Majoring in Dance


Step into dance at Connecticut College, and you discover a program shaped by some of the most notable names in the field. The American Dance Festival was held here for 30 years, establishing the College's reputation as a premier place to learn dance. You get the best of all worlds – a strong liberal arts education with an equally strong, comprehensive, supportive and demanding dance program that encourages interdisciplinary exploration. We are close to New York City, Boston and Providence and bring many guest artists and performances to campus. Our company-in-residence, David Dorfman Dance, teaches classes and choreographs works with students for a two-week period each semester. Recent guests include Kyle Abraham, Monica Bill Barnes and Faye Driscoll.

Personalized learning

You are exposed to three levels of choreography and a variety of techniques, including modern, Afro-Caribbean, West African, improvisation and ballet. Most importantly, you are encouraged to find a singular voice for your artistry. Dance is a universal language and we hope you study abroad. Options range from Europe to Australia and India. You also have an opportunity to intern with a dance company or arts group.

Dance Productions

You are able to participate in at least six dance productions each year through the Dance Department and student-run clubs. Each spring, senior majors produce their own concert, creating a budget and choreographing and publicizing the show. Dance companies are associated with five of our professors, providing additional opportunities for performance.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Dance?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Nicholas Leichter Dance
  • Time Out New York
  • New York Chinese Cultural Center
  • Big Dance Theater
  • Concord Hill School
  • Towson University
  • University of Hartford
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Stephen Pelton Dance Theater
  • Dance Therapist
  • Pilobolus
  • Anna Myer and Dancers
  • Clare Byrne Dance
  • Deborah Abel Dance Co.
  • New York University
  • Deborah Abel Dance Co.
  • Long Branch High School
  • Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Chengtian Entertainment International
  • Westchester Philharmonic


Shani Collins-Achille, Assistant Professor of Dance Shani Collins-Achille, Assistant Professor of Dance

Shani Collins-Achille, Assistant Professor of Dance
Dance theory and composition • West African dance and folklore • Somatic practices • Dance history

Heidi Henderson, Associate Professor of Dance Heidi Henderson, Associate Professor of Dance

Heidi Henderson, Associate Professor of Dance
Modern technique • Choreography • Improvisation • Anatomy • Dance writing

Lisa Race, Assistant Professor of Dance Lisa Race, Assistant Professor of Dance

Lisa Race, Assistant Professor of Dance
Contemporary dance technique • Dance improvisation • Composition and choreography

Rosemarie Roberts, Associate Professor of Dance Rosemarie Roberts, Associate Professor of Dance

Rosemarie Roberts, Associate Professor of Dance
Body, knowledge, power and difference • Dance studies • Intersection of arts and social justice in education • Social psychology of performance and dance

Richard Schenk, Musician/Composer for Dance Richard Schenk, Musician/Composer for Dance

Richard Schenk, Musician/Composer for Dance
Dance composition • Music for dance

Marya Ursin, Adjunct Instructor in Dance Marya Ursin, Adjunct Instructor in Dance

Marya Ursin, Adjunct Instructor in Dance
Yoga • Mask, myth, movement

Student profile

Aaron Samuel Davis Aaron Samuel Davis


Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied in Peru my junior year. I returned for a funded internship in Summer 2013 at the Afro-Peruvian Museum of El Carmen and the National Ballet of Peru in Lima. Peru's rich history in dance led me there. My honors thesis research stems from my experiences abroad.

Q: What types of research have you done?
A: I did my own independent research through honors study with the help of professors David Dorfman, Rosemarie Roberts and Leo Garofalo. My work explores the complexities between dance and tourism as it relates to Afro-Peruvian dance's rich aesthetic. I explore the relationship among race, tourism, and the destruction of Afro-Peruvian dance and the abolishment of its cultural principles.

Q: What are your future plans?
A: I plan to pursue an MFA in choreography while dancing professionally. Afterward, I intend to pursue a doctoral degree in performance studies.

Selected courses

  • Three Levels of Choreography, Dance Production
  • Music for Dance
  • Dance and Technology
  • Dance Writing
  • Acting for Dancers
  • Anatomy of Movement
  • Pedagogy
  • Compositional Improvisation
  • Embodied Resistance


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