Dancer with leg stretched high on tennis court red light
The BFA Program in Dance is an intensive, four-year education in which students develop high-level professional skills in a variety of dance practices. 

Just north of Los Angeles, CalArts Dance benefits from performance opportunities at Redcat and other downtown spaces while continually generating an international network of choreographic exchange beyond the U.S. Dancers pursue rigorous training in technique (ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and more), choreography, and interdisciplinary and media-driven collaborations. The curriculum also includes courses in critical dance studies, performance studies, dance on camera, music, Pilates, and anatomy, as well as courses across campus in other arts and media. CalArts Dance offers comprehensive instruction in dance production, including stagecraft, lighting, and costume design. Through career-building workshops, BFA students match their creative visions with the professional tools needed to see them through. CalArts dancers regularly perform and experiment in a variety of contexts, including stages, galleries, films, public spaces, online platforms, and more, as the school is attuned to the changing field and demands of dance. The program is grounded in one-on-one mentoring by a diverse faculty of experienced, practicing artists and scholars. CalArts Dance faculty have danced professionally with companies and artists such as Nederlands Dance Theater, Ballet Preljocaj, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Rennie Harris, Boris Charmatz, San Francisco Ballet, Heidi Latsky, and Mia Michaels, and encourage students to explore a range of performance contexts, from the commercial industry to the experimental realm, and to understand the socio-political context of each endeavor. Students are exposed to a range of internationally-renowned artists working in dance and performance, and regularly benefit from choreographic residencies and performance workshops. CalArts Dance maintains significant relationships with choreographers across the globe, especially Europe, and BFA students are able to study with them beginning in their first semester, through both learning and performing existing repertory and co-creating new work. Those pursuing a BFA in Dance at CalArts also have opportunities to study abroad, earn internships, and benefit from interdisciplinary programs such as Integrated Media. Alumni have excelled at professional careers in all areas of dance and have been recognized through Herb Alpert and Bessie

Program Gallery

Program Faculty

Student Interview

Interview with Alexandra Bender, a BFA dancer in The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts

Alumni Story

Kevin Zambrano

My experience at CalArts shaped me into the artist I am today. It was a place in which I was allowed to blossom and call home. I went in with a background in musical theatre, but very little understanding for dance as an art form. CalArts embraced this and utilized my potential to unearth an artist over the course of four years. This is something I believe CalArts has mastered. Taking students with potential and providing them with the tools necessary to explore as well as gain a strong structure to work off of. 

The number one motto I learned at CalArts and has stuck with me through and through is to always take risks. I find whenever I have taken risks whether in class, auditions, workshops, or within my own work, I receive the best feedback and learn the most about myself. It’s those moments of extreme that define the signature of a performer and I believe CalArts is a school that emphasizes and cherishes this.

Post CalArts, I am heading to New York to play a shark in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. The show will be choreographed by Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker and directed by Ivo van Hove. I am extremely excited to start this process, as performing on Broadway has been a dream of mine since I was eight. Studying dance at CalArts equipped me with knowledge about  the choreographer and contemporary concert dance forms. Having this in my back pocket helped immensely throughout the audition process. From this show I would like to stay on Broadway a bit longer, leave the country to join a contemporary dance company and finally bring my own work to the Broadway stage. Dance is truly an adventure!

Kevin dancing with pink backdrop

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