School of Dance

Undergraduate Bulletin

School of Dance


Overview of School

Overview of School

The purpose of the School of Dance is to identify and prepare young, talented dancers for professional performing careers. Our rigorous and nurturing conservatory approach develops technically sound, artistically sensitive and stylistically versatile dancer-artists. Distinguished full-time faculty work closely with students and share their professional expertise through a unique and comprehensive curriculum. Visiting guest artists, choreographers and company residencies bring fresh perspectives on current trends in the field. Recognizing that performing is an integral component of dance training, the School of Dance offers regular performance opportunities and is committed to presenting world- class repertory in our concerts.

The School of Dance awards the Bachelor of Fine Arts and the Undergraduate Arts Certificate with concentrations in Ballet or Contemporary Dance. Both concentrations emphasize the strong fundamentals particular to each, while looking to the other discipline for cross training, collaboration and inspiration.

A. Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers students a thorough dance foundation with the added perspective and benefit of a liberal arts education. This mixture of arts and academic classes creates a well-rounded artist and citizen. Concentrations are offered in Ballet or Contemporary Dance.

B. Undergraduate Arts Certificate in Dance (Four-year program)

The Undergraduate Arts Certificate is designed for those students who wish to concentrate entirely on dance studies. It includes all components of the dance curriculum for the Bachelor of Fine Arts, but requires no courses outside the School of Dance. Concentrations are offered in Ballet or Contemporary Dance.

Bachelor of Fine Arts


Undergraduate Arts Certificate


Admissions Requirements

Specific Admissions and Transfer Requirements

A. Admissions Requirements

Admission to the School is based on talent and potential (as assessed in an audition before the arts faculty), academic transcripts, test scores and personal references. All new college students enter as first-year students; the School of Dance does not accept credit for dance courses taken at other institutions. Transfer credit for academic courses will be considered by the Division of Liberal Arts (DLA). Please see the DLA section of the bulletin.

B. Required Physical and Mental Abilities

A student must demonstrate adherence to professional ethics and integrity necessary to work in a collaborative environment. Emotional stability, responsibility, and ethical performance of all assigned duties are necessary to succeed in the program. A successful dance student must be able to recognize when the support of professionals is necessary to maintain psychological and physical health.

Equally important, the student must be able to sustain a high level of physically challenging movement sequences for extended periods of time and execute a full range of body movements and elements of dance (including but not limited to, turning, jumping, balancing, falling, stretching, lifting, flexing and running) while responding to musical and visual cues. In addition, a student must be able to:

  • View and reproduce sequences of classroom exercises and complicated choreography which requires specific movements for the head, arms, hands, torso, legs and feet.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work precisely with live and recorded music.
  • Respond appropriately to verbal instructions and warnings to ensure the safety of the student and his/her fellow dancers.
  • Physically participate in solo, duet and group work that may include lifting and manipulating his or her own body, or that of another dancer, many times above the top of one’s head.
  • Maintain a healthy, toned and energized physique, one conducive to achieving the aesthetics necessary to express the art form through his/her body.

C. Class Placement

Ballet students are placed by the faculty at the beginning of each academic year into one of eight levels:

  • BL1 through BL6 – (BL stands for “Ballet Ladies”)
  • BG1 or BG2 – (BG stands for “Ballet Gentlemen”)
  • Levels are determined by age and technical proficiency.

All new Contemporary Dance students upon entering the program are placed into the M1 level (M stands for “Modern”) and normally advance each year through four levels (M1 through M4). Special consideration for entry-level placement may be given to students transferring from the Ballet Concentration. 

To receive the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Undergraduate Arts Certificate, students must be enrolled and actively participate in the program for a minimum of three years. Upon petition, consideration may be given on an individual basis for advanced standing in select dance courses for:

  •  UNCSA high school graduates who enroll in the UNCSA college program
  • Students entering their fourth year of college at UNCSA who present evidence of contracted, professional employment as a dance performer with a reputable organization.

The contract must show that the employment will deliver an experience equal to the coursework for which advanced placement would be given.

The School of Dance Faculty and the Dean will consider the petition relative to said experience and coursework.

D. Adherence to Policies

At the beginning of the academic year, each student must sign a form indicating that they have read the Student Handbook and agree to abide by the School of Dance Policies .


Standards of Achievement and Evaluation

A. Attendance and Participation 

The UNCSA School of Dance expects students to attend all classes, rehearsals, required meetings, and special events in which they are enrolled.

Excessive absences will impact grades, class placement, casting, eligibility for merit scholarships, and ultimately continuation in the program. Students who demonstrate an inability to attend class consistently will be required to schedule a meeting with the appropriate Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Dance to determine the students’ commitment to the program.

The School of Dance exempts absences deemed to contribute to the student’s development, that facilitate entrance into college or the professional workplace, or for school-related activities that are required of the student. To accommodate these activities while maintaining a standard or excellence, the School of Dance places a cap on the number exemptions a student may be granted in a given semester.

The School of Dance recognizes injury as being an occupational hazard and makes special accommodations for students to allow them to rehabilitate from injury without being penalized for being unable to participate fully in class.

Students unable to participate in at least 75 % of originally scheduled class sessions due to exemptions, prolonged illness and/or injury, are eligible to receive an INCOMPLETE or when necessary, be withdrawn from a course.

Graduating college students unable to complete their arts credits due to “INCOMPLETES” or “WITHDRAWALS” in arts courses will not graduate until all course work has been satisfactorily completed.

See the Student Handbook for complete Attendance Policies.

B. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grades in the School of Dance are based on growth demonstrated in the areas of technical proficiency, artistic development, creative expression, professionalism and self-discipline. Students are expected to achieve and maintain a minimum Combined Cumulative GPA of 2.3 (C+) calculated from all Arts and General Education courses each semester.

See the Office of the Registrar Section of the Bulletin for the Grading System.

See the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin for detailed information about Minimum GPAs.

C. Probation and Non-Continuation

Failure to maintain minimum GPAs and/or adhere to all UNCSA and School of Dance policies and procedures will result in being place on probation. Students who fail to make sufficient progress to warrant removal from probationary status will be dismissed from the program.

See the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin for detailed information about Probation and Non-Continuation.