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Dance, Music and Theater Arts

AACC dancers huddle around a single dancer on stage.

The Performing Arts department offers a wide array of classes from entry level, general education core courses to advanced training designed to prepare students for vocations in the fields of Dance, Music and Theatre. A two-year course of study leads to an associate of arts degree in arts and science with a concentration in music, dance or theatre, taught by instructors with a wealth of professional experience and strong academic credentials. Our program provides coursework that focus on technical skills, theory and hands-on experience in an environment that encourages imagination, creativity and self-expression.

Our faculty are conservatory-trained and prize-winning musicians, published composers and local, regional, national, and international performers. On top of that, they have years of dedication to college teaching.

We know what you're thinking: will you really get the same training at AACC that you would in the first two years at a four-year school, or even a conservatory? The answer is a resounding, yes! In fact, most of our students who've transferred to other schools after two years at AACC have told us that the training they received here was even better than their four-year school! See how you can benefit from Performing Arts at AACC!


Within the Performing Arts department, students can choose from the following majors:


AACC’s dance program fosters a learning community that prides itself in offering a variety of styles and techniques taught by accomplished, professional instructors, choreographers, and guests. Our program leads to an associate of arts degree with training in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, improvisation, dance history and dance production.

Learn more about majoring in Dance.


Students enrolled in AACC’s music classes are a diverse group.  Many are working toward their two-year degree with transfer plans in place, while others continue to hone their musical talents by taking classes for personal enrichment.  Whatever your reason may be, our program has the courses and the instructors to help you achieve your academic and personal goals.

Learn more about majoring in Music.


Our program emphasizes theatrical production by stressing hands-on experience in stage design and lighting, play production and stagecraft in addition to traditional acting classes.  Whether pursing a two-year degree or planning to enter the profession, our theater program is a popular choice among students and community members.

Learn more about majoring in Theater.

Faculty and Staff

Academic Chair

Ian Wardenski, professor
Performing Arts academic chair
CADE 120

Full-time Faculty

Anna Binneweg, associate professor

Douglas Byerly, coordinator of music, associate professor
CADE 105

Sean Urbantke, coordinator of theater, assistant professor
CADE 130

Office Staff

Sue Rous, support coordinator
CADE 216

Michele McCray, performing and visual arts coordinator
CADE 216

Margaret Russell, dance coordinator
CADE 106


Resources for Students

From performances, unique workshops and clinics to student organizations, your experience as a dance, music or theater student goes beyond the classroom.

World Class Jazz – Free Clinics

The World Class Jazz Series is sponsored by the Student Government Association and by Jazz Studies in AACC's Music Department. In addition to live performances, visiting artists share their insights with AACC small jazz combos. For information email Ian Wardenski at

Ensembles & Clubs

Along with showcasing professional musicians, AACC boasts a number of ensemble groups in music, dance and theater made up of students and community members.

See which ensemble you would like to join!

Rehearsal Space

Practice, practice, practice! The Cade Center for Fine Arts boasts 10 soundproof music practice rooms for voice and instruments. Check out a space for private use, one-to-one tutoring or small group practice.

Scholarship Opportunity

The Richard L. Bright Endowment for the Performing Arts offers scholarships to students pursuing a Dance, Music or Theater degree.  Additionally, this scholarship is open to Performing Arts Transfer Majors and students seeking a degree in Education.

This fund was established to honor, Richard L. Bright, who possessed, among many things, a unique passion for teaching, theater and love of life.

Apply for the Richard L. Bright Endowment for Performing Arts.

Where We Work

Cade Center for Fine Arts

The Cade Center for Fine Arts is the main location for dance, music and theater classes.  The Cade Center is also used for repertory classes, workshops, visiting artist presentations and performances. 

Inside the Cade Center you will find:

  • 2 dance studios with Marley© flooring, ballet bars and mirrored walls.
  • Cade 224 Rehearsal Hall.
  • A multi-purpose space with programmable par can lights and sound baffles.
  • Primarily used for classes, rehearsals, recitals and performances.
  • 10 soundproof music modules.
  • Outdoor Amphitheater.


With just 92 seats the Humanities Recital Hall may be small, but it’s a favorite venue of audiences and performers alike. This intimate space is used for acting classes, rehearsals, recitals, theater and opera productions and as a concert location for our World Class Jazz Series.


Located inside the Pascal Center for Performing Arts, the Kauffman Theater is the primary location for music ensemble concerts, dance performances, plays and musicals. This 365-seat theater has a proscenium stage, fly gallery and full orchestra pit.  Select classes, such as Play Production and Stagecraft, are scheduled in the theater to provide students with practical technical experience.

Music Lab

The Cade 128 Music Lab features 16 student work stations, a teacher work station with smart technology, a music listening library with over 500 essential classical, jazz and musical theatre CDs and DVDs, and a Yamaha acoustic piano. Each work station is networked and equipped with a Yamaha digital keyboard with weighted, hammer-action for a true piano feel and sound, studio-quality headphones, PC and monitor. Computer software includes Sibelius, Auralia, Microsoft Office, as well as several other proprietary music, audio and video applications. The Music Lab is used for Music Theory & Ear-training, Class Piano, music tutoring and is available for independent student use during open lab hours.