Dance

dance student stretching in sunny studio


Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major
School of Arts and Sciences
Four-Year Degree

Overview

Dance is a form of human expression that invites each one of us to create meaning through movement, embody knowledge, and translate our lived experiences into creative content and dynamic performance. Westminster’s Dance program offers rigorous dance training and cultivates your individual artistic voice, placing value in real-world practice and promoting dance as a fully collaborative, culturally-relevant, socially-aware, and deeply imaginative art form.

Who It's For

Students in the Dance program recognize dance as a way of knowing about and “being in” the world. They express themselves through movement and ask questions through choreography. The Dance program at Westminster is designed for students who want to understand the artistic and technical elements of physical expression and performance artistry while exploring the creative process and collaborating with diverse subjects and artistic outlets.

Key Benefits

  • Small classes allow for individualized, in-depth training and creation of original work
  • A collaborative environment encourages you and your classmates to support and challenge one another to grow as dance artists and scholars
  • Mentoring relationships with professionals in the dance world provide exposure to current dance practices and build a network of support
  • Interpreting current events/issues through performance, choreography, and improvisation develops your role as an active artist and global citizen
  • 2 degree tracks to choose from based on your artistic and academic passions and career aspirations
  • Opportunity and support for interdisciplinary study allows you to fully integrate your artistic and academic passions at Westminster by taking dance as a minor with another program
  • Thoughtful curriculum gives you essential professional and creative tools that will aid you whether you choose a career in dance or decide to apply your creative skills to another professional pursuit

Upcoming Dance Performances

Attend upcoming dance performances to see how students transfer their creative skills from the classroom to the stage.

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About the Program

Westminster’s Dance program centers movement at the heart of learning. As an embodied art form, dance allows you to find deep meaning in the present moment and to draw connections across difference.

What You'll Learn

  • Master your individual physicality as it relates to technical proficiency, artistic performance, and modes of communication, discovering the role of the human body in dance in terms of anatomy, kinesiology, and human development
  • Develop and practice physical and cognitive research skills within the full scope of multidisciplinary physical art-making
  • Develop an artistic voice by taking risks in individualized and innovative creative practices
  • Consider how dance functions as a cultural practice that reflects and impacts local and global communities
  • Engage with a professional environment conducive to advanced learning and collaboration among students and professors
  • Cultivate project management skills that incorporate effective group dynamics
  • Analyze and evaluate dance processes and productions through varying perspectives of history, culture, society, self, and aesthetics
  • Explore potential careers in professional dance companies, arts organizations, arts administration, education, community development, health, fitness, human/social services, or further graduate studies in a myriad of interdisciplinary areas.

Plan of Study

Due to Westminster’s small class sizes, you will have the opportunity for individual growth across technique training in Western and non-Western physical practices, composition, improvisation, performance, creative process, and theories of dance through the lenses of history, technology, cultural impact, and social justice. You will gain practical skills in dance production, teaching, and administration, preparing you fully for a variety of career paths. The Dance program allows you to advance artistically, academically, and professionally in a liberal arts setting as you focus on dance while still accessing a diverse range of academic coursework and subject areas.

Program Options and Requirements

The Dance program offers 2 degree tracks (bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of arts) and a dance minor. All students pursuing the program as a major will participate in an audition process and declare their intention to pursue the program as a major. Your audition and declaration allow you to be considered for a talent-based Dance program scholarship. If you intend to minor in dance, you may audition for acceptance into the minor, including consideration for a scholarship if you wish, and declare your minor in dance. To pursue the minor without consideration for a scholarship, in place of an audition, you can declare the minor and enroll in a Dance program studio-based dance course. Successful completion of the course with a passing grade serves as your acceptance into the minor.

Transfer students auditioning in the spring before their first semester will be considered for both scholarships and acceptance into the degree track of their choosing. Transfer students who are not pursuing a scholarship but are still interested in acceptance into either degree track must contact the dance program chair to schedule an audition.

LEARN ABOUT DANCE AUDITIONS

Bachelor of Arts in Dance

The bachelor of arts in dance is a generalist degree that allows you to explore a broad foundation of studies in dance theories, techniques, and practices. You will choose your dance elective courses based on your interests. If you'd like to double major, this degree path is a great fit with the Art, Communication, or Theatre Arts programs, or a program within the School of Education or Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

The bachelor of fine arts in dance is a pre-professional degree. This degree track builds upon the core foundations of dance theory, technique, and practice by providing expanded coursework and in-depth training in more specific areas, including the opportunity to delve deeply into an area of dance that interests you. Completing this track signifies that you're ready to get into entry-level, professional work in dance after graduation.

Continuing students who wish to pursue the bachelor of fine arts degree track can request a formal review by the dance faculty at the end of their first year to enter the degree track. If not initially accepted in the bachelor of fine arts degree track, continuing students may pursue the bachelor of arts degree track and request a faculty review for entrance into the bachelor of fine arts degree track at the end of each subsequent semester. Transfer students do not require a formal review at the end of their first year since track placement is determined by audition and audit of previous coursework when entering the program.

Minor in Dance

The Dance program also offers a minor that is a great addition to the Theatre Arts and Music programs, or programs in the School of Education or the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. Dance coursework can also be a component of a customized major. You are welcome to meet with the dance chair at any time to review requirements for the minor in conjunction with your major requirements and overall course of study.

Liberal Education Courses

You must complete the WCore program or join the Honors College (and complete requirements) to fulfill your liberal education credits.


Sample Courses

Modern/Contemporary I and II

This course sequence addresses the basic elements of modern dance techniques and contemporary physical practices. You will explore body alignment, vocabulary, flexibility, weight, breath, momentum, improvisation, coordination, and composition.

Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dance

This course investigates human anatomy and kinesiology in relationship to dance. You will be guided through the skeletal and muscular systems; taught about injury prevention, treatment, and conditioning; and learn the role of individual differences in physicality and movement patterns.

Want to learn more about the Dance program?

A dedicated admissions counselor will reach out to you with personalized information to help with your search for the right program.

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Career Opportunities

The Dance program prepares you for a successful career in a variety of professional settings through curriculum that emphasizes improvisation, creativity, and collaboration. You’ll be prepared to pursue positions with professional dance companies and arts organizations as well as opportunities in education, community development, and health and fitness. You may also choose to complete graduate studies in a variety of interdisciplinary fields. The "Career Guide for Dancers" may be a useful tool for you to help figure out your career aspirations.

Potential Careers

  • Professional dancer
  • Choreographer/director
  • Dance therapist
  • Dance educator
  • Community arts advocate
  • Arts administrator
  • Set designer/lighting designer/costumer
  • Arts-in-health practitioner
  • Physical therapist
  • Public relations/marketing professional

Other Dance Programs

The Arts Administration program offers an interdisciplinary degree that combines business and communication courses with a minor in one of the fine or performing arts, including the Dance program. Creative professionals are needed across all sectors—health, business, technology, public policy, marketing, education, etc. The Arts Administration program prepares you to work for an arts organization after graduation, or to contribute your artistic skills to other professional settings.

The Dance program also offers a minor that is a great addition to the Theatre Arts and Music programs, or programs in the School of Education or the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. Dance coursework can also be a component of a customized major.

Programs Related to Dance

The Dance program invites you to make connections across subjects and to move through ideas from different fields of study. Imagine how dance complements many of Westminster’s programs:

Learn More About the Dance Program

Check Out the Dance Department

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, there are other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

Check out scholarships

The Dance program also offers scholarships to incoming students interested in majoring or minoring in dance.

  • Dance Majors: Your audition for acceptance into the Dance program allows you to be considered for a scholarship.
  • Dance Minors: You may audition for scholarship consideration by fulfilling the audition requirements. Dance minors receive smaller awards than dance majors.

Live auditions are held annually for incoming students. Virtual audition submissions are accepted when needed.

Learn About Dance Scholarships

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