Dance (AA, BA)

Dance student performing on the stage.

Immerse yourself in the world of professional dance starting in your first semester.

Why Study Dance?

Dance nurtures your mind, body and soul.

Dance allows you to express yourself and your faith.

Why Choose a Dance Major at USF?

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 USF. With a primary focus on ballet, our conservatory curriculum also features training in:

  • Contemporary dance
  • Jazz
  • Tap
  • Character
  • Repertoire
  • Choreography
  • 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 USF educational experience will strengthen your character and prepare you to become a grounded, ethical professional in whatever field you choose.

Why Fort Wayne?

USF’s 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.

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Career Outlook & Success


growth rate expected for dancers and choreographers through 2029 (


Best Job in Media and Creative Arts (US News & World Report, 2020)


National average salary for choreographers (US News & World Report, 2020)

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 & 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.

Faculty & 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, 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 USF dance major, you’ll spend plenty of quality time honing your technique in this bright and airy facility.

Campus & Community Involvement

As a dance major, you’ll feel at home at USF. 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
  • Jesters
  • Music Technology Club
  • Student Activities Council
Dance student performing on the stage.

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
  • Choreographer
  • Company dancer
  • Dance instructor
  • Studio owner
  • Arts administrator

Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

USF 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

I came to USF specifically for the Dance program. I’m getting great training, professional experience, and a college degree. We dance 6 days a week and get a lot of one-on-one attention, yet we’re able to balance the academics. My goal is to dance with a professional ballet company and this program is reassuring me that it’s the right choice for me.

Martine Bartley ‘21
Dance major

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

View Associate Degree Plan

View Bachelor Degree Plan