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Dance Minor

The Dance Minor provides a broad and deep approach to dance that encompasses history, culture, and performance among other dimensions of this art form. Students are offered a wide variety of interdisciplinary classes from which to choose and explore with the help of our world-class faculty. 

The Dance Minor is comprised of 8 courses: 3 lower division and 5 upper-division. There are no prerequisites for declaring the minor, though individual courses may have prerequisites for enrollment, and a major must be officially declared before a minor is declared. Please see below for declaration instructions.


All Dance Minor students must complete the following requirements:

Lower Division (12 units)

1 required in Creative Practice (5 units), choose from:

THEA 30 Introduction to Dance Theory and Technique, or 
THEA 33C Dance Studio I, or 
THEA 36 Introduction to Dance Making

1 required in Cross-Cultural Techniques (5 units), choose from:

THEA 22 Indonesian Dance, or 
THEA 31A Dance Studio I: Asian or Asian Diasporic Practice, or
THEA 31B Dance Studio I: Ballet, or
THEA 31C Dance Studio I: Contemporary Forms and Practices, or
THEA 37 African Dance, or
THEA 80R Bollywood Dance & Culture, or 
THEA 80U Everybody Dance Now! (lecture course), or
THEA 80Z Indian Dance     

1 required in Production (2 units)

THEA 50 Fundamentals of Theater Production

Upper Division (25 units)

1 required in Creative Practice or Cross-Cultural Techniques (5 units), choose from:

THEA 131A Dance Studio II: Asian or Asian Diasporic Practice, or
THEA 131B Dance Studio II: Ballet, or
THEA 131C Dance Studio II: Advanced Contemporary Forms and Practices, or
THEA 135 Choreography I, or
THEA 136 Choreography II

1 required in Critical Studies (5 units), choose from:

THEA 143 Ecofutures
THEA 164 Issues in Dance History and Theory, or 
THEA 165 Dance Modernism, or
THEA 166 Ballet: A History, or 
THEA 167 Africanist Aesthetics: Live Dialogues in the Americas and Africa 
THEA 168 Disability and Performance

3 required in Electives (15 units) including but not restricted to the following courses (it is recommended that you check in with the Theater Arts advisor when selecting your electives):

THEA 100A Asian Theater/Dance and Global Impacts
THEA 100C Courts, Courtesans, Shamans, and Clowns: Asian Drama
THEA 122 Indian Performance: Rama, Siva, Krishna
THEA 124 Movement for Performers
THEA 137 or 137A Studies in Performance, Dance (may be taken twice)
THEA 139 Random With a Purpose 
           (Students choreographing for RWAP enroll in both THEA 139 and the 2-unit THEA 128) 
THEA 151I Studies in Performance: Indonesian Dance and Drama
THEA 161D Asian Theater: An Anthropological Approach

ALSO, Any upper-division course listed above in the Creative Practice/Cross-Cultural Techniques or Critical Studies sections may be used as an elective (but not double-counted).

The following are courses outside of the Theater Arts Department that have been pre-approved to serve as upper-division electives; HOWEVER, the Theater Arts Dept cannot coordinate scheduling with other departments and does not know when courses in other departments will be offered; students will need to research non-THEA course offerings on their own:

ANTH 164 The Anthropology of Dance
CMPS 161 Visualization and Computer Animation
ECON 137 Performing Arts in the Public & Private Economy
EDUC 120 The Arts in Schools: Aesthetic Ed. Theory/Practice
FMST 133 Science and the Body
HAVC 170 Art of the Body in Oceania
PHIL 152 Aesthetics
PORTER 180 Writing Across the Arts
PSYC 120 Visual and Spatial Cognition
PSYC 137 Mind, Body, and World
SOCY 152 Body and Society


—Independent Studies (THEA 198 / 199) may NOT be used to satisfy requirements for the minor. 
—Lower-division courses may be double-counted for (used toward) both the Theater Arts major and Dance minor, but separate upper-division courses must be taken to satisfy the major and minor requirements.     
—Discontinued courses previously on this list have been removed but still count toward the minor (check with the Theater Arts adviser).  
About the THEA 50 requirement: it is strongly recommended that students take care of this ASAP, as soon as they have decided to commit to the minor. THEA 50 is not a standard course, nor is enrollment standard. Please speak with the department advisor for details.

A PDF list of our current Course Offerings, which includes a key indicating which courses fulfill which upper-division requirements, can be found here.

Course descriptions can be found in the Course Catalog.

To Declare the Dance Minor

There are no course requirements for declaring the minor, though individual courses may have enrollment prerequisites, and a major must be officially declared before a minor may be declared.   

To declare the minor, have an Academic Planning form created, or updated, and SIGNED (digitally) by your major adviser – tell them that you wish to declare a minor (we do not not require the university's major/minor declaration form in addition to the acacemic plan, but will be happy to sign one if your major department requests it). While your major plan is current (within one quarter), bring it to the Theater Arts Adviser to add a plan for and declare the minor—please use Slug Success to make an appointment.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult early with the department advisor to create an academic plan for the minor. This may be done prior to the declaration. For further information about minor requirements, declaration, or about the Theater Arts Department in general, please contact the Theater Arts Department office at, or (831) 429-2974.

More about our degrees can be found in our UNDERGRADUATE HANDBOOK on our Advising page.

The department also offers a minor in Theater Arts.

About Dance In The Theater Arts Department 

While dance is not a stand‐alone department or major at UCSC, it is an important part of UCSC’s Theater Arts Department. 

The department offers a minor in dance served by a number of high-quality courses taught by world‐renowned choreographers, dancers, and guest artists. We provide many opportunities to perform, including faculty-directed dance productions and the annual student-choreographed, student-performed, student-produced dance showcase Random with a Purpose.

The Dance minor may be completed in conjunction with the Theater Arts Major or another major. The bachelor of art (B.A.) degree in Theater Arts also allows students to focus on dance, mainly in upper-division classes, within the Theater Arts major. 

Prospective students do not audition into the department, nor is our department considered a pre‐professional training program. 

Dance classes are available both through the Theater Arts Department for credit and, recreationally (non‐credit), through the Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports (OPERS).

Dance in the Theater Arts Department addresses three intertwined areas of study, including:

Contemporary Dance Technique & Choreography
Dance studio classes begin with an emphasis on contemporary dance and dance theater broadly defined: from the development of dance skill and performance to an emphasis on developing personal movement vocabularies through improvisation and choreographic tasks. 

Dance Drama & World Cultural Forms
Dance resides in numerous cultural communities on this campus. We have a number of diverse interests and organizations invested in dance, such as the Mexican Folklorico dance troupe. With our current faculty, we offer Indian, Indonesian, and African dance forms. Through Porter College, we direct our students to additional World dance forms including Filipino, Korean, and Sudanese.

Critical Dance Studies
Critical studies inform the theory and practice of dance at all levels. We offer a rigorous approach to dance in its socio‐historical context and include courses in dance praxis (creativity studies, digital arts, and new media, education, and community‐based approaches).