For more information:

School of Dance

Putnam Hall 222
Athens, OH 45701

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College of Fine Arts

Jennings House 54 East Union St.
Athens, OH

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Undergraduate Admissions

120 Chubb Hall
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45710

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School of Dance  

The School of Dance is a place where people are actively engaged in dance as a creative art form. Our Bachelor of Fine Arts program centers on the development of choreographers and performers. Dancers take daily technique classes from seven full-time dedicated faculty members who guide individual development and provide careful academic and professional advising. Core studies in the B.F.A. emphasize modern dance and choreography supplemented by ballet, jazz, and African techniques and dance courses in production, history, kinesiology, music, teaching, Pilates®, Laban Movement Studies, and a senior project in choreography and performance. A strong visiting artist program offers students contact with leading dance artists and scholars through teaching and performance residencies.

Performance opportunities—on and off campus—in works choreographed by faculty, visiting artists, and students, provide the dancer with valuable production experience in a variety of theatrical settings. We produce a minimum of five formal concerts annually on the Athens campus and several off campus on tour. Students have the opportunity to perform and present their choreography in informal workshop presentations several times each quarter.

Admission to the dance program is by talent audition held in November or January. Audition for entrance to the major also identifies candidates for scholarship awards. The B.F.A. program enrolls 60­–75 dance majors. Dance minor programs enroll 10–15 students per year. The School of Dance offers all its courses in Putnam Hall, which houses the Shirley Wimmer Dance Theatre, six sprung floor studios, a sound production lab, costume shop, and computer video editing facilities. A student lounge provides a quiet study area in the building. The School of Dance is an accredited charter member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Career Opportunities

Dance graduates have distinguished themselves as award-winning choreographers for concert, theater, video and film, and fashion events; as dancers in companies or theatrical productions; as company managers, grant writers, or arts administrators; and as studio teachers in modern, ballet, jazz, or African technique. Graduates have established their own companies or become dancers in established companies. They own and operate their own dance studios and businesses. They are dance faculty at high schools and universities, outreach coordinators, and arts managers.

They have worked in stage production for dance in lighting, stage management, etc. They have completed advanced degrees at such institutions as University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and the University of Washington in such areas as dance ethnology, dance history and criticism, and dance performance and choreography. Dance graduates have gone on to earn advanced degrees in related areas that draw on the study of the moving body such as physical therapy, exercise physiology, and dance movement therapy. They have pursued certification in body-based therapeutic work such as Pilates, Bartenieff fundamentals, and massage therapy.

In the B.F.A. program, the dancer has many opportunities to strengthen the skills necessary to these paths. In addition to daily technique and choreography courses, grant writing courses mentor students through the idea development and grant writing process. Seminars that teach résumé writing are supplemented with digital portfolio development where students create portfolios to represent the multi-faceted work of the B.F.A. in dance. Production and choreography courses build project management skills leading to producing and managing tours of senior dance concerts. Pedagogy courses develop student teaching for children and young adults and prepare students to enter teaching roles. Internships are available and are developed with the individual student.


Special Features

Special features of the School of Dance include our facilities and dance collections.

Putnam Hall is the home of the School of Dance and was recently renovated in 2004. Putnam has dedicated spaces for classes, rehearsals and concert events. There are five sprung-floor studios and a Pilates lab. A 225 seat studio theater is open for both performance space and dance labs for students to develop production skills in lighting and stage management. Three pianos, a full set of handmade Ghanian drums, as well as other percussion instruments, are available for use in our classes. The second floor of Putnam houses the Aesthetics Technology Lab – a state of the art space dedicated to exploring technology and art.

The School of Dance is also proud to own the Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Collection. The collection includes films, videos, photographs, manuscripts, posters, administrative documents, awards, programs, reviews and musical recordings. The university received the collection as a generous gift from Murray Louis. Processing, preservation, and access is made possible by Ohio University, Murray Louis, the National Initiative to Preserve America's Dance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Save America's Treasures.

Our Faculty

Learn more about our faculty here.



Choreography and Performance (B.F.A.)

Dance History and Theory
Performance and Choreography
Somatic Studies

College of Fine Arts

The College of Fine arts is home to four schools at the undergraduate level that offer degrees in Art, Dance, Music and Theater. For graduate students, they also offer programs in film and interdisciplinary studies.The college is dedicated to advancing the arts through active participation in artistic and humanistic dialogue. It is committed to challenging, enriching and educating students through the creation and study of the arts. As the Athens region's primary cultural resource, the College of Fine Arts engages people of the university, the larger community and the geographic region in the arts. Hundreds of performances, productions, lectures and exhibitions throughout the year allows for students to show and display their work in a professional setting. The College of Fine Arts also offers an exclusive program, called a RLC, or Residential Learning Community, that allows students to live with other fine arts students on-campus.

Ohio University

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.