The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago offers college-bound students interested in dance the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive, highly disciplined, and exciting program of physical and intellectual study and creative endeavor. Students find Columbia's dance department competitive, yet supportive; a place where they become part of Chicago's thriving arts community where they're encouraged to audition for professional opportunities, meet and study with working dance artists, and develop their own distinctive artistic voice in dance. Challenging technique courses across a range of styles, combined with the study of improvisation, composition, dance history and theory, music and technical theater, provide students with essential learning and prepare them for professional and graduate endeavors in dance. Many of these classes are also open to the public.
The Dance Department, home of one of the nation's largest programs devoted to the study of contemporary dance, is ready to prepare you to perform, choreograph, or teach your dream. The department offers three different programs designed to suit varied levels of student interest in the art of dance. Students are encouraged to carefully consider their options.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
The BFA program is a nationally respected academic program and is intended for students with professional aspirations and includes a variety of courses that, in their breadth and depth, prepare students to enter the field as young artists. At 78 credit hours, the demands of the BFA program are significant. The possibility of a minor in another subject within the standard four-year course study is greatly diminished on this track. The BFA is most appropriate for students who wish to make a definitive commitment to dance and who have demonstrated clear aptitude for the physical and intellectual demands of the field. Acceptance into the BFA program is by application only. Students may apply after completing 45 credit hours of course work.
Bachelor of Arts Degree
The BA program is for students who wish dance to be a major area of study within a broader based undergraduate education. The credit requirements for the BA are less numerous than those for the BFA, allowing students to explore other subjects through elective courses or minors. The dance major provides substantial proficiency in modern dance idioms as well as solid foundations of related information, skills and experiences.
Both the BA and BFA programs share the core requirements. Final choices can wait until the second year of enrollment. Each semester students will meet with their faculty advisor and examine their individual goals and achievement relative to our programs. At 60 credit hours (roughly the end of the fourth semester) students will select to continue in either the BA or BFA program based on their best judgment of their interests, abilities and goals and informed by written evaluations from faculty and direct consultation with their faculty advisor.
The Dance Minor is intended for students who desire a formal course of study in dance as an adjunct to their major in another field. The dance minor provides students with practical and intellectual experiences in dance and a limited degree of physical proficiency in modern dance idioms. The dance minor is comprised of a total of 24 credit hours of required course work. The program is anchored by 12 credits of training in the physical techniques of dance, augmented by additional studies of Dancemaking, Performance and Western Dance History or Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Dance.
Inside The Dance Center
A wide-range of guest artists come through the doors of The Dance Center. Through our performance series and residencies, they teach students in guest classes, lead workshops and artists talks, and choreograph original works on students.