this requirement.) Once a student has completed the PE requirement, she may receive credit for additional dance technique courses (see below), but she may not receive credit for any further PE courses that she takes.
Dance technique—for PE and for additional credit
Any student who has completed or is concurrently completing the PE requirement may receive credit for dance technique: no more than 2 points for the same level (e.g., Modern II), no credit for a lower level after receiving credit for a higher level (e.g., Modern II after receiving credit for Modern III), maximum of 12 points for non-Dance majors, unlimited for Dance majors. Credit for dance technique can come only after or concurrent with fulfillment of the PE requirement.
Example: a first-year who takes three dance technique courses in her first semester here and three in her second may receive credit for only one in the first semester (because she has not completed and is not concurrently completing the PE requirement) but may receive credit for all three in the second semester (1 point for PE and 2 for dance technique) depending on level. The maximum is 2 points (1 point for transfers) for courses in the PE department; only dance technique may receive more than 2 points.
It follows that a student who completes the PE requirement with dance technique, thus receiving 2 points for dance as PE, may receive an additional 12 points for dance technique, subject to the limits in the preceding paragraph. (A student who received 2 points for basketball, for example, may also receive an additional 12 points for dance. The 2 points for PE are not included in the dance technique maximum, whether or not they were taken in dance.)