This is an exciting time to join our program and become a member of our dance family, and celebrate its rich history as we carry WVU’s legacy of dance into the 21st century.
Dance at West Virginia University began in 1928 by a group of women who founded the Orchesis Dance Ensemble. They experimented with what they called “free expression dance.” This new and innovative form of dance used the body as an instrument of interpretation—commonly known as Modern Dance. Over the past 82 years, Modern has been instrumental in building the Dance Program at WVU, especially under the direction of Mary Kathryne “Kacy” Wiedebusch.
WVU now offers the first Dance Major degree (BA in Dance) in the state of West Virginia. The new major offers a variety of dance styles and dance related courses for students pursuing an undergraduate liberal arts degree. Our BA is structured so that students may double major, combining other areas of interest in their pursuit of a college degree. Entrance to the program is by audition only.
There are many performance opportunities for students on and off campus. These include informal dance showcases, the annual dance concert, musicals, as well as local, regional and national dance festivals and conferences. We have affiliations with the American College Dance Association (ACDA), CORPS de Ballet International and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
Recent graduates of WVU’s Dance Program have gone on to pursue careers in dance by continuing their education in graduate programs, moving into the professional dance field and theatre. Others have pursued other disciplines and vocations such as journalism, law, health and physical education to name a few. Current students attend summer intensives around the country, with companies such as the Paul Taylor Dance Company School in New York City, North Carolina Dance Theatre School in Charlotte, and have studied abroad with The ProDanza Italia/USA Workshop in Tuscany, Italy as well as internships with Walt Disney World in Florida and Busch Gardens in Virginia.
Because of the continued growth of Dance at WVU, the Dance Minor was established through the College of Creative Arts’ School of Theatre & Dance, and the emphasis has been extended to Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary. The Dance Minor is designed for any WVU student who is pursuing other majors outside of our program, but are interested in dance.
We welcome your questions and inquiries and hope that you will consider visiting our campus to personally experience the wonderful possibilities that WVU, and our Dance Program has to offer toward your educational pursuits.