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Dance: Undergraduate Program (BFA Dance)


The School of Dance undergraduate program is unique in that if offers an integrated curriculum of ballet, modern and jazz dance through technique and performance. Additionally, the core curriculum for BFA Dance majors includes dance history, biomechanics in relationship to dance, choreography, music for dance, production and career planning.  Additional coursework is offered in Dance Afrikana, Tap and Musical Theater.  The senior capstone project (DNC498) may be in the areas of performance, choreography, teaching, dance technology, production, research or a multi-disciplinary study.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Students who are accepted for the BFA program are screened through auditions conducted by the faculty using the following criteria:

  • Minimum 5 years study in one or more of the following training programs: arts conservatory, affiliate school of a company, arts magnet high school dance program, reputable dance studio with performing opportunities
  • The ability to transfer knowledge fluently between all three concentration areas in our program, Ballet, Modern and Jazz
  • A strong ballet base
  • Ability to demonstrate strength and/or have notable attributes in all of the following areas: technical facility, knowledge of movement vocabulary that extends beyond a foundational level, and clearly articulated footwork
  • A well-proportioned physique
  • A well-toned and conditioned body (athletic shape)
  • Accuracy of line and body placement
  • Musicality
  • Learning potential (the ability to readily embrace new concepts)
  • Performing experience suggested

Due to the fact that the BFA is a professional degree, a final but essential point of our criteria requires each applicant accepted to appear physically and mentally capable of completing the rigors of the four year program. Ultimately the faculty chooses dancers who are disciplined, know how to work, can stay focused and on task, are not timid and those who best exhibit a level of professionalism which will allow them to be competitive in the professional job market upon graduation.

As a result of this program, student outcomes include:

  1. The ability to perform at a professional level in diverse styles of dance including ballet, jazz and/or modern dance.
  2. The development of a personal aesthetic through courses in improvisation and choreography
  3. Comprehension of the multi-layered relationships between music and dance
  4. An understanding of the anatomical function of the dancer's body through course work in biomechanics, dance injury prevention and Pilates
  5. Developing scholarly research techniques and becoming familiar with the written and verbal skills necessary and appropriate for the field
  6. Developing a global perspective about dance history and diverse forms of dance through courses in dance history and dance and culture
  7. Becoming familiar with a variety of dance production values which enhance performance
  8. The ability to solve problems creatively
  9. Developing citizenship skills which lead to continued service to the community and the field of dance through a variety of philanthropic activities at the local, regional and national levels



Assessment Activities: 

Assessment Activities for the School of Dance:

Student Assessment Activities

Methods of Assessment

  1. Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 units of dance technique for the degree program. Faculty monitor students on a frequent and regular basis in all the technique classes through individual corrections and requesting students to demonstrate their comprehension of class material through verbal and physical responses. In addition, faculty mentor students individually outside of class through scheduled appointments. A similar form of assessment takes place through the ensemble coursework which includes the entire rehearsal process leading up to and including performances.
  2. Students learn creative problem solving skills through coursework in improvisation and music for dance. These student-centered learning courses include written assignments, quizzes, tests, class projects and group work using cooperative learning techniques. The students learn skills which prepare them for their continued study in choreography. Student choreographers are required to select a faculty mentor who monitors the progress made in their creative work. Each semester, the faculty adjudicate student work for performance on  the UA Dance concert series.
  3. Grades/GPA Follow University guidelines. Require a 3.0 for scholarship consideration. 
  4. Portfolio Review: During sophomore review and during discussions about scholarship applications, a portfolio approach is taken.
  5. Auditions: In addition to entrance to the program initially, students are required to audition for every piece of choreography they are cast in. All students have the same opportunity.
  6. Recitals: Students are evaluated in performance. Graduate students often produce their own concerts and are evaluated on program content, their choreography, and their own work as a performer.
  7. Public Performances: A number of venues are created each year to insure that all students have an opportunity to perform publicly. All faculty are involved in grading all students enrolled in ensemble courses (i.e., performance).
  8. Capstone Course: DNC 498 for all seniors can be performance, choreography, theater or lighting design, or a research paper.
  9. Advising: Of the nine member faculty, (one who serves as Division Head), three are assigned curricular advising duties, and all faculty are involved in mentoring students
  10. Scholarships are awarded on a semester basis.


  1. Senior Exit Survey A survey was conducted of exiting seniors in 1997, 1998 and in 1999 and 2000
  2. A full survey was conducted among seniors and exiting graduate students.
  3. Alumni Survey: An alumni survey was not completed in time for our academic program review, but is planned for the near future.


Updated date: Mon, 09/13/2010 - 13:15