University of Alberta dance programs within the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation offers dance classes ranging from technique classes to graduate research education for students who want to include the study of dance into their degrees.


The Faculty offers a number of undergraduate courses for students who want to include the study of dance in their degrees.

Full details and up-to-date course outlines are available from the University of Alberta's online registration site BearTracks and the University of Alberta Calendar. Undergraduate level classes are listed at DAC and DANCE in the Calendar.


Graduate courses at the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation focus on research and theory. They are open to all students at the University of Alberta. Graduate programs in dance are led by Dr. Pirkko Markula, professor in sociocultural studies. She is a researcher in the Body, Movement and Culture Research Group.

To find out if Dr. Pirkko Markula is accepting graduate students, visit her professor page 


Dance Research within the Faculty includes the following main strands:

  • socio-cultural research projects that include examinations of media images of the dancing body and dancers' experience with their bodies and health
  • arts-based research projects that include experimentations of using improvisations to understand the dance experience
  • research-creation projects that include dance choreography and performance based on use camera and improvisation. The Initial 6 Dance Research Group leads this research strand.
  • performance ethnography projects where the researchers present their research finding through a dance performance


Historically, dance has been a central aspect of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation where we study and teach aspects of human movement that embrace both the arts and science.

Founding dean, Dr. Maurice Van Vliet recognized this and hired Dorothy Harris, now professor emeritus, to develop this art form in the faculty.

She helped develop the foundation of the dance program on which the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation has built the academic classes we teach today.

Learn more about the history of dance at the University of Alberta