Dance studies create a foundation for understanding and evaluating contemporary thinking about dance and related arts, while nurturing a physical and intellectual understanding of the language of movement.
Dance at Western
Western Dance majors develop multiple skills that are essential in all fields, including self-discipline, collaboration, patience and problem-solving.
Western's BA Program in Dance is a broadly-based degree with a liberal arts orientation, and is designed for students with a general interest in dance and its applications. BA candidates focus on pedagogical and historic aspects of dance art as well as on the performance and generative components.
Western's BFA Program in Dance is a professionally oriented degree, which presumes that students are seriously interested in the process of performing or choreographing and wish to make it their career. The BFA degree is a highly selective program which trains exceptionally committed, disciplined, and talented students.
Western’s varied curriculum provides learning opportunities in technique, choreography, partnering, contact improvisation, pedagogy courses, dance history, cultural dance forms, dance technology, functional alignment, and anatomy for dancers. Class sizes are designed for high quality instruction and interaction with faculty. Dance faculty come from diverse professional backgrounds to teach a variety of technique styles and are devoted to giving students the best possible dance education.
In the course of their Dance studies, students will learn to understand and evaluate contemporary thinking about dance and related arts, while nurturing a physical and intellectual understanding of the language of movement as an art form. Western Dance majors develop multiple skills that are essential in all fields, including self-discipline, collaboration, patience and problem-solving.
The Dance faculty give so much of themselves to the dancers. They have such an innate ability to help their students that is quite inspiring – I hope to be that way with my students one day.Brynn HoferDance Major
DNC 100 - Hip-hop Level 1
DNC 211 - Ballet II - Level 1
DNC 232 - Movement and Culture
DNC 340 - Anatomy for Dancers
DNC 421 - Contemporary Dance IV - Level 1
DNC 442 - Advanced Choreography
Internships and Scholarships
Students accepted into the Dance BFA program complete a capstone event, and a possible apprenticeship with companies such as the Montreal Danse the Mark Morris Dance Group. Other performance opportunities include the New Music/New Dance, Winter Dances, Cabaret, and Dance In Concert.
Each year the department supports student travel to professional Performing Arts conferences such as the American College Dance Festival. These conferences allow students to attend workshops, audition for professional work, conduct portfolio reviews, interview for internships, and enjoy watching various forms of theatre and dance. Dance majors have the opportunity to travel to New York City or to dance companies such as Montreal Danse where they attend classes and have the chance to fine tune their choreography with feedback from prestigious dance instructors. Co-curricular student travel serves as an important educational experience as students learn first-hand what it takes to succeed as a professional dancer. Support from the Departmentally Related Activities Committee helps offset the cost for student travelers.
Organizations and Clubs
Performance opportunities for students include New Music/New Dance, Winter Dances, Cabaret and Dance In Concert. The department also brings in a number of guest artists throughout the year such as Amma and Kofi Anang West African Dance, and The Liz Gerring Dance Company.
Students pursuing their BA in Dance at Western benefit from many performing opportunities, in both large and intimate theaters. Our faculty members —who are rotated through the various technique levels—are unique in that they not only have academic resumes, they have also been extensively involved in professional dance as dancers, choreographers, and teachers. Our students are encouraged and supported throughout their growth in our program and graduate with a variety of career opportunities from performance to teaching.Cher CarnellFaculty
At Western, we are encouraged to become the best dancers we can be, and through a focus on efficiency and injury prevention, the program ensures that we'll be able to do anything thrown at us and continue dancing for the rest of our lives.Kyle WilliamsStudent
all photographs on this page taken by Clinton James Photography
What can you do with Dance?
The Dance BFA program prepares students for leading graduate, conservatory, or MFA programs, or to directly enter one of the areas of the dancing profession.
- Professional Dancer
- Dance Therapist
- Arts Management
- Dance Educator
- Dance Notation
- Dance Teacher
- Community Dance Worker