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 (Core 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 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.

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.

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 two 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.

 

Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Dance majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Studio Technique Components     

All BFA dance majors are required to take a Modern OR Contemporary and a Ballet OR Jazz course (DANCE 230/232 and DANCE 235/237)* Spring of Freshman year and both semesters of Sophomore year; three additional Dance Technique Courses are required to be taken during Junior and Senior year. In addition, majors must enroll in Dance Performance/Company Workshop for 1 credit per year (4 credits minimum by graduation); and 3 additional credits of coursework in either Somatic Landscapes OR Dance Performance must also be completed (totaling 34 studio technique credits upon graduation). They must meet a minimum of 12 combined upper division Technique Component credits upon graduation. Students are placed into a course level in collaboration with the instructors at the beginning of Fall semester. All courses, except for DANCE 200 Somatic Landscapes, are repeatable for credit toward the studio technique requirement.

*DANCE 230/232 and DANCE 235/237 alternate by semester so that two dance technique courses 230 or 232 and 235 or 237 are available each semester.

Lower Division Technique Courses 
DANCE 230 or  Modern II or  3

DANCE 130 and instructor permission

DANCE 232 Contemporary  3

DANCE 230 or by level placement 

DANCE 235 or  Ballet II or  3 DANCE 135 or instructor permission or level placement 
DANCE 237 Jazz II 3  

Somatic Practices - Lower Division

DANCE 200

Somatic Landscapes*

*Not repeatable for credit 

2  
Upper Division Technique Courses 
DANCE 330 or  Modern III or  3

DANCE 230 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 332 Contemporary III 3

DANCE 323 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 335 or  Ballet III or  3

DANCE 235 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 337 Jazz III 3

DANCE 237 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 430 or  Modern IV or  3

DANCE 330 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 432 Contemporary IV 3

DANCE 332 or level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 435 or  Ballet IV or  3

DANCE 335 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 437 Jazz IV  3

DANCE 337 or by level placement or instructor permission

Dance Performance - Upper Division
Dance 300 Dance Performance 1-4  
III. Lower Division Courses 27  
DANCE 110 Creative Process in Movement and Dance 3  
DANCE 130 Modern/Contemporary I  2  
DANCE 135 Ballet/Jazz I 2  
DANCE 180 Dance in Culture and History 2  
6 Credits Required of Modern/Contemporary Technique Components. (These credits can be satisfied by upper division courses). See Studio Techniques Components section for options.   6  
6 Credits Required of Ballet/Jazz Technique Components. (These credits can be satisfied by upper division courses). See Studio Techniques Components section for options   6  
6 Credits Required of Modern/Contemporary OR Ballet/Jazz Technique. Components OR Dance Performance OR Somatic Landscapes. (These credits can be satisfied by upper division courses). See Studio Techniques Components section for options   6  
IV. Upper Division Courses  32  
DANCE 300 Dance Performance/Company Workshop 1-4 (minimum of 1 credit a year)  
DANCE 350 Pedagogy 4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology 4  
DANCE 370 Composition and Choreography 4 DANCE 110 or with instructor permission
DANCE 490 Senior Seminar 2 Instructor permission
DANCE 491 Senior Showcase 2 Instructor permission
12 Combined Credits Required of Modern/Contemporary Upper Division. Technique, Ballet/Jazz Upper Division Technique Components, and Dance. Performance. See Studio Techniques Components section for options   12  
V. Elective Courses 7  
DANCE 190 Dance in Global Context 3  
DANCE 280 Dance History II   3  
DANCE 380 Dance Forms 3  
DANCE 381 Ballet Studies 4  
DANCE 382 Moving Images: Dance For Film 3  
DANCE 440 Internship  1-4 Instructor Permission
THTR 225 Lighting Design 3 THTR 145, 160, or instructor permission
Total Hours for the BFA in Dance  74  

Recommended Plan of Study for BFA Dance (for incoming student placed in technique 130/135 level)

  • Must fit in 7 credits of elective courses and 8 credits of a language course.
  • Must fulfill all WCore requirements.
  • This plan is an example of levels of studio technique components that could be taken. Dance majors will vary in which level of technique courses they take each year, depending on their readiness.

Recommended Plan of Study for BFA Dance (for incoming student placed in technique 230/232 or 235/237 level)

  • Must fit in 7 credits of elective courses and 8 credits of a language course.
  • Must fulfill all WCore requirements.
  • This plan is an example of levels of studio technique components that could be taken. Dance majors will vary in which level of technique courses they take each year, depending on their readiness.

 

Bachelor of Arts Dance Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Dance majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Studio Technique Components     

All dance majors are required to take a Modern OR Contemporary and a Ballet OR Jazz course (DANCE 230/232 and DANCE 235/237)* Spring of Freshman year and must take at least one studio technique course in the Fall semester of Sophomore year; two additional dance technique classes are required to be taken one semester of Junior and Senior year (totaling 17 credits upon graduation). Students are placed into a course level in collaboration with the instructors at the beginning of Fall semester. All courses, except DANCE 200 are repeatable for credit toward the studio technique requirement.


*DANCE 230/232 and DANCE 235/237 are offered in rotation by semester so that two dance technique courses 230 or 232 and 235 or 237 are available each semester.

Lower Division Technique Courses       
DANCE 230 or  Modern II or  3

DANCE 130 and instructor permission

DANCE 232 Contemporary  3

DANCE 230 or by level placement 

DANCE 235 or  Ballet II or  3 Dance 135 or instructor permission 
DANCE 237 Jazz II 3  

Somatic Practices - Lower Division

DANCE 200

Somatic Landscapes*

*Not repeatable for credit 

2  
Upper Division Technique Courses 
DANCE 330 or  Modern III or  3

DANCE 230 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 332 Contemporary III 3

DANCE 323 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 335 or  Ballet III or  3

DANCE 235 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 337 Jazz III 3

DANCE 237 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 430 or Modern IV or  3

DANCE 330 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 432 Contemporary IV 3

DANCE 332 or level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 435 or Ballet IV or  3

DANCE 335 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 437 Jazz IV  3

DANCE 337 or by level placement or by instructor permission

Dance Performance - Upper Division
Dance 300 Dance Performance 1-4  
III. Lower Division Courses 32  
DANCE 110 Creative Process in Movement and Dance 3  
DANCE 130 Modern/Contemporary I  2  
DANCE 135 Ballet/Jazz I 2  
DANCE 180 Dance in Culture and History 2  
DANCE 280 Dance History II 3  
THTR 225 Lighting Design 3 THTR 145, 160, or instructor permission

3 Credits Required of Modern/Contemporary Technique Components
(These credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)

See Studio Techniques Components section for options

  3  

3 Credits Required of Ballet/Jazz Technique Components (These credits
can be satisfied by upper division courses)

See Studio Techniques Components section for options

  3  

11 Credits Required of Modern/Contemporary OR Ballet/Jazz Technique
Components OR Dance Performance OR Somatic Landscapes (These
credits can be satisfied by upper division courses)

See Studio Techniques Components section for options

  11  
IV. Upper Division Courses  17  
DANCE 350 Pedagogy 4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology 4  
DANCE 370 Composition and Choreography 4 DANCE 110 or with instructor permission
DANCE 380 Dance Forms 3  
DANCE 490 Senior Seminar 2 Instructor permission
Total Hours for the BA in Dance  57  

Recommended Plan of Study for Dance (for incoming student placed in technique 130/135 levels)

  • 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.

Recommended Plan of Study for Dance (for incoming student placed in technique 230/235 levels)

  • 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
I. Studio Technique Components  7  

All dance minors are required to take a combined total of 7 studio technique credit hours within their 4 years at Westminster College. Students are placed into a course level in collaboration with the instructors at the beginning of Fall semester. All courses, except DANCE 200 are repeatable for credit toward the studio technique requirement.

Lower Division Technique Courses 
DANCE 230 or  Modern II or  3

DANCE 130 and instructor permission

DANCE 232 Contemporary  3

DANCE 230 or by level placement 

DANCE 235 or  Ballet II or  3 DANCE 135 or instructor permission
DANCE 237 Jazz II 3  

Somatic Practices - Lower Division

DANCE 200

Somatic Landscapes*

*Not repeatable for credit 

2  
Upper Division Technique Courses 
DANCE 330 or  Modern III or  3

DANCE 330: DANCE 230 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 332 Contemporary III 3

DANCE 323 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 335 or  Ballet III or 3

DANCE 235 or by level placement or by instructor permission

DANCE 337 Jazz III 3

DANCE 237 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 430 or  Modern IV or  3

DANCE 330 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 432 Contemporary IV 3

DANCE 332 or level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 435 or  Ballet IV or  3

DANCE 335 or by level placement or instructor permission

DANCE 337 Jazz IV  3

DANCE 337 or by level placement or instructor permission

Dance Performance - Upper Division
Dance 300 Dance Performance 1-4  
II. Lower Division Courses 9  
DANCE 110 Creative Process in Movement and Dance 3  
DANCE 130 Modern/Contemporary I  2  
DANCE 135 Ballet/Jazz I 2  
DANCE 180 Dance in Culture and History 2  
III. Upper Division Courses  8  

Choose two of the following upper division requirements:

DANCE 350 Pedagogy 4  
DANCE 351 Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology 4  
DANCE 370 Composition and Choreography 4 DANCE 110 or with instructor permission
Total Hours for the Minor in Dance 24