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Dance Program

Taiko Drumming Dance Performance

Department Overview

Swarthmore’s Dance program brings together a talented group of students to perform a global repertoire of dance styles and simultaneously engage in critical thinking and writing.  Our vibrant and diverse community of artists and scholars pursue dance as a field of academic inquiry, artistic creation, and civic engagement.  We offer special scholarships for our majors and minors to study specific styles with some of the finest master teachers and choreographers in Philadelphia or develop as art activists through immersion in an international or local community.  Our students are often double majors or special majors in fields such as Anthropology, Classics, Art History, English, Education, as well as Biology and Psychology.  

We welcome all students to join our dance community regardless of whether they are majors or minors in the program or have prior formal training in dance.  The state of the art Lang Performing Arts Center and our spacious dance studios are always buzzing with concerts and rehearsals.  The intimate Underhill library, dedicated only to the Department of Music and Dance, filled with books, articles, and DVDs, is the ideal nook to rest the dancing feet and discover the world of dance scholarship.  Come join the journey!   

Coronavirus Update

We are saddened by all the chaos and canceled events due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including our Spring concert and showings. The following adjustments are being made for our Dance Program students:

·All teachers are/will be in touch with their class students directly.

·All our end of semester concerts and showcases are canceled. 

·Performances and choreography learning are moving online.  For dance studio classes, individual teachers will be in touch with students regarding how they will proceed with embodied learning classes via Zoom, Facebook and video sharing. 

·Academic classes will be taught via Zoom and Moodle.  Individual teachers will provide information about midterm and final papers and other assignments. 

·The dance program Facebook page has links to online/streaming content on movement/stretching classes, dance, and yoga.  We will continue to share links there. 

·Please direct your questions or concerns to the individual teacher for a particular course or the department chair. 

Ballet Forum: La Bayadère - PA Ballet

Behind The Scenes

Ballet Forum: La Bayadère

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

6:30 PM–7:30PM

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’s Rhoden Art Center
128 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hear from Artistic Director Angel Corella; Dr. Pallabi Chakravorty, Swarthmore College, Chair, Music and Dance; Dr. Laura Katz, Temple University Professor of Dance; Dr. Anna Marley, PAFA, Curator of Historical American Art; and moderator Phil Chan, Co-Founder of Final Bow for Yellowface on the history and legacy of La Bayadère.

Spring 2020 Dance Concert

Friday May 1, 2020
 4:30 pm

Saturday May 2, 2020

8:00 pm

Pearson Hall Theater
Lang Performing Arts Center


The Spring Dance Concert will feature student performances by faculty choreographers from the Dance Program's repertory courses in african dance, ballet,  kathak dance, taiko, and tap. This concert will also feature performances by our dance majors.


Free and open to the public.  All ages are welcome. 


Modern Dancers

New Book Releases by Pallabi Chakravorty

The Department of Music and Dance congratulates Pallabi Chakravorty on her latest publications.

This is How We Dance Now!

Performance in the Age of Bollywood and Reality Shows

For more information about this book and the author please visit this site>

Dance Matters Too

Markets, Memories, Identities

Edited by Pallabi Chakravorty, Nilanjana Gupta.  For more information about this book please visit this site

Book Covers
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Dance Alumni

Swarthmore alumni have gone on to dance and choreograph professionally, start or direct companies, pursue graduate work in dance, teach in college and university settings, and work in arts administration. 

While many colleges and universities offer excellent technique classes, Swarthmore stands out because dancers here are able to develop their technique, creative vision, and understanding of dance studies simultaneously. 

See what some Swarthmore Alumni are doing now.

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