Dance Studies at Yale

The Program in Theater, Dance and Performance Studies supports a wide-ranging program in dance studies. The curriculum consists of studio and seminar courses that cover the history, theory, and practice of dance forms spanning time and geography, from contemporary West African dance to The Twist. 


The dance studies curriculum emphasizes the study of movement as a window into larger cultural processes and historical frameworks. In keeping with the mission of Theater and Performance Studies, the courses combine practical and theoretical approaches to deepening students’ understanding. In the studio courses, practical execution in the form of mastering diverse dance techniques, canonical repertory and choreographic methods is treated as an invaluable component of research and writing. The curriculum further investigates the fluid and fraught relationship between movement and language. Students develop a shared critical vocabulary for reading, interpreting, and writing about dance, even as many will learn to communicate their ideas through the creation of original choreography. 


Courses vary in format and prerequisites, from sit-down seminars open to all interested students to studio courses designed to challenge those with prior dance training. Students who have enrolled in one or more dance courses may choose to do independent study projects in dance studies. Majors in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies may propose senior projects in dance. 

The Yale Dance Lab is a major co-curricular initiative that supports cross-disciplinary research, experimentation, and advocacy through dance. The Dance Lab augments and extends the work of the dance studies courses and works in partnership with programs and departments across the university. 

Cross-listed with a number of other departments—including Art, African Studies, African American Studies, American Studies, Film Studies, and Physics–Dance Studies at Yale promotes the interdisciplinary study of dance as an integral and vital element of human societies.

Contact Emily Coates, director of dance studies, with questions about the curriculum:


Dance Studies 2023-2024


Meeting times are subject to change; be sure to check the Yale Course Search for full course descriptions and the most up to date information on times and locations. 


FALL 2023

THST 097 Anatomy and Movement (Renee Robinson) 

T/TH 1 – 2:15 pm  


THST 110 Collaboration (Emily Coates & Elise Morrison)* 

T 10:30 a.m. – 1:20 pm 


THST 218 / EALL 253 / MUSI 494 Remapping Dance (Ameera Nimjee, Amanda Reid, Rosa van Hensbergen) 

T 1:30 – 3:20 pm 


THST 227/AFAM 217 Queer Caribbean Performance (Amanda Reid) 

W 1:30 – 3:20 pm 


THST 319/AFAM 313a Embodying Story (Renee Robinson) 

T/TH 10:30 a.m. 12:20 pm  


THST 335/AFST 335a West African Dance: Traditional to Contemporary (Lacina Coulibaly)  

T/Th 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 pm  


THST 340 Ballet Now (Daniel Ulbricht) 

M 1:30 – 3:20 pm 


THST 387 Choreography in Practice and Theory (Lacina Coulibaly) 

T 1 - 4 pm 


THST 215 / ENGL 434 Writing Dance (Brian Seibert) 

M 3:30 – 5:20 pm 




THST 092/AFST 092b African Rhythm in Motion (Lacina Coulibaly) 

T/TH 1 – 2:15 pm 


THST 234 Dance, Race, and Social Movements (Amanda Reid) 

DAY / TIME tbd 


THST 319/AFAM 313b Embodying Story (Renee Robinson) 

 T/TH 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 pm  


THST 335/AFST 335b West African Dance: Traditional to Contemporary (Lacina Coulibaly)  

T/Th 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 pm  


THST 345 Dance and Arts Activism in Southeast Asia (Triwi Harjito 

W 1:30 – 3:20 pm 


THST 380/AMST 370 Choreographic Invention in 20th Century America (Brian Seibert) 

M 3:30 – 5:20 pm  


THST 427/AMST 349 Technologies of Movement Research (Emily Coates) 

M 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 pm 


THST 396 Moving Sites and Structures (Iréne Hultman 

W 3:30 – 6:20 pm  


*Denotes core course for the major in Theater and Performance Studies. There will be a dance component to the course when the instructor specializes in dance.