the Dance MFA
The University of Washington Dance Program offers a Master of Fine Arts degree that prepares dance artists (who've had a minimum of eight years professional performance experience) for entry into the academic setting. This full two-year program begins in mid June and runs for two years including the interim summer months. It is an intensive, yet reflective period, during which M.F.A. candidates are supported in the development of an academic dimension to their creative work in dance. M.F.A. candidates receive a tuition waiver and earn a monthly stipend in exchange for working as a Teaching Assistant in the Dance Program.
Dance faculty work with M.F.A. candidates to develop an individualized course of study. Three seminars taken in the first year provide the opportunity to investigate the relationship of dance to higher education, learn the nuts and bolts of dance administration and engage in rigorous scholarship that contributes new areas of knowledge to the field of dance studies. Courses in production, dance technology and composition provide additional support for the transition into university teaching and production of new creative work.
Graduate students also perform annually with The Chamber Dance Company (CDC), the resident modern dance company of the University of Washington. CDC provides an opportunity to work with their peers in the reconstruction and restaging of historic and contemporary dances.
Interdisciplinary study is another foundation of the M.F.A. curriculum. Graduate students complete courses in other disciplines that support the development and teaching of their Masters Project—an upper division academic course. As a leading research institution, the University of Washington provides a fertile environment for inquiry into many dance–related areas including anatomy, aesthetics, anthropology, history/criticism and digital technology.
Since the inception of the degree in 1990, graduates have achieved immense success in the fields of education, performance, choreography, administration and production. Graduates have been recipients of prestigious grants and awards including a National Dance Project Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Alumni have secured positions at numerous state and public institutions of higher learning, including: University of Utah, Sonoma State University, Bucknell College, Bates College, University of South Florida, Texas Women’s University, George Mason University, Bryn Mawr, Cornish College for the Arts, University of Nebraska, University of Washington, University of Western Washington, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, the Northwest School and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
The UW Dance Program is committed to making a performer’s transition into university teaching a rich and supportive experience.
"The MFA program in dance at the University of Washington provides excellent
instruction in all aspects of university teaching and administration. In 1996,
my transition from MFA candidate to full-time faculty at Kent State University
was remarkably easy, and my subsequent positions at the University of Washington
and Bryn Mawr College have benefitted from my MFA experiences. I would recommend
the program to any professional dancer who seriously is considering a career transition
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