UM Children's Dance Classes


Each semester, the UM Dance Program offers children’s dance classes for the community. UM students earn credit for participating as interns.  

Children ages 3 ½ - 6 are invited to explore classes in creative movement.  Our training program provides opportunities for children to express their inherent creativity through their bodies. Children are also exposed to the various elements of movement, learning how their bodies move within different spatial, time and qualitative structures. UM’s creative movement classes serve as an excellent introduction to dance for all children.

Classes in dance technique and choreography are offered for children ages 7 - 10. In these classes, young dancers are presented with a more formal structure of a dance technique class. The instructor leads the dancers through exercises that build an understanding of body alignment, strength, and flexibility. The creativity of the dancer remains of ultimate importance in this class as dancers are introduced to the art of making dances and provided opportunities to collectively make new, unique and fresh choreography.

For information contact

Spring 2017 Schedule

Registration for Spring Session began January 2. Registration is currently closed.

SPRING SEMESTER: February 2-April 27 (11 weeks--no classes March 23, March 30)

Classes Offered:

Creative Movement I for ages 3 1/2 - 4 on Thursdays from 3:30-4:00pm

Creative Movement II for ages 5-6 on Thursdays from 4:15-5:00pm

Creative and Modern Dance for ages 7-10 on Thursdays from 5:15-6:00pm

About Our Classes

UM dance and education students enroll as student teachers to assist in the classes.  The class is an opportunity for your child to be immersed in dance, and also a chance for our interns to train to be teachers.  The student teachers will plan lessons, which are previewed by the lead instructor, and teach 2 partial lessons and one full lesson each.  UM Children's Dance is a place for everyone to grow together, create community, learn, and make meaning from motion.

Our instructor, Laurel Sears has been dancing, choreographing, and performing in and out of Montana for over 15 years. She currently teaches dance and gymnastics to children aged 3-18 at Bitterroot Gymnastics, and is adjunct faculty at University of Montana. Laurel holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Arizona State University where she taught multiple college level classes, created socially engaged performance pieces, and published a professional paper on creating collaborative performance works. As a UM alumni, Laurel is thrilled to be back in the PARTV building connecting to the Missoula community through dance.

As students progress through the class levels, our objectives for their training develop and expand.  Each class builds on the skills and experiences developed in the previous class. In upper-level classes, students begin creating their own choreography and learn more complex movement sequences.

The last day of each session is Sharing Day, when families and friends are invited into the studio to watch class.  Sharing Day is not meant as a recital, although it may involve choreography.  It is meant to be a celebration of the children’s progress and is followed by juice and treats.  Bring cameras! 

Where We Are

Classes are held in the UM Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center.  Travel east on 6th Street to campus; the PAR/TV building is the tall brick building on the right.  Park in front of the building, or in the parking lot on the left.  Enter doors facing the parking lot and go down the stairs.  Temporary parking passes will be available for purchase (currently, $12--the cost to us).  You are not required to purchase a parking pass.

Chairs will be set up for parents outside the ballet studio.  Parents may watch from the hallway the first day of classes. After the first day, the studio door will be closed during class to eliminate noise and distractions for our students, teachers, and musician. Parents may watch from the window in the hallway upstairs or the outside windows.


Tuition is $80 per semester per student. There is a 10% sibling discount.  Tuition must be paid by 3rd class session:

  • cash or check only (checks made to "UM Children's Dance")
  • we are currently NOT able to process credit cards

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Please email with questions.