About Dance

Our Program and Courses

Dance is a major and a minor at F&M. As a student of the program, you will study how to move and create, as well as analyze, write about, and evaluate dance. You will experience a balanced set of courses, which all incorporate studio and analytical components. 

You can also combine your dance studies with other disciplines in a joint or double major. Dance offers insight into and connections with many different fields, and students have completed joint and double majors with anthropology, biology, creative writing, economics, French, history, international studies, psychology and more. Working closely with the faculty, you can design a major that includes dance and caters to your interests.

By the time you graduate, you will be able to demonstrate: 

  • Proficiency in practice and performance
  • Understanding of analytical and theoretical approaches to dance
  • The ability to identify overarching themes in the study of dance, and to make connections as well as distinctions between dance and other disciplines. 
  • Proficiency in understanding dance in various cultures, settings, and historical periods. 
  • The ability to both collaborate and lead effectively in a manner that translates to the professional arena

Wondering what dance courses are like? Explore our course catalog to see what classes are available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Rachel E Anderson-Rabern

Associate Professor of Theatre, Theatre Program Co-Director, Department Chair of Theatre & Dance

Comparative Literary Studies; Theatre & Dance; Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

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Bonnie Bosso

Theatre Production & Public Relations Manager

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Jennifer L Conley

Associate Professor of Dance, Dance Program Director

Theatre & Dance

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Zakiya Cornish

Adjunct Instructor, Theatre and Dance

Theatre & Dance

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Melissa Edwards

Production Support

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Emily Liberatore

Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager

Theatre & Dance

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Robert Marenick

Resident Technical Director

Theatre & Dance

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Jacob Sikorski

Lighting and Scenic Design Artist

Theatre & Dance

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Brian T Silberman

Professor of Theatre, Theatre Program Co-Director

Theatre & Dance

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Pamela S Vail

Professor of Dance

Theatre & Dance

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Wilson Whiting

Production Support

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Learning Outside the Classroom

With F&M’s many research and study abroad offerings, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to step outside the classroom and apply what you’ve learned to the world around you.

Research Opportunities 

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. Dance students have embarked on original research that involves performance, choreography, writing, digital modes, and more. Students have the option to seek honors in dance for outstanding independent work done in the senior year. The Nolt Award is a funding source that can help to support  your creative work on a dance project to share with the greater F&M community. There are additional general College funding resources available for student research.
Explore research at F&M

Performance Opportunities

Fall Dance Concert

Each fall, you’ll find an exciting opportunity to step on F&M’s Schnader Theatre stage for the Fall Dance Concert. This popular event features choreography by F&M faculty and guest artists in a range of styles. 

Spring Dance Concert

An exciting variety of styles and student voices are presented on the Schnader Theatre stage each spring. The Spring Dance Concert features student choreography, and offers the opportunity for both performance and choreography. 

Off-Campus Study

Studying abroad is a profound way to experience dance in other countries and cultures. F&M students have visited New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, England, Germany, India, Peru, South Africa, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, and France.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Our Facilities

When studying dance at F&M, you will have the opportunity to create, practice, and perform in our world-class performing arts facilities. 

The Roschel Performing Arts Center

The Roschel Performing Arts Center is the main-stage theatre on campus. It’s home to the Schnader Theatre, two spacious dance studios, a drama studio, a box office, dressing rooms, a costume shop, and a scenery shop.

The Schnader Theatre

Located in the Roschel Performing Arts Center, the Schnader Theatre has seating for 305 while maintaining an intimate feel. With state-of-the-art technology, a pit that can fit a small orchestra, and a thrust stage that’s larger than two-thirds of most Broadway stages, the Schnader Theatre is the perfect location for both professional and college productions.

Green Room Theatre

Join the ranks of F&M students who have walked the Green Room Theatre stage, including big-screen actors Roy Scheider ’55 of Jaws ; director James Lapine ’71, a three-time Tony Award winner; and theatrical literary agent Jonathan Lomma ’99, who worked with Stephen Spielberg on the 2021 award-winning production of West Side Story

Located in the lower level of F&M’s Keiper Liberal Arts Building, the Green Room Theatre has seating for 205 and hosts faculty- and student-led theatrical and dance performances, and even student video productions. The theatre opened in 1937 and was named for the Green Room drama club, which was founded in 1899. The current iteration of the club continues to produce a variety of theatrical performances, including dramas, musicals, and everything in between.

Success Beyond F&M

What can you do with a liberal arts degree in dance? Our graduates are prepared to pursue advanced degrees or begin their chosen careers from day one. The creative and intellectual activities that make up the study of dance — including cultural sensitivity, collaborating with others, and out-of-the-box problem-solving — help you develop useful and productive skills valuable for any post-college plan.

Graduate School

Many F&M dance graduates have been accepted into graduate-level programs, pursuing advanced degrees in dance performance and choreography (MFA), dance movement therapy, arts management, dance kinesiology, specialized dances studies (PhD), nutrition, and more.

Career Paths

With a degree in dance from F&M, you’ll find you’re abundantly prepared for careers in the arts realm and beyond. Having a degree in dance means that you have developed strong skills in creativity, collaboration, independent thinking, organization, and critical problem-solving to name a few — all that can be applied in any profession. Recent graduates embark on a number of exciting career paths, holding positions in the field such as: 

  • Professional Dancer/Choreographer
  • Dance Movement Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Dance Historian
  • Screendance Director/Creator
  • Dance Teacher (K-12 and independent community schools)
  • Dance Writer 
  • Stage Manager
  • Professor of Dance
  • Professor of Theatre
  • Theatre Director

Others have spread to a wide range of careers, from doctors to computer scientists to entrepreneurs, and they all acknowledge their dance studies as crucial to their success.

Current Season

Discover the exciting events we have planned for this season — and how you can attend!

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“Dance brought me to life, and I can’t help but see it bring others to life as well.”

“Dance brought me to life, and I can't help but see it bring others to life as well. It amplifies our emotions by begging us to feel with our entire body. It's quite a refreshing contrast to a culture that often demands us to feel things only superficially.” — Kendall Lipham ’23

Related Fields of Study

Arts for Social Change (Certificate)

This certificate will help you deepen your understanding of the arts as mediums for impacting culture, community, politics, education, and more. Arts for Social Change spans F&M’s dynamic arts disciplines, uniting the ethos of community-building with artistic practice that foregrounds innovation and action.

Music

Join a time-honored tradition of studying music in an intellectually engaging liberal arts environment. Studying music at F&M means that you’ll not only cultivate an appreciation of the artistry, creation and performance of music, but also develop a deep understanding that music is inextricably linked to world cultures.

Theatre

Thrive in one of the oldest art forms in the world, and discover how global traditions permeate today. By studying theatre at F&M, you’ll explore the intersection of theory and performance; engage in craft, creativity, and critical thinking; and discover the importance of each role in production, developing a deep understanding that there truly are no small parts.

F&M Dance in the Spotlight

March 29, 2023

Bank Prize Winner Ponders Love and Language

Inspiration is a great place to begin writing a story — but not enough to sustain it. Writer Camille Acker delivered insightful advice at a March 23 craft talk and selected Franklin & Marshall junior Grace Celi, an English major and dance minor, as the winner of this year's Jerome Irving Bank Memorial Short Story Prize.

January 11, 2023

'Dance Brought Me to Life': Meet Kendall Lipham '23

As winter break comes to a close, a group of thespians is hard at work rehearsing the first Franklin & Marshall production of Meet sen Kendall Lipham, director of the latest F&M Players musical theater production

November 6, 2020

Campus Musical Brings the Big Stage Outside

It was only fitting that Franklin & Marshall College's Go-Go themed musical commenced with "We Got The Beat." The cast of "Head Over Heels" certainly didn't miss one, despite a pandemic-disrupted rehearsal process. Student performers successfully delivered the first outdoor performance ever staged at the Winter Visual Arts Center over True Blue Weekend.