Classes for all USC Students

The below courses are open to students at USC, except where noted. Complete information about courses, including official course descriptions, is available through the USC Catalogue. To browse the courses we offer each semester, visit the Kaufman School of Dance tab on the USC Schedule of Classes.

Technique Courses (2 units each)

USC Kaufman offers the following technique courses in multiple levels, as denoted by the lettering “a, b, c, d.”

  • DANC 180 African Dance
  • DANC 181abc Contemporary Dance
  • DANC 183abcd Ballet
  • DANC 184abcd Jazz Dance
  • DANC 185ab Hip-Hop Dance
  • DANC 186 Afro-Cuban Dance
  • DANC 187 Bollywood Dance
  • DANC 188ab International Style Ballroom Dance
  • DANC 189abc Tap Dance

Students with previous dance experience may place into intermediate (b-level), intermediate/advanced (c-level) and advanced (d-level) technique courses. Please contact uscdance@usc.edu for a Pre-Requisite Waiver.


General Education Courses (4 units each)

DANC 212g Dance in Popular Culture (GE-A)

Students will examine the role and presence of dance in popular culture.

DANC 280g Dance as an Art Form (GE-A)

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of dance studies and art criticism. Students will explore topics such as architecture, photography, poetry, technology, cinematic arts, sports and medicine, and how they relate to dance. The course is also a requirement for all dance minor programs.

DANC 302g Hip-Hop Don’t Stop: Black Social Dance Culture and Media (GE-A)

This course provides an introduction to the significance, history and practice of Urban Folk Dance, including hip-hop, freestyle, street dance and relevant social dances of the 20th century.

DANC 312gw African American Dance (GE-A & GE-G)

This course explores the discursive foundations, political motivations and aesthetic strategies of dance writers and artists whose works have created the category of “Black dance.”

DANC 333gw Origins of Jazz Dance (GE-A & GE-G)

This course examines the role that vernacular dance and music played in the creation of Jazz Dance.

DANC 342gp International and Historical Perspectives on Dance (GE-B & GE-H)

This course explores dance’s artistic, political and socio-cultural contexts in a classroom setting. It is only open to dance majors and minors.

DANC 352g Dancing with Words (GE-A)

In this course, students will develop their descriptive and analytical skills in a dance-writing context, including dance journalism, educational writing, scholarship writing, audience development and marketing through social media.

DANC 363g Dancing on the Screen (GE-A)

In a broad study of dance in movies, television, the internet, mobile devices and new media, this course looks at how dance on screen is influenced by storytelling, camera technology and editing.

Additional Courses

DANC 103 Conditioning for Dancers – 2 units

This course introduces principles of nutrition, cross-training and the use of Somatic techniques as methods of promoting holistic physical health for dancers. Students will practice physical conditioning and self-reflection in every class meeting. This course is generally only open to majors and minors.

DANC 105 Dance Science – 4 units 

In a broad overview of the principles of the physiology of exercise, functional anatomy, bio-mechanics and kinesiology, this course teaches students how to analyze movement and apply this knowledge to their dance studies. This course is generally only open to majors and minors.

DANC 107 World Perspective on Dance Performance – 2 units

Through lecture and participant-driven interaction, students in this course will practice and learn distinguishing aesthetics of international dance styles.

DANC 150 Dance and New Media – 1 to 2 units

This course acts as an introduction to using existing and emerging technologies to create and deliver dance works.

DANC 170 Choreography and Performance – 2 units

Students in this course will examine and practice compositional approaches to developing choreographic ideas through integrating improvisational techniques, editing choreographic material and evaluating and executing choreography and performance.

DANC 172 Introduction to Commercial Dance – 1 to 2 units

This course is designed to introduce students to the styles, norms and standards prevalent in the commercial dance industry, including technical approaches, practical skills and historical benchmarks.

DANC 175 Choreography for the Screen – 2 units

This course introduces students to all that is required in choreographing for the screen. Through both lecture-based and lab-based instruction, students will focus on rhythmic analysis, versatility, composition, notation techniques and stylizing aspects.

DANC 177 Introduction to Dance Forms and Techniques – 1 to 2 units

This studio course introduces the foundational techniques, histories and contexts of a variety of dance forms and styles.

DANC 190 Gaga: People – 1 to 2 units

In this course, students will explore the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin of Batsheva Dance Company. The course is rooted in guided improvisation. Unlike Gaga: Dancers, it is open to all individuals, regardless of previous dance experience.

DANC 191 Gaga: Dancers – 1 to 2 units

In this course, students will explore the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin of Batsheva Dance Company. The course is rooted in guided improvisation. Previous dance experience is required.

DANC 195 Kaufman in the Community – 1 to 4 units

Practice-based community engagement through dance, pedagogy and program development. Only select sections are open to all USC students. Previous sections have included Mobilizing Hip-Hop in the Community.

DANC 285 Elements of Dance Production – 4 units

Students in this course will explore theoretical aspects and application of creativity, choreography, accompaniment, dance notation and production in individual and group composition.

DANC 349 Expert Series – 1 to 2 units

This course provides an embodied encounter with prominent practitioners in the field. Students will experience an array of technical vocabularies, repertory and strategies for improvisation and composition.

DANC 355 Performance Lab – 1 to 4 units

Intermediate and advanced solo and partnering techniques in classical, contemporary, and street dance. Some sections are open only to dance majors. Previous open sections have included Hip-Hop Exploration Sessions.

DANC 362 Pilates Mat Training  – 2 units

In this course, students will learn Pilates mat exercises in order to promote healthy movement practices and to develop strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.

DANC 370 Dance in Los Angeles – 1 to 2 units

In this course, students will examine the multifaceted world of dance in Los Angeles where history, socioeconomics, race, gender, sexuality, commerce and entertainment intersection to create genres that influence contemporary life. Some sections are open only to dance majors.

DANC 372 Intermediate/Advanced Commercial Dance – 1 to 2 units

This course is designed to build higher level skills in preparation for success in the commercial dance industry. Students will develop intermediate/advanced skill sets in preparation for auditions, on-screen performances and interactions with agents.

DANC 399 Maymester: Dance Capitals of the World – 1 to 4 units

This course investigates various dance topics across major cities of artistic inspiration in a Maymester format. Courses include lectures, site visits and practical studies and may be held at USC or off campus, including abroad. Some sections are open only to dance majors.

DANC 432 Creativity, Culture, Commerce and Community – 2 units

This course serves as an exploration of artistic entrepreneurial mechanisms to initiate innovative endeavors in the professional dance world. Lectures will address different aspects of creativity, culture, commerce and community from perspective of promoting dance and amplifying its visibility and relevancy in today’s society.

DANC 442 International and Historical Perspectives on Dance II – 4 units

This course is a continuation of DANC 342gp, and explores dance as an art form in its artistic, political and socio-cultural climate. Students will utilize their bodily knowledge as a means to study dance history.

DANC 483 Dance Performance – 2 units

This course involves the preparation, rehearsal and performance of experimental choreography in main stage repertory.

DANC 490x Directed Research – 1 to 12 units

Student will focus on individual research and readings with faculty mentors. This course is only open to majors and minors.

DANC 495 Dance Internship – 1 to 36 units

This course acts as supervised application of dance theories and practices within a part-time employment context in the dance field. This course is only open to majors and minors.

DANC 499 Special Topics – 1 to 4 units

Selected topics of current interest. Previous offerings have included:

  • Rhythm Nations: Introduction to African, Indian and Latin Dance
  • Dance and Feminine Sexuality: From Bollywood to the West
  • Computer-Mediated Performance
  • From Dance in LA to Dance USA
  • Neo-Classical Pointes: A Study in Variations and Duets
  • Neuroscience and Dance for Games and Health
  • Horton Technique
  • Preparing for a Career in Dance and the Performing Arts
  • Dance Masters Forum
  • Dance for Zoom Fatigue
  • Mindfulness for Dancers
  • Musical Theatre Dance Techniques

Complete information about courses, including official course descriptions, is available through the USC Catalogue. To browse the courses we offer each semester, visit the Kaufman School of Dance tab on the USC Schedule of Classes.