School of Performing Arts: Dance

Performance Opportunities – Curricular and Co-Curricular

Throughout the year, the Department of Theatre and Dance regularly produces four mainstage productions including the faculty and guest artist dance performances that range from repertory dance concerts to evening length works of dance theatre, physical theatre and contemporary ballets. Dance ISU also regularly collaborates with the Music Department on musical theatre productions as well as various concerts with the Percussion Ensemble, ISU Bands and ISU Choirs. Student organized clubs such as Danson, APO, Swing Kids, Latin Club and more enjoy very active seasons as well.

Each year, Dance ISU attends the regional American College Dance Festival in March where students may perform in faculty works, have their own choreography performed and take classes from professional dance artists across the United States and abroad. In 2008 and 2010, choreographic works from ISU were chosen for the Gala Concerts in the region and selected for the ACDF National Gala Performance in New York and Washington D.C.

There are additional performance opportunities available to students of Theatre and Dance that emerge from our curricula such as DANC 1110 Elements of Movement, DANC 2210 Dance Composition I, DANC 3311 Theatre Movement Workshop, DANC 3301 Performance and Society, DANC 4410 Dance Composition II, DAAC 1182 Hip Hop Performance and DAAC 1115 Ballroom Performance.

Degree Programs in Dance at ISU

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography and Performance, the only degree program in Dance of its kind offered in the state of Idaho. Courses are designed following a contemporary liberal arts model with a focus in Choreography and Performance and supportive coursework in Technique, World Dance, Dance and Performance Theory, Dance Education, Technical Theater, Design, Technology, Music, Science and Arts Administration. Please follow this link for a complete description of our B.A. in Dance.

We also offer a Dance Minor. Both the Dance Major and Dance Minor may be taken by any university student. Please follow this link for a complete description of the minor in Dance.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Theatre and Dance has monetary awards and scholarships available each year. Scholarship auditions/portfolio reviews are held annually. After that time, some scholarships may be awarded on an availability basis. Other financial aid options, including general scholarships, grants, and loans, are available through the Idaho State University Financial Aid Office. Please follow this link for more information on Financial Assistance.



Dance Program Objectives

  • Empower students to build a lifelong engagement with the art of dance based upon a foundation grounded in sound pedagogical practice;
  • Train artists and educators who have strong technical foundations in contemporary and traditional forms of theatrical, educational, recreational and ritual dance;
  • Provide a variety of performance venues in traditional theatre settings, experimental theatre, site specific work and community outreach;
  • Provide opportunities for students to explore dance as a collaborative element of physical theatre and performance art;
  • Provide opportunities to be exposed to guest artists and scholars across arts disciplines, through guest residencies, conferences, festivals and cross disciplinary, intermedia collaborations across campus and the greater community;
  • Through participation in Theatre and Dance curricular and co-curricular offerings, students will:
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the elements of movement to analyze, describe and creatively manipulate movement and develop competency in the craft of improvisation and choreography;
    • Demonstrate an understanding of dance as a cultural, sociological, historical, and aesthetic phenomena, discipline and expression;
    • Demonstrate critical reading and writing skills that examine the performing arts as reflective and reflexive of culture;
    • Make connections with self and healthy living by developing a working knowledge of basic anatomy, kinesiology, somatic practices, injury prevention and nutrition;
    • Demonstrate a basic understanding of rhythmic analysis and a heightened awareness of musical form;
    • Demonstrate the skill of performance and the craft of choreography through participation in faculty and student productions;
    • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge in technical theater e.g. stagecraft, lighting, sound design, costume and makeup;
    • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the art and science of teaching dance;
    • Use technology to preserve and/or broaden the making of dance art;
    • Acquire a background in the business of the art such as company management, production, grant writing, and entrepreneurial pursuits


The Department of Theatre and Dance within the School of Performing Arts enjoys world class production facilities of the Beverly Bistline Theater, the Rogers Black Box Theater, and the Jensen Concert Hall in the Stephens Performing Arts Center; four beautiful dance studios in the Red Hill Building which are used for class/rehearsal space, student lounge, and the Pilates lab; and the newly renovated historical Chick and Diane Bilyeu Theater in Frazier Hall.

The history of Dance at ISU began under the umbrella of the Physical Education program in the College of Education. Under the direction of Dr. Marcia Lloyd, who retired in December 2001,  dance was developed into an education minor program within P.E. in 1988.  In 2004, the Dance program moved into the newly established Department of Theatre and Dance within the College of Arts and Sciences. Under the direction of Melanie Kloetzel, the dance minor expanded to include an emphasis in performance and choreography.

The present Dance program, referred to as Dance ISU, is housed in the Department of Theatre and Dance within the School of Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Letters and has been under the direction of Joséphine A. Garibaldi since 2008. Since that time, Dance ISU has continued to expand offering a full curriculum in preparation for the much anticipated Bachelor of Arts in Choreography and Performance.