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  • Regardless of your major or level of experience, NYU's dance minor is open to every one!
  • The minor is a total of 16 credits–so it's possible to do even with other minors!

Cross-school minors may be some of the most popular minors together at NYU! Let’s explore one together - the Tisch cross-school dance minor.

I was a big dancer in high school. I was a part of our advanced ensemble studio, and loved every class and performance we did. Coming to college, I knew I wanted to continue this passion of mine, but dancing professionally wasn’t really a part of my career plan. I first took a look at the different dance club options here on campus. While they looked absolutely amazing and so much fun, I didn’t have a lot of extra time outside of the regular class schedule to fit in weekly rehearsals. I finally decided to speak to my academic advisor about this. She pointed me to the Tisch dance minor, and everything clicked into place.

4 students pose for a selfie in a Ballet class
Me and my classmates, getting ready for our ballet class!

A little background…

So what does the dance minor actually look like? To complete it, you need to fulfill 16 credits from a selection of classes. Some of these include: Ballet, choreography, bodies in cultural landscapes, modern dance, and world dance cultures. Lecture classes are 4 credits, whereas studio classes are 2 credits. To declare a dance minor is really easy! There is no previous experience required, all one has to do is speak with their advisor to ensure it can fit into their schedule, email the dance department with your plan, and you’re good to go!

Dance final project, lighting
A glimpse of a final project!

My experience so far…

I am still in the early stages of this minor, but have been loving it so far. I took ballet the past semester and really enjoyed returning to it. It took place at the Gibney Center downtown at 9am every Tuesday, so it was a great way to wake up before my other classes. Since the class has no experience required, we had students from all levels together. There were people that’s never done ballet before, and ballerinas that had been dancing since they were 2. I fell somewhere in between.

This semester, I completed two more classes in the minor: Bodies in Cultural Landscapes, a 4-credit lecture course, and Steps, Rhythm and Movement of Hip Hop Dance, a 2-credit course. 

For Bodies in Cultural Landscapes, we explored movement through the lenses of Body as Culture, Body as Commerce, and Body as Art. We read from authors and dancers such as Ana Lopez and Martha Graham, and explored dance in relation to our body and each other. My favorite portion of the semester was when we looked at the history of voguing culture in New York. We first watched Paris Is Burning, and then our professor invited her friend, a drag queen that was featured in this documentary, to come speak with us and discuss the film. We had an amazing discussion with him in the first portion of class, and he taught us voguing techniques in the second portion of class. 

In Steps, Rhythm and Movement of Hip Hop Dance, our professor grew up in Harlem and was very involved in the popping and locking scene. Because of this, he was able to teach us the history and culture of hip hop alongside dancing. He was also a professional tagger, and taught us the meaning behind each tagger’s tag. We then created our own! At the end of the semester, we all created 8×8 counts of choreography, and tied it all together in a culminating final dance piece. It was heartwarming to see how much our professor cared about all of us as individuals. By the end of the semester, we all felt like a family. 

Hip Hop final performance, class piece
My hip hop class's final performance!

Studio Spaces!

NYU has many different dance studio spaces for us! My Ballet class met at Gibney Dance, where NYU rents out studios just for our students. We also recently celebrated the opening of a brand new building, the Paulson Center, which has a floor full of open studios. To learn more about the Paulson Center, check out their website here! The Kimmel Center has two reserve-able studio spaces, and many residential halls actually also have dance studios in them! Below is where I spent most of my time this past semester choreographing in the Paulson Center.

Dance studio at the Paulson Center
A dance studio at the brand new Paulson Center!

Up next for me…

Right now, I’m halfway through my dance minor with 8 credits. Next semester, I’ll be taking Choreography and Steps Rhythm Movement: African Dance. I’m super excited for both of these courses! I’ve really enjoyed my journey so far, and can’t recommend this minor enough.

Learn more about NYU's dance minor here!

Acy Cai is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Science majoring in Economics and minoring in Business Studies, Dance, Spanish and Math. On campus, she can often be found hanging out in the Kimmel music practice rooms, or picnicking with friends at Washington Square Park. When she isn’t on campus, she loves to do yoga and try out new restaurants around the city with friends! Aside from working in Admissions, Acy is also in a Panhellenic Sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, and on the executive board of Amnesty International NYU.