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. 


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.

Hands on piano

We may find comfort and a restored sense of wonder in any of these forms of artistic expression.

Chika Matsumoto ’21 first started dancing because it’s what her friends were doing. But she never stopped. “It turned out to be a lifelong passion and hobby with me,” she said. “Dance has just been that one thing that stuck with me my entire life.”