The SCA Dance program provides the unique opportunity to study, create and perform dance within a collaborative, interdisciplinary department. The program features a variety of courses that include: dance technique and composition, choreography, repertory and performance, and the history and aesthetics of dance. This is enriched by courses in improvisation, experiential anatomy and body conditioning, and dance/movement analysis.

Our students are challenged in studio and lecture courses to be versatile and articulate, to interact with new technology, and to understand that the collaborative process is crucial to their development as contemporary artists. Students engage with contemporary ideas and concepts through an understanding of dance viewed historically and in relation to other art forms.

We believe in a versatile approach to training and, to this end, offer technique courses in modern, contemporary, and ballet techniques. These courses, plus the course in experimental anatomy and body conditioning introduce students to the fundamental principles of movement while offering strong technical skills. Studio courses are accompanied by lecture courses in aesthetics and history as well as a selection of critical theory and history courses offered throughout the School.

For information about applying to the program, please follow the links at the Future Students section of the left sidebar menu.

Program Information

Our students have the opportunity to produce and perform original works throughout their four years of study. We provide numerous opportunities for performances; from informal concerts arranged and created by the students to highly produced performances with national and international guest artists and faculty. We are committed to offering our majors these opportunities in the belief that learning how to perform as an individual and as a member of a company is fundamental to their preparation for a professional career.

Composition and collaboration are important activities within the dance area and across the School, and we encourage cross-disciplinary projects in many of our courses. Now that we are located in downtown Vancouver, we hope to continue deepening our existing connections and forming new ones with the local, national and international dance community through platforms such as our Apprenticeship and Guest Artist programs.

Other Information


1) To promote a deeper understanding of the numerous expressive possibilities inherent in the human body.

2) To contextualize these possibilities through an understanding of dance in relation to the history of art, aesthetics, and critical theory.

3) To explore these possibilities through collaborative projects with other disciplines, including an engagement with new technology.

4) To present the results of these explorations as finished creative works that foreground the expertise of the artist as choreographer, performer, and thinker.

Options in Dance

1) Major in Dance (BFA)
2) Extended minor in Dance
3) Joint Degree/Diploma program with the National Ballet School

1) Major in Dance (BFA)
To graduate with a BFA, major in Dance, a student must complete 80 credit hours for the major itself, plus the 30 credit Faculty of Arts Breadth requirements within the total of 120 credits required for the degree.

2) Extended minor in Dance
An extended minor in Dance requires a minimum of 45 credit hours in dance and related areas in contemporary arts.

3) Joint Degree/Diploma program with the National Ballet School
This is a joint degree/diploma program with the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program. This five-year program allows students to initiate their studies at SFU or the National Ballet School (NBS). To obtain a BFA degree and a NBS Teacher Training Diploma, students must spend their first three years at SFU, then transfer to the NBS for the remaining two years. Students who transfer to SFU after three years of study at NBS, then complete two - three years at SFU.

Dance Curriculum

The curriculum includes:

  • Technique classes in contemporary dance and ballet
  • Dance composition
  • Choreography courses, which include interdisciplinary explorations and collaborative experiences with students in the School
  • Repertory
  • Dance improvisation
  • Experimental anatomy and body conditioning for dancers
  • Dance/movement analysis
  • Dance Aesthetics
  • Dance History: 20th Century to the Present
  • Intensive Studies in Performance

The dance program is enriched with courses from Film, Music, Theatre, Visual Art, and Visual Culture and Performance Studies, and by the visiting dance companies and artists that perform at the SFU theatre and in the local community.

Performance is a major emphasis of the program. Students have opportunities to perform in choreography created by faculty and guest choreographers, student-choreographed work, interdisciplinary performances, and graduate student productions.

Apprenticeships with local dance companies are facilitated and provide students with additional pre-professional experience. The dance area provides a solid foundation for students who choose to pursue careers as performers, choreographers, teachers, writers, dance critics, dance/movement therapists and arts administrators.

SCA Dance Lab 2016

May 9 - June 17

A lab devoted to research and new work in contemporary dance  |  Seven alumni artists and collaborators in the SCA studios for six weeks.

The School for the Contemporary Arts is hosting alumni in dance (BFA/MFA) who are developing projects in May and June of 2016. We have placed seven dance alumni for a six-week intensive in the SFU Woodward's dance studios. We hope this will be an annual lab to support our graduates and help continue to build our community of dance artists in Vancouver. This lab is part of an initiative to support Woodward’s as a community hub - a place where Vancouver artists go to make, perform, experiment and share ideas. 

Kick Start Dance Intensive

SCA often offers a one week dance technique intensive at the end of August each year. This intensive is aimed at returning SCA dance students and dance professionals.

Daily classes include a ballet barre and contemporary dance technique classes.

Please check back for more information on how to register.

Faculty Profile

Henry Daniel

Henry Daniel


Dr Henry Daniel is an artist/scholar with a teaching and research specialty in Dance, Performance Studies and New Technology. He teaches at both the graduate… More

Alumni Reflections

"The dance facilities at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts are breathtaking. The abundance of natural light made available by the floor to ceiling windows makes shooting a breeze. I'd love to collaborate with more dancers and work in spaces like this again."

Jon Thomas (BFA 2013)

sca works

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