Dance Studies - Courses

100 Level

Our first-year (100 level) courses are designed to provide a solid basis in the subject’s key areas.

Fundamentals of Dance introduces and compares central methodologies and movement systems associated with the study of dance, the theatre arts, athletic preparation and movement analysis.

Elements of Dance focuses on the basic elements and skills of dance as a contemporary performance art. It incorporates theory, practice and analysis.

Movement Education: Dance and Gymnastics is an integrated experiential and theoretical course that concentrates on exploration, analysis and development of movement skills and concepts through the disciplines of dance and gymnastics. Please note that this specific course is only open to Phys. Ed. students.

200 Level

At 200-level, Contemporary Dance: Theory and Practice is designed to extend and deepen students’ understanding of contemporary dance. It specifically examines contemporary and historical perspectives on choreography. This 200-level paper and some of the 100-level courses give students the opportunity to perform their own work in our big lecture theatres on campus or in chosen locations around Dunedin.

300 Level

At 300-level, Dance and the Community considers dance in the context of a range of different therapeutic, social, educational, political and artistic functions.

Dance Education critically analyses local, national and international dance education, curriculum and policy, with an emphasis on the interaction between practice and theory in educational contexts.

For advanced undergraduate students, or those studying towards a Masters degree, we provide courses at 400 level. Dance Education Philosophy (and Research Issues) examines the philosophies that underpin the current theory and practice of dance in a variety of educational contexts. It considers dance psychology and dance education for the disabled and for prison inmates. We also offer a range of Advanced Research Topics in Dance Studies. Topics may vary and include Dance, Gender and Sexuality, or Dance and Politics. We sometimes arrange international Field Studies abroad.

Performing Arts Studies

Dance papers are core elements of the Bachelor of Performing Arts Studies degree. Components include, for instance, collaborative practices, dance and technology, or anthropology.

For further information about the Performing Arts Studies programme go to


University of Otago The School of Physical Education - Te Kura Akoraka Whakakori