Advanced dance students usually set their sights on becoming professional performers. However, dancers with the urge to stretch their creative wings might consider pursuing a career in choreography. Whether you want to focus primarily on choreography or integrate choreographic studies into your other dance training, you can find the choreography program that's right for you at one of the top college dance departments in the United States.
Marymount Manhattan College
Located on the Upper East Side of New York City, the dance department at Marymount Manhattan College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in dance choreography. Dance majors who choose choreography concentrations study the craft of choreography in addition to taking daily modern and ballet technique classes. Students compose both solo and ensemble dances and have the opportunity to showcase their work in various productions and showcases throughout the academic year. All students at the college must complete a core curriculum of courses in the liberal arts and take advantage of the many resources New York City has to offer.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts dance program with equal focus on performance and choreography. The small program emphasizes a strong sense of community along with individual attention and instruction. Students take daily classes in modern and ballet technique, along with choreography and composition courses, contact improvisation, video choreography and dance history. The department offers master classes and workshops with prestigious guest artists throughout the year, along with multiple performance opportunities for dancers and choreographers.
Arizona State University
While Arizona State University does not offer degrees in choreography, the dance department emphasizes choreography and pedagogy within its Bachelor of Fine Arts curriculum. The interdisciplinary approach includes courses in the investigation of multicultural and contemporary dance forms, personal movement practices, and invention of movement. Students must also take six semester hours of pedagogy classes to explore the strategies and techniques of learning dance and movement practices. Students who wish to pursue careers in teaching as well as choreography may choose a concentration in dance education, culminating in a semester of student teaching.
A college of the State University of New York, Purchase College offers one of the most prestigious Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and choreography curricula in the nation. The program trains pre-professional and professional level dance students in classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance with an emphasis on dance composition and choreography. Additionally, dance majors take courses in music, dance history and the liberal arts. Students perform in campus productions as well as on tour as part of their training. The department strives to prepare dancers and choreographers to excel in the field of professional dance.
Sarah Badger is a certified pilates and group fitness instructor, writer and dance teacher. Her work has appeared in "Dance Spirit" magazine and several literary journals. Badger earned her bachelor's degree in English and religious studies from Marymount Manhattan College, and currently owns a dance and fitness studio in upstate New York.