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College of the Arts

A CSULB student works on an art project

Department Chair: Cyrus Parker-Jeannette

Department Office: Dance Center
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-4747 / (562) 985-7896

Faculty: Karen Clippinger, Colleen Dunagan, Keith Johnson, Lorin Johnson, Dori Levy, Susan McLain, Sophie Monat, Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, Andrew Vaca

Administrative Coordinator: Jeniffer Ruther

Administrative Assistant: Sylvia Rodriguez-Scholz

Career Possibilities

Dancer • Choreographer • Teacher • Dance Company Director • Dance Therapist • Booking Agent • Critic • Performing Arts Administrator • Dance Kinesiologist • Pilates Instructor • Dance/Aerobic Instructor (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see


The CSULB Department of Dance is committed to artistic and academic excellence that promotes the value of dance for the individual and society. The curriculum is designed to create a well-rounded dancer with a strong base in modern dance performance and composition. Additional course work includes ballet, jazz, tap, world dance, dance history and dance theory and embraces creative, historical, and scientific perspectives of dance. The Department is also committed to providing opportunities for the general university student through both studio and theoretical dance courses for the non-major. Performances, master classes and residencies also contribute to the artistic enhancement of the campus and community. In addition, the Department avidly promotes the profession through creative activity and scholarly research, leadership in professional organizations, and participation in dance festivals/conferences at the regional and national levels.

The Department offers two undergraduate degree programs: the Bachelor of Fine Arts and the Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Both degrees provide breadth and depth of exploration in the creative, physical, and academic aspects of the art of dance. The BA provides students with a balanced course of study that helps prepare them for several career options and allows them flexibility for a double major. Within the BA is also a Dance Science option that offers study in tandem with the Kinesiology Department and helps prepare students for future study and careers in training, fitness, Pilates and physical therapy. The BFA, a professional degree in Dance, offers students more concentrated study in the areas of technique, performance, and choreography aimed at preparing the student for a professional career.

The Department also offers two graduate degree programs: the Master of Fine Arts and the Master of Arts in Dance. The MFA is a demanding program designed to challenge professionally experienced students to develop their artistic and analytical work through numerous performances and choreographic opportunities. This terminal degree prepares candidates for careers in higher education, performance, and choreography. The MA in Dance is a concentrated program for dance educators currently working in high schools and community colleges. This advanced degree enhances teaching and choreographic skills, while broadening aesthetic, historical, and scientific understanding of dance.

Entrance to the major or minor in dance is by audition only. Auditions are held four times per year. Applicants may download audition information from the web or may contact the Department of Dance to obtain audition dates and an audition application form. Students desiring more information may contact the Department office for referral to one of the faculty advisors in Dance. All new students enter the major under the BA degree. A separate audition for entrance into the BFA degree plan is required once students have completed specific coursework and achieved required levels of competency.

Non-major studio classes in ballet, modern, jazz, world dance forms, and tap are open to all students and do not require any audition. Several courses are offered that meet the General Education Exploration and Capstone requirements in categories C, D, E, and IC.

The faculty in the Department of Dance consists of active professionals who are highly committed to teaching and mentoring dance students. A large number of part-time faculty members supplement the expertise of the full-time faculty.

Dance concerts with faculty, students, and visiting choreographers are held in the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater. Dance majors and minors are encouraged to participate in activities of the Dance student organization “Off 7th Dancers.”

The Department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190, phone: 703-437-0700).