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Study Dance at Otago

    Dance and get inspired.

    Add a Dance paper or a Dance minor to your degree, or take Dance as part or the Bachelor of Performing Arts.

    We offer papers in popular culture dance, contemporary dance and dance for musical theatre.

    The Dance minor

    Dance at Otago is a dynamic programme with new and exciting papers that will introduce you to innovative ways of moving, and inspire you to form your distinct choreographic identity and performance style.

    All papers integrate practical skills and academic training in order to enhance your creativity, expand your knowledge and critical thinking and shape your identity as a well-rounded artist.

    The exploration of a rich variety of dance styles, choreographic practices and performance opportunities will open up new possibilities of appreciating cultural and artistic diversity. It will enable you to experience dance as a unique embodied knowledge.

    You will also cultivate communication skills and confidence that will broaden your career opportunities in the dance and performing arts sectors.

    Why study Dance?

    The School of Performing Arts offers a unique opportunity to study Dance as an art form. Feel the exhilaration of moving, choreographing and performing as you explore a diverse range of dance styles. Develop an understanding, and a critical appreciation, of dance as a performative medium and cultural expression in local and global contexts.

    Studying Dance will enable you to explore repertoire from New Zealand and international choreographers. You will engage with current academic research that will stimulate your critical thinking. You will be introduced to socio-cultural concepts and ideas that underpin dance, and discuss themes such as the interconnections between dance, transcultural identities and social media.

    All courses integrate theory and practice with the aim to enhance your technical, performative and choreographic skills, and to expand your knowledge and appreciation of dance aesthetics. You will also develop your written and oral communication skills and your ability to work effectively both as a team leader and a team member.

    Dance is available as an optional minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree.

    Career opportunities

    The combination of academic skills and practical experience will prepare you for a successful career as a dancer, performer, choreographer, researcher or dance educator in tertiary education or in the private sector.

    Dance at Otago

    How will I study?

    All courses have an interactive style lecture and a practical class.

    The lectures set the socio-cultural or political context that foregrounds each dance form while the practical sessions develop technical, artistic, performative and choreographic skills of specific dance repertoires.

    DANC101 Dance and Popular Culture

    This paper examines the role of dance in popular culture in local and global contexts through integrated theory and choreographic explorations. It introduces the latest dance fads and dance repertoire by New Zealand and international dance artists, and addresses the interconnections between dance, transcultural identities and social media.

    DANC201/301 Contemporary Dance Fusions

    This paper focuses on the choreographic process, aesthetic fusions, and artistic vision of key national and international contemporary choreographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. It provides a critical analysis of the hybrid repertoire of the genre and will help you develop your unique choreographic identity.

    DANC204/304 Dance for Musical Theatre

    This paper explores the artistic qualities and techniques of dance in musical theatre through integrated theory and practice. It will expand your knowledge on the socio-cultural contexts that influence the dance styles of the genre and develop your technical, performative and choreographic skills.

    Background required

    While a basic understanding of the different dance genres would be useful, it is not essential.

    All papers are designed to introduce you to different dance styles, techniques and basic choreographic principles that will inspire you to shape your unique choreographic identity.

    All you need is energy and enthusiasm.


    Dance as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

    Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


    Five papers from:

    at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one above 200-level.


    Note: This minor subject is not available for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA).

    DANC papers

    Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
    DANC101 2024 Dance and Popular Culture 18 Semester 1
    DANC201 2024 Contemporary Dance Fusions 18 Not offered in 2024
    DANC204 2024 Dance for Musical Theatre 18 Semester 2
    DANC301 2024 Contemporary Dance Fusions 18 Not offered in 2024
    DANC304 2024 Dance for Musical Theatre 18 Semester 2

    More information

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    School of Performing Arts

    Studying at Otago

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    Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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