Somatics Minor

Immerse yourself in a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes self-discovery, mindfulness and embodied practices. Within this minor, you will explore the profound connections between mind, body and movement. 

The minor in somatics is perfect for students interested in exploring the intersection of art, health and wellness. Whether your primary major is dance, health sciences, nursing, education or the arts, you’ll benefit from a supportive environment to practice and survey a wide range of somatic methodologies, including yoga, Laban Bartenieff movement analysis, Alexander technique, Pilates method and the Feldenkrais method. You’ll be prepared for further study in an array of dance and movement disciplines, including teaching, health and wellness. 

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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The arts are for everyone

A minor or certificate in the arts provides a well-rounded education. That’s because the arts foster creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They enhance communication and presentation skills, which are valuable in any professional setting. Engaging in the arts also increases empathy and understanding of diverse people and perspectives. Plus, they bring a unique selling point to your resume by demonstrating a versatile skill set.

And let’s be honest: The arts are also a lot of fun, adding stress relief and variety to your college experience.

89%Executives agree that creativity is a top skill
91%Americans agree the arts are vital to education
73%Americans say the arts help them understand others
45Minutes of art making can reduce stress levels

Program Details

The minor in somatics provides coursework of special interest to dance students interested in continuing studies in rehabilitation, kinesiology and dance therapies. Our minor also serves health sciences, nursing and education majors who aim to work in helping professions and facilitate movement awareness and change. Music, acting and dance performance students also benefit from learning how to self-monitor physical performance, invigorate movement imagination, move expressively and connect meaningfully with an audience. 

Through experiential learning, you will develop a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit, and explore the potential of embodied practices in enhancing artistic expression, personal growth and well-being. 

View the Somatics Minor requirements.


Students may declare a minor or certificate without a formal audition or interview by submitting the dance minors and certificates application. Potential and current students must have a 2.75 overall GPA to be accepted and continue in the minor in somatics.


Four concerts are presented at UWM each year: “Winterdances” and “Springdances,” which showcase students performing in world premieres by faculty and guest artists, and “New Dancemakers” and “UpStart,” which feature choreography by undergraduate and graduate students. Learn more about performing arts.

Internships & Opportunities

Our students are involved with the city’s professional and pickup dance companies, including Danceworks, Ko-Thi Dance Company, Wild Space, Hyperlocal MKE, Panadanza and more. See where your education can take you. Learn more about internships and opportunities.

Student Organizations & Clubs

Meet like-minded people in a wide variety of student organizations and clubs who inspire creativity and will support your aspirations. Collaborate and create, network with professional artists, and deepen your connection with faculty, mentors and fellow students outside of the classroom.

Study Abroad

We believe that a complete education in the arts should take you beyond the classroom and the local community. By studying abroad, you’ll gain more than a change of scenery. You’ll embark on a transformative educational experience and bring a global perspective to your field of study. Explore upcoming trips offered in partnership with the Center for International Education.

Alumni Stories in Dance

  • Alumni Spotlight: The Transformative Power of Somatics and Dance

    Halie Bahr (Dance, BFA), currently working as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University, has an impressive career in the arts. She previously held positions as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Davidson College and a Visiting Lecturer of Dance at the University of Kentucky. 
  • Review: ‘Adult Documentary’ Is Dense And Difficult, Including The Carpet

    During this age of reality television and its aggressive pursuit of chaos, it doesn’t seem a coincidence that the choreographer Juliana F. May has created “Adult Documentary,” a work constructed of real and fictional stories by its performers. Those stories serve as raw material, distorted over time and replayed on an incessant loop …

Careers in Dance

  • Alexander Technique Practitioner
  • Artistic Director
  • Arts & Entertainment Writer
  • Arts Administrator
  • Arts Advocacy Agent
  • Arts Council Director
  • Arts Management
  • Athletic/Gymnastics Club Teacher
  • Ballet Master/Mistress
  • Box Office Manager
  • Boys/Girls Clubs Educator
  • Broadway Theatre/Tours
  • Camp Director
  • Choreographer
  • City Recreation Department Teacher
  • Community Arts Work
  • Community Centers
  • Company Manager
  • Consultant
  • Corps De Ballet
  • Costume Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Cruise Line Performer
  • Curator
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Dance Anthropologist
  • Dance Archivist/Librarian
  • Dance Critic
  • Dance Filmmaker
  • Dance Historian
  • Dance Journalist
  • Dance Medicine Specialist
  • Dance Movement Therapist
  • Dance Researcher
  • Dance Studio Owner
  • Dance Therapist
  • Education Director
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Elementary/Secondary School Outreach
  • Feldenkrais Practitioner
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Freelance Dancer
  • Fundraiser
  • Grant Writer
  • Health & Wellness Advocate
  • Health & Wellness Podcaster
  • Health Coach
  • Independent Contractor
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborator
  • Klein Technique Practitioner
  • Laban Movement Analyst
  • Lighting Designer
  • Marketing & Programs Manager
  • Massage Therapist
  • Mental Health Guidance
  • Music Video Choreographer
  • National Dance Associations
  • Magazine Publisher
  • Nonprofit Founder & Organizer
  • Office Administration
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Performance Artist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Photographer
  • Physical Therapist
  • Pilates Instructor
  • Principal Company Member/Dancer
  • Production Designer
  • Professor
  • Programmer
  • Regional/Community Theatre
  • Choreographer
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Rehearsal Director
  • Répétiteur
  • Talent Agency Representative
  • Resident Choreographer
  • Secondary Education Teacher
  • Senior Home Community Engagement
  • Set Designer
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Somatic Workshop Organizer
  • Sound Designer
  • Special Events Planner
  • Sports Trainer
  • Stage Manager
  • Studio Director/Teacher
  • Tai Chi Practitioner
  • Talent Agent/Director
  • Tour Manager
  • University & College Guest Artist
  • Teacher/Choreographer
  • University Professorship
  • Videographer
  • Web Writer/Performance Reviewer
  • Yoga Instructor

Program Faculty

Which faculty you have within this program is dependent upon your chosen courses or interests. For a list of all Dance faculty and staff please follow the link below.

Angela Frederick Blahnik Headshot
  • Lecturer, Dance
  • Lecturer, UWM Sport & Recreation
Daniel Burkholder HEADSHOT
  • Associate Professor, Dance
  • Chair, Department of Dance
Mair W Culbreth Headshot
  • Assistant Professor, Dance
  • Director, Pilates Certificate Program
Maria Gillespie Headshot
  • Professor, Dance
  • Director, Dance Graduate Program
Annie Melchior HEADSHOT
  • Teaching Faculty II, Dance
Dan Schuchart Headshot
  • Teaching Faculty III, Dance
  • Advisor, Dance Performance Minor
  • ACDA Coordinator
Dawn Springer Headshot
  • Teaching Faculty I, Dance

The Department of Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance and has been since 2011.

Undergraduate Programs
Christal Wagner,

Graduate Programs
Maria Gillespie,

General Info & Questions
Contact Form | 414-229-4763