Western Michigan University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance and offers two tracks for undergraduate dance majors. The first leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and emphasizes performance, choreographic and aesthetic training. It's the right option if you want to dance professionally. If you seek a career in dance, but not necessarily in professional performance, you may opt for the second track. It leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and allows you to explore the diversity of the dance profession by choosing liberal arts electives that reflect your unique goals.
As a dance student at WMU, you will take courses in ballet, jazz and modern dance, as well as choreography, dance history, instruction and production. If you're on the Bachelor of Arts track, you will also study art, music and theatre. You must audition to be accepted into WMU's dance program.
WMU produces two concerts each year, both of which feature student choreographers and performers. The University also organizes special productions that will give you an opportunity to collaborate with music and theatre majors. Student organizations such as Orchesis also produce concerts and informal performances.
You may want to audition for the Western Dance Project to gain teaching experience. The company tours area schools to perform and present lectures.
Recent WMU graduates with degrees in dance are working as:
- Board members for arts organizations
- Fitness instructors
- Founders of dance companies
- Independent artists
- Professional performers
- Studio directors
Among the professional companies they have performed with are:
- Chicago Moving Company
- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
- Complexions Contemporary Ballet
- Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre
- Dendy Dancetheater
- Eisenhower Dance Ensemble
- Garth Fagan Dance
- Inaside Dance Company
- International tour of "Einstein on the Beach"
- Joel Hall Dancers
- Keigwin + Company
- Lucinda Childs
- Lulu Washington Dance Theatre
- Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
- River North Chicago Dance Company
- Tuscon Ballet
- Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers
Nearly half of WMU's dance alumni go to graduate school. Many enter dance programs at such prestigious schools as New York University, Ohio State and the University of Michigan. Others study law, education, business or another complementary field.