The NMSA Dance Department cultivates the creative and artistic growth of its students through intensive dance training and education. Our curriculum is rooted in classical Ballet with a focus on Contemporary Dance. We offer classes in Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Modern, Partnering, Men’s Technique, Pointe, Repertory, Improvisation, Urban Styles. We also offer immersive experiences with guest artists and choreographers, and opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations. Dancers participate in biannual performances and regular community appearances, as well as research and creative projects. Dancers have the opportunity to see professional dance companies performing in Santa Fe and surrounding cities.

NMSA provides dancers with the essential fundamentals they need to prepare for a professional dance career or post-secondary study in dance. These fundamentals help dancers develop technical refinement, musicality, individual expressiveness, mental acuity, stylistic versatility, and a practical awareness of healthy work habits. We strive to instill a respect for classicism and technical study, along with a willingness to experiment and take risks as we investigate new material; skill sets that can combine a multitude of dance techniques along with a maturity and focus that allows dancers to participate in choreographic processes. NMSA is committed to producing well-rounded dancers with integrity, strong technique, and an excellent work ethic that can be applied to a career not only in dance, but any field.

Guest Artist Program

Nadeeya GK

International Master Teacher

Jodi Melnick

Multi Award-winning Dancer/ Choreographer

Suki Schorer

School of American Ballet Balanchine Master Teacher

Robyn Mineko Williams


Alejandra Avila

NMSA Alumna ’14

We believe a student’s passion for the arts can propel them to success in every aspect of life. We are committed to fostering that success by providing a strong foundation for artistic and academic growth in an inclusive and challenging environment that encourages exploration, expands imagination and cultivates creativity.

Fernando Ramos-Cintrón

Dance Department Chair

If you have questions regarding curriculum or anything about the Dance program, please contact Bernadette Pena, Fernando Ramos-Cintrón, or use our Contact form and someone from the team will respond shortly.

2023 Dance Curriculum


Our choreography offers an array of tools in composition to prepare dancers in their choreographic practice. Dancers will learn key dance concepts such as directions, weight, speed, flow, levels & locomotion. Dancers will apply the tools gathered in both creative collaboration and solo composition. They will be exposed to exploration with key choreographic elements that lead to more complex movement creations.

Dance History II

Dance History II focuses on expanding our dance history knowledge and contextualizing it in practice. The course explores how dance history connects to our personal history as dancers and what we can learn from significant figures in the dance industry. The course will include investigation on figures who were part of the inception of techniques and organizations recognized today, and the evolving relationship of dance with media. The course gives up the learning and teaching to the students by asking them to be an active participant that looks to make connections that might otherwise seem invisible to others.

Ballet III/IV

Ballet III/IV offers different perspectives on codified ballet techniques. Questioning and evaluating their purpose, their relevance and importance as a form of healthy assessment through practice. Participants will understand the functionality of ballet, how to advocate for your body in class and the use of technique for efficient moving in a stylized way. Participants will undergo a thorough analysis of technique in barre and its purpose, its relationship to center work, including adagio, jumps and codas.

Contemporary III/IV

Contemporary III/IV is an advanced course that deepens into the contemporary dance practice of previous training. The course focuses on training to push the boundaries of the relationship between body, space, and time, while also propelling the dancers in the development of their artistic voice. The course utilizes principles of Modern Dance, Release Technique, Improvisation, Floor work, and other contemporary approaches to movement to have the dancers garner a profound knowledge of their physical abilities alongside their emotional and intellectual range. The dancer acquires diverse approaches to movement creation, movement retention and choreographic understanding.