Dance Degrees and Auditioning
Majoring in Dance
A solid college education with a major in dance can be an excellent background for a wide variety of professions in addition to a career as a performer or choreographer. Serious dance training takes extraordinary discipline, tenacity, dedication and time-management as well as good health, athleticism and presentation skills. High-quality dance productions require excellent organizational management, teamwork, creativity and artistry. A liberal arts education from Western requires all students to learn to think and write critically.
The dance major’s presentation skills, ability to perform in public, and control of the body provide a solid basis for working effectively with others. Dance develops the ability to concentrate intensely, listen introspectively, observe keenly, solve problems creatively, think critically, collaboratively develop a project, work independently, work under pressure, meet deadlines, and maintain composure when faced with the unexpected.
The Dance Program expects achievement in the following competencies by graduating majors in both the BA and BFA. Our students will:
Develop proficiency in modern dance technique
Develop competency in ballet technique
Become familiar with the history of dance and enhance writing skills by using this knowledge
Gain expanded diversity awareness through the cultural dimensions of dance
Understand alignment and anatomy as they relate to dancers
Explore their choreographic potential in traditional and/or experimental approaches
Learn the basic skills and operations of technical theatre related to dance production
Have multiple performing opportunities in different venues
Assessment of these competencies is accomplished through individual course performance, completion of degree requirements, and in part by successful audition and casting in faculty directed events. BFA candidates will be expected to participate in a culminating Capstone course and presentation as choreographers and as featured dancers.
Audition Dates and Times
To be announced
- Forms: 8:30 – 9 a.m.
- Contemporary Technique: 9 – 10:15 a.m.
- Improvisation Exploration: 10:15 – 11 a.m.
- Lunch break: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
- Ballet: 12 - 1 p.m.
- Informational meeting for all students interested in Dance Major or Minor: 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Degrees and Application Requirements
Major: Bachelor of Arts in Dance (BA)
Students completing a teacher certification program and endorsable major in a subject other than Dance may qualify for an additional endorsement in Dance by completing requirements listed above. This will allow you to teach Dance in Washington State public schools. See the Woodring College of Education section of the WWU Catalog for more information on teacher certification programs and approved majors.
Major: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (BFA)
The BFA is by nomination only. It is assumed that BFA graduates will continue in the field of dance, either professionally or in graduate school.
BFA candidates apply in spring of their Junior year. After review, the faculty votes on the candidates.
You may declare the Minor at anytime. Transfer students must fulfill a minimum of 18 hours of the required courses.
Contact Director of Dance Cher Carnell.
Auditions and Level Placements
Our audition process involves students taking ongoing technique classes. This allows us to find the best programmatic fit for students and faculty. After taking dance classes at WWU, you are given a technique level. If you place in Contemporary 1 or higher you are eligible to declare the Dance Major, BA track.
The Dance Program will be holding a Technique Placement Class for all new students. This includes students interested in the Dance Major, Dance Minor, or technique classes.
The level placement class is structured so that beginners through advanced students will be able to participate. It is our objective to place students in the level most suited to their development as a dancer.
Wear dance attire that we can see you move in, hair controlled and off the face, ballet slippers for the Ballet portion, bare feet or sandals for Contemporary.
Each student will receive an email that afternoon with their technique level placement.
If you are unable to take classes before your first fall quarter at Western
You can audition in a Level Placement class. All new students interested in the Dance Major, Minor, or taking dance classes as non-majors should attend this class to be assigned a technique level.
If you are interested in the BFA degree
Declare the BA as soon as possible after placing in Contemporary 1 or higher. In spring of your Sophomore or Junior year you may then apply for BFA candidacy.
BFA candidacy requires nomination by the faculty as a whole.
As part of this application process students are required to perform for Dance faculty a solo that they have choreographed.
Regardless when a student is accepted as a BFA candidate, their BFA Capstone occurs spring quarter of their Senior year at Western.