We are firm believers that kids do best when they pursue their true passions. But we also understand that many parents approach certain majors and programs with a tinge of hesitation, and dance is one of those majors. In this post, we’ll focus on BA dance programs but before we begin it’s important to draw a distinction between a BA and a BFA. BFA programs tend to be more specific and technical, while getting a BA in dance generally leaves with you with more post-grad options. You should look into BA programs if you want to explore a variety of aspects related to the industry.
The dance program at UC Boulder doesn’t initially require an audition. Rather, students audition for specific course placement at the start of each semester. Their BA focuses on theory (14 credits required) and technique, with class offerings about production and movement analysis. Throughout the course of the four years at Boulder, students perform at schools throughout Colorado.
University of South Carolina:
This program offers two tracks: Performance and Choreography or Dance K-12 Education. It’s known for a specialty in ballet infused with contemporary style dance. The school hosts open house auditions in February and November during the weekends, during which applicants are given the chance to meet and talk to current students.
University of Alabama:
Students at UAB perform and choreograph during the year at places like the Alabama Repertory Dance Theater and several dance festivals throughout the state. The goal of the program is to provide a general overview of dance studies, so students take classes about ballet, contemporary, jazz, history of dance, lighting, sound, and anatomy.
The dance program at Point Park University in quite well known. Students choose a concentration in either modern dance, ballet, or jazz but must also fulfill the school’s core curriculum requirement (think humanities, science, and math).
While there are performance opportunities at almost every school that offers a dance major, dance majors at Connecticut College are required to participate in at least two performances before graduating. Also, students must fulfill a crew production requirement in order to graduate. There are eight core courses within the major and after that, it’s up to the student to pick out their elective courses. And they have a lot.
George Washington University:
GWU’s dance program has a lot to offer as it relates to professional opportunities post-graduation. Aside from the course requirements, the school hosts workshops and professional meet-ups with dancers, artists, managers, and production crews. The school also offers a dance minor, and students are encouraged to choose another major (can be completely unrelated) if they want to take advantage of the workshops and courses without fully committing to dance as a major.
You’ll be studying a lot more than dance should you decide to pursue this degree at Northwestern. There are a ton of class offerings (linked above) but dance students must also take 18 courses outside of the major. There are specific requirements: two in math, science, and/or technology; three in social behavior; and three in humanities.
At the University of Maryland, you’ll spend the first two years completing foundational coursework and the following two years doing project based learning about a specific field of your choosing. They encourage cross cultural work and dive deep into the areas of performance, choreography, and theory perspective.
The requirements of the program are laid out here, and it’s a bit more intense than the rest. Unlike the other schools on this list, dance majors at Skidmore graduate with a bachelor of science. There’s a writing requirement and many students collaborate with their peers to put on performances both on campus and locally.
Students must fulfill core requirements in ballet, modern dance, jazz, stagecraft for dance, rhythmic training, cultural history, and more. When those classes have been completed, dance majors have 21 additional credits to fulfill in one of the following areas: body, science, and motion; dance and media; dance studies; and teaching dance arts. It’s a competitive program because students graduate equipped to enter a number of fields related to dance.
Need help figuring out where to apply? We help students craft school lists. Contact us here.