Study Dance at the University of Montana

Prepare to enter the professional world of dance as performers, choreographers and teachers. When you earn your degree in dance at the University of Montana, you’ll join a supportive community of dancers and faculty who are here to help you grow.

As a dance major, you can gain experience with Bare Bait Dance, a professional company in partial residence at UM. We also offer multiple choreographic and teaching opportunities for bachelor’s in dance students both on campus and in the greater Missoula community.

Our program is grounded in modern and contemporary dance, but we also provide excellent instruction in ballet technique and jazz, improvisation and world dance forms. Choreography and performances from our dance program are consistently chosen to represent the region at dance conferences and frequently celebrated at the national level.


invitations to perform at biennial ACDA National Festival since 2010


productions of student, faculty and guest artist work per year, on average

Other degree options for dance at UM

  • Minor in Dance

What can you do with a dance degree?

If you have a passion for dance, we have the opportunities to take you where you want to go. The degree in dance prepares graduates for careers as artists, performers, choreographers, educators and community engagement practitioners.

Why employers choose UM dance graduates

Our faculty, and the professional opportunities offered through this program, makes UM one of the best colleges for dance majors in the region. Our graduates are well trained, creative, adaptable and experienced in their work.

Dancer jobs

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree in dance have choreographed and performed, and directed festivals, companies and schools around the globe. They teach children’s dance in Montana, and operate dance studios across the country. Many of our dance majors have gone on to pursue diverse graduate programs, while others weave their dance creativity into related fields such as wellness and physical therapy.

Dancer salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that dancers and choreographers earn an average of $18.68 per hour. According to ZipRecruiter, the average professional dancer salary in the United States is $67,839.

Student success story: From Missoula to Big Apple

The power of dance in interdisciplinary studies was recently emphasized when a graduate student in acting combined hip-hop dance, African-American studies and theatre into an original performance that was accepted at the Kennedy Center and Joe’s Pub in New York City.

Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the dance degree

We offer a variety of choreographic, performance, and teaching opportunities for majors in dance — on campus, in the greater Missoula community, and at universities across the region through our participation in the Northwest Conference of the American College Dance Association (ACDA).

Dance productions at UM

Take classes, create and perform in state-of-the-art studios and performance venues. From free site-specific concerts across campus and throughout Missoula, to our annual Dance in Concert performed in the beautiful Montana Theatre, our productions offer diverse opportunities to take your creativity and craft to new levels. Learn more about dance productions at the University of Montana.

Community engagement in the dance degree

Help support your community through the power of dance. Our dance program integrates a variety of community outreach initiatives, including opportunities such as the CoMotion Dance Project, UM’s Children’s Dance, New Visions Dance, impromptu improvisational happenings and more.

Career development in the bachelor’s degree in dance

We are a close-knit, supportive community of dancers and faculty mentors. Small classes allow for dedicated instruction and individual growth, and our connections to regional dance organizations offer valuable opportunities for professional development in performance, choreography and teaching. Check out our dance program on Instagram.

Dance facilities at the University of Montana

The dance program has two large studios, with one doubling as a performance venue. Dance majors benefit from multiple performance venues, including the Open Space, the Masquer Theatre and our 499-seat Montana Theatre. Dance productions are often in collaboration with the design and technology program which provides students and faculty the opportunity to work with designers, technicians and crew.

Dance scholarships at the University of Montana

Each year, UM’s School of Theatre and Dance awards $30,000 to $40,000 in scholarships, with several available specifically for dance majors. We also offer a number of work-study opportunities in the school office, box office and shops.

Explore classes for the dance major

Our dance degree is grounded in developing the voice of the dance artist. Our technique offerings focus on contemporary modern dance and multiple forms that enrich the field, including ballet, jazz and dances of the African diaspora. Rotating electives include creative practice, somatics, dance history, science of dance, pedagogy, hip-hop, tap and social dance. 

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in dance.