In a city with abundant dance opportunities, the dance faculty pride themselves on producing motivated and advanced students who perform throughout their student careers and are ready to join professional companies. Students have performed the Kansas City Ballet's Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Firebird, the Nutcracker tour with Albany Berkshire Ballet; Setting the Stage with Friends of Alvin Ailey, and with the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company.
As an equal-emphasis program in ballet and modern dance, students' experiences conform to the current repertoire of national companies. Through the Dance Division's Great Works Projects, our students have the opportunity to dance in masterpieces including George Balanchine's Serenade, Robert Battle's Battlefield, Twyla Tharp's Torelli, Petipa's Paquita, Philip Jerry's Our Town, and Paul Taylor's Aureole.
To provide as many professional opportunities as possible, students are granted two weeks leave per semester to dance professionally. Students are taught by an impressive faculty of professional dancers and choreographers including Paula Weber (principal ballerina Milwaukee Ballet and Albany Berkshire Ballet), Mary Pat Henry (artistic director of Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company), Sabrina Madison-Cannon (Philadanco), DeeAnna Hiett (Alvin Ailey, Deeply Rooted), Gary Abbott (Deeply Rooted), and Ronald Tice (Joffrey School).
Students receive one-on-one instruction, which shapes their personal development as artists. Students graduate with a BFA in performance and choreography and regularly join the rosters of professional companies.
Dance Division Mission Statement
The Dance Division of the Conservatory of Music and Dance is committed to performance excellence through specialized training in dance technique, theory, and choreography, advancing creativity, performance, scholarship, and learning in the arts. Intellectual and artistic growth is the primary focus of the Dance Division which is supported by the program in a disciplined and nurturing environment. The education of the student is enhanced by a strong foundation in ballet, modern dance, and choreography. We collaborate to champion the best aspects of the past as we prepare for the future through innovation, enterprise, and arts advocacy. In keeping with the mission of our University, we seek to promote diversity while fostering an inclusive learning environment.
Dance Division Vision Statement
While advancing our reputation as a premier nationally recognized university dance program, we encourage discovery, creativity and learning of the highest caliber for our students. The Conservatory Dance Division believes dance education begins in the dance studio with equal emphasis in ballet and modern training that is supported by scholarly investigation in dance and academia. We remain a dedicated faculty for the development of individual student growth as performing artists and creators while preparing students for collaboration, multidisciplinary exploration, and for making informed artistic choices. We seek to cross ethnic, social and educational barriers to instill an awareness and appreciation of the value of dance in our community. We foster learning that embraces all aspects of dance and general education integrating the arts with a broad knowledge of its cultural significance.