Do I have to be a Dance major to take class?
Yes, Dance classes are only available for Dance Majors ONLY.
What technique styles are taught?
We offer a wide variety of technique classes each semester. Most classes are offered in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.
We teach a Hawkins based, release style of Modern dance that is also heavily influenced by Laban/Bartenieff principles.
We offer Ballet in the tradition of the Royal Ballet Academy, with an emphasis on healthy body awareness and alignment.
We provide fun and exciting Jazz classes.
What is the typical class size?
Class size varies based on the size of the studio it is being taught in, but classes generally have 10-25 students per semester.
Are there Dance Scholarships available?
Yes. We offer five different scholarships. Admissions for scholarships are highly competitive and are based on skill, and potential to contribute to the dance program.
Is there a Dance Minor?
Sorry, we do not offer a Dance Minor at this time.
I am interested in dance, but not a Dance major. What can I do?
You can participate in the student led company Orchesis. Auditions are required and are open to all majors. For more information click here.
What career opportunities are available with a degree in Dance?
The dance major prepares students for careers in dance performance, choreography, dance education, and/or advanced study in a graduate dance program. Dance majors also are hired in the fields of performing arts, arts administration, education, and other related areas.
Can I double major in Dance and another field?
Yes! Past Dance majors have double majored in many different things including, Business, Nutrition, Marketing, and even Nursing. It will probably take longer than four years, but with dedication and perseverance you can succeed.
What's the application process for the BFA in Performance and Choreography program?
If you are interested in the BFA in Performance and Choreography you must audition by the end of your first year. You will fill out a BFA Application, attend an audition, show a 2 minute solo choreography of your choice, followed by an interview with faculty. For audition dates and more information click here.
Do I have to audition to get into the Dance program?
We require an AUDITION for the Performance/Choreography track AND the Teacher Certification track. Those interested in Dance Studies DO NOT have to audition.
There will be an audition held in both the Fall and Spring semesters, and you must complete your audition by the end of your first year.
*To see the audition dates and deadlines to submit materials click here.
Other requirements for the audition:
Students planning to audition must complete:
-BFA Performance/Choreography application (available on our website),
-letter of intent/goals
-provide a transcript
Students must have completed no more than 90 hours, and have a GPA of at least 2.5.
Who are the Texas State Strutters?
The Strutters organization has a long, proud and strong tradition of excellence. Strutters are known around the world for the showmanship and “pizzazz” of their performances. For 56 years, Strutters have fascinated audiences with their performances at football games, parades, movies, and international performances. The Strutters of Texas State University have long been associated with the pageantry and tradition of Texas State intercollegiate athletics. First established in 1960, the Strutters boast alumni of thousands, who have helped to make the organization what they are today.
Why study Dance?
Dance is an exciting field that can take you anywhere you want to go. It is more than a career, it is a passion.
- Dance students learn to think creatively. Creativity is the most sought after quality in any career. Employers want to hire people who can “think outside the box”.
- Dance majors perform and choreograph original dance works. By learning how to dig deeply into what makes their own dancing unique, they are at the forefront of “cutting edge” new trends in dance.
- Dance majors receive a well-rounded dance education, which makes them better future dancers, dance advocates, and teachers.
What is the BFA?
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance at Texas State University is situated within the Department of Theatre & Dance in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. It is a degree that offers a professional education in dance.
-Texas State offers four tracks within BFA degree in Dance:
(2) Dance Pedagogy: Teaching Certification in one field (Dance)
(3) Dance Pedagogy: Teaching Certification in two fields (Dance and one other)
(4) BFA in Dance Studies
*To see the different degree plans for each track on our Dance Division website click here.
Why don't you audition incoming Freshmen?
During the freshmen year, declared and interested dance majors take “Dance Freshman Seminar” and “Beginning Modern technique”. These two courses provide new Dance majors (or those interested in majoring) with important information concerning the program, the degrees offered, and the career paths available to you after graduation. This introductory year allows the faculty a chance to get to know you, as well as provides you with the opportunity to see if our program is a good fit for your current and future goals.
If you should decide to remain a Dance major, then you may do so in one of the Teaching Certification tracks or Dance Studies WITHOUT an audition. If you choose to pursue a BFA in Performance and Choreography, then you may audition for this track at the end of your Freshman or Sophomore year.
What happens if I don't get into the "BFA Performance and Choreography" program?
You may continue as a “Dance Studies” major, and audition again for the Performance/Choreography option the following year. If not accepted by the end of your sophomore year, then you may remain in the “Dance Studies” degree plan.
*To see the different degree plans for each Dance major track on our Dance Division website click here.
How many students will be accepted into the “BFA in Performance and Choreography” program?
It depends upon the number and classification of those auditioning. We do not have a student limit for the BFA Teacher Certification or the BA Dance Studies tracks.
I’ve had a lot of dance experience. Why do I have to take “Beginning Modern” ?
Texas State Dance Division has a modern dance-based curriculum. Our modern dance faculty specializes in and teaches the core principles of the Erick Hawkins technique. However, we value all genres of dance, and supplement modern technique with ballet, jazz, and several master classes in other dance styles. All student must take “Beginning Modern” because we find that most incoming freshman have had little or no experience in Hawkins technique. Our Beginning level modern classes are filled with Hawkins-based concepts and principles that are often new to even the most advanced dancer.
Why Hawkins Technique?
The Dance Division at Texas State was founded and fostered by professor emeritus Dr. Joan Hays (Dance Division Director from 1973-2003). Dr. Hays decided to base the program in the aesthetic philosophies and technical principles of modern dance pioneer, Erick Hawkins. We are very proud to be one of the very few institutions striving to promote and preserve Erick Hawkins’ technique, choreography, and aesthetic philosophy.
The Erick Hawkins technique values the human instrument as a vehicle for artistic expression that is in accord with the natural use of the body. The technique is scientifically solid in its knowledge and application of kinesiology (the study of the body in movement), as well as rhythmic virtuosity, and a dynamic awareness of free-flow energy. The technique promotes facile bodies that develop strong core strength, while learning to become aware of and release extraneous bodily tension that often prevents healthy alignment and proper execution of movement. The Dance Division faculty believes that the technique provides a solid foundation for dancers, regardless of their stylistic preferences. The principles of the Hawkins technique are easily transferred to other dance styles, and are especially useful for future teachers who wish to train young dancers to use their body-instruments for a healthy, life-long enjoyment of dance. The TX State modern dance faculty has extensive training and experience with Hawkins’ work.
Read more about Erick Hawkins here:
Do I have to take “Beginning Ballet” and “Beginning Jazz”?
No. Many of our incoming dance majors have sufficient skills in Ballet and Jazz, and may take the Intermediate or advanced levels in these techniques without first having the Beginning levels at Texas State. Admission to Intermediate and Advanced levels of Ballet and Jazz is at the discretion of the instructors of the courses. You may register for these levels, but the instructor may advise you to switch to another level within the first week of classes, if she determines that you would benefit from first taking the Beginning or Intermediate levels.
I am a talented and versatile performer. Upon graduation, I envision myself attending many auditions and performing professionally. Is this the right program to prepare me for this?
It depends. While our “Performance/Choreography” track does provide many performing opportunities, it is NOT a ‘conservatory’ approach to dance training. We approach dance training from a Liberal Arts perspective, exposing all of our students to history/philosophy, composition, kinesiology, teaching methods, and the production/business aspects of dance. We feel that even the most talented performers need to be versatile and ready for a competitive world. With that objective, our curriculum facilitates well-rounded students, both physically and intellectually, and exposes them to a broad understanding of dance. Several of our graduates have gone on to successfully dance professionally. Several have been accepted to graduate programs in dance, and many have gone on to other dance related careers (teaching, production, owning studios, etc.). If you are not limited to one view or one definition of what dance is, and you are ready to be challenged physically and intellectually, then the TX State program may be a good fit for you. We recommend that all incoming freshmen and transfer students carefully research and compare our program to other dance programs to find the most suitable fit for your individual needs and aspirations.
The students that seem happiest in our program tend to have these attributes: open-mindedness, self-motivation, a passion for and curiosity about dance in all its forms, styles, and manifestations (history/philosophy, movement analysis, composition, production, etc), and respect for themselves and others.
What kinds of performance opportunities and organizations are available to Dance Majors?
Our Student Dance Company, Orchesis, is a wonderful way to meet other dancers and get involved with the Dance Division. They have one large annual production, meet regularly, host master classes, and participate in various community and university service projects. Orchesis holds auditions in the early Fall.
Merge Dance Company is a touring ensemble that performs regionally and nationally (occasionally internationally). They perform the work of faculty and guest artists of the Dance Division. Entrance into Merge is by invitation. For students that are new to TX State, there is an audition process in the late Spring.
Choreographers’ Showcase is a bi-annual concert of choreography by students enrolled in the “Advanced Choreography” course. The students in the course choose dancers for their work (sometimes via auditions).
BFA concerts: Students in the “Performance/Choreography” degree plan are required to produce a shared concert in their senior year (usually 4 choreographers share the concert). They select their own dancers, and are in charge of all aspects of the concert.
Opening Door Dance Theatre: This is the faculty’s showcase of choreography, and often includes the work of guest artists and alumni. It takes place in the Fall semester.
For more information on these performing groups click here.
Other dance organizations on campus: There are several groups on campus that are not affiliated with the Dance Division, yet offer a wide array of wonderful dance and performance opportunities. A few such organizations are: the world-famous Strutters, Harambe Dance Group, and Grupo Folklorico Ocotochtli. Additionally, the Student Recreation Center offers many dance-based fitness classes for personal enrichment.
Can I be a Dance major and still be involved in extra-curricular activities?
Because many of our students must work part-time while pursuing a degree, extra activities outside of coursework and departmental organizations/performances is discouraged. Many of our students do successfully balance studying and rehearsing for Dance Division productions with extra-curricular activities; but it can be challenging, and detrimental to your health and stamina. With the multitude Dance Division of pre-professional and performance opportunities listed above, you can stay plenty busy and make plenty of new friends within the Dance Division alone. It is the faculty’s belief that you will get more ‘bang for your buck’ if you invest your time and energy in the Dance Division, rather than to spread yourself thin.