Dance at WKU
Dance at WKU
WKU Dance is one of only a few college programs in which you will be able to train and perform in each of these four dance genres. Our curriculum ensures both BA in Dance majors and dance minors will gain technical and performance experience in the genres of ballet, jazz, modern, and tap dance, explored in both concert and commercial dance forms. Dance History, Choreography courses, Dance Pedagogy, and Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology are taught through the lens of these collective dance forms rather than a singular perspective to further add dimension and awareness to your liberal arts education.
We believe that exposure to multiple genres of dance diversifies your training thus enhancing your artistic self. Along with this technical foundation in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap dance, you will also have the opportunity to focus deeply in your preferred genre(s) through numerous elective hours and advanced technique courses in all 4 genres.
Through the liberal arts setting, we are committed to providing excellence in dance education and preparing students to be engaged citizens.
- Create ~ The WKU Dance Program promotes student creativity by providing dance students a multitude of diverse creative opportunities. The curriculum supports four Choreography specific courses, and creative projects are essential components within many dance courses. Our program features an informal student choreography showcase each semester and an annual formal student choreography concert. Dance faculty mentor student choreographers yet offer room for students to fully realize their distinct creative voice.
- Thinking ~ The WKU Dance Program fosters the cognitive, intellectual, and collaborative nature that is inherent within the dancer. Through coursework and independent research, faculty mentor and nurture student scholarship at various levels. Interdisciplinary research, often grant-supported, is encouraged, providing the student a deeper experience in the art of dance. The BA in Dance and dance minor curricula are taught from a holistic approach and allow students to form thoughtful connections between dance and other fields of study.
- Artists ~ The WKU Dance Program strives to develop the performing artist. The program features ample performance opportunities for the student dancer with bi-annual faculty/guest artist choreographed main stage concerts and several campus, local, and regional performances throughout the academic year. Performance opportunities continue through student concerts and class showcases. Beginning in the student’s first semester, they have the opportunity to develop and hone their artistry, which is further shaped by curricular discussions and practice.
The B.A. in Dance is a 45-credit hour program designed to provide a solid foundation in the discipline of dance. The program requires students to achieve a level 4 in one dance genre and a level 3 in a second genre in order to graduate. Students will take a minimum number of credit hours each in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap dance, after which, they may choose to focus their remaining elective hours or additional time in preferred genres of dance. Students may also choose to study pointe, theatre dance, or additional technique courses. Remaining credits of the degree include a mix of dance study, choreography, dance production, and elective hours. Engagement in dance research and performance compliment the dance major experience extending beyond the curriculum yet enhancing the student’s education and undergraduate adventure.
Admittance into the B.A. in Dance degree program is a two-tiered process. Students must first attend a dance placement audition. Then, upon the completion of two semesters, students may be eligible to apply for full admittance into the degree program. Dance majors are advised and assessed by dance faculty each semester.
Current WKU Students
The B.A. in dance is a 45 credit-hour major. At least 22.5 hours must be upper level (300+). A minor or second major is also required.
4-Year Plan - Suggested Sequence
This suggested program of study shown should be used in consultation with your advisor. Every student will finish with a unique plan of his/her own depending on beginning technique levels, minor or second major, and electives selected.
This requirement enables students to explore another discipline of interest, creating individualized academic paths for each student. Through this combination of degree programs, students are afforded the opportunity to integrate their dance study with a focused area of interest in preparation for their unique career.
The BA in Dance is designed to easily accommodate a minor or certificate program. The dance program also has the flexibility to accommodate dance students who desire to double major with a primary focus elsewhere as well as the dance student who wishes to focus primarily on dance. The Dance faculty readily mentor and advise students through their individual paths of study.
Upon completion of the BA in Dance degree, students should be able to:
- Analyze dance from historical, cultural and aesthetical contexts and perspectives
- Demonstrate competency in dance technique, achieving a level four in one genre, level three in a second genre
- Apply an understanding of choreographic principles to the creation and production of original choreographic work.
The Dance Minor provides students who have an interest in dance, but do not want a bachelor degree, with the opportunity to continue their studies in the area of dance. The Dance Minor is a 26 credit hour program. You must achieve at least a level 3 in a selected dance genre in order to complete the minor.
Students pursuing the Dance Minor do not need to audition; however, a placement class must be scheduled prior to enrollment in a 100 level or higher dance technique course. Students should contact Assistant Professor Meghen McKinley (firstname.lastname@example.org) upon adding the dance minor for academic advising and to ensure appropriate path of study.
The Western Kentucky University Dance Company is the resident dance company of the WKU Department of Theatre & Dance. The company performs diverse choreography by faculty and guest artists in local to international venues. Choreography encompasses ballet, jazz, modern, tap and world dance forms.
Dance majors must complete a minor or a secondary major.
Does the business side of the arts interest you? Are you thinking of opening a dance studio, working in the development office of a theatre company, or starting a youth theatre program? The Minor in Arts Administration is an introduction to field.
If musical theatre performance is your passion, consider the B.F.A. in Performing Arts: Musical Theatre, combining training in acting, singing, and dancing.
Recommended programs outside of the Department of Theatre & Dance.
It is the mission of the WKU Dance Program to provide a comprehensive dance education that includes technical training, ample performance and choreographic opportunities, and a cross-disciplinary approach to research and scholarship in order to develop diverse dancers prepared to contribute in all aspects of the ever-evolving field of dance. By integrating dance and general studies, we strive to create Thinking Artists, individuals who work to achieve their highest potential as artists, technicians, and scholars.
We want to help you find your passion and make that passion a reality.
Western Kentucky University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.