About Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Dance with K-12 Teacher Certification.

WDT01The B.A. degree in dance aligns with the university's liberal arts-based vision of education that encourages breadth of knowledge.  Faculty shape class projects and mentor students in production work in a way that promotes collaboration — an essential skill for success in the performing arts and a very valuable skill in any profession.  All dance majors have opportunities to assume artistic leadership roles during their academic careers in the department.  Advanced students take on solo performance roles, stage management positions and choreograph pieces in student concerts.  Select students choreograph their own full-length dance productions. 

Faculty members individually mentor majors so that they will be successful in the dance program and in preparing for careers.  The dance faculty conducts a placement class at the beginning of the fall semester as an assessment of dance technique proficiency for all new dance and musical theatre majors (whether first-time or transfer students).  Faculty use this placement class to recommend enrollment in the appropriate level of technique for each student.  All dance majors are required to complete a junior review in their sixth semester.  In this review the students demonstrate proficiency in technique and present their dance websites to faculty.  Faculty members work with the students to improve their presentation skills, discuss their progress in the program and explore their future goals. In their sophomore year all majors take DANT 332: Careers and Current Trends in Dance.  Dance majors also participate in master classes presented by professional dancers including past dance alumni and from regional, national, and internation dance companies.

WDT04Our season of productions typically includes two faculty-choreographed concerts in our mainstage proscenium space — Johnson Theatre.  The Department also produces a musical every year, often produced in collaboration with the Department of Music.  The season also includes two student choreography showcases (choreographed by advanced dance majors) in Johnson Theatre and one or two informal concerts prepared by select students.  Ensembles of our students also perform at the annual ChristmasVille Festival in Rock Hill and often tour to local K-12 schools.  Faculty and select students travel every spring to the regional American College Dance Association conference to perform and take classes. The Department also hosts a local chapter of NDEO, the National Dance Educators Association.

WDT01For details about the curriculum for the B.A. in Dance and the B.A. in Dance with K-12 Teacher Certification, go to the navigation bar at the left and click on "About the Subject."  In the drop-down menu, click on "The Major." 


Dance Program Mission Statement
The dance program at Winthrop University prepares students for careers and future study in dance by fostering their aesthetic, technical, intellectual, and creative development within the context of a liberal arts education.  In order to achieve this mission, the program provides students with opportunities to participate in studio-based practices and explorations as well as performance and other relevant educational offerings.  The program serves both the university and local community in enhancing their knowledge of the discipline of dance from a holistic perspective, including the political, historical, cultural, and technological events that have contributed to its evolution. 

Dance Program Goals

  • To provide a developmentally sequenced curriculum of studio and theory courses that exposes dance majors and minors to a breadth of skills, knowledge, and critical thinking.
  • To nurture artistic leadership in students through opportunities to perform, choreograph, teach, design, stage manage, participate in internships, and be involved in professional organizations.
  • To promote collaborative experiences that develop students'communication skills, appreciation of diversity, and adaptability to change in all artistic and interdisciplinary endeavors. 
  • To prepare students for successful careers as educational leaders in public and private K-12 education. 

You can view video footage of ballet and modern technique classes in our department. 

Ballet I
Ballet III 
Modern II
Modern III
Modern IV

Study Abroad in Dance

Due to the prescriptive and evolving nature of the various degree programs within the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department Chair and Dance faculty have identified the following recommendations to students intending to study abroad.  

  • B.A. in Dance

The fifth or sixth semester Junior year (in addition to multiple summer study options) is generally the best semester to study abroad.  Through a combination of general education requirements, applied dance, dance practicum, and dance theory courses at the abroad institution and Winthrop distance learning, students are able to study abroad without delaying graduation.  It is imperative however, that students work with their dance advisor, or the department chair, prior to selecting a study abroad institution and planned course of study abroad to insure transfer and major credit.

  • B.A. in Dance with Teacher Certification K12

Perhaps the only option that Dance Education majors have to study abroad and graduate on time, is during summer study options.  As the Dance Education program is lock-step, it is imperative that Dance and Education foundations be completed in advance of a summer option.  Required applied dance, dance theory, or general education courses during the summer option may be applied to their degree requirements, however, dance education classes taken abroad will generally not apply.  It is imperative that students work with their dance advisor, or the department chair, prior to selecting a study abroad institution and planned course of study abroad to insure transfer and major credit.