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Contemporary Dance at BYU prepares students to meet the challenges of a dynamic profession. Our goal is to guide and support students in becoming artists, educators and scholars. Whether students study to become performers, teachers, choreographers or researchers, our experienced professional faculty provide world-class mentoring within a nurturing and supportive, yet challenging environment. Central to our mission is a desire to encourage and hone individual student voice and creativity.

The contemporary dance area trains students in technique, improvisation, choreography, performance, and teaching. Our curriculum explores the gamut of what it means to be ‘contemporary’ within an ever-evolving field. Students encounter movement vocabularies that range from classic modern dance to post-modern to the latest contemporary trends.

Students have opportunities for growth in each of three auditioned dance companies: Kinnect, dancEnsemble (dE) and Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT). These companies, considered central within the contemporary experience, each provides unique, educational opportunities for growth in performance, teaching and choreography.

Most of our contemporary students choose to major in one of the department’s two accredited undergraduate degree options, which also provide the opportunity to study dance science, pedagogy, history, media and critical studies. Students in the Dance BA program may choose to emphasize contemporary dance with a focus in performance, choreography or pedagogy; while students in the Dance Education K–12 program will become certified to teach dance in the public schools grades 7–12 and endorsed in grades K–6. High standards of achievement are expected within this very diverse academic environment. Students and faculty alike are nationally recognized as leaders in the discipline.


The BYU Department of Dance Contemporary Area will hold a combined audition for Kinnect, dancEnsemble and Contemporary Dance Theatre on Monday, December 11, 2023, from 3-7pm, with callbacks on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. All are welcome to participate, and Interested students should register for the audition beginning November 1 at

  • Kinnect brings creative dance to local elementary schools through upbeat assemblies and dynamic teaching residencies.  
  • dancEnsemble mentors and produces student contemporary choreography every semester.  
  • Contemporary Dance Theatre prepares students for professional performing careers through performing original works by renowned choreographers 

Student Ensembles

Contemporary Dance Theatre

Opportunity - BYU Contemporary Dance Theater (Choreography By Jesse Obremski)
“This troupe, guided by resourceful choreographers, sustains a disciplined stamina which helps them deliver the programme in high spirits. It is, also, every minute of it, charming.”
– Sjoerd Meijer, The Daily News, Durban, South Africa

Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) ignites audiences with its whirlwind of motion, color, and feeling. Showcasing contemporary dance at its best in styles that range from lyrical and contemporary jazz to classical modern, the company is committed to reaching people of all ages. Whether thrilling audiences in India or teaching young children in Australia, these articulate performers present dance that uplifts, entertains and educates.

Since 1975, CDT (formerly known as The Dancers’ Company) has taught workshops and toured throughout the world, twice being invited to perform at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The company has performed works by master choreographers including Lar Lubovitch, Alwin Nikolais, Doris Humphrey, Sara and Jerry Pearson, Ihsan Rustem, and Loni Landon.

For Contemporary Dance Theatre tour schedules and booking information please visit


  • Register for DANCE 468R (See dance course offerings)
  • Register for a Contemporary Modern Technique course (no audits/no exceptions). Please don’t consider applying for CDT if your graduation plan/schedule prohibits you from taking contemporary technique for credit both semesters.
  • Participation in guest choreography may require additional rehearsals outside of CDT time due to choreographer’s schedule. However, no student will be required to be in guest works outside of CDT time.
  • 2 week boot camp TBA
  • 2-3 week tour - Taiwan and Singapore TBD - dates postponed
  • Mandatory company position
  • Assistance with concert marketing
  • Participation in the CDT concert and tech week
  • Participation in World of Dance concert and tech week
  • Club fees of $250 (includes warm ups, social events)
  • International Tour Fee: $1500
  • All students on CDT receive a small performance scholarship to off-set the cost/fees

Additional commitments are required. For further information, please contact the Artistic Director, Keely Song, at


“They excel not just in formation maneuvers but in unison step-work that’s smooth as honey. Their partnering is seamless for swings and lifts.”
– George Jackson, Washington Post

Kinnect is a student outreach performance dance company with a specific focus on developing teaching, creative, and performing skills in its members. This group is carefully selected, prepared, and mentored in order to effectively teach dance as a creative process to elementary- and middle-school-age children, following the Utah State Dance Standards. Group members create a “lecture-performance” during winter semester and tour to local public schools, museum, and conferences several days in March/April and the first four weeks of spring term.


  • Register for Dance 348R Winter – (See dance course offerings)
  • Register for Dance 365 Creative Dance for Elementary
  • Register for a Contemporary technique class, preferably 241R, 243R, 340R, 341R, or 440R (No audits.)
  • Participate in two Saturday rehearsals TBA
  • Tour to local schools in Winter and Spring
  • Company and fingerprinting fees $50-$60
  • Attend Callbacks

Questions can be addressed to Karen Jensen at


DancEnsemble is a contemporary dance company that provides students the opportunity to develop and refine their performance and choreographic skills through studio work, out-of-class rehearsals, and performances. Participation in the company is a semester by semester commitment and students may audition for both Fall and Winter semesters. Choreography in the dancEnsemble concert each semester includes work created by faculty as well as students, providing participants the opportunity to work both with high level faculty choreographers and with peer choreographers. Involvement in dancEnsemble also provides an environment where professionalism in the field of dance is fostered.


  • Register for DANCE 368R (See dance course offerings)
  • Register for a Contemporary Modern Technique course (no audits)
  • Participation in 2, two-hour rehearsals a week that will be scheduled either Tuesday or Thursday 6:00-8:00 or 8:00-10:00 PM
  • Participation in three Saturday rehearsals TBA
  • Possible company position (optional)
  • Assistance with concert marketing (1 hour commitment)
  • Participation in the dE concert and tech week TBA
  • Club fees of $50