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Dance and Dance Education

Overview

A major in Dance at Hofstra University offers students a well-rounded education in all forms and styles of dance and choreography, with an emphasis on technique, composition, performance, and production.

The campus is alive with movement throughout the academic year, as dance students participate in a variety of performances and enjoy opportunities to meet and work with renowned guest artists, such as Hofstra alumnus and modern dance and Broadway choreographer Larry Keigwin, Bessie Award winner Seán Curran, and MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner Martha Clarke. Recently, Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp was a guest speaker on campus.

Students benefit from attending and participating in festivals, workshops, special dance programs, and performances with our highly accomplished faculty. Hofstra’s proximity to New York City enriches the curriculum. It provides access to innumerable professional performances, auditions, internships, and extracurricular workshops at acclaimed dance studios.

"One Breath” choreographed by Amy Marshall. Photo by Johan Elbers.

Curriculum

Upon academic acceptance to the University, students may declare a BA major in dance. This degree gives students the freedom to pursue a double major or minor in other subjects, if desired. (Students may also minor in dance.)

The BA in Dance curriculum, which complements the University’s liberal arts program, is comprehensive, with a focus not only on developing technical proficiency in traditional and contemporary styles of dance, but also on the performing industry, the history of dance, dance appreciation, dance production, movement analysis, and other aspects of the art form.

In addition to the BA in Dance, Hofstra offers a BFA in Dance Performance for students who want to immerse themselves in a more intensive program leading to careers in performance and choreography. An audition is required for admission, as well as a personal interview with dance faculty.

The BS in Education: Dance Education -- the only such program on Long Island – is designed to prepare students to become skilled dance instructors at the K-12 education level. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible for New York state initial certification as a teacher of dance in all grades.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Dance Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Dance and Dance Education majors attain positions with prestigious employers. They are working as dancers for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Seán Curran Company, New York Theatre Ballet, Walt Disney Company, Pilobolus, Heidi Latsky Dance, the New York Baroque Dance Company, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, David Parker and The Bang Group, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Robin Becker Dance, Amy Marshall Dance Company, and Forces of Nature Dance Company.

They have performed with the national and international tour of Flashdance the Musical, on Broadway in Finding Neverland and the Bartlett Sher revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and the national tour and televised production of Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE. They have become dancers for the Radio City Rockettes, Disney World, and Celebrity Cruise Lines.

Some graduates put their talent to work behind the scenes, working in arts administration. They hold positions at American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, The Joyce Theater, School of American Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Pentacle Arts Management, STEPS on Broadway, the Mark Morris Dance Center, The Irish Arts Center, and Urbanity Dance (Boston).

Dance Education majors have found employment at schools and studios throughout the New York metropolitan area, including:
Brooklyn: PS 312 Bergen Beach School; Roseland School of Dance • Bronx: Archimedes Academy, Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Academy, Hyde Leadership Charter School • Connecticut: Connecticut Dance Center • Long Island: Calhoun High School, Dance Unlimited, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Theresa Academy of Performing Arts • Manhattan: Community Health Academy of the Heights, Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School, Lorge School • Queens: Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School, Corona Arts & Sciences Academy, Jorday Rivera Dance Studio; PS 089  

BA and BFA Dance and Dance Education majors are also pursuing graduate studies at schools such as New York University, Columbia University, CUNY Hunter College, Pratt Institute, Hofstra University, Antioch University, Naropa University, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (UK), and Lesley University.

Among BA and BFA Dance majors

100% report employment/grad school or both
76% are employed within six months
$40K median salary*

Among Dance Education majors

100% also report employment/grad school or both
88% report finding employment within six months
$50K median salary*
Get More Info on Program Outcomes
*Represents median salary for the first year following graduation

What You'll Learn

Dance Teacher teaching student

In-depth classroom courses and instruction in our state-of-the-art dance studios enable our Dance majors to:

  • Become proficient in multiple dance disciplines
  • Broaden their understanding of dance as an art form throughout history
  • Obtain technical expertise and understanding in exercise systems and somatic practices
  • Develop the skills necessary to evaluate dancing and dance experiences
  • Mature as choreographers and performers
  • Learn cooperation and collaboration with other performers

"One Breath” choreographed by Amy Marshall. Photo by Johan Elbers.

Experience

'Las Desenamorades' choreographed by Eleo Pomare. Photo by Johan Elbers.

Hofstra Dance students have ample opportunities to enrich their education with experiences both on and off campus. Fall and spring department dance concerts are presented annually. Students are also invited to take part in the Student Rep, a festival of student performances held at the end of each semester.

During their first year, students travel into New York City to see dance performances as part of the First Year Connections cluster (clusters are sets of two or three classes, linked by a common theme, that fulfill general education requirements).

In addition, each spring Dance majors attend the American College Dance Festival, where they showcase their original choreography, take classes, and connect with other students, faculty, and professionals outside of Hofstra. Our Dance Department also organizes an annual choreographic seminar in Manhattan where our students’ original work is presented.

Dance Education students have the opportunity to work with children enrolled in Hofstra’s Diane Lindner-Goldberg Child Care Institute. They also enjoy volunteering their time to lead creative dance workshops in partnership with AHRC of Long Island, a nonprofit organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Many organizations and clubs on campus support and promote dance. Dance majors are required to be active members of MoVoM, a student-administered Hofstra Dance Program performance group. Other groups include Danceworks Productions; Imani, which unites hip-hop, Afro-Caribbean, jazz, and house styles; and Rhythmix, a tap dance club.

Students are encouraged to do one or more internships during their time at Hofstra. Examples of dance companies, festivals, or organizations where students have recently completed internships include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Urbanity Dance, Mark Morris Dance Center, and Peridance Capezio Center.

Fall Dance Concert

Meet Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker '11

Sarah Parker ’11 was featured in NBC’s 2018 broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE starring John Legend. She is currently playing the Riot Girl in the new 50th anniversary tour of the musical. She made her Broadway debut in Bartlett Sher’s acclaimed revival of Fiddler on the Roof in 2015.

Meet More Dance Alumni

Department of Drama and Dance - Buy tickets
Hofstra Events

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