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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dance Major Journal

UC Irvine


Dance Major Journal was founded in 2010 in the dance department of the University of California, Irvine. It features writing focused on the interests, issues, experiences, and concerns of dance majors, aimed at sharing information, research, advice, and points of view.

DMJ welcomes conversational writing style, personal essays, new formats, humor, stories, and “answers for dance majors” (ways to explain to the outside world the value and facts of a dance education), as well as academically sound essays using clear language and lively prose.

Still dancing through a pandemic

Still dancing through a pandemic

How Being a Dance Major Will Help Me Be a Better Doctor

The overall knowledge you obtain in an Arts Degree can be more beneficial than a Science Degree—for getting into graduate school and sometimes, for living a happier life!

Is Ballet Really Number 1?

Ballet is often pushed as a technique superior to others, and subconsciously this is what I had always believed—until I was taught otherwise.

Setting Boundaries in Our Relationship with Our Reflection

Virtual learning has provided an environment that is very beneficial to dancers when it comes to addressing their relationship to the mirror.

Mistreatment in the Ballet World

The dark story behind a dance studio’s rise to excellence

This is About Harassment

How professional dance schools can create a safe space for abusers

Your Dance Major is Never a Waste

How to respond when someone dares to question your choice of major

Bringing Dance Back to Education

How public schools could make dance more respected

Who Do We Welcome in Dance?

Does the dance world look for dancers with a specific type of narrative? Is there room for people who did not start dancing when they were two years old?

How do you know when you are valued for who you are—and not just because you provide “diversity”?

One graduate student discovers the power of knowing you are good enough to be in particular spaces

Korean Pop Dance: What Belongs to Who?

Can K-Pop dance really be labeled as its own genre of movement? Here, we examine issues of movement transmission and representation amidst the rising popularity of Korean Pop entertainment across the world

What to do When You Lose Your Joy

The intense and unforgiving training ballet requires can lead to broken spirits. Is this process really inevitable, or can we do something about

Dumbells and Dancers?

Did your ballet teacher ever warn you that skating or weightlifting could ruin your muscles? Cross-training is now recommended for dancer strength and versatility—but you definitely need some guidance to get started.

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

Is dancer burnout inevitable? One day in the life of a dance major and some major reflections suggest ways to avoid collapsing

How Natural is Dancing?

The COVID-19 era forced a lot of the dance world outside, which turned out to be an unexpected gift. If ballet can often feel like a foreign language, you can become more fluent (and fluid) by exploring the interconnected relationships between dance and nature

Should We Have a Code of Ethics as Dance Makers and Teachers?

In creative fields, we are constantly trying to push the boundaries of imagination and improve our students’ abilities, but at what point are we pushing dancers too far? How can we ensure we are treating our dancers ethically? What are the guidelines for safe and effective dance teaching?

How Zoom University made me a better dancer

The joys and stresses of pandemic isolation for a dance major