The University of Washington Department of Dance offers a dance major with options in creative studies or dance studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. There are no auditions for the major and students are eligible to declare a major in dance once they have completed the admission requirements listed under each program. The curriculum for both major tracks offers an integrated course of study with a rigorous balance between creative work and academic study. Students will investigate dance as an art form and as a cultural practice, and are given the opportunity to explore dance from multiple perspectives. Ballet and modern dance are the primary techniques offered, along with classes in non-western dance forms, somatic practices, social dance and jazz. The Department of Dance produces four concerts annually. Additional performance and choreographic opportunities are also available through concerts sponsored by the Dance Student Association.
In keeping with the liberal arts setting, students are encouraged to find the convergence between dance and other academic and artistic pursuits that interest them. Because the program is a B.A. and not a B.F.A., students will take the majority of their credits outside of the department and many students choose to balance their studies in dance with other majors. Faculty and advisers in the department work closely with students to guide them on the educational track that best serves their career goals. The undergraduate curriculum serves as preparation for graduate study, performance careers, dance related occupations such as physical therapy and dance therapy, and other fields demanding strong communication skills, creativity, commitment, and the ability to work collaboratively and independently.
Staffed with five full-time faculty, a Music Director and Production Director, the department sustains approximately 50 majors, 90 minors and six graduate students. Facilities include three spacious and light-filled studios with performance quality sound equipment, an intimate 238 seat black box theater and the 1,200 seat Meany Theater.
Seattle is the home of Pacific Northwest Ballet, On The Boards, and numerous modern dance companies. The Meany Center series brings internationally acclaimed companies to campus and offers a number of master classes with renowned dance artists for UW dance students.