Major, Minor

Rehearse for your future through an exploration of movement and expression.

The dance program at Pacific University combines practical experience with rigorous academics while facilitating a holistic learning environment. The program provides opportunities to perform, choreograph and while integrating dance with a liberal arts education. The department produces two main stage dance concerts a year and students receive the opportunity to participate in our preprofessional university company, Pacific Dance Ensemble. Students learns the skills to prepare them for a professional career in dance and beyond. Students train in techniques devoted to ballet, contemporary, and jazz, study dance history, choreography, pedagogy, kinesiology, and world cultures. Dance majors complete integrative capstones in dance and others areas such as dance, art,  media arts, chemistry, music, education, and more.

Students who have a strong interest in choreography can audition original dance works into the fall concert and gain the skills that will prepare them to present in professional dance festivals upon graduation.

Many of our students choose careers paths in performance, choreography, education, and physical therapy and are prepared to enter into graduate dance programs. 


Marsh Lawn

One Woman, Too Much is an hour-long play about the juggling act of a single working mom. The play is written and produced by Ellen Margolis, the chair of the Pacific University Theatre & Dance Department. 

Chika Matsumoto '21

Chika Matsumoto '21 received the 2021 Outstanding Contributions to Student Life Award from Pacific University.

Leiana Petlewski '21

A dance and applied theatre double major, Leiana Petlewski '21 was selected as Pacific’s undergraduate valedictorian for May 2021 Commencement. She also was named the university’s Outstanding Senior in Applied Theatre (along with fellow graduate Julia Peterson ’21), Outstanding Senior in Dance, and Outstanding Senior in the Arts.