About Dance

HARVARD DANCE CENTER MISSION

Equity, dignity, and transformation for all people through artistic, academic, and civic leadership in beloved community to advance dance literacy on campus and for the world. Dance education across all offerings aims to foster agency for students and promote the arts as vehicles of social change in the world.  

 

We aim to provide meaningful engagement through dance and the arts – on campus, and in our greater Cambridge and Boston communities and beyond them. Dance Center physical and virtual spaces aim to provide inclusivity, reflection, dialogue, expression, fellowship, research, and invention. No matter the point of entry, from community dance classes and master classes, to student-led groups and the Theater, Dance & Media (TDM) concentration, our focus is to foster a transformative student experience and empower tomorrow's artists, innovators, and leaders.

 

Dance Center offerings afford the opportunity for students to pursue a primary or secondary concentration in Theater, Dance & Media. Harvard community dance classes span a wide range of dance traditions and practices. Non-credit classes are tuition-free for all Harvard students, and a robust tuition assistance program is available for all Harvard community members. The Center regularly hosts guest artists and choreographers who teach master classes and hold residencies throughout the academic year, cultivating exceptional opportunities for students to work with intergenerational luminaries and groundbreakers in the field and in disciplines linked to dance. Programming, courses, classes, and events are inclusive of all abilities and levels of experience.

 

Central to programming is partnerships with departments, programs, and student organizations across campus. In collaboration with partners, the Dance Center provides workshops and dialogues that engage important campus and civic issues. We provide mentorship, support, and residency opportunities for emerging student choreographers, as well as for 23 student-led dance groups that represent over 20 traditions from across the globe.

 

Fall 2021 Harvard Dance Center Brochure

 

DANCE STUDIES IN THEATER, DANCE & MEDIA

Dance studies in the TDM inter-arts concentration are rooted in and committed to global traditions, practices, and innovations in the field. Dance faculty in TDM and guest artists engage diverse and dynamic perspectives in the field and in disciplines linked to dance. Studio, production, lecture and hybrid courses support studies in dance composition, improvisation, performance, choreographic design, and history of dance with an emphasis on collaboration and trans-disciplinary inquiry. Opportunities to perform wide-ranging repertory, commissioned work, and installations are focal components of coursework, and digital technology is leveraged to devise new methods for making and capturing the form.

ALL ARE WELCOME

The Harvard Dance Center is a space where every student can be fully self-expressed without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe based on race, ethnicity, cultural background or tradition, biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or physical or mental ability; a space where the social contract supports each person's self-respect and dignity, and encourages everyone to respect others.

We are anti-racist and are actively challenging our own assumptions and biases as we work toward true equity for all. In that spirit, we do not tolerate racism, discrimination, bias, and intolerance of any kind from anyone in, associated with, or visiting the Harvard Dance Center in person or virtual spaces.

Advancing dance literacy on campus and for the world!

University Resources 

Land Acknowledgement

"Harvard University is situated on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Massachusett people. Our University honors the historic Harvard Charter of 1650, which committed to our institution to “the education of English and Indian youth of this country.” As a chartered creation of the Massachusetts colonies and Commonwealth, Harvard evolved alongside the persistence of the Massachusett, Nipmuck, and Wampanoag Nations. Located near the Charles River, this place has long served as a site of meeting, exchange, and diplomacy among nations, with thousands of contemporary Native American people living in greater Boston and tens of thoughts in the state of Massachusetts."Harvard's Native American Program: Land Acknowledgment

The Dance Center would like to pay its respects to elders of the Massachusett, Nipmuck, and Wampanoag people both past and present, and is committed to decolonizing its relationships with people and land at a local level in Cambridge, in Boston, and wherever its community members are located in virtual classrooms around the world. We understand that this acknowledgement is only a first step in restorative justice and repair of the harmful legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement of Indigenous peoples.

Resources: 
LandMark: Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands  
Native Land   

Dance has existed in various forms at Harvard University and Radcliffe College, from social dances to master classes, since the late 1890s. In 1964 Radcliffe appointed Claire Mallardi, Dance Director Emerita, to develop dance into a full-scale program. The Dance Program has been a dynamic part of the Office for the Arts since 1973, and became a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1999. Elizabeth Bergmann, former Chair of the University of Michigan’s Dance Department, served as Director of the Dance Program from 2000 until 2011, while also a Lecturer in the Committee on Dramatic Arts. Under her leadership and signaling a burgeoning presence of dance on campus, the Dance Program moved to a dedicated dance space, the Harvard Dance Center at 66 Garden Street, which houses two studios – the main studio converts to a theater where Dance events, annual Department performances, Emerging Student Choreographer Showings, and student-led dance company residencies are held. A third Dance studio is located at 74 Mt. Auburn Street.

Jill Johnson, Dance Director and Senior Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media, aims to honor the legacy of Dance at Harvard while advancing dance knowledge and literacy on campus, and with an evolving vision for dance studies at Harvard.

Theater, Dance & Media

Dance studies in the TDM interarts concentration are rooted in tradition and committed to innovation. Credit courses support studies in dance composition, improvisation, performance, choreographic design and history of dance with an emphasis on collaboration and trans-disciplinary inquiry.  Opportunities to perform wide-ranging repertory, commissioned work and installations are a focal component of coursework, and digital technology is leveraged to devise new methods for making and capturing the form. Guest artist faculty teach master classes, courses, hold residencies and create original work each academic year, fostering exceptional opportunities for students to work with luminaries and innovators who engage diverse and dynamic perspectives in the field and in disciplines linked to dance.  

 

The Harvard Dance Center opened in the Fall of 2005 and is one of the primary performance venues for dance at Harvard. The Center houses the Dance Office and features two studios and performance amenities for students and visiting artists. Studio One converts from a 3,500 square foot studio to a theater space with a capacity of 300. Both spaces are used for courses, artist residencies, classes and undergraduate dance company rehearsals and residencies. The Harvard Dance Center is accessible for individuals using wheelchairs. 

The Harvard Dance Center is open 7 days a week, 9am-midnight. The Dance Office hours are 9:30am-5:30pm Monday-Friday. 

Follow Harvard Dance Center on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Harvard Dance Center 
66 Garden Street | Cambridge, MA 02138
dance@fas.harvard.edu | 617-495-8683

Dance Center Staff

Man with baseball hat and beard looks directly at the camera with a small smile. Switches from a sound booth are behind him.

Jon Gonda

Production Manager for Dance

Jon Gonda is a freelance lighting designer, programmer, and production manager based in Boston, MA. He studied computer science and electrical engineering...

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Teaching Artists

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Joh Camara

West African Dance

Sidi Mohamed Camara, popularly known as “Joh,” was born in Bamako, Mali in West Africa, and from the age of 5, trained in music and dance from his mother...

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John Lam

Ballet

John Lam began dancing at the age of four at the Marin Ballet in San Rafael, CA. He rose quickly through the ranks...

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