Ohio University

Master of Arts in Community Dance

Cultivating community through dance.

Master of Arts in Community Dance

In the Community Dance model, dance professionals engage with community participants through collaborative, inclusive practices that emphasize positive experiences and human diversity. Our program emphasizes the creative process in dance as a form of research and collaboration. In this model, dance is an adaptable, inclusive, socially relevant practice. 

Community Dance is a rapidly growing professional and academic field. Our M.A. program is the first in the United States in this hybrid, dynamic field. Our curriculum develops professionals who are knowledgeable, effective, creative advocates for dance as an inclusive and diverse practice. As a graduate, you will be prepared to apply that knowledge in practical community settings, to conduct original research, and to write funding proposals. You will be ready to explain the value of dance participation, and to lead dance experiences that foster community and enhance civic responsibility.

New research confirms the value of dance participation for children, youth, seniors, people of multiple abilities, people struggling with substance abuse or domestic abuse, people who need to feel connected to others through the joy of movement – in other words, everyone!

This program builds on the excellence and resources of the Ohio University School of Dance, an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance. Our BFA and BA programs provide a rich culture of studio practice, performance, inquiry, and creative activity in which graduate students can deepen their artistry while developing competencies as teachers, community arts practitioners, arts administrators, and leaders.

Students in the M.A. in Community Dance can also complete the Arts Administration Graduate Certificate, offered through the College of Fine Arts, by taking three additional courses. This program develops competencies in public relations, cultural policy, marketing, advocacy, strategic thinking, and resource development.

Click here to see Dance Magazine's profile on this groundbreaking MA, why Community Dance matters, and the career opportunities it offers.

Opportunities for Graduates

  • Teaching Artist in outreach programs such as those with Parkinson’s Disease, Community Action programs such as those focusing on domestic abuse shelters, anti-violence programs
  • Director of dance school or studio
  • Community-engaged Dance Artist/Choreographer
  • Arts administrator
  • Community youth group leader
  • Director of dance/movement program for senior center
  • Community Engagement Director for dance companies and non-profit dance organizations
  • Teaching Artist in community arts centers, dance companies, museums, pre-K-12 private and 
  • public schools, and other organizations
  • Dance Integration Specialist

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