Many families struggle with the idea of a student pursuing a college degree in dance. For some, it seems like a lot of money for a degree that may have limited use outside of the dance industry. But what if you can actually enhance that dance degree with a double major or actual work experience in a related field of interest? Sounds great, right? However, some dance programs, particularly BFA programs, are so demanding on a student’s schedule that a double major is unrealistic in 4 years. There are students that would welcome the 5th year of study if the outcome meant a wealth of career opportunities. Here are three universities with some unique options to major in dance and get that “extra something” that will provide a student with more career flexibility, personal marketability, and value when they graduate.
Belhaven University: Fifth-Year Tuition-Free for Double Majors or Double Degrees
Belhaven University is a small Christian liberal arts college located in Jackson, MS. Belhaven’s dance program is ballet/modern focused with plenty of additional course offerings. In addition, Belhaven offers multiple dance degree options, including a BA, BFA, and MFA in dance. If you are looking to pair a dance degree with a second major or another degree, Belhaven offers a fifth-year tuition-free program. So if a BFA in Dance + a BS in Business Administration or BA in Dance + BS in Sports Medicine seems like an ideal education, Belhaven may be the place for you. The fifth-year tuition-free program is only offered to students that enroll at Belhaven as freshmen.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas – Dance Faster Program
Do you want those years of high school dance training to count toward your BFA in dance degree? Take a look at the University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Dance Faster Program. UNLV offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Performance and Choreography and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance Production and Management. The program puts equal emphasis on ballet, modern and jazz dance techniques. What makes UNLV’s dance program unique is its Dance Faster Program. Prospective students audition for the program and are placed in technique classes based on their skill level. Students are then given college credit for up to 30 credit hours of lower-level technique courses. With the Dance Faster Program, students can obtain a BFA degree in three years with substantial cost savings or double major in four years with the BFA in dance.
Drexel University – Co-Op: Get Paid to Learn in the Real World
Drexel University in Philadephia, PA is at the forefront of the co-op movement, an opportunity to spend one or more semesters in a paid work environment as part of a college education. This real-world experience often leads to job offers before the student even graduates!
It’s not a surprise that pairing a dance degree with professional work experience is an interesting combination for many students. Drexel offers a BA in dance with tracks focused on education, dance/movement therapy, physical therapy, or a “custom” track that many utilize as a performance track or to delve into interdisciplinary studies. The co-op experience often increases the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree to five years, but the full-time semester co-op is almost always paid, so it isn’t a bad deal. Drexel’s dance program is primarily ballet and modern technique focused with requirements to complete technique in either jazz, hip hop, or African dance.