University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

Dance in Paris Summer Program

In 2007, the USF Dance Program expanded the parameters of its curriculum by offering its students a program of study in Paris. Led by USF faculty member Michael Foley, and assisted by Barnard College faculty member, Colleen Thomas, this annual month-long intensive course of study in Paris is a unique study abroad opportunity for serious dancers and choreographers to live and dance in one of the world’s greatest cities. This course presents 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. The goal of the USF Dance in Paris Program is to enable students to expand upon information they have already gleaned from several courses typically required of dance majors: history, choreography, and technique. The USF Dance in Paris Program features studio classes taught by European dancers and choreographers of distinction (Faculty), thereby exposing students to the contemporary Continental dance lexicon.


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, Théâtre de Chaillot and Versailles. Further, students are led to reevaluate their notions of traditional dance-making by embarking upon projects involving site-specific work in the city’s many museums and music venues, as well as those areas unique to the everyday life of the city, such as its cafes and the metro.

Students attend performances by important dance artists not usually seen in the U.S., thereby expanding their performance vocabulary. In 2022, students will see performances by The Paris Opera Ballet, among many others.

Students enroll in a month-long, 3-6 credit course entitled "Dance and Culture in Paris". This course is an immersion in Parisian culture from the point of view of the dancer. The course is divided into three major components: technique, composition and history. Students take daily technique classes (modern, ballet, yoga, etc.), as well as workshops taught by some of Europe’s leading dance professionals. Students are exposed to the rich artistic side of Paris through lectures and performances, as well as assigned readings by major dancers/writers/artists who have drawn on the Parisian landscape as inspiration for their work. A final choreographic project, based on compositional exercises that take students to various Parisian locales, is presented in a concert form during the final week of the Program.