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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many people do you accept into the dance department?

The department does not specify how many potential students will be accepted. Each student is viewed as an individual and the faculty considers technical proficiency, potential, and genuine interest in the field of dance.


2. If I am not accepted into the dance department, can I still take dance classes?

Absolutely. The department offers a variety of classes each semester, which are open to the entire student body. These classes include: Jazz, Tap, West African, Ballroom, and Introduction to Ballet and Modern Dance. Non-dance majors are also invited to audition for our performances and to attend our master classes every Friday afternoon.


3. How many people are in the department?

There are about 60 dance majors in the department.


4. What sort of jobs have dancers had after graduation?

         Performance: Dance companies – modern, jazz, tap, and ballet. Musical theater, music videos, cruise ships, Disney, opera, and dance films

         Teaching: Dance studio owners, K-12 education, universities, summer dance camps, fitness centers

         Therapy: Dance therapy, physical therapy, massage therapy

         Artistic Direction: Founding Artistic Directors of Dance Companies

         Arts Administration: Arts administrators, grant writing, boards of directors

         Graduate Schools


5. What technique styles are taught?

The focuses of the department are Classical Ballet and Contemporary Modern Dance. Classes in pointe and partnering, jazz, and tap are also offered each semester. We also offer classes in West African Dance, kinesiology, ballroom, and dance on camera.


6. What performance opportunities are there throughout the year?

In late August, within the first week of the semester, dance majors are already in Brisson, auditioning for the first production. Students have ample opportunity to perform in student, faculty and guest artist work every year. In addition, there are often opportunities to perform in outside projects as well. Every year students have the opportunity to perform in the following:

         In the Fall semester:_CBG2930

o   Emerging Choreographers Concert

o   The Informal Dance Concert

o   Senior Project Dance Concerts

o   Independent Project Performances

o   Student Film Festival


         In the Spring semester:

o   Dance Ensemble Concert

o   Composition Class Showings_CBG3416

o   Theater Department Musical

o   American College Dance Festival

o   Informal Dance Concert

o   Independent Project Performances


7. Do I have to be a Dance Major to perform?

No, it is not necessary to be a declared dance major to perform in our dance concerts. If you are enrolled in a dance class during the semester of the performance, you are welcome to audition and to perform in up to three pieces!


8. How many technique levels do you have?

We offer an introduction to Ballet and Modern dance class for beginners and non-majors. There are two levels of Jazz and two levels of Tap dance. Our dance major’s technique classes meet five days per week. The classes alternate between Ballet and Modern dance on different days Monday through Thursday and then the entire dance department meets together for master classes on Fridays.


9. How are students placed into different technique levels?

Most students move through the levels as a class starting in level I, and finishing in level III during their senior year. However, students are independently evaluated each semester by the dance faculty and are moved up accordingly. In addition, we allow students to challenge themselves by dropping in to any additional classes. For instance; someone who is registered for a level II Ballet class is allowed to take an additional level III class if it fits into their schedule. It is not necessary to register for this class, but they can drop in from time to time.


10. How do you go about grading dance classes?

A syllabus for each class outlines the expectations for grading as well as the student learning outcomes. Grades for the technique classes are based on the following:

1. Physical preparedness

a plus

Effort, ability, mental preparedness

2. Artistic development

Improvement in technique, personal expression

3. Professionalism

Attitude, promptness, work ethic, respect for others

4. Written Assignments

Projects, written dance critiques and reviews, vocabulary quizes, self-evaluation papers, and assignments given in conjunction with reading of texts.


11. Can I double major with dance?

Yes, many students take advantage of the liberal arts education by combining their dance major with an additional discipline. It takes a very dedicated student to complete a double major, but it is certainly possible. In the past 5 years, dancers have also majored business, psychology, biology, sport and exercise science, TV/Film, Theater, marriage and family studies, and special education.


12. When will I be notified if I have been accepted?

Along with a personal financial aid package, your notification of acceptance will arrive in February.


13. Is it possible for me to visit the DeSales Dance Department? How do I go about doing this?

You are welcome to come in to observe classes, and/or take a class to see if DeSales University is the place for you!

Please call Timothy Cowart at 610.282.1100 Ext. 1663 to make arrangements.

If you have applied to DeSales University, come spend the night with a dance major and participate in their classes. To make arrangements contact the admissions department at admiss@desales.edu


14. Do you have a dance minor?

No, a dance minor is not offered at DeSales University. However, it is a possibility that a student can double major, if desired.  If a student decides that another major is a better choice for him or herself, there are various opportunities to stay active in dance.


15. How many dancers receive scholarships?

The DeSales University Dance Department offers a limited number of talent-based scholarships to its dancers. These scholarships are factored into the entire financial aid package the accepted student will receive. The total amount of money that may be awarded varies from year to year.


16. What is a typical day for a dance major?

Each day is filled with courses, both academic and dance technique. Dance majors are scheduled to take one technique class a day, rotating between ballet and modern. If a dance major has a free period during another technique class time, he or she may ask permission to drop into the class, thus allowing for multiple studio classes a week. Performance rehearsals typically happen in the evenings (Monday-Saturday.) There is a limit of three pieces that a dancer can be rehearsing for at one time. This ensures that our students are managing their time appropriately.


17. Are there opportunities to study abroad with dance?

DeSales University has a commitment to creating global connections for its students. Our dance majors have recently traveled overseas to dance in short-study and semester long programs. While abroad, our students gain an in depth experience of the language, food, dance, and culture of other countries. In the past, students have traveled to India, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, and Argentina.


18. Some differences between:
 High School                                                  …and…                                      College 


Guiding principle: You will usually be told what
to do and corrected if your behavior is out of line.

Guiding principle: You are expected to take responsibility for what you do and don’t do, as well as for the consequences of your decisions.
High school is mandatory and often free. College is voluntary and expensive.
Your time is structured by others. You manage your own time.
You can count on parents and teachers to remind
you of your responsibilities and to guide you in
setting priorities.
You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities. You will face moral and ethical decisions you have never faced before.
Most of your classes are arranged for you. You arrange your own schedule in consolation with your adviser. Schedules tend to look lighter than they really are.
You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate. Graduation requirements are complex, and differ from year to year. You are expected to know those that apply to you.


If you are left with ANY questions contact Timothy Cowart at Timothy.Cowart@desales.edu or at 610.282.1100 ext. 1663