Twenty-first century dance training
Elon’s Department of Performing Arts is recognized for providing conservatory-style training in a liberal arts setting. Elon offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance and choreography. The program features a unique and intensive course of study designed to give you the knowledge, experience, and professional exposure you need to build a successful career as a dancer, choreographer, or graduate student.
At Elon, dance students receive 21st century dance training with a focus on technical training, creative exploration, choreographic skills, body-mind centering knowledge, and collaborative dance-making. You will grow and develop with dynamic professors who teach you to sharpen your dance technique, hone your creative skills, cultivate your dance artistry and deepen your understanding of all aspects of dance.
Dance students don’t have to wait in line to perform on stage. Beginning your first semester, you will have many opportunities to participate in a variety of concerts, showcases, and stage productions, and you will make valuable professional contacts by participating in festivals, workshops, and auditions.
A challenging curriculum
Elon’s dance curriculum is a performance and creative-based program designed to prepare students for a professional performance or creative career in dance. Students refine their technical dancing by completing the required advanced levels of ballet, contemporary modern, and West African while choosing studio electives from jazz, tap, world dance, and musical theatre dance. They also learn the latest concepts and techniques of somatic-based movements, such as structural yoga for dancers, classical Pilates, and experiential anatomy.
You will be immersed in the creative dance process through improvisation courses and two levels of choreography. You will study the history of dance, design for dance (costume, lighting, and set), makeup techniques, and dance electives such as partnering, dance and video, dance education, dance philosophy, dance science, contact improvisation, Fosse and other topics.
Along the way, students receive expert guidance in preparing professional résumés, mastering auditions, making industry contacts, and other skills necessary to translate their talents into professional contracts. Dance students leave Elon as mature, versatile performers and choreographers ready to make their mark in the professional dance world.
The BFA Dance Program encourages you to set aside expectation and anticipation, and instead, creates a community where your ideas are fostered, molded, and given life. My dance education at Elon has allowed me to carve out a space in the professional world where I feel confident in my ability to be a present, powerful, moving being, capable of endless exploration.
Allie Lochary ’09
Excellent performance and creative opportunities
The dance program produces three main stage dance productions each year featuring the dance majors. Dancing in the Landscape is a site-specific dance production that takes place on campus during Family Weekend. The Fall Dance Concert is held in the fall semester and features experimental faculty and student choreography. The Spring Dance Concert centers around a specific theme chosen by the director and highlights faculty and guest artist choreography.
Additional performance opportunities include the Red Circle Showcase, the senior dance thesis projects, and the Black History Month Concert. Student choreographers have many opportunities to present their work including the Choreography I & II Showing, Red Circle Showcase, the American College Dance Association Conference, and various student dance organizations.
Elon’s dance faculty are working professionals dedicated to their art and trained educators committed to your artistic development. Accomplished visiting artists and part-time faculty members enhance our full-time faculty.
The [dance] program introduced me to an extraordinary world of discovery where my creative knowledge, ability, and sense of self were encouraged, cultivated, and most importantly, refined. The personal attention I received, the bond that was formed among the students and the breadth of experience and dedication from the faculty encouraged all of us to master our artistry. Elon is a home and the Dance Program is a family!
Jim Reynolds ’10
All dance majors gain valuable real-world experience before graduating. Each year, students and faculty have the opportunity to attend major conferences, including the North Carolina Dance Education Organization and the American College Dance Association. Students also are encouraged to complete internships to enhance their resumes. In the past, dance students have worked with the prestigious American Dance Festival, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Parsons Dance Company, Boston Ballet, City Dance Ensemble, Los Angeles Ballet, LA Dance Project, Ate9 Dance Company, Diavolo Dance Theatre, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Royal Flux Dance Company, Urbanity Dance and have served as performers and choreographers for summer stock and community venues.
Elon’s job placement rate among performing artists is excellent. Recent graduates are dancing with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington D.C. companies as well as regional companies in the Southeast, showcasing their own choreography and performing in national tours. Other graduates continue their training in graduate schools such as East Carolina University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Florida State University, Shenandoah University, Duke University, University of Kentucky, Smith College, Lesley University, Philadelphia University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.