As a laboratory for creative research, University of Minnesota Dance faculty, along with invited guest artists, mentor students far beyond dance studio walls. Dance faculty and full-time instructional staff are artistic leaders of four established professional dance companies in the Twin Cities dance community; Ananya Dance Theatre, Black Label Movement, Shapiro & Smith Dance, and TU Dance, among others.
Dance students engage with creative and scholarly research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and other college and campus initiatives that support one-on-one research with faculty and instructors.
The Twin Cities has long fostered an extensive and diverse dance environment that supports a vast range of styles and aesthetics, and is considered by many to be one of the most thriving dance communities in the country. Proximity to this artistic community promotes collaboration with local arts organizations and professional bridging experiences for students, including apprenticeships with dance companies, internships with arts organizations, teaching opportunities, and access to performance venues.
Formal artistic partnerships are created in the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance RiCAP program (Reimagining Community and Arts Partnerships), which provides professional performance experience with local dance companies that include course credit and faculty mentorship.
Dance major students are strongly encouraged to see touring performances by national and global dance companies, as well dozens of local artists in multiple venues in the Twin Cities. Dance majors have access to masterclasses and discussions with touring artists, as well as Sage Cowles Land Grant Chair Visiting Artists and Scholars about their artistic paths, creative practices and the dance communities they call home.