This major requires a common core in a variety of dance forms, to lay a strong foundation for post-baccalaureate programs (MFA or PhD) or to perform, teach or choreograph in the private sector.
The program builds on a minimum of 16 credit hours of technical development, including nine credits of modern and ballet technique; one to three credits in genres that emphasize rhythmic footwork, partnering and ethnic elements; and a minimum of six more credits in genres of the student’s choice. Students may select from a variety of genres, including ballet, ballroom, jazz, contemporary, tap and world dance, according to their goals. With this foundation, students take dance-specific courses in history, science, music, production, and conditioning; study genre-specific performance, composition, and teaching methods; and participate in seminars with a rich variety of exploration opportunities. A broad choice of electives allows the student flexibility in selecting courses directed to their individual goals. These requirements culminate in a significant capstone project in research or choreography/performance that students undertake their senior year.
This liberal arts degree also requires general education courses that meet the aims of a BYU education and better prepare the graduate to serve in the world. No minor is required.
The highly esteemed Dance Education K-12 (BA) program is designed to prepare students for the rigors of the teaching profession. Students receive a teaching license in secondary education and an elementary education endorsement in dance. The program offers in-depth teaching opportunities in which students are closely mentored by faculty and teaching professionals.
The Dance Education K-12 program focuses on creating both exceptional dance artists and distinguished teachers. The rigorous coursework includes technique, choreography, performance, dance history, kinesiology, somatic studies, pedagogy, human development, music, and production. Dance Education majors have numerous career opportunities. The five-year degree provides students marketability and flexibility to pursue teaching dance in various settings including K-12 schools, private studios, and community centers. It also gives students a strong creative and pedagogical base to apply skills in many other dance and education-related fields such as higher education and arts administration.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance is a 4-year degree, designed specifically to develop performance and choreography skills in Ballet and/or Contemporary Modern Dance. The BFA student spends significant hours in technique, choreography, and theoretical coursework, including participation in two professional summer intensive workshops: one between the Sophomore and Junior years; and one between the Junior and Senior years. This degree prepares students to enter the world as professional performers or choreographers, and is an excellent preparation for MFA graduate studies.
The Musical Dance Theatre (MDT) program at BYU is one of the top-tier university training programs in the United States for students seeking a career in musical theatre. For over 30 years, our graduates have successfully taken their college training directly to Broadway and other prominent regional and national performance venues. This limited enrollment BFA program is unique for many reasons, but chief among them is that students are trained equally in the three essential disciplines of music, dance and theatre in an atmosphere that is spiritually and personally edifying. Here at BYU, teachers who understand the profession as experienced performers and academicians carefully and individually mentor them through their development as performing artists.
The stage is our laboratory. Each year there are significant opportunities to perform work from the existing cannon of musical theatre as well as new and experimental pieces, music videos and reviews. Recent productions include Phantom of the Opera, Light In The Piazza, and White Christmas.
Though we appear isolated in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, our program has a unique connection to many of the finest Broadway artists of our time. Stars like Sutton Foster, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin and Lea Solanga regularly come to BYU to perform and individually coach our students in special master classes. In a recent master class, Frank Wildhorn, writer of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Bonnie and Clyde, was so impressed with the talent of our MDT students that he chose BYU to stage the USA premier of his new work, Count of Monte Cristo.
The capstone experience for BYU MDT students is the Senior Showcase. The Showcase gives them the opportunity to travel to New York City and perform their chosen audition pieces for current casting directors, agents, choreographers and directors.