USF Dance Program Ranks Among Top Schools in the Nation

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The USF dance program has been ranked in the Best College Dance Programs in the United States for 2019-2020 by DanceUS.org.

This ranking follows other tops picks by College Magazine and Onstage Blog where the USF dance program ranks alongside the top conservatories in the nation.

Marc Powers, director of the USF School of Theatre and Dance, attributes the attention to the dance program’s curriculum, faculty, study abroad opportunities, and more.

“The curriculum is a very strong, interesting curriculum,” said Marc Powers, director of the USF School of Theatre and Dance. “Most programs, students will either be ballet dancers or they will be modern dancers, and they might be choreographers. Here, they have to do all of it. They’re far more rounded because of the way the faculty has put that together.”

The USF dance program offers an outstanding faculty to students. Eight full-time faculty members bring a wide range of knowledge to students. In addition, the USF dance program hosts guest artists with the support of its John W. Holloway Endowment. Past guest artists include Bill T. Jones, Alonzo King, Robert Moses, Maurice Causey, Ohad Naharin, Doug Varone, Trisha Brown, and Jawole Jo Zollar.

“We’ll bring in very significant choreographers to set works on the students … The students are getting not just the variety of points of view of our faculty, but also leading people in the dance world,” said Powers.

USF is also home to the Dance in Paris Program, which gives students the chance to learn dance while immersing themselves in the culture of Paris. In 2016, the program was expanded to offer a semester-long study abroad experience to give students the chance to further immerse themselves in the city.

“It’s a longer time period where the students are studying dance in Paris fully invested in the culture of Paris, creating choreography that is reflective of their experience in Paris,” said Powers. “Paris infuses all of it.”

In 2014, the school was accredited by the National Associations of Schools of Dance. This voluntary accreditation serves as a mark of quality, and it places USF among the approximately 83 accredited institutions in the United States who meet NASD standards.

Each summer, the USF School of Theatre and Dance hosts the American Ballet Theatre Florida Summer Intensive, a highly selective three-week summer dance program for students aged 13 to 18.

USF dance alumni have gone on to work as professional ballet, modern, and commercial dancers. USF dance alumni can be found teaching at all levels, from private studios to the collegiate level. Dance graduates’ self-discipline, kinesthetic awareness, and interpersonal skills allow them to succeed in a variety of other fields, ranging from medicine and physical therapy to law.