Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
School of Arts and Sciences
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.
Who It's For
Students in the Dance program recognize dance as a way of knowing about and “being in” the world. They express themselves through movement and ask questions through choreography. The Dance program at Westminster is designed for students who want to understand the artistic and technical elements of physical expression and performance artistry while exploring the creative process and collaborating with diverse subjects and artistic outlets.
- Small classes allow for individualized, in-depth training and creation of original work.
- A collaborative environment encourages you and your classmates to support and challenge one another to grow as dance artists and scholars.
- Mentoring relationships with professionals in the dance world provide exposure to current dance practices and build a network of support.
- Interpreting current events/issues through performance, choreography, and improvisation develops your role as an active artist and global citizen.
- 2 degree tracks to choose from based on your artistic and academic passions and career aspiration.
- Opportunity and support for interdisciplinary study allows you to fully integrate your artistic and academic passions at Westminster by taking dance as a minor with another program.
- Thoughtful curriculum gives you essential professional and creative tools that will aid you whether you choose a career in dance or decide to apply your creative skills to another professional pursuit.
- All incoming Dance program majors (including transfer students) can audition for a talent-based dance scholarship, making a high-quality dance education accessible to all students.
About the Program
Westminster’s Dance program centers movement at the heart of learning. As an embodied art form, dance allows you to find deep meaning in the present moment and to draw connections across difference. Westminster is committed to making a high-quality dance education accessible to all students. Get insight on the perspectives of Westminster dance students and view student resources.
All incoming Dance program majors (including transfer students) can audition for a talent-based Dance program scholarship. The audition is for scholarship consideration only and does not affect entering the program as a bachelor of arts student.
What You'll Learn
- 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
- Develop and practice physical, cognitive, and creative research skills within the full scope of multidisciplinary physical art-making
- Develop an artistic voice by taking risks in individualized and innovative creative practices
- Understand dance as a cultural practice that reflects and impacts local and global communities
- Engage with a professional environment conducive to advanced learning and collaboration among students and professors
- Analyze and evaluate dance processes and productions through varying perspectives of history, culture, society, self, and aesthetics
- 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
- Cultivate project management skills that incorporate effective group dynamics
Plan of Study
Due to Westminster’s small class sizes, you will have the opportunity for individual growth across 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. You will gain practical skills in dance production, teaching, and administration, preparing you fully for a variety of career paths. The Dance program allows you to advance artistically, academically, and professionally in a liberal arts setting as you focus on dance while still accessing a diverse range of academic coursework and subject areas.
The Dance program offers 2 degree tracks (bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of arts) and a dance minor. All students who declare as a dance major enter the program in the bachelor of arts degree track (no audition required).
Transitioning to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Track
After completing 2 semesters as a bachelor of arts dance major, continuing students are eligible to request a transition into the bachelor of fine arts degree track through a formal review by the dance faculty. If not initially accepted into the track, they can continue pursuing the bachelor of arts degree track and request another formal review at the end of each subsequent semester.
Transfer students are eligible to seek acceptance into the bachelor of fine arts 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.
Bachelor of Arts in Dance
The bachelor of arts 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'd like to double major, this degree path is a great fit with the Art, Communication, or Theatre Arts programs, or a program within the School of Education or Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance
The bachelor of fine arts 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're ready to get into entry-level, professional work in dance after graduation.
Minor in Dance
The Dance program also offers a minor that is a great addition to the Theatre Arts and Music programs, or programs in the School of Education or the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. 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.
Liberal Education Courses
Modern/Contemporary I and II
This course sequence addresses the basic elements of modern dance techniques and contemporary physical practices. You will explore body alignment, vocabulary, flexibility, weight, breath, momentum, improvisation, coordination, and composition.
Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dance
This course investigates human anatomy and kinesiology in relationship to dance. You will be guided through the skeletal and muscular systems; taught about injury prevention, treatment, and conditioning; and learn the role of individual differences in physicality and movement patterns.
The Dance program prepares you for a successful career in a variety of professional settings through curriculum that emphasizes improvisation, creativity, and collaboration. You’ll be prepared to pursue positions with professional dance companies and arts organizations as well as opportunities in education, community development, and health and fitness. You may also choose to complete graduate studies in a variety of interdisciplinary fields. The "Career Guide for Dancers" may be a useful tool for you to help figure out your career aspirations.
- Professional dancer
- Dance therapist
- Dance educator
- Community arts advocate
- Arts administrator
- Set designer/lighting designer/costumer
- Arts-in-health practitioner
- Physical therapist
- Public relations/marketing professional
The Arts Administration program offers an interdisciplinary degree that combines business and communication courses with a minor in one of the fine or performing arts, including the Dance program. Creative professionals are needed across all sectors—health, business, technology, public policy, marketing, education, etc. The Arts Administration program prepares you to work for an arts organization after graduation, or to contribute your artistic skills to other professional settings.
The Dance program invites you to make connections across subjects and to move through ideas from different fields of study. Imagine how dance could complement many of Westminster’s programs:
- Theatre Arts program
- Music program
- Film Studies program (minor)
- History program
- Justice Studies program
- Neuroscience program
- Pre-Professional Health advising path
- Sociology program
- Programs in the School of Education
- Programs in the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business
- Dance coursework as a component of a customized major
Tuition and Aid
There's No Better Investment Than You
Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.
With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.
You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.
In addition to general merit scholarships, other scholarship programs are available to support you throughout your time at Westminster.Check Out Scholarships
Additionally, all incoming Dance program majors (including transfer students) can audition for a talent-based Dance program scholarship. The audition is for scholarship consideration only and does not affect entering the program as a bachelor of arts student.