The Wichita State University School of Performing Arts Dance Program, located in Wichita, Kansas, offers a unique approach to pre-professional training culminating in a BFA in Performing Arts /Dance and a BA Performing Arts/Dance with emphasis on dance technique and related studies. WSU prepares dancers for the diverse demands of professional careers with a triple emphasis degree program in modern, ballet and jazz. Other dance curriculum includes kinesiology, dance history, three levels of choreography, music for dance and mime theatre. In support of the Musical Theatre program the Dance Program offers classes in tap and musical theatre dance. The degree culminates with a senior project.
The campus student population is 15,000. A balance between professional faculty and nationally recognized guest artists stresses strong technical training, regular performances, choreographic opportunities, and course work in an effort to develop both an educated and artistic performer. The Dance Program trains students in the craft of dance as a performing art in order to establish careers as performers, choreographers, and educators.
Past guest choreographers have included Andrew Palermo & Taye Diggs, Doug Varone, Douglas Nielsen, David Parsons, Della Davidson, Janice Garrett,Charles Moulton, Mitzi Adams, Kennet Oberly, Darrell Grand Moultrie & Shauna Martinez.
The program annually sponsors professional touring companies. Performances have included master classes with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Doug Varone & Dancers, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Parsons Dance Company, Pilobolus, Momix, BalletTrocaderos, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Marcel Marceau, and Paco Pena Flamenco Company. The program organizes tours for the Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre (WCDT), the program’s resident touring company, and for the Alithea Mime Theatre, a professional company in residence at Wichita State University. WCDT and Alithea have toured abroad to Warsaw, Poland, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Shanghai, China and Taiwan.
Performances during the year include two main-stage dance concerts, an undergraduate concert, senior concerts, informal showings, lecture-demonstrations, ACDF and involvement with opera and musical theater productions. Students also have opportunities to perform with company arts organizations such as Ballet Wichita.
Scholarship auditions are held in November of each year or can be completed by appointment. The Dance Program has been accepted as a partner with the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) allowing students to enroll for reduced out-of-state tuition (Nebraska, North Dakota, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin).