As a Coker dance major, expect to explore and grow as an artist while gaining practical guidance toward achieving your career goals.
Coker’s discussion-based, round table learning environment encourages interactive coursework that pushes you to develop your perspective as a dancer and effectively communicate your ideas to an audience. Personalized courses are integrated with performances and learning opportunities outside of the classroom—including international performances, conferences and visits from renowned guest artists. Whether you dream of becoming a professional performer, dance educator or dance therapist, Coker’s program will prepare you to succeed.
In keeping with the mission of Coker College and the Dance, Music and Theatre Department, the Dance Program is committed to providing a well-rounded, student centered learning experience rich in dance technique, choreography, theory, and performance. Grounded in engaged teaching, our faculty create an environment that encourages students to cultivate their technical, artistic, creative, and scholarly abilities. Study in dance as an academic discipline integrates inquiry and theory to develop skills in observation, critical thinking, problem solving, and evaluation. We believe each student has the potential to reach their goals as a performer, choreographer, dance educator, movement therapist/analyst, or dance advocate. We strive to develop thoughtful and active artists in the classroom, studio, and world.
The core of the dance major consists of 39 semester hours in modern and ballet techniques, composition, dance history, improvisation, dance science, rhythmic analysis, and other supporting courses.
Bachelor of Arts in Dance
The BA degree in dance is designed for students wishing to pursue broad-based dance-related careers. Graduates with this degree may go on to teach in dance studios, graduate study, arts administration, or performance careers. This degree is also ideal for students interested in a double major or exploring elective courses.
Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education with K-12 Teaching Certification (Audition Only)
This degree is for students wishing to teach dance in the K-12 public or private school setting. In addition to the core major courses, students pursuing the Dance Education track will take at least 75 semester hours of courses including Dance Teaching Methods, Creative Dance, World Dance Forms and other courses through the Wiggins School of Education. Students will have meaningful experiences observing and assisting certified dance educators in the public schools, culminating in a student teaching experience in their final semester. Graduates with this degree will be certified by the South Carolina Department of Education to teach in the K-12 school system.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance/Movement Therapies (Audition Only)
This degree is intended for students interested in careers using dance as a form of therapy for various populations. In addition to the core major courses, students will take at least 75 semester hours of courses including Introduction to Dance Movement Therapies, Injury Prevention, and electives in areas of interest. Students may choose specializations including children with special needs, individuals with emotional disorders, physical rehabilitation, injury prevention, and others.
Graduates with this degree must complete a graduate program in dance/movement therapies to become certified as a dance movement therapist.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography (Audition Only)
The BFA degree in Performance and Choreography offers intensive professional training that prepares students for careers as performers and choreographers by offering classes and experiences to work directly with nationally recognized guest artists, faculty and in the Coker Repertory Dance Company, as well as ample opportunities for students to show their own creative work. Students will take at least 75 semester hours of courses with a specific focus on courses in dance technique, performance and composition. The expectation is to develop skills and competencies at a higher level in preparation for careers as performing and creative artists. This enables the student to not only dance skillfully and artistically, but also to discuss and analyze dance in a scholarly manner, ensuring that graduates in dance are prepared both for performance-related work and for additional study at the graduate level.
A minor in dance includes 19 semester hours of dance courses, including dance history, ballet technique, modern dance technique, dance conditioning, dance composition and dance improvisation.
Dance majors learn much more than how to dance. In addition to strong technical and artistic training, dance majors learn discipline, independent thinking, teamwork and creative problem solving—skills that apply to a wide range of career paths.
Graduates of Coker College have danced professionally with companies in New York, Los Angeles, and other major cities as well as performed in cruise ship productions, theme parks, regional musical theatre productions, and various regional dance concerts. Graduates have also gone on to teach in higher education, the K-12 school systems and in private studios.
After graduating from Coker College, students have gone on to study for advanced degrees in Dance Performance and Choreography, Dance Education, Dance Therapy, Arts Administration, and Nutrition at various higher education institutions.
For more information on potential career paths, click here.
- Dance Company Manager
- Dance Teacher
- Dance Studio Owner
- Dance Writer
- Production Manager
- Tour Manager
- Dance Therapist
- Dance Critic
- Artistic Director
- Stage Manager
- Lighting Designer
- Talent Agent
- Costume Designer
- Public Relations Specialist
- Advertising Specialist
- Director of Arts Advocacy Agency
- Sales/Marketing Representative
- Community Relations Director
- Director of Arts Council
- Special Events Coordinator
- Florida State University
- University of South Carolina
- Winthrop University
- Sarah Lawrence College
- Antioch College
- New York University
- Drexel University
- Annual Faculty & Guest Artist Dance Concert
- Student Choreography Showcase
- Informal Dance Concert (each semester)
- Coker Repertory Dance Company
- Senior Thesis Concert
- Musical Theatre Performances
- Student:Faculty Ratio 8:1
- Professional Training
- Scholarship Awards
- Paid Work Opportunities
- Studies Abroad
- Conference Attendance/Performances
- American College Dance Association (ACDA)
- South Carolina Dance Association (SCDA)
- South Carolina Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (SCAHPERD)
- Delta Eta Pi National Dance Honor Society
- Venomous Hip Hop Dance Club
- Mainstage Theater
- Black Box Theater
- Two dance studios
- Pilates Reformer Equipment
- Trisha Brown Dance Company
- CONTRA TIEMPO / Urban Latin Dance Theater
- Sean Curran Company
- Adele Myers and Dancers
- George Staib
- Teena Marie Custer
- Urban Bush Women
- Doug Varone
- David Dorfman
- Additional International Choreographers
At Coker, students benefit from classes taught by accomplished professors who are invested in each student’s success. From day one, you’ll find personalized support and guidance from dedicated faculty members. In class, dance majors receive one-on-one attention and artistic feedback. Outside of the classroom, professors help place students in internships, locate auditions and prepare for graduate school.
Coker’s dance professors want their students to be successful and work diligently to help them achieve their goals in dance. Professors will ask you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone—but you’ll end up a stronger dancer and better artist because of it.