University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

Dance in Paris Semester Program

The Dance Program at USF expanded the parameters of its curriculum by offering students a unique semester program of study in Paris starting in 2016, in addition to their dedicated summer program. Directed by USF Dance faculty member Michael Foley, and led by a world-class faculty of dance professionals, the USF Dance in Paris Semester Program is an altogether different kind of semester-long opportunity for serious dancers and choreographers to live, dance and study in one of the world’s greatest cities. The curriculum, as well as the multitude of performances and excursions included in the program’s offerings, present an opportunity for dance majors to expand their historical, cultural, and performance-based knowledge through exposure to the rich tradition of dance in the French capital, and immerse themselves in a vibrant European dance culture.

The USF Dance in Paris Semester Program features studio classes in a range of genres (contemporary, ballet, yoga and world dance forms), as well as extended choreography workshops and historical lectures taught by both Western and non-Western dancers and choreographers of distinction, thereby exposing students to the contemporary Continental dance lexicon as it relates to their own experience.

As Paris is the cradle of western dance civilization, students visit the sites of some of history’s greatest dance events, including The Paris Opera and Versailles, but students will also take full advantage of the city’s many museums and music venues, as well as those areas unique to the everyday life of the city, such as its cafés and the metro.

Students attend over 25 concerts and events by a diverse range of artists from around the world not usually seen in the U.S., thereby expanding their performance vocabulary. In 2023, students we live performances by The Paris Opera Ballet, as well as performances of works by Hofesh Shecter, Crystal Pite, Sharon Eyal, George Balanchine, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Gregory Maqoma, and Maurice Béjart, among many others

The program also features three excursions to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Lyon respectively, to work closely with major choreographers and their choreographic process, as well as to gain new creative perspectives in different European cities.

The USF Dance in Paris SEMESTER Program will not be offered in the spring semester 2024.  The University of South Florida is moving toward a new budgeting model that changes how financing to support programs like this one occurs.  We hope to be able to offer this one-of-a-kind experience again in Spring 2025.   

Please contact program director, Michael Foley (, with any questions.