By Risa Morgan-Lewellyn, Administrator, Dance Program
The UW Dance Program offers technical training in ballet, modern dance, non-western dance forms, somatic practices, jazz and social dance. The curriculum prepares students for graduate study, performance careers, dance related occupations such as physical therapy, dance therapy, and other fields demanding strong communication skills, creativity, commitment, and the ability to work collaboratively and independently. Auditions are not required and students are eligible to declare a major in dance once they have completed the admission requirements for each program track. The Dance Program produces four concerts every year and students are welcome to audition. In addition, students can gain performance and choreographic opportunities through concerts sponsored by the student-run Dance Student Association.
Students declaring a dance major in the UW Dance Program can choose from two tracks, both leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree and each takes about two years to complete. These tracks include Creative Studies or Dance Studies. The curriculum for both tracks offers an integrated course of study between creative work and academic study. With both options, students investigate dance as an art form and as a cultural practice, and are given the opportunity to explore dance from multiple perspectives. The Creative Studies curriculum offers an in-depth study of dance as an art form and cultural practice and includes an equal balance of technique and academic coursework. Students are given the opportunity to explore dance from several frameworks: technical, creative, historical, cultural, aesthetic, pedagogical and scientific, resulting in a solid balance between creative work and academic study.
The Dance Studies curriculum offers an interdisciplinary foundation to cultural and historical studies of dance. This option is ideal for students interested in non-western dance forms or for those students who are less interested in practicing dance technique. Students are introduced to a broad spectrum of approaches used in dance scholarship and is recommended for those who plan to use the research experience as a precursor to graduate level study.
Faculty and advisors work closely with students to guide them on an educational track that best serves individual career goals. Since most dance majors plan to use their interest in dance to augment other areas of study, they are usually double majors. Because the program offers a B.A. and not a B.F.A., students take the majority of credits outside of the department.
Transfer students are welcome to declare a Dance major once they have completed the required gateway courses. The majority of transfer students arrive at the UW with previous dance training and are placed at the appropriate technique level based on current individual skill.
Future students are encouraged to arrange a campus visit and take a ballet or modern technique class to assess the program for their individual needs and objectives. This time offers the prospective student an opportunity to meet the faculty, see the facility, and talk with the Dance Program advisor.