Academic Programs and Research

Undergraduate courses
Graduate studies

Undergraduate courses

The Faculty offers a number of undergraduate courses for students who want to include the study of dance in their degrees.

Full details and up-to-date course outlines are available from the University of Alberta's online registration site BearTracks and the University of Alberta Calendar. Undergraduate level classes are listed at DAC and DANCE in the Calendar.

DAC 125
Social Dance

Acquisition of theoretical knowledge and personal skill in several variations and sequences of the waltz, foxtrot, tango, jive, rumba and cha cha.

Development of good partnering and rhythmic abilities is integral to this course.

DAC 126
Jazz Dance
Acquisition of theoretical knowledge and personal skill in body awareness and placement, locomotion and choreographed jazz dance
DAC 197
Selected Topics in Dance
Selected topics in dance activity. Ballet is the common course offered under this course number. Note: Topics vary. Pre-requisite: Consent of instructor
The Spectrum of Dance in Society
  • The theory and practice of dance as a human physical activity
  • Focus is on the aesthetic, expressive and rhythmical dimensions of movement in a culture's artistic and social life
  • Includes movement content, techniques, improvisation, composition and performance in various dance forms including modern, social, jazz and folk dance
Modern Dance
The study of creative contemporary modern dance, techniques, improvisation, composition and performance through theory and practical experience. The course fully expolores modern dance as an art form
Modern Dance Techniques

Development of personal movement skills in a variety of modern dance techniques combined with knowledge of movement and dance principles. Emphasis is on injury prevention in dance.

Pre-requisites: DAC 160 or 165, or DANCE 200 or 340 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

DANCE 350 International Folk Dance
  • The study of folk dances in selected cultures through theory and practical experience
  • Theory focuses on costume, music, history, geography, and other elements which influence the dances
Study of Dance for Children
  • Children's dance from the perspective of the child as the creator, performer and spectator
  • Opportunities to observe, work with and instruct children in creative dance
Modern Dance Composition
  • Theory and practice of modern dance improvisation and composition, principles of form and design, individual and group choreography, evaluation
  • Pre-requisite: 1 of DANCE 200, 340, 431, or consent of Faculty
Selected Topics
Topics of current interest in the area of dance. Topics vary from term to term. Consent of the instructor required.
Directed Studies
  • An individualised course offering an in-depth study in a dance area not covered by regular classes
  • Pre-requisite: consent of Faculty; DANCE 200, 340, 350 and 446
INT D 438
Ukrainian Dance
  • Explores Ukrainian dance it its cultural context
  • Looks at traditional dances in village settings in Ukraine; explores how dances change when mounted on stage
  • Strong focus on contemporary Ukrainian dance in Alberta
Concentrations in Dance
  • Students in the Bachelor of Physical Education program can develop an individual concentration in dance. These are approved by the Faculty on a case-by-case basis
  • Individual concentrations in dance will be unique
  • Generally, students will need to take DANCE 200, 340, 2 directed studies in dance and 2 other DANCE classes of their choice. (These will depend on DANCE classes being offered in a given term.)

Graduate Studies

Graduate programs in dance are led by Dr. Pirkko Markula, professor in socio-cultural studies of physical activity in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

  • Dr. Markula is a lead researcher in the Body, Movement and Culture Research Group in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
  • Her research interests lie in
    • Dancers' experiences with their bodies
    • The meaning of dance technique
    • Understanding popular representations of dance in the media
    • Performance ethnography (ways of using dance to present research results)
  • Dr. Markula trained with Stuart Gold (Limon Dance Company), Renee Wadleigh (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Randy Howard (Erick Hawkins Dance Company), Cunningham Dance Studio (New York), among others
  • Contact Dr. Markula at
  • Contact Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation