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The Dance program at UCSC focuses on the undergraduate student's individual growth within the spectrum of related theater arts and a general humanities education.

The technical training in the subject is intensive, but not at the expense of wide, maturing experience in the university environment. Our program does not aim to mold students into any of the systems of dance which survive from strong individual artists and their second- or third-generation followers. Instead, it aims to provide students with the means to recognize the formation and effect of a variety of performance styles, to understand the uses of dance and movement outside the area of performance, and to develop their own choices in forming a personal style, liberating them to choose the paths they wish to follow. The core of the dance curriculum is 1) foundation work in physiologically correct movement principles and mechanics; 2) conscious use of the craft of movement for the realization of personal intentions in performance and choreography; and 3) understanding of a wide variety of styles in dance performance, history, and ethnology.

Since 2012, the UCSC Theater Arts Department has been able to offer a Dance minor, for students interested in codifying their dance training and education.