Bachelor of Fine Arts - Dance Performance


Study dance at NIU 

The dance performance BFA degree is a program for students interested in a career in dance or in continuing their dance training at a university. Our program mission is to develop students as competent professionals in the dance arts through rigorous and equal training in ballet and modern dance techniques. The school provides numerous and varied performance opportunities, including original works by renowned NIU faculty as well as masterworks from the standard classical ballet repertoire. Students in this major are required to take between ten and seventeen technique classes per week, and can choose from a wide variety of course offerings in dance and dance-related subjects.

The program’s mission is achieved through the strong support of faculty who are working professionals in the dance industry, which creates numerous opportunities for our dance majors to perform outside the university setting, and enriches our training with internationally recognized guest artists.

  • NIU Dance faculty body of work: Artistic director of DanszLoop/Chicago; internationally commissioned choreographer; Ruth Page Award winner, Cincinnati Ballet; répétiteur for Septime Webre, artistic director of the Washington Ballet; board of directors for the Dorris Humphrey Society; soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera; founding artistic director of the Ballet Nouveau Colorado; soloist with Mordine and Company; MOMENTA!; principal dancer for the Dayton Ballet; certified instructor at Romana's Pilates NY; master class teaching appointments across the country.
  • Performance opportunities for students: two fully produced mainstage formal concerts per academic year in the newly renovated Stevens Building O'Connell Theatre; participation in the American College Dance Festival; Ruth Page Center for the Arts; Prairie Center for the Arts; Egyptian Theater; Millennium Park; Harold Washington Memorial Theater; Dance Chicago; Navy Pier NIU Art Gallery.
  • Master teachers and artists in residence: Murray Lewis; Shirley Mordine; Catherine Cabeen of Bill T. Jones and Company; Alicia Graf Mack of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Septime Webre; Baraka De Soliel; Carl Corey; Nick Pupillo; Robert McKee; Louis Montero of Jose Greco; Greg Halloran; Nina Watt of the Jose Limon Dance Company. 

Our alumni have performed with or are members of: American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Martha Graham Dance Company, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cirque Du Soleil, Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Richmond Ballet, Chicago Lyric Opera, Louisville Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theater, Ballet Met, Aerial Dance Chicago, Chicago Ballet Repertoire, Broadway NY and International Tours and more.

Students interested in the BFA in Dance Performance emphasis should contact Marc Macaranas, Head of Dance, 815-753-1334,

Video applications due Monday, February 19, 2024


Contact Us

For more information about academic programs or productions: 

Office: 815-753-1334
Fax: 815-753-8415

Box Office: 815-753-1600;