Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Undergraduate Degrees

The Maggie Allesee Department of Dance offers four degree options:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Prepares you for a professional careers as a performing artist, choreographer or dance scholar. Dance technique and the history, philosophies, and aesthetics of dance are all central to this program.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts with Dance Education – Additionally prepares BFA students for career options in teaching dance.
  • Bachelor of Science in Performance - Combines university-level dance studies with a broad program of general study in the arts and sciences.
  • Bachelor of Science in Dance Education - Prepares you for a career in teaching dance.

Core Courses

In both bachelor degree programs, you will concentrate on dance technique in contemporary modern and classical ballet as well as dance studies academics. In addition to technique classes, you will take courses such as those listed below which allow you to expand your knowledge of choreography, performance and dance technology.

  • Choreography [five courses] explores the art and craft of making dances through improvisation, creating short movement studies, developing choreographic tools, and creating a body of your own dance works. These classes are designed to expand aesthetic awareness, creative process, and to give you a solid professional background in making dances.
  • Music & Dance Relationships [Digital Dance Literacy Course] covers elements common to dance and music (tempo, meter, accent and time signature, rhythm, dynamics, and form). You can expect to expand and improve your listening skills, to increase your knowledge of musical elements and notation, to broaden your exposure to various musical styles and to learn to communicate clearly with dance accompanists and other musicians. This class is the first course in your Dance Technology sequence, in which you’ll learn computer skills in dubbing, mix, and creating your own sound scores.
  • Issues & Trends in Contemporary Dance [Digital Dance Literacy Course] develops your understanding of current topics and issues in dance including building your resume, summer dance study opportunities, current professional dance companies, as well as developing video skills for documenting your own performance and choreography.
  • Labanotation [Digital Dance Literacy Course] introduces you to the written dance notation system developed by Rudolph Laban in the late 1930s. Just as music has its own form of notation, dance movement can be recorded in every detail of space, energy and time. Upon learning the basics of Labanotation, you will be able to write movement patterns and to read excerpts from famous classic ballet and modern dance works.
  • Movement Dance Analysis looks at current dance science research and its application to better, safer and more efficient body training for dancers. The course includes an introduction to commonly studied body therapies, neuromuscular re-patterning, basic concepts of applied kinesiology, nutrition and wellness. You will learn to use body lab equipment to augment conditioning for strength, flexibility and coordination.
  • Dance History covers the history of dance from the late Middle Ages to the present. Through current readings, video presentations and observation of live performances, you will learn about such topics as the origins of ballet in the Medieval and Renaissance spectacle, the rebellious origins of American modern dance and current dance theatre directions.
  • Dance Production [Digital Dance Literacy Course] prepares you for all aspects of dance production including lighting, make-up, costuming, sound, and stage management through hands-on experience in formal concert settings.
    Dance Education
  • Creative Dance for Children introduces you to the structure and vocabulary of creative movement. Through poetry, stories, visual arts, drama and music, you learn to use exploration and problem-solving skills to help children develop their movement potential and capacity for creative work.
  • Methods in Modern Dance and Ballet analyzes instructional methods for teaching modern dance and ballet. You will plan and present lessons in technique, improvisation and composition to a group of beginning level dancers. You will examine the National Standards for Dance Education and apply these standards to curriculum planning and evaluation strategies in order to refine lessons and courses. You will also develop resource materials in music, visual aids and bibliographies.