The Department of Dance provides a comprehensive undergraduate dance education that fosters an environment committed to dance as an autonomous and major art form and realizes the many significant roles dance plays in world cultures.
The department nurtures critical and creative thinking through an academic, artistic, and physical support structure that promotes student and faculty excellence. Fulfilling its responsibility as advocate for the arts, the department delivers meaningful dance experiences for the cultural enrichment of the university, local communities, the commonwealth, and beyond. Dance means many things to many people: art form, social interaction, education, therapy, physical exercise and spiritual expression. Philosophically, the Department of Dance views dance as a performing art first but firmly believes in a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to dance education.
Department of Dance Goals:
1. To thoroughly and professionally teach the essential dance techniques of classical ballet and modern dance on a level that corresponds with today's dance standards.
2. To enhance our students' technical abilities and employment opportunities by including in the curriculum other dance disciplines such as jazz and tap.
3. To teach how the mastery of technique leads to the ART of dance, expressing through movement feelings and ideas that speak to the human spirit
4. To prepare students to pursue a career in dance as performer, choreographer, and/or dance educator, for graduate study and/or a wide range of careers by providing comprehensive curricular, performance and technical experiences on the undergraduate level
5. To provide dance students strong academic advising as well as mentorship opportunities to ensure they make informed choices as they develop and achieve their educational, career, and personal goals
6. To develop strong connections with the community and surrounding region through production of dance performances; collaboration with renowned professional guest artists; creation of partnerships with area arts organizations, companies and businesses; and the presentation of master classes, intensive workshops, lecture demonstrations and residencies
7. To provide and promote dance activities which reflect the diversity and complexity of world dance for the university, the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond
8. To acquire knowledge and new techniques in the area of somatics and strength conditioning to safeguard the dancing body and extend dance careers