• UWM Dancemakers 2016

Master of Fine Arts

Our program consists of 60 credits with an emphasis on contemporary choreography and performance, focusing on the candidate’s individual creative research. Our curriculum is dedicated to guide students to explore, create, and share knowledge that highlights embodied scholarship and community engagement. Underpinning our MFA program is the belief that individual creative praxis relies on a reciprocity between critical dance studies and choreographic research. Through intensive in person learning and self-directed research, artists connect their traditions to emergent forms and new communities, bringing social and racial justice into focus through their practice. In depth choreographic practice, research, and dance scholarship provide the framework for artists to situate their research within a global perspective.

Graduate students engage in choreographic research through physical and theoretical inquiry while critically examining their technical movement practice through a variety of somatic and theoretical perspectives. Our MFA program supports student inquiry providing facilities and customized opportunities to investigate and perform their work nationwide. Through faculty mentorship and rigorous personal investigations, students are guided to integrate their knowledge produced through creative and scholarly investigation into a final thesis project.

Our graduate faculty are nationally and internationally acclaimed performing and choreographic artists in the field. Their research specialties span cultural perspectives, technical forms, somatic modalities, site-specific performance, improvisation, interdisciplinary collaboration, community engaged social justice work, and integration of technology and new media.

Our graduates are prepared to be citizen artists and educators in higher education and K-12, with the means to expand their theoretical and choreographic skills, while simultaneously increasing their earning potential in academic institutions public and private schools.

Program Goals

The MFA in Dance prepares graduates to adapt to and thrive in an ever-changing field, where social, economic, and technological factors influence the modes in which artists create, present, and frame their artistic work. Our program balances theoretical, technical, creative, and practical work to equip graduates with critical skills required for advancement in the field. The curriculum ensures that graduates are prepared to leverage their knowledge through scholarship and embodied research to be citizen artists, community leaders, and cultural ambassadors in the private and nonprofit sectors as well as secure gainful employment in K-12 and higher education.

The Program Goals of the MFA in Dance program support graduate students as they:

  1. Develop a technical practice as the site for synthesizing historical, cultural, aesthetic, and pedagogical knowledge through diverse dance and somatic modalities.
  2. Develop a creative practice as a mode of research incorporating theoretical frameworks with compositional craft. Through praxis, students integrate historical dance foundations with emergent forms to situate their creative inquiry within a comprehensive transnational vision.
  3. Gain experience incorporating technology into a choreographic practice, which includes new media technologies, production design, and dance for camera/screendance.
  4. Investigate the historical, cultural, and social contexts of dance science and somatic modalities within choreographic and pedagogical praxis.
  5. Researching in the field of dance studies, including theories of the body, critical theory, ethnography, history, and/or cultural studies.
  6. Study dance pedagogical philosophies and teaching methodologies.

Learning Objectives

The Program Leaning Objectives of the MFA in Dance facilitate graduate student learning and research to:

  1. Integrate historical, cultural, and aesthetic kinesthetic knowledge into an individual dance praxis.
  2. Deepen choreographic research and inquiry through integration of theoretical frameworks, historical dance foundations, and emergent forms.
  3. Situate their choreographic praxis that integrates community engagement and social justice within a transnational perspective.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate technology or technological approaches into their choreographic praxis.
  5. Apply dance sciences and somatic modalities to their choreographic and pedagogical praxis.
  6. Identify and activate a reciprocal relationship between critical dance studies and choreographic practice.
  7. Apply dance pedagogical philosophies and teaching methodologies within K-12, higher education, private sector, and/or professional contexts.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency in dance research and scholarly writing.


Specific degree information can be found in the UWM Academic Catalog along with credits, courses, admission and program requirements.

Dance – MFA


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Davalois Fearon

MFA, Performing Arts | 2016

Dancing is a lifelong passion for Davalois Fearon, who has performed around the world with the Steven Petronio Company. She is now also a student in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Master of Fine Arts in performing arts program – a degree designed for professionals like her.

Careers in Dance

Alexander Technique Practitioner
Artistic Director
Arts & Entertainment Writer
Arts Administrator
Arts Advocacy Agent
Arts Council Director
Arts Management
Athletic/Gymnastic Club Teacher
Ballet Master/Mistress
Box Office Manager
Boys/Girls Clubs Educator
Broadway Theatre/Tours
Camp Director
City Recreation Department Teacher
Community Arts Work
Community Centers
Company Manager
Corps De Ballet
Costume Designer
Creative Director
Cruise Line Performer
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
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
Physical Therapist
Pilates Instructor
Principal Company Member/Dancer
Production Designer
Regional/Community Theatre Choreographer
Rehabilitation Centers
Rehearsal Director
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
Web Writer/Performance Reviewer
Yoga Instructor


Graduate Faculty: Dance

Faculty within the graduate program are comprised of select faculty and staff dependent upon your chosen focus of study. For a list of all Peck School of the Arts Dance faculty please follow the link below.

Department Faculty & Staff