Southern Methodist University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance. The program is designed to create the versatile dance artist/scholar who possesses technical prowess and expressive range in the genres of ballet, modern and jazz and the ability to think critically and express their ideas through choreography, verbal expression and well crafted writing. The degree requires 80 credit hours in dance, of which a minimum of 44 credit hours are in technique and the remaining 36 credit hours provide students with the opportunity to develop scholarly and creative abilities in dance and related areas of interest.
Curriculum Notes: A student must be enrolled in six credit hours of dance with a minimum of three credit hours in technique class/classes in order to be a dance major in good standing and maintain an artistic scholarship. A minimum of four terms of ensemble work (DANC 3080) are required; enrollment will be processed by the division after casting is determined for each term. Three terms of dance composition (DANC 3341, DANC 3342, DANC 3343, DANC 4391) are required beginning in the junior year. The Dance curriculum is progressive and requires eight semesters to complete for those coming in to the university as first year students. Transfer students may complete the program in less time depending on the application of transfer credit to the course requirements in both the University Curriculum and the B.F.A. in Dance Performance.
Dance majors are expected to apply themselves scholastically and to conscientiously assume artistic and academic responsibilities associated with the degree. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.700 in dance courses to continue in the dance major. Grades lower than C are not acceptable in any required dance course and will necessitate repeat enrollments. If GPA requirements are not met, the student is placed on academic probation. To be eligible for scholarship, students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.700 in dance courses, and they must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in dance. Full participation in the program and in division performances is required of every student. Performance studies and production activities in the Division of Dance take precedence over performance opportunities outside of the division. Students must submit a request and be granted permission to participate in any project outside the division prior to committing to the project. Students are expected to adhere to this policy as well as all policies of the division, which are outlined in the Division of Dance Student Handbook.
High standards of discipline and execution are essential for artistic growth, progress and success. Regular class attendance, attendance at auditions, classroom and theatre etiquette, punctuality and attendance at student meetings are essential. Students meet with individual faculty at midterm to receive a progress report and to establish individual goals. At the close of each term, each student receives a performance evaluation by the collective faculty. Various aspects of a student’s work are examined, including technical progress, performance artistry, capacity for and commitment to class work, attitude, academic performance, participation in all aspects of the program, and health and fitness. When standards are not met, a student is advised that significant improvement must take place to remain in the program. Poor critiques may result in probationary measures and/or loss of dance scholarship funding. All dance scholarships are reviewed each term. Further details on the standards and requirements for the B.F.A. in Dance Performance are outlined in the Division of Dance Student Handbook, which is available online.