2020-2021 Catalog


MMC’s Dance Programs offer professional training in dance for a variety of settings, a rich liberal arts curriculum and the opportunity to enjoy New York City’s unparalleled cultural resources. The Dance faculty is committed to the belief that learning through the body is a means for the acquisition, translation and creation of social, historical and theoretical knowledge. Movement classes offer a rigorous approach to the physical and verbal command of dance vocabulary, requiring the student to formulate aesthetic insights and apply them in the contexts of individual works, stylistic traditions and historical and cultural awareness. The progression of course work within dance genres is designed to familiarize students with a variety of dance traditions, canonical and contemporary. Classes are sequenced so that key physical and aesthetic concepts are delivered, reinforced, and developed at multiple stages of experience and understanding. All dance courses incorporate movement sequences, written assignments, class discussions, theoretical discourse and research.

We offer two undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts, as well as a minor. Acceptance into both Bachelor’s programs requires an audition for the Dance Department. Auditions take place off campus in San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, and West Palm Beach in late winter and on campus four times a year in late winter and early spring for fall admittance.

The B.A. in Dance offers interdisciplinary pursuits of dance studies in dialogue with or congruent to concert dance. The Dance Department emphasizes the importance of dance education as applied to pedagogical systems, theorizations of performance practices, an analysis of movement and its implications in a variety of arenas, and the emerging relationships between dance and media. B.A. candidates are given a solid foundation in dance technique and a balanced approach to course work to facilitate the four concentrations in Body, Science & Motion; Dance & Media; Dance Studies; and Teaching Dance Arts. The curriculum is comprehensive, forward thinking, and pragmatic in its approach to future studies and careers in dance related fields. It is nonperformance based and has the flexibility to meet the needs of dance students, dance professionals seeking a degree, and those interested in pursuing a double major in a related field.

The B.F.A. is a 62-credit professional program in dance designed for the student who plans to pursue a career in dance performance and/or choreography. To best facilitate the interests and needs of the student, the B.F.A. has a set curriculum that all candidates must fulfill in one of four areas: Ballet, Modern, Choreography, and Jazz. The B.F.A. Dance program emphasizes the nurturing and further development of each student’s technical skills and artistry and requires a minimum two-year residency. Acceptance into the program is competitive; prospective students must not only satisfy the academic requirements for acceptance into the College, but also give strong evidence of professional promise as demonstrated through auditions and interviews.

Each semester following the freshman year, the Dance faculty assess all B.F.A. students according to the following criteria:

  • Maintenance of a 3.0 average or better in academic and dance courses;
  • Evaluation of performance in workshops and productions;
  • Evaluation of class work and progress in technique;
  • Participation in juries (twice in the first year; once a year following);
  • Attendance.

Additional Learning Opportunities

The MMC Dance Company is the College’s repertory company. The Company has performed at The Joyce Theater, 92nd Street Y’s “Fridays at Noon,” Everett Center for the Performing Arts, The Hostos Center for Performing Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, Parson’s Dance Gala, performed a full evening of Nikolais work in Kunming and Beijing, China, and at public high schools in the New York City area. An audition is held each fall for acceptance into the company. If accepted, the commitment is for one year with weekly rehearsals and a special four-week January session with daily classes and rehearsals.

Internships and Independent Studies maintain a bridge from college to the professional dance world. The Dance Department’s relationships with several companies and arts organizations help place students in areas such as fundraising, marketing, company/school management, production and teaching. Recent internships have been held with the schools and companies of Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, Stephen Petronio, and organizations such as the Princess Grace Foundation, BAM, New York City Ballet, Dance Theater Workshop, The Joyce Theater, Sony, Lifestyle Media, The Village Voice, The National Dance Institute, and The New York State Council for the Arts.

A degree program for dance professionals with extensive performing experience is available through the Prior Learning Assessment Program; interested students individually develop a program with a dance faculty advisor.

By the spring semester of senior year, students can begin to explore options for working/auditioning/interviewing in the New York City area for job placement in their area of specialty. Recent graduates are members of professional dance companies, Broadway shows and touring companies, teachers in both public schools and private settings, operators of their own dance studios, producers of their own choreography, freelance writers for dance, and successful costume designers and arts administrators. Many students also pursue graduate work.

Division: Fine and Performing Arts
Division Office: Nugent Hall, Theatre Office
Office Phone: 212-774-0760
Division Chair: Katie Langan, B.A.
Dance Administrator:

Haley Krall 

Department Faculty:

Katie Langan

Professor of Dance

Chair, Division of FAPA 

Former member of Zurich Ballet, Chamber

Ballet USA, and Twyla Tharp Dance Company

B.A., Marymount Manhattan College

Carson Hall 516

Phone: 212-517-0611


Nancy Lushington

Associate Professor of Dance

Chair, Department of Dance

Former soloist, May O’Donnell Dance Company and Joyce Trisler Danscompany

B.A., Adelphi University

Carson Hall 516

Phone: 212-517-0614


Catherine Cabeen

Asociate Professor of Dance

Former Member of Bill. T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Martha Graham Dance Company

B.F.A., Cornish College, Professional Dancers Program

M.F.A., University of Washington

Carson Hall 516

Phone: 212-774-0876


Elena Comendador

Associate Professor of Dance

Former Member of Hartford Ballet and Joyce Trisler Danscompany

B.A., Columbia University

M.F.A., Goddard College

Carson Hall 508

Phone: 212-774-0876


Jan Dijkwel

Assistant Professor of Dance

B.F.A., Amsterdam College of the Arts

M.A., Drexel University (MCP Hahnemann University)

Carson Hall 516

Phone: 212-517-0613


Jens Richard Giersdorf

Professor of Dance

M.A., Universität Leipzig, Germany

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Carson Hall 508

Phone: 212-517-0615


Elisabeth Motley

Assistant Professor of Dance

B.F.A., The Juilliard School of Dance

M.F.A., Goddard College

Carson Hall 508

Phone: 212-517-0624


Andrew Warshaw

Associate Professor of Music and Dance

Coordinator of Music Minor

B.A., Wesleyan University

M.F.A., New York University

Nugent Hall 554

Phone: 212-774-0772


Anthony Ferro

Professor Emeritus of Dance

Former member of Twyla Tharp, Louis Falco and Dennis Wayne Dance Companies and

The Metropolitan Opera Ballet

B.A., Marymount Manhattan College

M.F.A., Goddard College


Dance Courses (DANC)