Dance Department

Undergraduate Degrees:

BA in Dance
BFA in Dance
Minor in Dance

Graduate Degree:

MFA in Dance

Other Programs:

Certificate in Dance
Apprentice in Dance

Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: 601-965-1400
Fax: 601-965-1424

Social Media:

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Belhaven University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

The Belhaven University Dance Department offers students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and practice in the field of dance within a Christ-centered environment. Degrees offered include a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), and a Dance Minor. The mission of the Dance Department is to prepare students spiritually, technically, academically, and artistically to move into the world of dance and affiliated careers in adherence with the mission of the university.

Belhaven’s dance program provides rigorous technical training, abundant performance opportunities, individualized instruction, and focused career preparation with particular attention to the integration of faith and learning. State-of-the-art facilities offer one of the best learning environments for dance and performance. Internationally recognized guest choreographers and master teachers visit the Dance Department each semester, eager to share their experience with students. Belhaven’s Dance Department also has a fulltime on-site athletic trainer who provides injury care and prevention services specifically for dancers.

Undergraduate students receive a broad liberal arts and in-depth dance education to prepare for careers in dance performance, dance education, dance ministry, dance production, choreography, and other related fields. Graduate students develop professional skills through curricular offerings in technique, performance, choreography, pedagogy, research methodology, kinesiology, and critical inquiry, among others.

The application process for acceptance into Belhaven University and the dance department are two separate items. All prospective students must audition for the dance program and submit items for acceptance prior to auditions.

What will I study?

  • Ballet, Modern, and Pointe techniques
  • Pas de Deux, Variations and Non-traditional partnering
  • Improvisation, Composition and Choreography
  • Pedagogy and Teaching Methods
  • Dance Kinesiology, Nutrition, Conditioning and Injury Prevention
  • Dance History, Research and Theory
  • Dance Production
  • Dance Technology

What can I do with a degree in dance?

  • Professional careers in dance performance and choreography
  • Teaching at studios, performing arts schools, and/or colleges
  • Dance administration for companies and arts organizations
  • Dance production
  • Dance ministry and global missions
  • Graduate school for Dance, Education or Dance Science

What kind of opportunities will I have in my major that will contribute toward my career?

  • Numerous opportunities to perform, choreograph, and present dance works
  • Participation in local, regional, and national festivals and conferences
  • Leadership opportunities in student dance organizations (DOXA and Urban Dance Club) and the Dance Ministry Ensemble
  • Membership in National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • Participation in all aspects of production including lighting, sound, costuming, marketing, stage crew, etc.
  • Community involvement in performances and outreach, fundraising, service projects, and international travel for missions
  • Careers in Dance and Senior Project courses focus on career preparation and enable students to tailor projects to individual postgraduate goals

What are Belhaven Dance graduates doing now?

  • Gabriel Speiller is a member of Bruce Wood Dance Company in Dallas and previously performed with Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in New York and with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston.
  • Whitney Dufrene is a company member in Doug Varone and Dancers in New York City.
  • Dara Oda is a company member in the Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Arianna Marcell served as Artistic Manager for the USA International Ballet Competition Reunion Gala in Jackson, MS and taught at Pearls’ Dance Academy in Barbados.
  • Jamie Thompson performed with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and is the founder of Lyvearts International.
  • Ning Chong is a guest artist for Rennie Harris Puremovement in New York and trained with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel performing repertory and original works around the country.
  • Carina Stern earned a Master of Science in Athletic Training with a Performing Arts focus at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA.
  • DeMarcus Suggs performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre and is the Assistant Director of Education and Engagement at the Victoria Theatre Association in Dayton, Ohio.
  • Tiffany Schrepherman is Production Manager for American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. and performed with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, TX.
  • Katy Hagelin is the Artistic Director and Founder of Katy Hagelin Dance Project in Seattle, Washington.
  • Courtney Walker is a Principle Artist with The Georgia Ballet.
  • Stephanie Miracle earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from University of Maryland and was a 2014-2015 Fulbright Fellow in Essen, Germany. Her choreography has been presented in the U.S., Mexico, Russia, and Germany.

Belhaven’s Dance Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Why is this important?

Knowing the Department of Dance is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) tells you that Belhaven University voluntarily holds itself to a set of quality standards and invites outside dance experts to come to campus to evaluate the program. Belhaven’s commitment to the accreditation process benefits you because it ensures you will be provided a quality education and may assist you in meeting eligibility requirements for state and federal financial aid and in pursuit of graduate education.