Who We Are, Our Mission and What We Do

Who We Are: 

Established in 1978, Five College Dance (FCD) is a creative and intellectual collaboration organized between the dance departments and programs at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke Colleges and University of Massachusetts Amherst. We are a community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars and artists. We create and amplify access to rich, varied artistic and academic opportunities in dance. Five College Dance is the largest academic program of the Five College Consortium.


Five College Dance advances embodied practice as a critical mode of inquiry, expression, and civic engagement across cultural and historical contexts. We cultivate new generations of artists, scholars, and practitioners to shape the field of dance and dance studies. 

What We Do:

Our member dance departments/programs collaborate by:

  • Coordinating a shared undergraduate dance curriculum, with diversely trained faculty and varied course offerings in dance technique, performance, composition and theory

  • Producing at least one major repertory project most years, open to all five college students

  • Providing performance opportunities on each campus for all five college students

  • Opening the great majority of campuses’ events, workshops, professionalization opportunities, masterclasses, residencies, symposia, and field trips to all five college students

Five College Dance provides:

  • Production management and technical supervision for all FCD concerts, events and auditions, as well as for any FCD contributions to the annual American College Dance Association conference.

  • Annual production workshop for students producing their own shows, plus additional production-related learning opportunities

  • Annual lecture by a major scholar and/or artist in the field

  • Annual concert with a faculty- and guest-choreographed work submitted from each school, featuring students from all campuses

  • Annual newsletter, with news from the departments, FCD, and alumni

  • Masterclasses from professional dance artists on the UMass Fine Arts Center’s season

  • Centralized communication hub (social media, listserv, website) to share with students and faculty dance-related events, professional opportunities, news, and programs from the campuses, FCD, the local community, and beyond

  • Coordination and facilitation of musician accompanists for most campuses’ technique classes

  • Photographing and archiving professional photos of FCD performances and events

  • Collaborations with non-dance departments/units and external arts organizations

  • Support for the work of individual departments, students, and faculty that will benefit the whole consortium

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Links to the admissions offices at each member institution:

Amherst College
Hampshire College
Mount Holyoke College
Smith College
UMass Amherst

Links to the dance programs at each member institution:

Amherst College Theater and Dance Department
Hampshire College Dance Program
Mount Holyoke College Department of Dance
Smith College Department of Dance
UMass Amherst Dance Program