Nine dance students dancing on stage in casual clothes.
Program Overview


Moving, making, thinking, feeling.

Photo credit: John Seyfried

A Three Dimensional Dance Education

Dance at Oberlin integrates academic learning with personal experience, leading students to become creative problem solvers and to connect abstract concepts to the physical reality of their bodies. The department focuses on four areas of study: creation and performance, critical inquiry, physical techniques, and somatic studies. We also offer classes in arts management, design, and production. Our faculty are renowned artists and scholars working at the interdisciplinary forefront of dance studies. The department’s curricular pathways include courses in West African, samba, contact improvisation, hip hop, and various approaches to contemporary technique. Combining rigorous dance training with a broad liberal arts education, our program prepares students to dance not just in the studio, but in the world.

A Thriving, Supportive Dance Community

Dance happens all over Oberlin’s campus, as a part of everyday life, in site-specific work, and in faculty-choreographed productions and student-run performances. Dance students have a variety of opportunities to choreograph, dance in each other’s shows, work with professional guest artists, perform in our fall and spring showcases or in the many student clubs. Dance classes are open to all. Come to Oberlin to take a beginner technique class, hone your choreographic voice, or conduct original research in a close-knit community of artists and thinkers. Whether you want to pursue a career in dance or just have fun, Dance at Oberlin will move you through college and beyond.

17+ student-run movement based clubs including OCircus, OC Aerialists, Vibe Tap and Jazz, Ballet Oberlin, Choreo, Capoeira Angola, Movimento and more!
Clubs & Organizations
In 1972 Contact Improvisation originated at Oberlin College

Featured Courses

DANC 107


Experience the joyous movement, music, and culture of Samba. Learn to shuffle your feet, shake your hips and sing along to pagode like a carioca while coming to know the complex history & politics intertwined with Brazil’s most famous art form.

Taught by
Alysia Ramos
DANC 203

Somatic Landscapes

Somatic Landscapes begins with the premise that we live in the world through our bodies. Thus, if we want to become conscious of our relationship to the earth we must first become mindful of our physical selves. In order to develop our responsibility to the ecology, we must first develop an ability to respond.

Taught by
Ann Cooper Albright
DANC 224/AAST 224

Choreography in the Cultural Traditions

Create, mount and perform choreographic work from the traditional movement and dance traditions of West Africa and its diaspora. Learn the rituals, rhythms, stories and societies that shape these rich dance lineages while exploring them through your personal lens.

Taught by
DANC 270/GSFS 270

Queer Gestures

Explore queerness through the lens of movement and performance. Examine how creative practice, live performance, feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, and postcolonial scholarship contend with competing notions of the body, environment, and performance.

Taught by
Al Evangelista

Student Profiles

Dance Practice as Research

After a six month exploration of performance in Filipino American communities, Kara Nepomuceno ’20 performed “Side by Side” at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival Conference.

Kara Nepomuceno.

From Chemistry to Circus Arts

Hayley Larson ’14 entered Oberlin College thinking she would major in chemistry and dance on the side. A double chemistry and dance major, Larson is now a full-time dancer and instructor at Aloft Circus Arts and Aerial Dance Chicago.

Hayley Larson.

Taking Top Prize at a Film Contest

Three Oberlin dance students collaborated for an innovative competition that required them to choreograph, shoot, score, and produce a dance film in only 48 hours. Their project, Not Today, won the 2016 Boundless in Brooklyn: 48 Hour Dance Film Contest.

Molly Gorin, Lola Gatti, and Sophia Attebery.

Upcoming Dance Events

What does Dance at Oberlin look like?

Alysia Ramos and students.

Professor Alysia Ramos dances with students from Samba & Capoeira classes at a Samba de Roda workshop with guest artist Flavia Nascimento.

Photo credit: Mark Blanchard
Students performing on stage. The student in the center has a black leotard and white tights on.

Students from the Choreography in the Cultural Traditions class perform in the Oberlin Dance Company Concert directed by Professor Talise Campbell.

Photo credit: John Seyfried
Student participants in Warner Main.

Oberlin dance students participate in an intensive workshop taught by visiting dance artist Nora Chipaumire.

Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko
Holly Handman-Lopez and students.

Professors Holly Handman-Lopez and Emily Barton collaborate on a Winter Term intensive spanning dance and creative writing.

Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko
Michal Schorsch and Kara Nepomuceno.

Michal Schorsch and Kara Nepomuceno perform a site specific work in Spring Back, “Out the Box.”

Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97
Ann Cooper Albright and students.

Professor Ann Cooper Albright leading a workshop in Warner Gymnasium.

Photo credit: Zach Christy

Next Steps

Get in touch; we would love to chat.

Dance students rehearsing on Tappan Square by the arch.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97