Combining the art of dance with scientific principles

The Bachelor of Science in Dance Science degree prepares students with a breadth of knowledge in dance science and focuses on the practical application of scientific principles to enhance dance and movement performance, improve dance training, reduce injury, and contribute to the overall health and well-being of dancers. Students majoring in Dance Science may choose to double major in other disciplines or may choose to focus on completing the pre-requisites for graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, dance education, dance science, dance medicine, or dance movement therapy. No audition is required. Please contact Professor Lauren Kearns, Director of Dance Science, with questions about the program, how to become involved, and studio technique class placement.


Interdisciplinary curriculum

Dance Science is a 56-credit hour interdisciplinary degree that is comprised of Anatomy and Physiology courses in the Biology Department, and Biomechanics, Physiology, Research Methods, and Sport Psychology course work in the Exercise Science Department. Dance Science majors also take a variety of dance courses in the Performing Arts Department, including African, Ballet, Dance History, Jazz, Modern, Pilates, Pointe, Somatic Theories, Tap, Yoga, and Special Topic Courses in Dance and Dance Science. Requirements for the Dance Science degree can be completed in three years, allowing first-year students who arrive at Elon with no clear major the opportunity to discover this area, meet with the Director of Dance Science their first year, and begin the course of study in the second year.


Expert, accessible faculty

At Elon, students learn from dedicated faculty who have years of expertise in their field and in academia. Small classes offer students unique access to professors and personalized instruction. All dance faculty maintain a high level of scholarly and artistic activity in the dance science and dance performance fields, and have an impressive professional network, so they can assist students identify appropriate graduate and professional schools, internships, and career opportunities.

Excellent facilities and equipment

Dance Science majors take class, conduct research, and study in multiple spaces on campus, including the Center for the Arts, Scott Studio, Needham Pilates Studio, Koury Athletic Center, and the Health and Human Performance Laboratory. The Center for the Arts houses three dance studios replete with sprung floors, wall to ceiling mirrors, and somatic equipment while Scott Studio is an exceptionally large studio that mimics the size of McCrary Theatre. The Needham Pilates Studio is a state-of-the-art facility that includes a full complement of Balanced Body Pilates equipment, including reformers, wunda chairs, spine correctors, trapeze tables, and more. The Koury Athletic Center is home to a wide array of health, training, exercise, and sports facilities. The Health and Human Performance Laboratory features instrumentation to access body composition, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, endurance, and sport performance. The lab also includes new electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) equipment.


I always excelled at science, but when it came to picking a major, my passion for dance was undeniably stronger. With Elon’s new degree in Dance Science, I am able to marry both fields without having to give up or devote any less time to my innate passion for movement. The classes in the Dance Science major have aided me in becoming a better dancer by allowing me to understand the physics, anatomy and psychology of dance. I have even been fortunate to conduct my own research comparing the activation of eight different muscles at and away from the barre. No other undergraduate dance program could have prepared me for such a rare opportunity.

Colette Dong, B.F.A. Dance Performance & Choreography and B.S. Dance Science ’14

Learning outside the classroom

One of the hallmarks of an Elon education is experiential learning, and dance science is no exception. Applying the discipline’s skills, approaches, and theories in real-world situations is essential to a complete understanding of the subject. This can be achieved through internships, undergraduate research experiences, shadowing dance science and dance medicine experts, attending professional dance science conferences, and participating in non-curricular dance science events and meetings. Though not required, Dance Science majors are strongly encouraged to participate in all these experiences to deepen their research abilities, observe how the industry works, gain experience working in the field, build confidence, make valuable industry contacts, and be active members of a vibrant dance science community.

Career options

The Dance Science degree prepares students to enter the workforce as dance educators, dance conditioning and fitness experts, dance coaches, and research assistants upon graduation. The degree also prepares students for graduate study in a variety of disciplines, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, dance education, dance movement therapy, dance medicine, and dance science.

Global Engagement

Elon is committed to 100 percent access to global engagement, which includes Study Abroad, Study USA, and other international opportunities for students. For 17 straight years, Elon has earned a #1 ranking for study abroad from the Institute for International Education. Dance Science majors may supplement their on-campus studies by participating in Elon’s Study USA programs in Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY during the summer where they combine classroom training with valuable internship experiences. Dance Science majors have also studied abroad for a semester in Australia, Italy, a winter term in Ghana, or a summer session in Italy.

Please reach out to Director of Dance Science, if you would like more information about dance science specific global opportunities.