Dance (AA, BA)
Immerse yourself in the world of professional dance starting in your first semester.
- Available as
- Associate of Arts,
Bachelor of Arts
- 2 or 4 years
- Fort Wayne
Why Choose a Dance Major at Saint Francis?
Dance nurtures your mind, body, and soul. Dance allows you to express yourself and your faith. The University of Saint Francis offers an unmatched undergraduate dance program in partnership with the Fort Wayne Ballet Conservatory of Dance.
From the books to the barre.
Immersed in the world of professional dance from Day One, you will train and perform alongside members of the state’s premier ballet company while earning a bachelor of arts from Saint Francis. With a primary focus on ballet, our conservatory curriculum also features training in:
- Contemporary dance
- Dance history, theory, and teaching
With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, you’ll develop your ability to interpret ideas and emotions in dance, while studying human anatomy will deepen your understanding of movement and the mechanics of dance.
Rooted in the Franciscan tradition of faith and reason, your entire Saint Francis educational experience will strengthen your character and prepare you to become a grounded, ethical professional in whatever field you choose.
Why Fort Wayne?
Saint Francis’ hometown of Fort Wayne is flourishing with arts and culture, making it an incredibly inspiring place to hone your craft. Arts Campus Fort Wayne, just about two miles from campus, is a vibrant downtown area full of creative organizations and experiences. Among its residents is Fort Wayne Ballet.
Number of jobs for dancers and choreographers in 2022
Best job in media and creative arts
US News & World Report, 2020
National median salary for choreographers
Studio to Stage: Real-World Experience
Through our partnership with Fort Wayne Ballet and other local and regional arts organizations, you’ll get plenty of professional dance experience:
Campus and Community Performances
Show off your skills and learn about the inner workings of productions:
- Perform with the Fort Wayne Ballet in its biannual production of The Nutcracker and its annual spring production
- Plan or perform in student-led productions on campus
Teaching and Performance Artist Internships
Gain teaching, choreography, and arts management experience through a range of internship options with Fort Wayne Ballet. You can even rotate through various departments to learn more about the many layers of a professional arts organization, from sales and marketing to fundraising.
Talent Scholarships for Dance Majors
Students can audition at the Ballet or virtually. Faculty members review the performance audition and make evaluations based on technique, musicality, artistic quality, and other applicable criteria.
“I chose Saint Francis for the dance program and its schedule flexibility. I am able to get a double major while balancing my academics, dance, and social life. The partnership with Fort Wayne Ballet also allows me to dance alongside professionals and encourages me to challenge myself in my dancing. While the focus of the program is classical ballet, they also offer modern, jazz, character, and musical theater classes, which have helped me grow tremendously in my freedom and technique as a dancer.”Joanna Evanich ’25 Dance major
“Being a part of the Saint Francis Dance program balances working with a professional dance company while also getting a college degree. It has been an amazing experience to be a part of professional productions throughout the year such as ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘Swan Lake,’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ Not only do you get experience dancing but also learning about different facets of the company from stagecraft class to interning with different departments within the Fort Wayne Ballet organization.”Maria Carrillo ’24 Dance major
Faculty and Facilities
You’ll learn from dedicated, passionate scholars in your general education and liberal arts courses on campus and from talented, renowned dancers from Fort Wayne Ballet Conservatory of Dance.
A Faculty of Performance Artists
You’ll study alongside professional dancers, choreographers, and American Ballet Theater-certificated instructors who’ve taught and performed around the globe, including:
- Karen Gibbons-Brown, artistic director, is an award-winning dancer with an impressive list of performance credits and teaching experiences.
- Eleonora Pokhitonova Hartung, a graduate of the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow, Russia, is Fort Wayne Ballet’s master teacher, choreographer, and character ensemble director.
- Tracy Tritz is an ABT-certified instructor and serves as the ballet mistress and outreach director.
The Auer Center for Arts and Culture
The Auer Center for Arts & Culture, just 2.5 miles from campus, is home to the Fort Wayne Ballet. As a Saint Francis dance major, you’ll spend plenty of quality time honing your technique in this bright, airy facility.
- Visit the Auer Center’s Virtual Tour
Campus and Community Involvement
As a dance major, you’ll feel at home at Saint Francis. Our campus is full of artists and creators who get together to create, learn, worship, and make a difference in the community through clubs and activities such as:
- Artists in Action
- Dance Club
- Dead Artists Society
- Music Technology Club
- Student Activities Council
After Graduation: Dance Major Careers
Your degree in dance can lead to a career as a performance artist in dance and theater companies across the nation, as well as a variety of arts-related roles within schools, nonprofits, and recreational organizations. Possibilities include:
- Artistic director
- Company dancer
- Dance instructor
- Studio owner
- Arts administrator
Where You’ll Find Our Graduates
Saint Francis graduates are making a difference in the Fort Wayne arts community and beyond at places such as:
- Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne
- Elite Dance Center
- Fort Wayne Ballet
- Gold Canyon School of Ballet