About the BFA

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre with a concentration in dance is equivalent to a degree in dance. The degree provides a comprehensive education across the field of dance, particularly through contemporary and modern techniques. A BFA dance student experiences movement practice (Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap), performance, choreography, dance notation, pedagogy, history, production and technology.

The Department of Theatre & Dance values cultural and curricular diversity, and responds to the individual needs of each student. Students graduate the program with the proficiency and creativity to become leaders, advocates, and artists in the community and professional dance field.

Performance and Production

There are two fully produced dance concerts each year. One concert features the choreography of faculty and guest artists and the other the work of current student choreographers. A hallmark of this program is the development of the creative voice of emerging young choreographers and performers.

BFA candidates are required to participate in one school sponsored performance each year. Attendance at weekly Lunchboxes (a series of lectures, workshops and masterclasses throughout the academic year) and a GPA of 2.5 or higher throughout each semester.

Professional experience

All dance majors gain valuable real-world experience before graduating. Each year, students and faculty have the opportunity to attend major conferences, including the American College Dance Association and the National Dance Education Organization. Students also are required to complete internships to enhance their resumes. In the past, dance students have worked with the prestigious American Dance Festival, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Opera Memphis, Retter Entertainment, and have served as performers and choreographers for community venues.

After graduation

Recent graduates are dancing for New York and Washington D.C. companies as well as regional companies in the Southeast and Mid-West, showcasing their own choreography and performing in tours. Other graduates continue their training in graduate school.

Come visit us

High School Day of Dance: Friday, November 17, 2023

High school seniors and juniors interested in pursuing dance in college -- come spend "A Day in The Life" of as a UofM Dance major. Take class, observe class, mingle with current BFA students at lunch, see current work and talk with student choreographers.

LOCATION: Registration will take place in the CFA Lobby, all events following will take place in CFA 124 and 126.


9:15-9:45am               Registration (Lobby)

9:45-10:15am             Warm-up: Jill Guyton Nee, Head of Dance

10:15-11:20am           Modern Mock Audition with Michael Medcalf, Associate Professor

10-minute break

11:30am -12:15pm    Improvisation: Wayne Smith, Dance Faculty

12:20-1:15pm            Lunch break (A pizza lunch will be provided*); 
Mix n’ mingle with UofM students and Faculty; Information on BFA Dance and Dance Science degree, a special student performance, and general feedback on the audition portion of the day.

1:20 - 2:20pm            Musical Theatre / Jazz: Jill Guyton Nee, Head of Dance
2:20-2:30pm              Closing/ End of day

*We cannot accommodate any food allergies or aversions. Please bring own lunch for those with dietary restrictions. We apologize for the inconvenience.

As a part of the mock audition, use this link to apply to the department prior to attending the High School Day of Dance event.

Click here to reserve your spot!

If you cannot join us for High School Day of Dance, please email Jill Guyton Nee (jgnee@memphis.edu) to request an alternate date for a more informal visitation. To provide you with the best experience we strongly urge you visit on Monday - Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm when classes are in-session. Please see performance dates for best dates to visit both the program and see a concert!


The Department of Theatre & Dance has limited scholarship funding. We strongly encourage applicants to apply for university scholarships.

Most dance talent scholarships are reserved for continuing BFA students who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment in physical practice, creative activity and/or theoretical inquiry. The amount of these awards is generally from $500-full tuition and must be applied for annually.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are admitted to the program throughout the year, as opportunities arise. However, they must follow all of the above procedures, including attendance at one of the two departmental auditions.

Summary of Curriculum Requirements
General Education Requirements – 41 credit hours
Theatre & Dance Core – 11 credits
Dance Technique – 27 credit hours
Composition and Repertory – 9 credit hours
Other Required Dance Courses – 27 credit hours
Free Electives – 5 credit hours
Total: 120 credit hours

UofM Dance in Motion