What degrees are offered at WWU in Dance?
We offer a BA, BFA, Teaching Endorsement and Minor.
Could you explain the difference between the BA and the BFA?
The BA requires 36 technique credits (80-84 total in the major) and completion of 3 quarters of Modern 3. The BFA is by nomination only, interested candidates may apply in the spring of their junior year, and are expected to continue in dance, either professionally or graduate school. The BFA requires 59 technique credits (105-110 total in the major), completion of 3 quarters of Modern 4 and all three levels of Choreography. BFA candidates participate in a culminating Capstone performance both as choreographers and performers.
I’m interested in teaching dance; should I consider the Teaching Endorsement?
Maybe, if you would like to teach dance in WA state public schools. This is a secondary endorsement in conjunction with the Woodring College of Education (needs to be accompanied by another endorsement, for example secondary education Math or English). If you are considering teaching at a private studio, the BA would be a good degree choice.
What styles of technique are taught at WWU?
Our focus is on proficiency in modern and competency in ballet and most technique classes are in one of those two genres. We also offer two levels of Mod-Hop and contemporary partnering.
How do you declare a Dance major?
All major/minor declarations require an advising consultation with Cher Carnell, Associate Chair Theatre & Dance. For the BA, you need a minimum of 15 credits and placement in Modern 1 or higher. Those interested in the BFA should plan their academic schedule with that goal in mind and fill out the online application materials in spring of their junior year. The Dance faculty as a whole will vote on qualified applicants.
How do I know what technique level is most appropriate for me?
We have an audition for interested students, scheduled for February 19, 2011, 12:30 pm at Ving, 311 E. Holly and a level-placement class which is scheduled the day before fall quarter begins. Both classes include Modern and Ballet technique. A third option is to arrange a visit to campus to try classes; start with an email to Cher.Carnell@wwu.edu.
What are the performing opportunities?
We have many! Fall Into Dance is a main-stage production every Fall quarter featuring choreography by the level 3 Choreography students. Winter quarter includes New Music, New Dance, an Associated Students club that produces, choreographs, dances, even composes this production. Spring quarter features the Faculty Concert (featuring two Martha Graham works in 2011). Additionally there is Cabaret at Ving, held once quarterly under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students who want to choreograph or perform, simply sign up for that and we put on a show!
What are the audition requirements for performances?
Fall Into Dance and the Faculty Concert arecast by audition. You do not need to be a Dance Major or Minor to audition, you do need to be enrolled in a technique class the quarter of rehearsals and performances. We want to know that you are physically conditioned for the production process.
Are there scholarships available?
Our primary scholarship, the Monica Gutchow, is offered to one or two qualified seniors; applications are accepted during the spring of junior year. There are sometimes other scholarship funds available, through WWU Financial Aid, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and Dance.
I have been studying dance since I was a seven, do I really need to start with level 1 technique?
We will place you in the level technique most appropriate for you and can accept higher level technique credits in place of lower (i.e. ballet 3 in place of ballet 2, or modern 2 in place of modern 1).
Is there a dress code?
Individual instructors may have attire restrictions but generally we expect bare feet or sandals for Modern, ballet slippers for ballet, hair controlled off the face, and clothing that you can move easily in so that instructors can effectively observe your placement.
Do you teach pointe?
No. Students in Ballet 3 may request to take all or a portion of the class on pointe and the instructor reserves the option to allow pointe shoes or not.
I love to dance but am also very interested in math; is it possible to double major?
Yes, though it may require you more than four years to degree. Enrolling in summer sessions can be a helpful resource for students pursuing a dual major.
What is special or unique about your Department?
Our faculty. They are extraordinarily dedicated and highly experienced, veterans of the professional dance world. We also rotate faculty in all technique classes so you are exposed to a variety of approaches.