College of Fine Arts


B.F.A. in Ballet

Program Purpose

The mission of the Department of Ballet is to provide excellence in career and life preparation for professional performers, teachers creators of dance and others contributing to the arts. The faculty is committed to providing a thorough exploration of various teaching methods thus creating a passion for learning and exploration of the creative process through sound, responsible theoretical practices and creative endeavors. We encourage collaborative experiences within our college and with other national and international dance programs. We instill in our students the importance of diversity by engaging them in cultural outreach and charitable endeavors. From a solid foundation in these values, disciplines, and principles, we envision enabling our students to problem solve, awaken new levels of perception and awareness, and develop into creative, vital citizens, whether they become performers, teachers, and/or choreographers or choose a different career. We recognize the future of dance and particularly ballet. Therefore our B.F.A. program requires our students to gain a strong ballet technique that includes a thorough understanding of Vaganova, Bournonville, Cecchetti, Royal Academy of Dance, and American Ballet Theatre methods. Our program includes an advanced knowledge of music, choreography, character dance, jazz and modern dance. We place great importance in our dancers possessing good writing skills and knowledge in kinesiology, conditioning including Pilates and holistic care. We are members of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and revised our B.F.A. to comply with their goals and curriculum. Our University requires a syllabus for each class that outlines the course objectives the criteria for grading procedures, proper classroom etiquette, the faculty responsibility to the students, research assistance in finding resources, expectations, and how the student will be assessed for the grade. Our students understand we expect professional behavior as given in the University Student Code and the Faculty Code. Our Undergraduate students are accepted by audition and placed into our technique classes according to their established technical skills. Freshmen are counseled during their first semester and warnings are given if their improvement is not up to professional standards. In their second semester students are counseled according to their status: promote, retain in the same level on probation. The faculty realizes that a skeletal and muscular development does not always allow a student to realize the dream of a professional ballet career, and most ballet careers are short. Accordingly we support our students pursuing second majors or minors and the exploration of second careers.

Learning Outcomes

  • To provide our students a wide spectrum of dance study and related courses through our varied programs and outreach activities, in order to develop versatile and technically proficient artists, who are also sensitive, expressive performers and dedicated teachers.
  • B.F.A students are provided the background necessary for continuing graduate study in M.F.A. programs throughout the United States and abroad.
  • Many of our graduates obtain positions in ballet, contemporary, modern dance, jazz and musical theater companies. Dancers are trained to listen, take direction, have an enhanced ability to focus upon tasks, understand the value of hard work and become good team players. These attributes have been recognized by employers not only in the ballet and dance fields but also in other areas such as arts administration, attorneys, banking, business, photography, movie/video production, massage therapist, nursing, nutritionist, orthopedic surgeons, psychologist, physical therapy, and radiology technicians.
  • Because of the strength of this program and the quality experiences our students receive, we have been able to maintain our reputation with a ranking within the top ten nationally for almost 60 years (ballet in this University started in 1951).