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.
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.