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Contemporary Dance

Do you dream of being a dancer in a company or choreographing your own projects? Contemporary dancers use their bodies to communicate and express ideas on stage and screen. 

Study contemporary dance at Unitec and you’ll become part of the most established contemporary dance programme in New Zealand. It's your path to a career that's challenging, varied and always creative.

Explore your options

Please note: Applications for the 2023 Semester 1 are now open. 

Study contemporary dance at Unitec and you’ll learn to choreograph and perform at a professional level. You'll spend lots of time in the studio working on dance techniques that include contemporary, safe dance practice, improvisation, teaching pedagogy, and ballet. And you’ll put your hard work into practice in performances throughout the year.

Live performance is a huge part of your training. You’ll take part in solo and group work as well as projects by guest choreographers. Then there are your own dance projects, which you’ll choreograph for live performance and screen.

At Unitec you’ll be part of the biggest film and performing arts department in the country. It means you’ll also get practical experience in sound and music design, video editing, costume, and lighting. It’s a unique environment that mimics the dance industry, so you'll be able to hit the ground running when you graduate.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
PROGRAMME LEVEL DURATION CAREER OPTIONS START DATES
Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance) 7 Full-time for three years Professional dancer, Choreographer, Dance and performance artist, Dance teacher, Performing arts manager, Arts administrator February
Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Practice 8 Six months full-time or one year part-time Artist, Art director, Product designer, Graphic designer, Director, Photographer, Experience designer, Producer, Sculptor, Visual artist, Performance designer, Service designer, Curator, Choreographer, Filmmaker February or July
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Practice 8 Full-time for one year or part-time for two years Artist, Creative director, Curator, Digital artist, Director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Producer, Visual artist, Choreographer February or July
Master of Creative Practice 9 Full-time for 18 months or part-time for three years Artist, Art director, Product designer, Graphic designer, Director, Photographer, Experience designer, Producer, Production designer, Sculptor, Visual artist, Performance designer, Service designer, Curator, Actor for theatre, film and television, Choreographer, Filmmaker February or July

Industry connections

Getting practical experience before you graduate is really important. Study contemporary dance at Unitec and you’ll benefit from our relationship with a range of industry organisations. We're also affiliated with the Beijing Dance Academy. 

  • The New Zealand Dance Company
  • Footnote Dance Company
  • Atamira Dance Company
  • DANZ – Dance Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Tempo Dance Festival
  • Auckland Arts Festival
  • Basement Theatre
  • Auckland Fringe Festival
  • Movement Art Practice 
  • indepenDance
  • The Pacific Dance Festival

The department also has connections to the Oryza Foundation for Asian Performing Arts and Creative Coalition.

Facilities

Our contemporary dance facilities at Unitec are currently housed at DANZA in West Auckland, Mt Albert Campus, and offite. As a student, you’ll practice in studio and showcase your talents each year in several live performances at various locations.
As a dance student you’ll also have access to equipment and technical resources, academic support, and health services.

Auditions

Admission to Unitec's Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance) is by audition. Auditions usually take place around late October and we let you know how to prepare for it a couple of weeks in advance.

Find out more about upcoming auditions and interviews