All interested students are welcome to enroll in dance classes. There is no formal audition to become a dance major. Rather, the student’s first three semesters of work serve as the process by which both the student and the dance faculty ascertain whether or not this is an appropriate major for the student. During the second semester of the sophomore year, the student moderates into the dance program after their original choreography is produced for the mid-term dance concert.
Many of Bard’s first-year students have had several years of previous dance study. Each student meets with his or her advisor and confers with the teacher of each class to determine the appropriate level at which to begin. Students may also change classes at any time during the drop/add period, which lasts the first two weeks of each semester.
The dance program presents four different dance concerts for the public each year. Each concert has a run of four performances. Bard dancers, both majors and involved non-majors, can be very busy—up to 25 dances are in rehearsal each semester. In addition, there are many dance, theater, and performance opportunities in different sites on campus, including the student-run performance space.
Bard College does not have a “minor” in its curricular structure. Dancers tend to be very good at time management, and therefore are usually able to juggle the requirements of two majors. Each student must have the support of any program they hope to major in.
Many dance majors pursue careers as professional performers or choreographers after graduation. Like graduates of all liberal arts institutions, Bard Dance alumni/ae are represented in a wide variety of careers, including law, medicine, social work, teaching, writing, and design.
Many paid opportunities exists backstage and in front-of-house. Students who want to acquire more skills may also take tutorials in technical theater, lighting design or costume design. Many of our students find work in theaters and dance schools in the summers and after college.
Although the professor determines specific requirements for each class, students can assume that form-fitting exercise wear is appropriate. Professors that require footwear will discuss its specifics during the first class—students need not obtain footwear until after the first class session.
Prospective students are welcome to observe technique classes when they visit Bard. The Dance program offers courses in many different techniques so that students who become professional dancers become adept at learning new styles from different choreographers. For this reason, full and part-time faculty teach several modern dance traditions as well as ballet. Modern dance classes reflect the many styles of dance that our faculty have performed and studied. Similarly, faculty who teach Dance Composition introduce a variety of approaches to choreography, so that students learn a variety of creative approaches to this art.