What do dance majors and minors study in college?
Dance study involves practice and theory in and beyond the
studio. A variety of technique courses, choreography courses, dance
history courses, performance opportunities, and specialized courses
like pedagogy and costuming complement each other to develop a
wholistic perspective on the growing possibilities of our field. Dance
majors have more extensive requirements than minors, but both benefit
from how studio and classroom studies intersect to deepen each other.
Can I double major or minor in another discipline?
A large number of our students choose to double major or to minor
in other fields; others devote themselves to a single major in dance.
Our program offerings, scheduling, and performance opportunities have
been crafted to be both challenging and flexible to honor a variety of
paths. Dance is growing in many interdisciplinary directions, Talk to
the dance faculty and faculty within your other department(s) of
interest to find out more about how to create the best pathway to your
personal educational goals.
What performance opportunities exist?
Freshman Dance Company (first year majors and minors) and Dance
Company (continuing dance majors) typically perform in two fully
produced proscenium stage shows a year. These showcase faculty and
guest artist choreography in a variety of dance styles and include a
full tech week, lighting, and costuming. Many additional opportunities
exist including (but not limited to) senior capstone shows, Oakland
Dance Festival, American College Dance Association conferences,
touring school/community performances, faculty choreographic research
projects, ArtPrize/Project X, student choreographic projects, halftime
showcases with the Laker Marching Band, student dance organization
performances, and more.
Why should I choose GVSU Dance?
Our program is intentionally small giving faculty the chance to
get to know you, your goals, and how to best help you move toward them
during your time with us and after graduation! Particular strengths of
our program include the number and generosity of our guest artists,
the personal attention in class that comes with a program of our size,
the ability to focus intently on dance or to expand study into double
majors/minors in other fields, and the atmosphere of the program. Our
students and faculty find that they gain the most from approaching
challenges in a supportive community where they see their peers as
inspirations and future colleagues rather than competitors.
How does the Dance Program prepare me for a career in dance?
The field of dance today has expanded far beyond performance.
Technology, business, advertising and public relations, teaching,
exercise science, and more all intersect with what it means to be a
dancer today. Our program provides opportunities to learn about dance
for the camera, personal website and portfolio creation, making
promotional materials, dance pedagogy, physical practices like
conditioning and somatics that help dancers maintain their practice,
and more. When combined with strong technique classes and performance
opportunities, our students are prepared for entering today’s expanded
field of dance.
What do GV dance alumni do?
Our alumni use their dance studies in varied and individualized
ways. Some perform with companies like Giordano Dance Chicago,
Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Chicago
Repertory Ballet, Thodos Dance Chicago, Minnesota Ballet, Columbia
City Ballet, and The Big Muddy Dance Company; some freelance with
numerous choreographers and dance styles in cities like New York City,
Los Angeles, or Chicago; some go on to study physical therapy or
become personal trainers; some become part-time or full-time dance
teachers or studio owners; some pursue commercial dance and
entertainment work with companies like Disney; and some pursue
graduate degrees or careers as lawyers, biologists, or non-profit
administrators. Wherever students end up, during their time at GVSU we
work to build their network of dance connections around the country
through high-impact experiences with visiting guest artists. These
artists share a wealth of perspectives, dance styles, and creative
processes that reflect their own unique professional experiences in
locations across the country, and that help our students expand their
understanding of the ways dance can form and inform their lives.