Our faculty and staff are committed to creating an inclusive, student-centered community where you will discover educational pathways that reflect and expand upon your creative potential, intellectual curiosity and career aspirations. We offer a holistic approach to the study of dance that integrates coursework in dance history and ethnography, dance science, design and production, and pedagogy with dance-making, physical training, and an array of immersive creative and research opportunities. Through these experiences, our faculty seeks to equip each of our graduates with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to engage in the dynamic field of dance and to contribute to its vitality as artists, scholars, educators, and advocates.
Where We Came From
CSULB 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. CSULB 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. Working alongside Department Chair Betsy Cooper, the full full-time faculty include Rebecca Bryant, Colleen Dunagan, Keith Johnson, Lorin Johnson, Rebecca Lemme, Julio Medina, Sophie Monat, Andrew Vaca, and Brooke Winder. A highly valued group of staff and part-time faculty complete the picture by enhancing curricula in areas of:
- performance and technique
CSULB 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 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. CSULB Dance 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. 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 CSULB Dance is the 90,000 square foot 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.
Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Action:
CSULB faculty and staff stand in solidarity with our BIPOC students and commit ourselves to creating a space where BIPOC artists are empowered to fulfill their artistic and educational goals. To do so we must first acknowledge that the history of dance in US higher education is rooted in curricula, policies, and practices that have systematically restricted and excluded BIPOC bodies from participation. We commit ourselves to creating policies and procedures that are anti-racist, just, and humane, as we continue the work of creating aesthetic equity in our curriculum, audition practices, and pedagogies.