At TCU, students pursue the BFA in Ballet, Modern Dance or Ballet and Modern Dance. You’ll pursue a distinctive curriculum and learn how to live — and dance — in the world as visionary leaders, active participants and collaborative partners.
The TCU School for Classical & Contemporary Dance blends artistic integrity and technical excellence with academic challenge. Our graduates have gone on to perform with companies such as Eugene Ballet Company, Nashville Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Company and Garth Fagan Dance as well as on cruise ships and with Broadway national tours. They also serve in all levels of arts and business administration and go on to graduate programs in dance therapy, physical therapy, medicine and political science, among others.
TCU was the nation’s first university to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ballet. Our comprehensive and progressive program has earned a national reputation for graduating dancers who excel in both professional dance training and academics. As a result, TCU graduates enter the world as educated dance artists. Learn more about how we prepare our graduates for their future.
Our faculty believes that dance education begins in the studio — with equal emphasis on classical and contemporary dance training. You’ll combine technical training and scholarly inquiry to make informed artistic choices and explore the language of dance as both a creator and performer.
You’ll have numerous chances to perform and create — from your first semester through your senior capstone project. Past students have performed on campus, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and on international tours to Italy, Germany and Japan.
The School for Classical & Contemporary Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance: 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248 Telephone: 703-437-0700
Built in 1921 and renovated in 2011, Erma Lowe Hall boasts a contemporary, open design by architectural design firm Gideon Toal. High ceilings and ample natural light provide ideal spaces for the creative dancer. Three large dance studios plus the Shelton Wellness Studios are fully equipped to maximize all aspects of the BFA experience.
The three dance studios are equipped with piano for live accompaniment and media equipment for presentations and performances, creating an environment that invites experimentation and inspiration. The fourth studio houses numerous forms of bodywork, somatic and conditioning equipment as well as a fully equipped and regularly staffed physical therapy studio.
The Erma Lowe Hall Studio Theatre is a convertible space — studio/classroom by day and performance space by night — that serves as an integral venue for the SCCD and in the greater DFW dance community. This intimate space is equipped with light and sound booth, traveler, cyc, lighting grid, legs and telescopic seating for 150 patrons.
Erma Lowe Hall also has a 27-station Mac computer lab, a Dance Costume Shop, and a Theatrical Production Shop. Student and faculty locker rooms and a Student Lounge with kitchen facilities make Erma Lowe Hall “home away from home” for the SCCD community.
DanceTCU concerts that feature faculty and guest artist choreography are produced each semester in Ed Landreth Auditorium. This 1,200-seat proscenium theatre is located on the north side of campus.
The vital partnership between the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance and the physical therapy team from Texas Health/Ben Hogan Sports Medicine provides daily, on-site physical therapists and athletic trainers who work with SCCD dance majors to assess, treat or refer for further evaluation any injuries that may arise during the school year. The Shelton Wellness Studios in Erma Lowe Hall provided a dedicated physical therapy assessment room with treatment beds and other necessary equipment. All incoming dance majors provide in-depth physical participation forms and participate in a multi-station screening process by the Ben Hogan team during the first week of school. Dancer wellness is a top priority of the SCCD.
In 1949, Texas Christian University became the first university in the United States to offer a BFA in ballet. Under the guidance of David Preston, chair from 1949-1963, the department established its mission to balance dance training with academic achievement.
The department’s second chair, Fernando Schaffenburg, broadened student expertise when he invited Jerry Bywaters Cochran to join the faculty in 1968 to create a BFA in modern dance. In the 1980s, the department continued to grow under the leadership of Chairs Stephanie Woods Rand and James Clouser.
Emeritus Associate Professor Ellen Page Shelton continued the legacy of excellence in both classical and contemporary dance studies at TCU when, in 1990, she became chair, and later director for the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance. She oversaw the multi-stage process of review and accreditation for the SCCD by the National Association of Schools of Dance and forged a long-term choreographer-in-residence position for international ballet superstar Fernando Bujones. In 2011, Director Shelton coordinated the renovation of the state-of-the-art home for dance, Erma Lowe Hall, and in 2014 she built an important affiliation with Texas Health/Ben Hogan Sports Medicine to provide daily, on-site physical therapy and assessment services to dance majors.