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.
Majors are also eligible for the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation minor (“AECI”), a unique program of WWU focused on launching successful creative careers in the arts. Scholarships are available to students pursuing the AECI minor.
“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 Williams, Student
Beyond the Classroom
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.
Careers and Graduate Studies
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