Dance Program


Why Study Dance at Saint Mary’s College?

Students come to Saint Mary’s to dance because they have a passion for moving. In our program, you’ll cultivate your creativity, skill, and artistry in a nurturing and supportive environment, guided by our accomplished, approachable faculty. You’ll receive plenty of personalized attention and have the opportunity to specialize in either Dance Studies or Choreography and Performance. Our noncompetitive atmosphere gives all dancers the opportunity to perform, even in their first year.

Dance Program VALUES

The Dance Program at Saint Mary’s College aims to:

  • CONSTRUCT a healthy attitude toward dance and the value of diverse dance forms including cross training in different styles and Somatic disciplines, following a holistic view of the human body which allows assessment and reflection without judgement both in the studio and on stage;
  • DEMONSTRATE individual artistic choices and promote self-authority and agency to express individual thought and creativity outside of rigid, dominant and binary world views both experientially and in writing;
  • DISTINGUISH technical terms and theories used in dance studies, influenced by aesthetics, anatomy and science, Somatics, pedagogical and performance theories; and employ this terminology appropriately when discussing and writing about specific works and/or assessing one's practice;
  • RECOGNIZE the cultural context of a work of art or style of movement in the studio and in writing. Frame creative challenges within larger historical/theoretical questions to locate one’s own place in history by recognizing the dance lineage that shape us in our search for defining the dancing identity necessary in today’s world;  
  • ENGAGE in critical discourse to explore how social identities are constructed, constrained, reinforced, and treated with inequality by systems of power, including within the field of performing arts by analyzing issues of access, representation, exclusion, and inclusion in the field in both creative practice and on paper; 
  • FORMULATE an intersectional perspective through the lenses of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, and culture; strengthening our sense of how socially conscious bodies are able to see and take action towards social diversity in relationship to the SMC community, the Bay Area, the country and beyond when assessing one’s practice.
A group of dancers with their backs to the audience while the middle dancer jumps

SMC Dance Company


From September to May, Company members experience what it means to be a professional dancer by going through training, choreography, and performance. Students in the dance program create original choreography for a fall dance concert that features the work of graduating seniors. In the spring, the SMCDC members work with dance faculty and guest artists to create the annual spring dance concert. Guest artists have been dancers and choreographers from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond including: Kara Davis, Micah Sallid, Jermaine McGhee, Bela Watson, Bliss Kolmyer, Paco Gomes, Janice Garrett, Nina Haft, Stacey Printz, and Randee Paufve. 

Auditions are not required for the Performing Arts major in dance. Students will audition for performance ensembles, including the Saint Mary's College Dance Company, early in the new academic year. Contact Dance Program Director Cathy Davalos at for more information on performance auditions.

Program & School Information

Cathy Davalos, Dance Director
Tara Sundy, Performing Arts Coordinator & Events Manager/Box Office Manager