The Department of Dance at CSULB is a rigorous program that provides training in dance with a strong foundation in modern and ballet technique and choreography. Physical practice interfaces with theoretical study, placing dance in a historical, pedagogical, scientific, and cultural context. The varied degrees offered in the Department of Dance (BA, BFA, BA in Dance, Option in Dance Science, MA and MFA) challenge students to grow and contribute to society as artists and individuals.
About the Department
California State University, Long Beach was the first university within the California State University system to offer a B.A. in Dance degree. Today it is the only CSU campus to grant the Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts (professional degrees), as well as a Master of Arts degree specifically designed for dance educators. The Department of Dance has enjoyed steady growth since its inception in 1970, and has approximately 140 undergraduate dance majors, 15 M.A. candidates and 9 M.F.A. candidates. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) since 1982, CSULB Dance is driven by the wealth of expertise of our faculty and staff. Full-time faculty include Rebecca Bryant, Karen Clippinger, Colleen Dunagan, Keith Johnson, Lorin Johnson, Rebecca Lemme, Dori Levy, Sophie Monat, and Andrew Vaca. A highly valued group of staff and part-time faculty complete the picture by enhancing curricula in areas of performance and technique, choreography, design, research, technology, and teaching.
The CSULB Department of Dance strives to create well-rounded dancers with a strong base in modern dance and ballet, supported by courses in jazz technique, composition, improvisation, dance history, lighting and costuming design, music, pedagogy, body placement, and Pilates. Performance and choreographic opportunities are at the heart of the program. Within the Department there are three to five main stage concerts and several informal studio performances produced each academic year and are the primary venues for the development of student artistry and choreographic experimentation. Master classes and guest artist residencies occur each term to allow students to work closely with renowned teachers and choreographers. Additionally, there are abundant opportunities to study and view professional dance artists and companies at the many performance venues in the Los Angeles and Orange County area. The Department also participates annually in the regional festivals of the American College Dance Association, and has been selected to perform at the national festival held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. several times, most recently in 2012. For all dance majors, active participation in numerous Department activities enhances and supports classroom instruction and brings together our community of artists. Dance theory and technique courses are rich in contemporary concepts, aiding students to develop their potential in a dance community dedicated to the highest artistic standards.
The physical centerpiece of the Department of Dance is the 90,000 square foot CSULB Dance Center. Designed specifically for dance instruction and production, the Dance Center includes seven large studios, an instructional classroom, a state-of-the-art dance clinic, a Pilates training facility, a computer and video lab, a large costume design shop, a sound production studio, and the intimate Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater. Nowhere in the United States will you find a larger or more all-embracing facility dedicated to the study of dance.