Dance and Performance Studies
Discover the full breadth of professional dance through Dance and Performance Studies at RWU, where you’ll study technique and theory, collaborate with choreographers and work internationally during our semester-long Dancing in London Program. Our faculty -- all working professionals in the field -- give individual attention and guidance to broaden your career options beyond performance and choreography with additional coursework in fields such as education, therapy, management, media studies, and more!
This major is coordinated by the Dance and Performance Studies program.
A Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in Dance and Performance Studies, which develops highly trained, creatively active and professionally oriented students with its unique curriculum. It stresses the development of strong technical and creative work from each student, as they hone skills that will allow them to distinguish themselves professionally. Students are offered professional-level experiences through multiple guest artist residences, study abroad, and participation in the American College Dance Festival.
Students can combine their Dance and Performance Studies major with other programs easily. We will guide you towards partnering the major with another major/minor for a broad range of career options.
Auditions are required for acceptance into the Dance and Performance Studies program.
Student Learning Outcomes
At RWU, students earn their Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance Studies by engaging in the steady practice of movement research, development, performance, and analyses. Students who complete the major will be able to:
- Increase proficiency in anatomical efficiency, effort dynamics, and overall technical development.
- Heighten cognitive and embodied understanding of both the technical and cultural evolution of Classical Ballet, Modern, Post-modern, & Contemporary forms.
- Synthesize performance skills via ongoing participation in numerous, diverse, experiential creative processes and performances.
- Exercise a variety of established, experimental, and devised forms of movement composition.
- Explore and develop distinct interests and skills as artists and practitioners while situating their work within the larger contexts of history, pedagogy, culture, identity and community.
RWU’s Dance and Performance Studies Program welcomes all students interested in movement studies to audition for our Dance Major. Our majors (many of whom are double majors) receive the training and mentorship they need to refine their personal styles, artistic choices, and specializations.
Our faculty – all active professionals in the field – train technically proficient, creatively independent, and professionally adaptable dancers. They nurture each student’s interests and goals – while sharing their professional expertise and networks.
Come Move With Us
Dancing in London
Students can spend the fall semester of their junior year in London working with international technique teachers and choreographers. Students also attend dozens of dance and theater performances presented by both British and international companies. Courses build on the opportunities that London provides with frequent field trips, guest speakers, as well as weekend trips to other parts of England.
The Dance and Performance Studies program stresses the development of strong technical and creative work from each student. Nowhere is this more evident than in our performances. RWU Dance and Performance Studies students have been chosen four times to perform at the American College Dance Festival National Gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And the program has continued to be recognized with invitations to perform at other regional and national galas. Students have received several scholarships and a Dance Magazine choreography nomination.
Choreographed by Christina Robson (class of 2009) in collaboration with the dancers: Louise Benkelman, Alexis Carpenter, Kelsye Chevalier, Lauren Flamia, Heather Larsen, Erica Misilo, Claudia Rightmire, and Alexandra Townsend. Robson is currently a member of Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company.
The dance faculty guides students towards partnering the Dance and Performance Studies major with another major/minor for a broad range of career options in addition to performance and choreography. The skills and degree acquired by our Dance and Performance Studies majors offer many opportunities in the workforce both in and out of the field. Graduates have gone on to work as dance and movement therapists, certified dance teachers, occupational or physical therapists and in the communication, non-profit and studio management fields.
The Modern Dancer in NYCChristina Robson, RWU Class of 2009
Christina Robson graduated as a dance/performance major and visual arts minor in 2009. Now, she's a professional dancer in New York City currently working with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company.Read full story
Courses are offered in technique (Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Mime, Movement Theatre, Ethnic and Social forms). Theory courses include Choreography, Dance History, Pedagogy, Movement Analysis, Kinesiology, Performance Techniques, and other Special Topic courses to keep students on the forefront of emerging topics of the field.
Discover the full breadth of professional dance at RWU.