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Dance is integral to understanding the history and social life of many cultures, and offers a context for embodied learning about ourselves, how we relate to and communicate with others, and the world. Dance is experienced in many forms throughout Aotearoa in social, ritual, traditional and contemporary artistic contexts.

Dance is available as a minor.


Dance students will develop creative skills and innovative teaching methods for dance in community settings, schools and professional contexts, informed by understandings of wellbeing and lifelong learning through the arts.

Learning dance offers the opportunity for focused practical engagement in contemporary movement practices, choreography and improvisation. It incorporates diverse approaches to understanding dance through ethnography, cultural studies, phenomenology and creative practice as research. The work and ideas of contemporary practitioners in New Zealand and in other cultures provides a context for specific discussions, to which students bring their own dance knowledge. Dance papers have public performances as final assessments and the learning process is embodied through practical classes and workshops, rehearsals and performances.

Dance is taught within the Theatre Studies and Dance programme. The staff are highly qualified and contain a broad spectrum of professional, artistic practice. Their research interests include performance-as-research, contemporary performance theory, directing, choreographing, site dance, digital dance, somatic practices and movement for wellbeing.

Dance classes, seminars and rehearsals take place in the purpose-built Dance Studio, with performances also in the The Playhouse Theatre in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

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Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Teacher
  • Dancer
  • Arts Administrator
  • Director
  • Community Arts Worker

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DANCE101Dance, Movement and Culture15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper integrates dance practice and theory, providing practical experience of different dances of Aotearoa, the Pacific region and beyond. Embodied learning in dance is integrated with critical examination of how dance is influenced by social and cultural issues, and an introduction to choreographic processes.
MAORI157Ngā Mahi a Rehia: An Introduction to Kapa Haka15.024B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the theoretical and practical components of kapa haka as a means of communication and cultural expression in the Maori world.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DANCE202Community Dance15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper integrates dance and theory, focusing on understanding community dance in Aotearoa and beyond, and in relation to issues of participation, pedagogy, inclusion and wellbeing.
THSTS260Exploring the Physical in Theatre15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper charts the use of the term 'physical theatre', providing an overview of the areas of debate in the field. Workshops are contextualised by theoretical readings exploring the landscape from which the term emerged.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DANCE301Performing Dance15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper offers an advanced study of choreography for performance, focussing on solo choreography, critical reflections on embodiment, gender and culture in dance, and a final public performance production.

Subject requirements

To complete a minor in Dance, students must complete 60 points (four papers), including DANCE101, DANCE201, DANCE202 and DANCE301, or other papers approved by the School.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

Subject links

The University offers dance classes regularly. For more information, see Dance on Campus.

Learn more about Dance at the University of Waikato, our staff, students and news.

Planning Your Minor

We recommend taking Dance as a minor within the Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Studies). Alternatively, Dance can be taken as a minor for any undergraduate degree at the University of Waikato.

Degree planner — BA (Theatre Studies & Dance)

Year 1

ENGLI101 or INTLC101

One from List A

100 Level
Field of the Degree

100 Level
Field of the Degree


  • Major
  • Compulsory
  • Elective

*Papers with an asterisk count towards a minor in Dance.

Papers not listed above:

This information is provisional and subject to change.


School of Arts
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4922
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: [email protected]