Dance/Performance

Discover the full breadth of professional dance through Dance/Performance at RWU, where you’ll study technique and theory, collaborate with composers 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 and management.

This major is coordinated by the Dance/Performance program

A Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in Dance/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 yearly participation in the American College Dance Festival.

Our program offers live accompaniment for each technique class and gives opportunities for students to collaborate with our staff composer, facilitating crucial skills for work in professional dance fields. Students can combine their Dance/Performance 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/Performance program.

Degree Requirements

The Dance/Performance Major

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The Dance/Performance major must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements. In addition, majors must successfully complete the 42 credits listed below and sufficient electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major. Majors are also required to participate in a technique class every day and maintain a satisfactory level of competence. Progress is evaluated by faculty each semester.

Foundation Courses – Required – 9 credits

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE101The Creative Athlete
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography
DANCE310Dance History

Technique Studies Courses – Required – 15 credits

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE210Ballet I
and a minimum of 12 credits in Upper Level Technique courses taken from the following:
DANCE211Ballet II
DANCE220Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation I
DANCE221Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation II
DANCE301Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation III
DANCE302Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation IV
DANCE320Advanced Technique and Improvisation I
DANCE321Advanced Technique and Improvisation II
DANCE401Advanced Technique and Improvisation III
DANCE402Advanced Technique and Improvisation IV

A daily technique class in Modern, Jazz, and/or Ballet (credit or audit) is required of all majors.

Theory and Performance Studies Courses – 18 credits

Choose 6 out of the following 8 courses:

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE131Mime Workshop
DANCE340Performance Lab and Movement Analysis
DANCE390Advanced Choreography
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society
DANCE440Movement Theatre
DANCE460Teaching Techniques, Dance Pedagogy, and Musical Concepts

Note: Students completing Dance Teacher Certification are required to take DANCE 161 and DANCE 460.

The Dance/Performance Minor

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SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE101The Creative Athlete

Four Dance Technique Classes or a total of twelve credits in Dance Technique. (Placement made through consultation with a member of the dance faculty.)

and one of the following:

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography
DANCE310Dance History
DANCE350British Dance and Performance Art: London
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society

The PK-12 Dance/Education Dual Major

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Majors pursuing a dual major in Dance and Education must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements, and the College speech requirement, COMM 210, all education requirements, the following 45 credits as specified and sufficient electives to total 120 credits.

Foundation Courses – Required – 9 credits

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE101The Creative Athlete
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography
DANCE310Dance History

Dance Teacher Certification – Required 3 credits

SubjectNumberTitle
*DANCE161Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I

Technique Studies Courses – Required – 15 credits

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE210Ballet I
and a minimum of 12 credits in Upper Level Technique courses taken from the following:
DANCE211Ballet II
DANCE220Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation I
DANCE221Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation II
DANCE301Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation III
DANCE302Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation IV
DANCE320Advanced Technique and Improvisation I
DANCE321Advanced Technique and Improvisation II
DANCE401Advanced Technique and Improvisation III
DANCE402Advanced Technique and Improvisation IV

A daily technique class in Modern, Jazz, and/or Ballet (credit or audit) is required of all majors.

Theory and Performance Studies Courses – 18 credits

Choose 6 out of the following 8 courses (DANCE 460 required):

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE131Mime Workshop
DANCE340Performance Lab and Movement Analysis
DANCE390Advanced Choreography
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society
DANCE440Movement Theatre
*DANCE460Teaching Techniques, Dance Pedagogy, and Musical Concepts

*Note: Students completing Dance Teacher Certification are required to take DANCE 161 and DANCE 460.

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Auditions

A picture of dancers in a performance.The Dance/Performance Studies program is looking for technically proficient and creatively oriented students who wish to study Dance, Performance, and Movement Theatre. For acceptance into the Program, an audition is required. For those students who have not had a great deal of technical training but feel they have the talent and desire to work in this unique program, please concentrate on the performance part of the audition.

Find the upcoming audition schedule

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.

Learn More About Dancing in London

Performances

The Dance/Performance program stresses the development of strong technical and creative work from each student. Nowhere is this more evident than in our performances. RWU Dance/Performance 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.

See more of our performances

Alumni Success

The dance faculty guides students towards partnering the Dance/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/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.   

Students dancing in a performance

See our Alumni

Robinson Dancing

The Modern Dancer in NYC

Christina Robson, RWU Class of 2009 Dance/Performance

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

Our Courses

Photo of a male student dancingCourses 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.

Courses Offered 

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Discover the full breadth of professional dance at RWU.

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