Are you interest in fine-tuning your talent in dance? Do you want to work with world-class professionals and instructors equipped to prepare you for a career in dance and dance instruction?

ECU's BFA in dance offers you two concentrations to choose from: dance performance and dance education.

The dance performance and choreography concentration prepares you for a professional performing career. Equal emphasis is placed on the core techniques of ballet, modern, and jazz. While the program provides an excellent background in these techniques to produce a versatile dancer, it also allows performance majors to specialize in one of these forms.

Extensive training in technique is augmented with required courses in dance history, improvisation, and choreography, as well as elective courses in tap, pointe, repertory, ballroom, anatomy and kinesiology. Related courses in theatre, art, and music are included in the curriculum.

Dance education at ECU is a rigorous four-year program of study where graduates earn a BFA in dance and a North Carolina teaching license. During your time at ECU, you will take challenging technique classes in ballet, modern, and jazz, develop your skills as a choreographer, perform in mainstage and studio productions, and study kinesiology, pedagogy, and dance history. In addition, you will complete several courses in education, learning teaching methods for reaching a diverse population of students in today’s schools. Finally, you will complete your program with a year-long internship, developing your own teaching voice under the guidance of a professional dance educator in one of eastern North Carolina’s top-notch K-12 dance programs.

Becoming a dance educator is a challenging process, and the dance education program requires substantial commitment to regular physical practice, creative inquiry, leadership development, and academic investment. Dance education students are supported by one-on-one relationships with faculty mentors and multiple opportunities for teaching, leadership, and creative projects throughout their college careers.

ECU Advantage

Master classes have been taught by several widely acclaimed artists and visiting professional companies, including Lane Alexander, Monica Bill Barnes, Mark Dendy, Irene Dowd, Mark Haim, Elie Lazar, Gene Medler, Mia Michaels, Eddie Ocampo, Nick Pupillo, Robert Small, Colleen Thomas, Doug Varone, Edward Villela, and Bill Young.

The faculty are looking for dance education majors who show technical ability in one or more dance forms—including appropriate alignment, use of rotation, and overall movement skill, academic achievement (including writing ability), creativity, dedication to the art form and to education, and leadership ability. Admitted students are those who demonstrate the potential to be successful in a rigorous academic and artistic environment, contribute positively to a creative community, and develop into dynamic, committed arts educators.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Marissa Nesbitt (112 Messick Building; 252-328-6325; nesbitm@ecu.edu)

In order to declare a major in dance, a student must be admitted through an entrance audition and must pass an examination by a dance faculty jury in the spring of the first and second year to maintain enrollment in the program. Dance faculty will determine placement in technique levels. Dance majors must attain a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all required DNCE courses, and all students must earn a C (2.0) or better in technique classes to advance to the next level.

See College of Education Licensure, for NC teacher licensure requirements.

Minimum degree requirement is 126 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.
    Dance education concentration
    • PSYC 2777 - Ethnocultural Psychology or
    • SOCI 1010 - Race, Gender, Class

    • THEA 2001 - Stage Scenery I
    Dance performance and choreography concentration
    • THEA 2001 - Stage Scenery I
2. Core - 43 s.h.
    Dance technique courses - 20 s.h.
    • DNCE 1114 - Beginning Ballet I
    • DNCE 1115 - Beginning Modern I
    • DNCE 1116 - Beginning Jazz I
    • DNCE 1124 - Beginning Ballet II
    • DNCE 1125 - Beginning Modern II
    • DNCE 1126 - Beginning Jazz II
    • DNCE 2134 - Intermediate Ballet I
    • DNCE 2135 - Intermediate Modern I
    • DNCE 2144 - Intermediate Ballet II
    • DNCE 2145 - Intermediate Modern II
    Creative and contextual dance courses - 20 s.h.
    • DNCE 2201 - Dance Improvisation I
    • DNCE 2202 - Dance Improvisation II
    • DNCE 3400 - Dance Pedagogy
    • DNCE 3610 - Dance Kinesiology
    • DNCE 4044 - History of Dance I
    • DNCE 4045 - History of Dance II
    • DNCE 4046 - Composition I
    • DNCE 4047 - Composition II
    Theatre - 3 s.h.
    • THEA 3003 - Stage Lighting or
    • THEA 3007 - Costume Design
3. Concentration areas - 40-42 s.h.

(Choose one.)

    Dance education - 42 s.h.
      Dance technique courses (6 s.h.)
      • DNCE 3052 - Contemporary Dance V
      • 3 s.h.
      Creative and contextual dance courses (6 s.h.)
      • DNCE 3310 - Dance in the Elementary School
      • DNCE 3320 - Dance in the Secondary School
      Theatre (3 s.h.)
      • THEA 4065 - Stage Management
      Professional courses (27 s.h.)
      • DNCE 2190 - Early Experiences for the Prospective Dance Educator
      • DNCE 4323 - Perspectives on Dance Education, Grades K-12
      • DNCE 4324 - Internship in Dance Education
      • DNCE 4325 - Internship Seminar: Issues in Dance Education
      • EDTC 4001 - Technology in Education
      • EDUC 3200 - Foundations of American Education

      • EDUC 4400 - Foundations of School Learning, Motivation, and Assessment or
      • PSYC 4305 - Educational Psychology

      • READ 3990 - Teaching Reading in the Content Areas in the Secondary School
      • SPED 4010 - Effective Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms
    Dance performance and choreography - 40 s.h.
      Dance technique courses (28 s.h.)
      • DNCE 2136 - Intermediate Jazz I
      • DNCE 2146 - Intermediate Jazz II
      • 12 s.h.
      Creative and contextual dance courses (7 s.h.)
      • DNCE 3000 - Dance Performance
      • DNCE 3001 - Dance Performance
      • DNCE 4000 - Special Dance Projects
      • DNCE 4001 - Special Dance Projects
      • DNCE 4048 - Choreography Project
      Dance electives (5 s.h.)

      (Choose 5 s.h. from the following courses.)

      • DNCE 1014 - Tap I
      • DNCE 2011 - Pointe I
      • DNCE 2021 - Pointe II
      • DNCE 2024 - Tap II
      • DNCE 2053 - Jazz Dance Studio I
      • DNCE 2063 - Jazz Dance Studio II
      • DNCE 2073 - Jazz Dance Studio III
      • DNCE 2083 - Jazz Dance Studio IV
      • DNCE 3011 - Pointe III
      • DNCE 3021 - Pointe IV
      • DNCE 3114 - Tap Technique Development I
      • DNCE 3124 - Tap Technique Development II
      • DNCE 3501 - Independent Study in Dance
      • DNCE 3502 - Independent Study in Dance
      • DNCE 3503 - Independent Study in Dance
      • DNCE 3601 - Selected Topics in Dance
      • DNCE 3602 - Selected Topics in Dance
      • DNCE 3603 - Selected Topics in Dance
      • DNCE 4011 - Pointe V
      • DNCE 4021 - Pointe VI
      • DNCE 4033 - Jazz Dance Studio V
      • DNCE 4040 - Tap Dance IV
      • DNCE 4043 - Jazz Dance Studio VI
      • DNCE 4053 - Jazz Dance Studio VII
      • DNCE 4063 - Jazz Dance Studio VIII
      • DNCE 4131 - Pointe VII
      • DNCE 4134 - Tap Technique Development III
      • DNCE 4141 - Pointe VIII
      • DNCE 4234 - Tap Ensemble
4. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Dance, General
    • Dancers
    • Choreographers
    • Communications, Entertainment and Information
    • Education and Training
    • Dance, General

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.