The Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies at Appalachian State University was created to enable students with ability and interest to discover a way to keep dance as part of their lives forever. The program attracts students who have dance as their primary focus, but also have other interests they wish to experience.
This degree program takes an integrative and cross-disciplinary approach to dance in which students make connections among disciplines and ultimately experience dance on a deeper and more multidimensional level. They become trained for professional careers in dance but also develop skills that are highly transferable to other pursuits. The program encourages students to select a minor or second major in another area of interest to become a well-rounded artist.
The program’s vibrant and diverse faculty members share a student-centered, holistic approach to teaching dance that guides students to develop awareness and integration of body, mind and spirit. Students can experience varied styles of dance, and a dynamic, cocurricular production program offers exemplary experiences in performance and choreography.
Employment: Most students start careers in teaching, performing, production or related fields. A list of recent employers is located in the right column.
Graduate School: Students who have decided to pursue graduate studies have gone recently to Naropa University for transpersonal psychotherapy, Florida State University for a master’s degree in dance, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for social work, Vanderbilt University for human development counseling, University of Roehampton in London, UK, for an master’s in dance anthropology, and Appalachian State University for school counseling.
A minor is required. The Dance Studies Program encourages students to minor or double major in another area of interest because the faculty believes connections can be made between dance and any other discipline. This contributes to a well-rounded student and artist. In recent years, students’ selections have included:
- Studio Art
- Social Work
- Somatic Sustainability (minor)
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Performance (an important and integrated part of academic learning in the Department of Theatre and Dance)
- First Year Showcase - This annual production in I.G. Greer Studio Theatre provides an opportunity for all new students, freshman and transfer, to engage as an ensemble and create, with faculty supervision, a performance in the early fall. This showcase features work choreographed by faculty, upper level dance students, and invited guests and are performed by first-year students. This performance is held in conjunction with scenes for first-year theater students.
- Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble – a fully mounted performance by the dance program. It is choreographed by both faculty and students and performed by students.
- Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble – another fully mounted performance for faculty and student choreographers/dancers. Both Fall and Spring Dance Ensemble performances often include works set by visiting artists.
- More opportunities – Dance students also perform in musical theatre productions in connection with the Theatre program, collaborate with the Hayes School of Music for operas, and participate in informal performances across campus such as the Diversity Celebration or Admissions open houses.
The opportunity to choreograph for or dance in each of these concerts is filled through open auditions for all interested students.
- Momentum – This department-endorsed dance club produces an annual Showcase, featuring original student choreography, in the Varsity Dance Studio to raise the profile of dance on campus. Club activities include student planned master classes and fund raising activities. Membership is open to all interested students.
- Entropy – Also department endorsed, this hip-hop dance club performs on campus and in competitions and workshops throughout the region. There is an audition for membership.
Pilates Teacher Training Program – An optional, continuing education program sponsored through the University Conference and Camp Services program and the Department of Theatre and Dance. It accepts 6-12 students who have taken 2-3 semesters of prerequisite coursework for an intensive spring and summer training/apprenticeship, which is offered in odd years. There is a cost.
This program serves students who wish to further their study in Pilates and receive a certification that will allow them to teach in different venues after graduation.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The study abroad program “Rhythm and Revolution: Exploring Music and Dance in Cuba” can be taken by students in DAN 3540, MUS 3540, and GLS 3540. Each course carries three credit hours, and all students have the same experience. No knowledge of dance, music, Spanish or filmmaking necessary. All majors are welcome.
There is no audition necessary for entrance into the Dance Studies Program. A GPA of 2.5 or better is required in the major.
- The Dance Studies Program is certified by the National Association of Schools of Dance.
- The program is unique because of its broad offering of Somatics-based courses including: Somatics, Pilates Mat, Pilates Equipment, Gyrokinesis, Gyrotonic, Yoga and Floor Barre. This is a reflection of the program’s belief in the importance of mind-body connection and to encourage personal exploration and discovery.
- An honors program allows the opportunity for highly qualified students to graduate with “Honors in Dance Studies.”
The following are a few examples of what some of our recent graduates are doing:
- Dance studio owners
- Dance teachers at a multitude of studios across the state and country
- Pilates teachers at various studios
- British American School of Charlotte
- Beaufort County School District
- “Bayside, the Musical” – off Broadway, NYC
- Wingspan Dance – Charlotte, NC
- Jan Van Dyke Dance Group – Greensboro, NC
- John Gamble Dance – Greensboro, NC
- Winston Salem Festival Ballet – Winston Salem, NC
- Defero Dance Collective – Raleigh, NC
- Freelance graphic design
- Organizer – American Dance Festival
- Living on Purpose for Dance LLC
- Axiom America
- Dangerous Muse Productions
- Marketing Manager – Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
- Public School Counselor – Mecklenburg County School System