The Department of Theatre & Dance at High Point University proudly offers two comprehensive bachelor of arts degrees that combine rigorous course work and practical production experience – Theater and Dance.
The Dance degree provides students with the skills needed to prepare them for positions in the professional dance performance world, graduate study, or related careers, in which creativity, communication skills, and collaborative abilities are essential.
The Theatre degree provides students with the basic theatre skills needed to prepare them for: a variety of entry-level positions in the professional theatre; graduate study and specialized professional training; and related careers in which creativity, communication skills, and collaborative abilities are essential.
Excellent Performance and Creative Opportunities
The dance program produces two mainstage dance concerts each year. The Fall Dance Concert features primarily student choreography while the Spring Dance Concert includes more experimental faculty, student, and guest artist choreography.
Additional performance opportunities include performances in the Fall musical, the Sechrest Art Gallery, as well as community performances organized by the student-run High Point Dance Company. Students will have the opportunity to attend and participate in various dance and theatre conferences and festivals, such as the American College Dance Association Conference.
A Student Focused Curriculum
A Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from High Point University will allow a student to undertake an experiential education grounded within the liberal arts environment created at High Point University. Each dance major will complete a challenging 44 credit-hour core of physically active and thought-provoking courses, providing them with a valuable foundation in many areas of dance. The Department encourages each student to choose a minor degree allowing them to explore, in greater depth, the potential field of dance where their individual passions lie. Ultimately, the Dance major combined with a minor provides students with a solid foundation in dance techniques and academics while nurturing exploration of a secondary area of study.
Adding a minor or another major in addition to Dance allows a student to tailor their studies for a specific career trajectory. The Dance major curriculum offers an in-depth analysis of dance as art, as an expression of culture, and as a dialogue of the human condition.
The focused course work is designed:
- to foster capable, expressive, and meaningful moving artists;
- to encourage students to find and cultivate their own artistic voices by constructing, developing, and designing a final thesis project;
- to identify, engage, and employ cultural dance practices in constructing a sophisticated perspective;
- and to collaborate with other artists and their audience.
Unique Course Offerings
The required core of the dance major includes courses such as:
- Contemporary Dance
- Dance Composition
- Dance and New Media
- Developing an Artistic Career and Practice
- Fundamentals of Design and Theatre Architecture
In addition, students take an elective chosen from courses such as lighting and sound crafts, costume crafts, and make-up crafts as well as technique electives in contemporary, ballet or jazz dance.
What Can I Do With This Major?
A student graduating with a B.A. degree in Dance will be competitive in the dance market. Students who plan to pursue a career in dance performance can dive deeply into a technique study in their four years at High Point University through class work, individual practice, individual instruction, performances, master classes, and conference participation.
Of course, performance is not the only avenue for a graduate of High Point University in Dance. Students can choose to teach at dance studios, work in administration of dance companies, advocate for dance arts, or use their confidence, broad knowledge of the human condition, work ethic, collaboration, and artistic practice at any job they seek.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
- Multiple productions each year, including the two mainstage concerts, the fall musical, and a performance in the Sechrest Art Gallery.
- Opportunity to attend dance and theatre conferences such as ACDA and SETC
- Opportunities for students to choreograph new work
- Workshops, lectures, master classes, and collaboration with renowned guest artists
Student Clubs & Organizations
- The HPU Dance Company, a student run organization open to all students. The company is dedicated to providing exciting dance experiences for its students and the High Point community. Students will be able to sign up for weekly classes taught by students, faculty, and guest artists, and perform through community outreach events.
- Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor fraternity
A student graduating with a B.A degree in Dance will be competitive in the dance market. Students who plan to pursue a career in dance performance can dive deeply into a technique study in their four years at High Point University through class work, individual practice, individual instruction, performances, master classes, and conference participation. Of course, performance is not the only avenue for a graduate of High Point University in Dance. Students can choose to teach at dance studios, work in administration of dance companies, advocate for dance arts, or use their confidence, broad knowledge of the human condition, work ethic, collaboration, and an artistic practice at any job they seek.
Combining Dance with a minor or other areas of study will provide support for careers in areas such as:
- Dance studio ownership or operation (Entrepreneurship Minor)
- Dance Therapy (Psychology Minor); Entertainment (Theatre Minor)
- Dance criticism (Writing Minor and/or Communications Minor)
- Arts Management (Non-Profit Leadership and Management Minor and/or Theatre Minor)
- Costume, Lighting or Scenic Design for dance (Theatre Minor)
- Dance Medicine (Athletic Training, Exercise Science)
- Dance Photography (Photography Minor)
Future dance teachers can broaden their potential market if they possess skills in Sign Language, or teaching students with physical or developmental challenges (Special Education Minor).
Kelsey Swann, ’14, Dancer/Singer at Legends in Concert, Branson, MO.
Past employment: Riverside Center for the performing arts (dancer), Spirit/ Dublin Worldwide Productions (dancer in Canada and Myrtle Beach)
“The dance faculty was AMAZING during my time at HPU. I loved that I could still get my degree in communications but keep up with my dance training and my passion which is eventually what I ended up pursuing as a career. My dance professors were both challenging and encouraging which was so important! My most impactful moments were the ones that pushed me out of my comfort zone, like doing improv circles in tap class and taking a choreography class where I was pushed to create new movements even when I felt like I had already used up everything in my repertoire. This helped me when I went to make a reel which is really important to have so that you can submit to auditions electronically. ”
Sierra Ewert, ’14, Dancer and Character Performer at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
Learning from various choreographers and trying new styles of dance really shaped me into a well-rounded dancer. I choreographed a solo during my composition class senior year and was thrilled to be able to perform it on stage for my friends, instructors and peers. Lindsey Howie is a phenomenal instructor and even better mentor. I wouldn’t be performing at Walt Disney World without High Point University.
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers the B.A. degree in Dance. To graduate from High Point University with this degree, students must complete the following:
B.A. in Dance
|University Core Requirements
Requirements for the B.A. in Dance (44 credits)
Required Core (34 credits)
- THE 1100 Theatre Participation (6) (6 semesters/3 dance performance)
- THE 2010 Fundamentals of Design and Theatre Architecture (4)
- DNC 2100 Ballet Dance (4)
- DNC 2200 Jazz Dance (4)
- DNC 2800 Dance and New Media (4)
- DNC 2000 Contemporary Dance (4)
- DNC 3800 Dance Composition (4)
- THE 4520 Developing an Artistic Career and Practice (2)
- DNC 4800 Thesis/Final Project (2)
Elective – 4 credits chosen from the following:
- THE 1200 Fundamentals of Acting (4)
- THE 1710 Lighting and Sound Crafts: Theory and Practice (4)
- THE 1720 Stagecraft: Theory and Practice (4)
- THE 1730 Costume Crafts: Theory and Practice (4)
- THE 1740 Make-up Crafts: Theory and Practice (4)
- DNC 3900 Dance Pedagogy (2) combined with THE 4510 Theatre Arts Administration (2)
Technique/Studio Courses – 6 credits of any combination of the following, but 2 at the 3000 level:
- DNC 2001 Contemporary Dance Studio I (1)
- DNC 3001 Contemporary Dance Studio II (1)
- DNC 2101 Ballet Dance Studio I (1)
- DNC 3101 Ballet Dance Studio II (1)
- DNC 2201 Jazz Dance Studio I (1)
- DNC 3201 Jazz Dance Studio II (1)