Dance Program Requirements



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Faculty

  • Meghan Wall (Chair)
  • Bethany Hansen (Assistant to the Chair - Core Adjunct Faculty)
  • Michelle Armstrong (Adjunct Faculty)
  • Carly Schaub (Adjunct Faculty)
  • Allison Shir (Adjunct Faculty)

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Program Description

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.

Program Goals

  • Students will work to master 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.
  • Students will develop and practice their physical, cognitive, and creative research skills within the full scope of multidisciplinary physical art-making.
  • Students will develop their artistic voice by taking risks in individualized and innovative creative practices.
  • Students will understand dance as a cultural practice that reflects and impacts local and global communities.
  • Students will engage with a professional environment conducive to advanced learning and collaboration among students and professors.
  • Students will analyze and evaluate dance processes and productions through varying perspectives of history, culture, society, self, and aesthetics.
  • Students will 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.
  • Students will cultivate project management skills that incorporate effective group dynamics.

Objectives

The Dance program offers 2 academic major degree tracks (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts) and a Dance minor. The Dance program emphasizes rigorous 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. Students gain practical skills in dance production, teaching, and administration. Students will be fully prepared for a variety of career paths such as professional dance performance and choreography, arts and non-profit sectors, education, community development, health and fitness, human services, as well as graduate studies in a myriad of interdisciplinary studies.

Program Options

Bachelor of Arts in Dance

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) 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 plan to double major, this degree path is a great option.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) 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 are ready to get into entry-level, professional work in dance after graduation.

Minor in Dance

The Dance program also offers a minor that is a great addition to a multitude of majors at Westminster. 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.

Program Requirements

All students who declare a dance major enter the program in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree track through open enrollment, and can choose to remain on the BA degree track, or transition to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree track as outlined below.

Transitioning to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Track

After completing 2 semesters as a BA dance major, continuing students are eligible to request a transition into the BFA degree track through a formal review by the dance faculty. If not initially accepted into the BFA track, students can continue pursuing the BA degree track and request another formal review at the end of each subsequent semester.

Transfer students are eligible to seek acceptance into the BFA degree track before their first semester. To do so, they will receive an audit of previous coursework paired with a formal review by the dance faculty in the spring before entering the Dance program. If they also want to be considered for a dance program scholarship, their audition for scholarship consideration will be used as their formal review for the degree track.

Liberal Education Courses

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

Dance Major Requirements

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper-division hours
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.3 GPA in all courses required for the major. For course prerequisites, please refer to the course descriptions.

Holistic Health and Well-being Requirement

The Dance program values healthy practices including self-care, mindfulness, body awareness, and conditioning. Dance students are encouraged to cultivate these practices through requisite hours engaged in physical and mental health training over their course of study. Hours can be completed at the Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness and Athletic Center, or completed in the personal practice of your choice, including yoga, pilates, outdoor activities, meditation, journaling, etc. Dance students will design an individual health and wellness plan with a faculty member to meet individual needs and goals.

Collaborative Participation Requirement

Students are expected to complete a minimum of twenty hours of program service work each year (e.g., production, crew, recruitment, non-curricular creative projects, etc.). This can be satisfied working in or on any program production, including Dance Company, Glint (screendance installation), performing for Senior Showcase, and choreographing/performing for Kaleidoscope.

Applied Dance/Community Requirement

At least once during their course of study, Dance majors are required to apply their dance training in a community setting (e.g., education, healthcare, the justice system, community development, transportation services, social service agencies, business and industry, etc.) through an experience that is collaborative, socially relevant, and culturally aware. Students will design and coordinate the project with their advisor.

Students will meet each semester with a faculty advisor to discuss successful completion of these requirements and to review the student’s goals, as well as academic and artistic progress.

Dance Bachelor of Fine Arts Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Dance majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.      
Technique Components    
All Dance majors are required to take a Modern/Contemporary and Ballet course each semester (totaling 28 credits at graduation). Students are placed into a course level after an evaluation occurring during Fall semester of Freshman year. They must meet a minimum of 8 upper division Technique Component credits in Modern/Contemporary and 8 in Ballet upon graduation. All courses are repeatable for credit.      
Modern/Contemporary - Lower Division    
DANCE 230 Technique: Modern/Cont. II    2+ Lab  
Modern/Contemporary - Upper Division    
DANCE 330 Technique: Modern/Cont. III 2 + Lab    
DANCE 430 Technique: Modern/Cont. IV  2 + Lab    
Ballet - Lower Division    
DANCE 235 Technique: Ballet II 2 + Lab   
Ballet - Upper Division    
DANCE 335 Technique: Ballet III  2 + Lab    
DANCE 435 Technique: Ballet IV 2 + Lab   
II. Lower Division Courses 26  
DANCE 130 Technique: Modern/Cont. I   4  
DANCE 135 Technique: Ballet I   4  
DANCE 180 Dance History I   2  
DANCE 270 Improvisation/Composition  4 DANC 230
6 credits + lab required of Modern/Contemporary technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)      
6 credits + lab required of Ballet technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)      
III. Upper Division Courses 28  
DANCE 350 Dance Pedagogy 4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy/Kinesiology   4  
DANCE 490 Senior Seminar   2  
DANCE 491 Senior Showcase  2  
8 credits + lab required of Modern/Contemporary technique components      
8 credits + lab required of Ballet technique components      
IV. Elective Courses 8  
DANCE 190 Dance in Global Context 4  
DANCE 280 Dance History II   2  
DANCE 380 Dance Forms 4  
DANCE 381 Ballet Studies 4  
DANCE 382 Moving Images: Dance For Film 3  
DANCE 440 Internship  1-4  
THTR 225 Lighting Design 3 THTR 145, 160
Total Hours for the BFA in Dance 70  

Recommended Plan of Study for Dance

  • Must fit in 8 credits of elective courses and 8 credits of a language course.
  • Must fulfill all WCore requirements.
  • This plan is an example of levels of technique components that could be taken. Dance majors will vary in which level of technique courses they take each year, depending on their evaluations.

Dance Bachelor of Arts Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Dance majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.      
Technique Components    
All Dance majors are required to take a Modern/Contemporary and Ballet course Spring of Freshman year and both semesters of Sophomore year; two additional Ballet OR Modern/Contemporary classes are required to be taken one semester of Junior and Senior year (totaling 16 credits upon graduation). Students are placed into a course level after an evaluation occurring during Fall semester of Freshman year. All courses are repeatable for credit.      
Modern/Contemporary - Lower Division    
DANCE 230 Technique: Modern/Cont. II   2+ Lab  
Modern/Contemporary - Upper Division    
DANCE 330 Technique: Modern/Cont. III  2 + Lab   
DANCE 430 Technique: Modern/Cont. IV  2 + Lab   
Ballet - Lower Division    
DANCE 235 Technique: Ballet II 2 + Lab    
Ballet - Upper Division    
DANCE 335 Technique: Ballet III  2 + Lab   
DANCE 435 Technique: Ballet IV 2 + Lab  
II. Lower Division Courses 30  
DANCE 130 Technique: Modern/Cont. I   4  
DANCE 135 Technique: Ballet I 4  
DANCE 180 Dance History I   2  
DANCE 270 Improvisation/Composition 4 DANCE 230
DANCE 280 Dance History I 2  
THTR 225 Lighting Design 3 THTR 145, 160
6 credits + lab required of Modern/Contemporary technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)      
6 credits + lab required of Ballet technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)      
4 credits + lab required of Modern/Contemporary OR Ballet technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)      
III. Upper Division Courses 19  
DANCE 350 Dance Pedagogy   4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy/Kinesiology   4  
DANCE 380 Dance Forms   4  
DANCE 490 Senior Seminar   2  
Total Hours for the BA in Dance 57  

Recommended Plan of Study for Dance

  • Must fit in 8 credits of elective courses and 8 credits of a language course.
  • Must fulfill all WCore requirements.
  • This plan is an example of levels of technique components that could be taken. Dance majors will vary in which level of technique courses they take each year, depending on their evaluations.

Dance Minor

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
Technique Components    
All Dance minors are required to take two Modern/Contemporary and Ballet courses within their 4 years at Westminster College (totaling 4 credits upon graduation). Students are placed into a course level after an evaluation occurring during Fall semester of Freshman year. All courses are repeatable for credit.      
Modern/Contemporary - Lower Division    
DANCE 230 Technique: Modern/Cont. II  2+ Lab  
Modern/Contemporary - Upper Division    
DANCE 330 Technique: Modern/Cont. III  2 + Lab    
DANCE 430 Technique: Modern/Cont. IV  2 + Lab  
Ballet - Lower Division    
DANCE 235 Technique: Ballet II 2 + Lab   
Ballet - Upper Division    
DANCE 335 Technique: Ballet III  2 + Lab  
DANCE 435 Technique: Ballet IV 2 + Lab   
II. Lower Division Courses 18  
DANCE 130 Technique: Modern/Cont. I   4  
DANCE 135 Technique: Ballet I  4 consent of instructor
DANCE 180 Dance History I 2  
DANCE 270 Improvisation/Composition  4  
4 credits + lab required of Modern/Contemporary OR Ballet technique components (these credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)    
III. Upper Division Courses  12  
DANCE 350 Dance Pedagogy   4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy/Kinesiology   4  
DANCE 380 Dance Forms   4  
Total Hours for the Dance Minor 30