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Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree in Dance

Sam Houston State University is home of one of the oldest and most successful Departments of Dance in the state of Texas. The SHSU Department of Dance has had nearly 30 works selected for the American College Dance Festival Association Regional Festival Gala Concerts and has been invited to six of the eight National College Dance Festivals hosted by ACDFA which showcase the best of American college dance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. In the fall of 1998, the program was listed as one of the 25 outstanding programs in the United States by Dance Spirit Magazine.

Graduates of the program are currently working in such professional careers as: performing with dance companies and touring with entertainment industrial shows; teaching, directing and choreographing in university and high school dance programs; working in health-related fields, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic medicine and massage therapy; or are continuing with graduate work.

Facilities - Physical facilities include four spacious studios equipped with variable speed CD players, iPod docks, Blu-ray/VHS players, 32" LCD TV monitors, and pianos (available upon request) for ballet and modern classes. There is also an on-site state of the art theater that seats up to 150 people. It's fully equipped with the latest in lighting and sound technology as well as video projection capabilities. We also have six permanently hung aerial silks above the stage.  

Faculty - The SHSU Department of Dance has six full-time faculty members, two full-time adjunct faculty, seven graduate teaching assistants. Master classes and residencies by guest artists and other dance professionals are offered regularly. Recent guest artists have included the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Jane Weiner of Hope Stone Dance, Gina Bolles Sorenson of somebodies dance theater, Astrid Von Ussar Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, NobleMotion Dance, Rennie Harris, Taylor 2, Mark Taylor, Gus Solomons Jr., Donald McKayle, Teri Weksler, Art Bridgman/Myrna Packer and Bill Evans.

Performance Opportunities - Performance opportunities in dance include: two faculty choreographed dance concerts (Spectrum) per academic year, musicals, graduate (ROYGBIV) & undergraduate (Dances @ 8) student produced concerts, MFA Thesis concerts, and regional and national dance festivals.

Admission - Auditions are now required for admission to the Department of Dance. Dance Spectrum auditions are held each semester on the first Wednesday of classes to determine casting. The first Thursday and Friday are placement auditions during mondern and ballet to place dancers in their appropriate technique level.

Degrees Offered - The Department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degrees. Secondary teaching certification is also available through the university. In recent semesters, the program has enrolled on average 100 dance majors and 10 graduate students.

Curriculum - Four levels of ballet and modern dance technique are offered. The curriculum includes Choreography, Contact Improvisation, Dance History, Laban Movement Analysis, Folk and Social dance forms, Principles of Dance, Criticism & Analysis, Dance & Technology, Career Resources, Repertory, World Dance, Dance As Art, Research Methods in Dance and Dance Pedagogy, as well as numerous popular dance forms, such as Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Musical Theatre dance. All dance majors are required to attend seven to twelve hours of technique each week in addition to rehearsal hours per week. Students must demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in ballet or modern dance technique before graduating.

Dance Requirements - All dance majors are required to register for Crew for a minimum of four semesters.  Candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree must be registered in both ballet and modern dance technique each semester and must complete at least six credit hours of DNC 4330 (Repertory) and at least two semesters of either DNC 4333 (Advanced Ballet Technique) OR DNC 4334 (Advanced Modern Dance Technique). DNC 3333, 3334, 4330, 4333, and 4334 are open only by audition, faculty recommendation, or permission of the instructor.










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