An old photo of BYU students joined in a circle holding hands performing a dance in flowing costumes.

Photo by William J. Done

On the banks of the Provo River, BYU students in flowing costumes stepped through choreography from their 1928 interpretive dance class. They employed a style called barefoot aesthetic dance, predecessor of American modern dance. Long before the establishment of the Department of Dance in 1980, modern dance at BYU was pioneered by Aline Coleman Smith (BS ’33), who received intense training in New York and then began teaching dance classes at age 18.

BYU Theatre Ballet dancers posing in dance moves for a photoshoot.

Photo by Jaren Wilkey

BYU Theatre Ballet dancers tied on their toe shoes in January for a photo shoot in front of BYU’s power plant for a modern, industrial look to complement their touring show. The Department of Dance, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, has performing companies from ballet, ballroom, contemporary, and world dance that tour nationally and internationally.