Dance; woman in white suit dancing against a black background



Stretch the boundaries of your performance

In the Dance Bachelor of Arts program at the Corcoran School, we train students to tell their own stories through movement. If you are ready to grow as a dancer and as an artist, to be mentored by internationally acclaimed instructors and to cultivate your artistic voice, the Corcoran is for you. The strength of the program is the intimate relationship and mentorship by the dance faculty.

We are dedicated to educating dancers and choreographers of the future through our global, interdisciplinary community located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Working with national and internationally known guest artists through classes and rehearsals, our students establish professional connections to a variety of geographies and heritages with countless performative opportunities both in and out of the studio.

Our program prepares you for a professional career in the multifaceted field of dance as artist, entrepreneur, manager or dance specialist. We focus on modern, postmodern and contemporary dance techniques, emphasizing experimentation through creative process, and our courses are allied with the body of knowledge found in somatic theories. Modern technique classes are offered at four levels, and students take additional classes in dance history, production and career strategies.

If you’re looking for a dance program that emphasizes art and creative problem solving, where you’ll engage with diverse peers and innovative faculty, there is no better place than at the Corcoran School.





With an emphasis on technique, our curriculum simultaneously develops the physical strength of our dancers while building their confidence as choreographers. Through classes in technique, choreography and theory, students gain a strong foundation for understanding movement. In addition, required coursework in lighting and costuming expands production skills within the broader context of the theatrical environment.

You will also study somatic theories, improvisation, composition, performance art and dance history, work with guest artists from around the world and engage with professional organizations through internships.

The culmination of the program of study is a thesis project that showcases students' creativity, allowing them to demonstrate their skills in all areas of performance and production. From choreography to costume and audio design and more, the thesis is an opportunity for our dancers to exhibit their experience in all components of a dance performance.

Dance Major Courses 

Dance Minor Courses



students performing dance





What we create




Born and raised in the coastal town of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Berkley Lane (B.A. ‘20) has always admired the ocean and all of its systems. As a dancer, she is inspired by the environment as she gravitates towards movement styles that are free-flowing and grounded, with large sweeping movements that use her entire body at once. Throughout Berkley’s time at GW, she has choreographed dances inspired by how water molecules move together, how trees grow slowly in a large forest and how waves interact with one another and with other organisms in the ocean.


Berkley's senior thesis Moving Through the Bloom combines her passion for both Environmental Science and Dance as she explores research on the Chesapeake Bay and its dead zones. Her work was part of the 2020 NEXT Exhibition; see more here




Hana Springer, double major in Dance and International Affairs, was one of a pair of students that traveled to Taiwan. The trip included participation in an international arts festival, rehearsals with world-famous choreographers and sharing tips and Ta-a noodles with fellow dancers from around the globe.

“Dancing in Taiwan showed me firsthand how art can be a tool for uniting people, no matter who they are or where they come from. We all are more connected than we often realize, and dancing is a powerful way to express those connections.”

Hana's Story



Dance Film Shorts

Artistic Director, Maida Withers and New Media/Film Makers, Guest Artists, Robin Bell and Ludovic Jolivet join with GW dance faculty and choreography students to create dance on camera shorts to broadcast to the public online. Projects for this inaugural season, feature film shorts by Faculty Choreographers Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Giselle Ruzany, along with Student Choreographers Katherine Auerswald, Jillian Canning, Julia Chodyla, Chloe Davis, Hannah Jacobson, Alison Janega, Kinaya Mceady, and Madelyn Sell. Dancers, who are also filming themselves dancing “on location,” collaborate remotely with choreographers from national and international locations in the creation of the dance film shorts.

watch individual dances



female student practicing performance

Kristen Lamb

“There are infinite ways in which the human body can move, and so there are infinite ways to share your message. I like to explore these possibilities and challenge myself to go beyond my initial instincts. And with dance, there is always further to go.”


three students performing

Linda Ryan

In “Go!” Linda explores how people interact with technology and those around us. Using Go-Pros to capture different perspectives, she choreographed herself and two others, combining her arts and technology backgrounds.





Dana Tai Soon Burgess teaching students dance

Professor Dana Tai Soon Burgess (MFA, '94), dances among art — literally. Juggling roles as the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence at the National Portrait Gallery and as a State Department cultural ambassador, Burgess uses movement to tell stories from an immersive, non-linear perspective.


Maida Withers performing on stage

Professor Maida Withers was key in establishing radical notions in the 1960s dance revolution as one of the first artists to combine live performance in a responsive laser environment. She continues to explore the intersection of dance, performance and technology today.




Woman laughing in the jungle with native peoples

Filmmaker Iwonka Swenson (BA ‘98, Minor in Modern Dance) was one of the filmmakers recently involved in producing the newly premiered series on Netflix, We Speak Dance.

Dawn Cable Monster

Dawn Stoppiello (MFA  '14) was appointed an Assistant Professor of Practice in Dance & New Media at USC Kaufman School of Dance. She is widely recognized for her 25-year career in choreography for bodies interfaced to computers.

Photo Credit: Piro Patton


You can contact us by phone at 202-994-8072, fax at 202-994-9403 or email at [email protected]. You can find us at

Building XX
814 20th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20052

Program Head
Robert Baker
[email protected]

Program Administrator
Gabrielle Wingate
[email protected]

Undergraduate Advisor
Maida Withers
[email protected]