Department of Dance

Contemporary Area

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 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.

Read more about our contemporary dance performing groups



Auditions for admittance into the dance major are held during Fall and Winter semesters every year. Go to the Audition page for more information on all auditions available for the Department of Dance.

Awards & Grants

There are many scholarship opportunities for students at BYU. In addition to scholarships funded by the university, the Department of Dance has a broad range of scholarships available. These scholarships range from those that are academically based to those that are merit based, with others based on a combination of academic achievement and talent in dance.

The BYU incoming freshman and transfer student scholarships are intended to encourage new students with superior talents. The application process consists of a written application and an audition. Awards are presented on the basis of demonstrated dance talent and auditions are usually held during fall semester. In addition to scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students, there are a number of scholarships for continuing students to support dancers as they progress through the program.

For more information about scholarships, please call 801-422-5086 or email


Contemporary and Modern Dance technique and theory courses
Principles of Somatics
Laban Movement Analysis
Jazz Dance

Course descriptions


  • Nathan Balser Associate Department Chair

    Area: Contemporary
    : 287 RB
    Phone: (801) 422-5875

  • Jiamin Huang Associate Professor

    Area: Contemporary
    Office: 2222 RB
    Phone: (801) 422-3283

  • Pam Musil Associate Department Chair

    Area: Contemporary
    Office: 286 RB
    Phone: (801) 422-4873

  • Kori Wakamatsu Assistant Professor
Contact Us

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