Critical Thinking Dance Philadelphia


Interim Chair: Dr. Mark Franko

Programs | Department | Alumni | Faculty | Institute of Dance Scholarship | Conwell Dance Theater | Calendar of Dance Performances | Philadelphia| Blog


Dance Department Mission Statement
The Dance Department is committed to artistic and scholarly excellence through fostering a creative, reflective and inclusive learning environment. Through embodied practice, the Dance Faculty and students seek to honor traditions while exploring new ways of knowing dance. In recognition that we experience through the body, the programs encourage students to consider how bodies in motion contribute to knowledge, transform our social world and facilitate community engagement.


B.F.A. Dance

The B.F.A. in Dance at Temple is focused on building well-rounded, versatile artists who are not only technically proficient, but have a broad range and a deep understanding of their work. The goal of the B.F.A. program is to develop dancers who are prepared for success in a variety of careers within the field of dance.

The B.F.A. program in Dance is based in modern dance technique and choreography, but with a broad curriculum that includes course requirements in ballet and African dance, and offers electives in a range of styles. Ballet classes follow the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE® National Training Curriculum, and electives include pointe, partnering, and variations. Other course requirements include composition, repertory, creative process, improvisation, and dance science, in addition to courses that explore cultural, historical and analytical approaches to the study of dance.

Find out how to apply to the B.F.A. program, request more information, or read a testimonial.

M.A. Dance

The M.A. in Dance is a one-year, research-centered degree that allows students to follow and integrate strands in cultural, creative and educational studies. Through coursework blending experiential and theoretical inquiry and an in-depth thesis project, the program prepares students for doctoral education in dance and professional development in research, writing creative process, and pedagogy.

Find out how to apply to the M.A. program, request more information, or read a testimonial.

M.F.A. Dance

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance is a three-year, terminal degree program where dance professionals can be mentored by fellow artists and master teachers as they hone their craft and realize a well-articulated artistic vision. The program develops dance artists who are in command of their idiom as a basis for meaningful aesthetic statements. Furthermore, we seek to foster appreciation and comprehension of the body in movement; sensitivity to personal artistic qualities and sources; interdisciplinary perspectives; mastery of craft; and an awareness of the social, cultural and historical implications of dance. In addition to required courses in Research Methods in Dance, Educational Inquiry in Dance and a Graduate Seminar, students undertake a range of studio-based learning (Dancing Self in Community; Embodied Craft; Choreographing Philadelphia; Body Politic; Modal Practice, Structure & Performance), critical thinking courses (Concepts of Culture;Writing the City; Educating Dance), a self-directed choreographic laboratory (Studio Research) and a thesis concert.

Find out how to apply to the M.F.A. program, request more information, or read a testimonial.

Ph.D. Dance

The Doctor of Philosophy in Dance provides a rich environment for graduate research in dance through a diverse array of courses, a public seminar series, a biennial symposium and a rigorous advising process with experienced faculty.  The Ph.D. program educates leaders in dance/arts organizations, teachers in higher education and community settings, critical thinkers, productive scholars for the future, and self-reflective artists. Doctoral students acquire skills to envision new paradigms for the arts and education, to create new knowledge through research, and to forge new integrations between disciplines. The doctoral faculty has research specialisms in historiography, philosophy, phenomenology, cultural studies, aesthetics and criticism, and critical theory, and we welcome students with a variety of dance interests. In addition to a broad range of electives and required courses in Research Methods in Dance, Educational Inquiry in Dance and a Graduate Research and Writing Seminar, students can pursue courses in areas of dance faculty expertise:Dancing the Popular; Moving Across Genres; Bodies, Texts, History; and Experience, Engagement and Multi-Sensory Inquiry.

Read about current Ph.D. students' research interests, find out how to apply to the Ph.D. program, request more information, read a testimonial.

Institute of Dance Scholarship

The Institute of Dance Scholarship aims to foster and enrich dance research for the students and faculty of Temple University through engagement with scholars, artists and dance professionals working in the field. Through a range of public events, guest seminars and collaborative research projects, it engenders a critical network for dance studies. The Institute presents:

Dance Studies Colloquium
Reflection:Response Choreographic Commission
Scholar-in-Residence Program

The Dance Department: The first Dance program at Temple University was founded in 1968. Today, the Dance Department holds national accreditation for all of its degree programs and enjoys an impressive international reputation.

Performance, choreography, scholarship and education are of the highest caliber at Boyer College, and the community is comprised of exceptionally talented and collaborative individuals. In addition to an intensive training in studio practice and a rigorous program of academic study, students have the opportunity to collaborate with professional dance artists, engage in our REFLECTION:RESPONSE Speaker Series and participate in dance outreach work.

Graduates from Boyer’s Dance programs have danced in companies such as Streb, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women, Ballet X, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Dance Theater X, and many others, but also have gone on to become leading choreographers, artistic directors, dance therapists, studio owners, dance administrators, dance writers, researchers, and dance advocates. 

Read what they have to say about their time in Temple's Dance Department.

The Dance faculty at Boyer are leaders in the field with extensive professional backgrounds. They have performed with Martha Graham Dance Company, Doris Humphrey Repertory Company, Pearl Lang Dance Company, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and others. They are writers and editors for leading dance journals and represent the field through international scholarly organizations. They have received National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Foundation, and Guggenheim fellowships; National Dance Education Organization and “Bessie” awards; and numerous Fulbright scholarships.

Learn more about the Dance Department faculty.

Dance Department Faculty Bibliography
Dance Department Faculty Book List

The Conwell Dance Theater holds dance performances nearly every week that classes are in session, offering many opportunities for students to perform and choreograph. The department also brings in various professional artists for residencies, performances, and master classes each season. Recent guest artists have included Tiffany Mills, Donna Uchizono, Sean Curran, Cornelius Carter, Ruth Andrien, former soloist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Nina Watt, former member of the Jose Limon Dance Company.

Learn more about Boyer facilities or view the event schedule.

Philadelphia has a vibrant arts scene that includes dance companies such as Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco and Rennie Harris Puremovement, and is home to a rich community of independent artists. Its also hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the annual Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, and the Philly Fringe festival, and is located only 90 minutes from New York City and 2 hours from Washington, DC.


Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland


Photo by Jim Roese.
Courtesy of Bryn Mawr College.

Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland, Associate Professor at Bryn Mawr College, is the founder and director of its dance program as well as the chair of the arts program. Her scholarly research has included preserving the work of significant Philadelphia dance artists through oral histories and video documentation, and her present writing projects focus on the rise of a professional class of dancers in turn-of-the-century Philadelphia and on the role of bodiedness in both historiography and the archive In June 2012, she presented a paper on this research at the Society of Dance History Scholars Conference entitled “‘…good looks, good health and a knowledge of dancing’: Training the stage dancer in Philadelphia, early 1900s.” Caruso Haviland’s professional activities also include panel presentations and interdisciplinary arts collaborations. In the fall of 2011, for instance, she conceived and coordinated “The Contemporary Performance of Sex, Gender and Embodiment,” a symposium held in connection with the Bryn Mawr College residency of choreographer John Jasperse and world premiere of his Fort Blossom Revisited (2000–2012) as part of the College’s Performing Arts Series. Caruso Haviland has served as a board member of Dance USA/Philadelphia, and has worked on the organizational and exploratory committees of the Dance Coalition of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Dance Collection at Temple University, the Philadelphia Dance Heritage Consortium, and the Philadelphia Dance Archives Project, among others. She also teaches in and directed Bryn Mawr College’s critical thinking and writing program for first-year students, and has received the college’s Rosalyn R. Schwartz teaching award. Prior to her work at Bryn Mawr College, Caruso Haviland founded the dance program at SUNY/Westchester Community College and taught in several colleges and universities including Temple University and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received her undergraduate degree in dance from Adelphi University and went on to complete her doctorate in dance and philosophy at Temple University. She has performed with companies in New York and Philadelphia, principally with Zero Moving Company under the direction of Hellmut Gottschild.

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