Drama and Dance Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts Top Stories

Hofstra to Offer a BFA in Dance, Starting Fall ’17

Fifteen Steps, choreographed by Niles Ford, was performed by Amanda Salituro ’12 and Joseph Jehle ’11 in 2010. Photo by Johan Elbers.
Fifteen Steps, choreographed by Niles Ford, was performed by Amanda Salituro ’12 and Joseph Jehle ’11 in 2010. Photo by Johan Elbers.

Hofstra University’s Dance Program will offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree starting in the fall of 2017. Entry into the BFA program will be by audition only and is geared toward students who plan to pursue careers in performance and choreography.

With this additional degree, Hofstra provides dance majors with three choices: the BFA, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education/Dance Education. The dance program’s focus is modern dance with a strong ballet component, supported by a variety of dance genres, including African, Irish, tap, jazz, hip hop and others.

Program director Rachel List said, “By expanding our offerings to three possible tracks, we will be able to offer our students a choice of pathways to fully realize their dance ambitions, whether as a performer, choreographer, teacher or arts administrator.”

How can students tell which degree is right for them? Students who choose to pursue the BA in dance (124 credits) often want to double major or double minor in other areas of interest, such as drama, creative writing, public relations, business, athletic training and communications. The BFA (132 credits) is a course of study designed to provide students with a concentrated experience in dance as an art form. Students who want to dance intensively and also plan to teach dance in PreK-12 schools or studios, should pursue the BS in Education/Dance Education.

Merit scholarships are available for all three degrees. Auditions are held in the spring prior to first year enrollment for class placement, acceptance into the BFA program and consideration for scholarship awards.

All students pursuing dance at Hofstra should know that performance opportunities are abundant. Recent mainstage productions have included work by guest artists Doug Varone, Sean Curran, Larry Keigwin, Victoria Marks, David Parker, Bebe Miller, hip hop artist Devin Pullins, tap choreographer Olivia Rosencrantz and director/choreographer Martha Clarke. Students have also performed reconstructions by major artists of the 20th century, including Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Trisha Brown, Jean Erdman, Anna Sokolow and Antony Tudor. In addition, students have many opportunities to showcase their own choreography, both on campus and at various venues throughout the New York City area. They have often won accolades at the American College Dance Festival.

Hofstra dance alumni are currently working with such diverse companies as the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus, Urban Bush Women, and on Broadway. Some, like Larry Keigwin, are the artistic directors of their own successful modern dance companies. Two Hofstra dance alums are currently in the Broadway casts of Finding Neverland and Fiddler on the Roof. One is a Radio City Rockette and another had the lead in the recent national and international tour of Flashdance – The Musical. (Read more about alumni of the BA in Dance and the BS in Education/Dance Education.)

More information will be posted about the BFA in dance as details become available.

Top photo: Fifteen Steps, choreographed by Niles Ford, was performed
by Amanda Salituro ’12 and Joseph Jehle ’11 in 2010. Photo by Johan Elbers.

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