Areas of Study
The School for Classical and Contemporary Dance offers BFA degrees in ballet, modern dance, or ballet and modern dance (double major).
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet or Modern Dance
Unlike many other undergraduate majors, dancers begin to complete requirements for the BFA during their first semesters at TCU. All dance majors enroll in both ballet and modern dance technique during their first three semesters. Each technique class meets daily.
Much of the fundamental coursework is shared by both majors, and this balanced emphasis on both classical and contemporary dance prepares dancers to meet the current demands of the field.
Students are accepted to the SCCD by audition and may choose to audition as ballet majors, modern dance majors or for either major. Students who enter as ballet or modern dance majors often choose to pursue a minor in another field, but are not required to do so.
When students choose to pursue a major in a field outside the SCCD, they should check with their adviser to know which majors are possible to combine with the BFA. Additional majors may require students to take a summer study and/or an extra semester/year to complete degree requirements. Recent examples of successful double majors with dance include political science, educational studies, math and communications.
See the course catalog for a complete list of course offerings and descriptions.
The SCCD’s BFA degrees combine the depth of conservatory training with the breadth of a liberal arts education. We offer comprehensive studies in dance and dance-related subjects, including classical and contemporary dance technique, choreography, improvisation, dance history, teaching methods, variations, classical partnering, contact improvisation, dance theory, music for dance, lighting for dance, functional anatomy and international dance forms. Two semesters of career preparation coursework aid in specific preparatory skills such as auditioning, resume and website construction, graduate school identification, grant application and career development.
Throughout your BFA coursework, we’ll push you physically, intellectually, creatively and collaboratively — in the studio, on the stage, as you write and present original research, and through technology, leading edge production and design practices. The BFA prepares you with strong skills that are essential in dance and in any career of your choosing.
As a BFA student, you’re eligible to perform in our concerts, starting with your first year. The SCCD casts performance roles for six to eight concerts each year. The fall and spring faculty/guest artist concert is the major, mainstage production each semester. Senior BFA students choreograph and produce their own work each December and again in late spring for the capstone concert.
Each semester we also offer the lunchtime, Brown Bag performances, which give any BFA student the opportunity to create, present and/or perform work in an informal setting in Erma Lowe Hall, Studio Theatre. We regularly travel to the American College Dance Festival each spring. And the dance honor society, Chi Tau Epsilon, produces a benefit concert each spring.
TCU BFA dance graduates pursue careers in the dance field as performers, choreographers, designers, teachers, arts administrators, somatic practitioners and dance educators across the world. Alumni have performed with companies such as Atlanta Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet NY, River North Dance Co., Kentucky Ballet Theater, Eugene Ballet Company, Nashville Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group and Garth Fagan Dance Co.
They’ve danced on and off Broadway in shows such as Mamma Mia!, Sleep No More and West Side Story. They’ve also started their own schools and businesses; served as marketing, development and administrative executives for arts organizations; taught in schools and community programs; and entered various other fields including physical therapy, medicine, law, fitness, photography, therapy/counseling practice and consulting.
Q: Can I double major with the BFA?
A: The SCCDance supports double majors and minors in other areas when possible, but the considerations outlined below are key. It depends on……….
I. The other major area
- Other high-density degrees or lab/studio heavy majors do not pair with the BFA.
- Some successful recent or current double majors with the BFA have included: Political Science, Math, Strategic Communications, Anthropology, Economics, Communication Studies, Spanish Language, Psychology, and History.
- Some recent or current minors popular with the BFA include: Movement Science, General Business, Nutrition, Child Development, Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship (formerly Arts Administration), and Educational Studies.
- Many BFA majors are in the John V. Roach Honors College, which requires additional courses for various honors tracks or designations.
- Potential for double major pursuit will always depend on class schedule options. Schedules in other academic areas outside the SCCDance cannot be guaranteed.
II. The credits you bring in from high school that satisfy TCU core courses
- AP or dual credit courses completed before matriculating at TCU and which transfer as core credits can assist in opening your schedule for some courses in another major.
III. Knowing yourself as a student
- Do you handle deadlines well?
- Are you organized in managing time?
- How do you respond to stress or pressure when papers or projects are due at the same time or multiple exams fall in the same week?
- How does the second area fulfill your long-term goals and vision?
- Understanding fully and tracking regularly your own progress and responsibilities through these multiple academic pursuits. You would have advisors in both major areas, but graduation tracking responsibilities ultimately rest with the student.
IV. The financial commitment
- Some double major pursuits may require an extra semester, summer school, and/or an extra year – all costing additional monies. Up to 12 credits of summer school transfer are allowed by TCU once matriculated*.
- Some double majors might create an over-18 credit hours situation in one or more semesters. Any enrollment totals over 18 credits in a semester costs additional tuition monies per credit hour.
- Financial Aid and Scholarship packages do not extend to TCU summer school.
*pre-54 credits, courses can be transferred from 2-year college; after 54-credits, courses must be transferred from a 4-year institution. All courses for transfer must be pre-approved by TCU.