Program Mission

Program Mission Program Mission

Mission of the Graduate Dance Program  

The mission of the graduate program in dance is to provide a unique model that capitalizes on the richness and diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area dance community. Through the lens of a liberal arts curriculum, the MFA will educate the whole dance artist, concentrating on four areas of focus: Theoretical, Somatics, Creative Practice and Production. The nature of the program is student-centered, building on peer collaboration, faculty mentoring, and student-driven projects.

The values of our program are shaped around the quest for truth, the authenticity of living, and the building of a community where sensitivity, social justice, and global awareness are at the core. Dance artists are the newest members of the global arena--imitating, creating, and challenging what society has to offer.  The graduate programs in dance seek to foster self-discovery and promote an understanding of dance as a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary practice in which the body of the performer(s), the movement of the choreographer(s), the scenery, the costumes, and the lighting create a cohesive world for dance.

Dancer on stage with confetti falling

MFA in Dance: Creative Practice

MFA in Dance: Creative Practice is a 60-unit plan of study emphasizing four areas: Choreography and Movement Courses, Theoretical Studies, Somatic Studies, and Design and Production for Dance

MFA in Dance Program Goals

  • To develop artists who are critically aware of the reciprocity of theory and practice, thereby promoting standards of excellence in dance practice and preparing for them for employment.
  • To enable artists to explore and reflect upon dance practice in its many forms, taking into account the social, cultural, aesthetic and political contexts in which performance practice is located.
  • To address complex issues creatively and systematically as well as develop the ability to problem-solve in a variety of artistic contexts through the engagement in practice-based research, including collaborative projects.
  • To develop one's potential for a range of practices in or associated with dance and research-based activity.
  • To enhance one's production experience and create dance artists who are capable of managing a business.


Two dancers with papers on stage

Certificates in Design and Production

Our MFA program also offers two different certificates for students who are interested in broadening their scope of expertise to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity as well as make themselves more marketable.


Dancers on stage

SMC Performing Arts

So We Could Become Colorful Roses

Choreographer: Shaunna Vella


School and Department Information

Rogelio Lopez
Program Director, Graduate Programs in Dance

Collin Skeen
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment