A conservatory program is preparing students to dance professionally upon graduation. The academics, in such a program, are distinctly secondary to the dance curriculum and performances. For example, at the conservatory program at SUNY Purchase, it awards a BFA in dance which consists of 90 credits for dance, and 30 credits for liberal arts and sciences (and 8 of these credits can be for a history of dance course).
A college is part of a university. And a conservatory is dedicated only to dance, or fine arts.
The difference between college and conservatory dance programs are related what do you want. Do you want to have a academic background? or do you want to be a highly trained dancer? You must ponder these two option carefully so you can make the right decision.
For the most part, conservatory dance departments focus strictly on dance alone. College dance departments have more broad requirements. You must consider the impact of choosing one over the other. You may want to just study dance, but you may get injured or change your goals. If you are connected with a college that has a strong dance program as well as other strong departments, it will be easier to change your major. Consider carefully!
Students who are absolutely certain that they want to become professional dancers would perhaps do well to study dance at a conservatory, in which the focus would wholly be on dance. Performance opportunities through this kind of study would no doubt be more accessible for an outstanding dancer. It should be realized, however, that because of the intense focus on dance, the student’s educational experience will be limited in breadth.
For the student interested in dance, the first step of the college process is to decide how committed they are in pursuing this interest. For those intending to fully pursue their passion, perhaps with the indent of becoming professionally involved in the world of dance, this decision needs to be made very early in the college process to allow time to put together their portfolio and to prepare for their auditions. For the student not committed to a career in dance, the college process will be more traditional, but their years of training and performance and the skills and discipline they have acquired will be a strong asset to their college application.
A conservatory generally focuses only on the arts (music/dance/etc.). An example of a conservatory is Julliard or the Berkeley School of Music. Non-conservatory colleges, on the other hand, generally offer classes (and sometimes majors or minors) in the arts, but students are required to take other classes from other disciplines as well (English/social studies/etc.). Another option is colleges that offer a conservatory within a major. In any case, students usually must audition to be considered for a conservatory (and be very talented in order to be admitted to one).
A conservatory generally focuses only on the arts (music/dance/etc.). An example of a conservatory is Julliard or the Berkeley School of Music. Non-conservatory colleges, on the other hand, generally offer classes (and sometimes majors or minors) in the arts, but students are required to take other classes from other disciplines as well (English/social studies/etc.). Another option is colleges that offer a conservatory within a major. In any case, students usually must audition to be considered for a conservatory (and be very talented).
The audition is just one facet of an application to an arts school. Other factors include the academic transcript, extracurricular activities, and test scores and the extent these play in the admission decision vary based on the type of school. Academics seem to carry more weight for small liberal arts colleges while conservatory programs consider the audition first and foremost. For most colleges and universities with conservatory style programs, artistic merit and academics may be weighted equally. An exceptionally strong audition may give a weaker student the extra boost that they need, or vice versa. And the audition is a subjective process and even the best applicant might not match what a school is looking for at the time. So in the audition, do your best, be yourself and show your joy for what you are doing. Your audition will be evaluated on “performance” but schools are also watching how you carry yourself and how you interact with the faculty. Whether it’s a video recording or a live audition, these 10-15 minutes will play a large part in determining whether or not you are offered admission into a conservatory dance program. Training in a variety of styles will help dance applicants show their versatility. Students should augment their high school training by taking private lessons, community college courses, and attending summer programs. You should definitely prepare and choreograph a great piece because most performing arts programs ask for a recorded performance to help evaluate applicants.
A BFA in dance is a BFA in dance — whether at a university or a conservatory. Many universities have conservatories within their walls — Indiana University for example.
A conservatory dance department will provide an emphasis on various forms of dance, allowing for a focus on your chosen art form. College dance programs will require additional general studies courses to meet degree requirements.
The difference between colleges and conservatory is that typically colleges primary focus is to provide a balanced liberal arts type of education despite majoring in dance vs the exposure you’re bound to get at conservatory is all geared towards dance where you’ll be provided an atmosphere and instructors who professionals in the field.
The key question here is not what the difference between college and conservatory dance programs is, but rather Is the students goals in dance for professional reasons or passion? This question is as it relates to the goals for graduates, and should consider the idea of how about the ideal setting for their professional and personal goals will be met.
So, you’re considering a dance major? That’s exciting. You’re definitely going to want to do a lot of research about where to attend, and I can help you with that.
There are many differences b/t college and conservatory dance departments, and each department is unique, so keep in mind I’m speaking in general terms. We can talk specifics later, when you begin to look at individual schools and programs.
Both college and conservatory dance programs can offer an equal quality of dance/choreography instruction, access to many dance genres, opportunities for performance, and study with guest artists. Some of the differences involve: admissions, the classes you would take, the degree you’d earn, the diversity of your fellow students, your ability to change to a different major, transfer to a different college, etc.
Many college dance programs do not require admission to the department, only to the college itself. Conservatory programs generally require in-person or video auditions for admission.
The classes you would take in a college dance department (especially in the first 2 years) would be roughly half General Education classes like English Composition, Literature, Math, Science, foreign language, social science like Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology; and half studio and lecture Dance classes. These dance classes would be considered “Prerequisite” or preparation for your Dance major, which would be the primary focus of your 3rd and 4th year. Some college programs have 3rd and 4th year GE requirements too.
The classes at a conservatory dance department would involve primarily dance studio and lecture classes and would require/offer a minimum of general education-type classes. Most require Literature, Writing, and some other Liberal Arts-type classes such as poetry, Anatomy & Kinesiology, French, German, aesthetics, etc.
Many college dance programs offer at Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree; some offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. The BA degree involves more general education, and sometimes the requirement of a minor or other non-dance oriented classes. The BFA degree would typically require less GE.
Many conservatory dance departments offer a BFA degree; some do not offer a college degree.
In a college dance department, the dance classes would be populated by students who are dance majors, and also students who are other majors, but are also dancers. In some of your dance classes, like Dance History, you’d be in class with dance majors, as well as students taking the class to meet a general education requirement. In a conservatory program, all the students would be dance majors.
Depending on the department, there could be a certain difference in the “culture” of the major – how serious students take their studies, how dedicated they are to mastery etc. This is an intangible quality that would have to be ascertained by on-site visit, or by talking with students, faculty, etc.
Basically, a conservatory is a place where students are studying dance and little else, all day, every day. College is more varied. You’d take more classes in other areas. If you decided you weren’t that dedicated a dancer, you could change your major. If you made the same decision at a conservatory, you’d probably have to transfer to a different college.
Given this information, which are you leaning toward? Why? Maybe we can talk about how to go about searching for specific college and conservatory programs. Then we can compare the specifics and not have to talk just in generalities. I was a Theatre major in college, so I do know something about this world. I hope we can talk soon!
The biggest difference comes in the intensity, competition, and time and energy commitment. I compare conservatories to something similar to Division-One athletics. It is going to be a huge time commitment to participate in conservatory dance. You won’t have nearly as much time to do other hobbies, study other subjects or have as much of a social life as some other college friends. At another university, there will still be time commitments, but you will have more time to study other subjects, get involved with a few other clubs/activities, and have more freedom to set your own schedule.
The main difference between college dance departments and conservatory dance departments is the ability to study other topics besides dance. If a student has other interests, such as maybe opening his/her own dance company in the future, then being able to study business administration, finance, marketing, etc. may be quite helpful.
A conservatory dance program concentrates specifically and entirely on the study of dance. The curriculum will allow students to fully immerse themselves throughout their attendance with the main goal of obtaining a full-time career in dance. A college dance program, although prestigious, will not offer the full immersion of the study of dance in the years attended by the student. The competitiveness in a conservatory program is much greater than that of a college department program. In addition, the dedicated time to dance is much greater for a student.
A conservatory dance department is a college that offers programs that concentrate specifically on the study of dance. The curriculum is designed to allow students to concentrate on their work with an emphasis on future careers in dance. While many universities have very strong dance departments and offer a solid education in dance, the environment is usually very different from a conservatory, as students do not necessarily intend to pursue careers in dance and are often majoring in more than one area. Small college-level conservatories focus exclusively on dance. Everyone is a music or theater arts or dance major, and competition, even after admission, tends to run high. At a college, students will be taking other courses designed to allow them to be successful in other areas not just limited to dance.
Conservatory aims to prepare students for professional performance careers. In a college program, students study a broad range of liberal arts to develop skills that can lead to teaching and other fields.
Simply put: a conservatory atmosphere is specifically on dance (or music, or theater) while college dance departments allow, or include, courses unrelated to dance.
A key difference is the way in which the student’s educational experience is shaped. A college dance program is likely to have a broader focus (choices) with many options to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Performance based degree) or a Bachelor of Arts with a liberal arts and interdisciplinary approach across many academic subjects. In a conservatory setting you will be looking to pursue dance as a participant/performer, choreographer etc. with emphasis on your dance specialty and a B.F.A as your degree. So in a conservatory setting, the you would most likely get a sense of what it is to be a professional dancer, with an emphasis on technique, audition tactics, etc.
Options for the Aspiring Dancer
Looking for a “Professional Career” in dance?
Want to make connections with several dance companies to improve your options of being recruited?
Your focus is very directed and obtaining a “degree” is not necessary at this moment?
Then look into conservatory dance departments.
The major difference between college programs in any of the arts and a conservatory or art school program is the balance of work in the major and the rest of the curriculum. A liberal arts college arts major comprises roughly 40% of a student’s college work and usually leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree; in a conservatory that percentage is more like 60% and the degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts. (Juilliard’s description may be helpful here: “The Dance Division offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with liberal arts requirements, or a Diploma without liberal arts requirements. Most students in the Dance Division pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree. In addition to dance and dance-related studies, the four-year degree program includes 24 credits in the Liberal Arts department.”) Please note that there is the option of study without liberal arts requirements at this conservatory – that would not be available at a college dance department.
Whether you chose a conservatory or a college dance program depends in large part on your goals and what you are really looking for in your education. If you go to a conservatory you can focus on your dance work to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. In contrast, a college dance program will offer a full scale dance program but it will only be a part of the overall program and you will still be required to many other academic requirements. But you will also have the opportunity to experience the other things that can characterize the college experience, things like Saturday football games or a wide ranging Greek life. Many of the university based dance programs are outstanding and can prepare you as fully and as effectively for a career in dance as the conservatory, but the path is not as narrow, a fact that can cut both ways. Decide what you really want and then pursue the appropriate option.
Honestly, it really depends of the institution itself. As I ways say, it is important first to know what you’re looking for in a institituion. You need to know what it is you want out of the experience. Do you want to dance professional? Do you want to teach? How important is theory? You have to find the institution that has the correct answers for these types of questions for you. And of course research, research, research!
Whether you chose a conservatory or a college dance program depends in large part on your goals and what you are really looking for in your education. If you go to a conservatory you can focus on your dance work to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. In contrast, a college dance program will offer a full scale dance program but it will only be a part of the overall program and you will still be required to fulfill many other academic requirements. But you will also have the opportunity to experience the other things that can characterize the college experience, things like Saturday football games or a wide ranging Greek life. Many of the university based dance programs are outstanding and can prepare you as fully and as effectively for a career in dance as the conservatory, but the path is not as narrow, a fact that can cut both ways. Decide what you really want and then pursue the appropriate option.
The main difference is that a conservatory is going to REQUIRE an audition, whereas college dance departments might only require submission of video–though might also ask you to audition. For the colleges, is also depends on whether you’re being admitted to the program or to the school in general. Some colleges that have conservatories within them allow students to be admitted to the college and then audition when they enroll, but this varies.
In general, conservatory dance programs concentrate more intensely on dance performance than college programs. Conservatory programs are designed for students who want to pursue a career in dance. Many college programs provide strong dance programs as well but most of these programs are less intense with regards to performance and are not designed specifically for professional dancers. In addition, most college dance programs are more academic in nature and require higher academic standards.
In general, conservatory dance programs concentrate more intensely on dance performance than college programs. Conservatory programs are designed for students who want to pursue a professional career in dance. These programs award a BFA degree.
The major differences between college and conservatory dance departments are the amount of time, energy and effort and the emphasis that is placed on becoming a professional dancer.
The fundamental difference is their intended educational goals, thus how their curricula are organized, thus the likely professional prospect for their graduates. In a conservatory everything evolves around dance, perhaps to the exclusion of other subject matters. In a good liberal arts college environment, the goal is a more rounded education with a particular focus on dance. However, it’s very important to note that the quality of the school is more critical than whether it’s a conservatory or college. Furthermore, the kind of a student you are is equally important. Failure rate in conservatory is high, perhaps in part because of the competitive environment and the higher objectivity when it comes to professional viability of the student.
In a college dance department you will receive a full education in dance while meeting the core requirements of your college or university. Most students will take a significant number of classes in departments other than dance and may be required to take English, math, history, or science. In contrast, most conservatory dance programs allow students to focus almost exclusively on dance with few outside requirements. College and universities seek to provide students and education in a broad range of topics with a focus on one major; conservatories seek to immerse students in a much narrower field of study.
A panoramic view versus microscopic vision
A conservatory dance department will provide advanced training for accomplished dancers seeing professional careers. You will receive rigouous personal, artistic training in most of these schools.
The word “Conservatory” indicates that the program is much more focused or intense, in regards to the specific major in dance or music.
The word “College” indicates that the program of music or dance has the same focus as pre-med might have or literature. The program is just another major. That does not necessarily indicate that the program is any less rigorous than a conservatory, just not the focus of the school.
When considering the difference between college and conservatory departments, one must remember that even within colleges, there can be a significant difference between getting a BA and a BFA. A BFA usually focuses more on the fine art major than the BA, e.g., more hours allowed within the major. Generally speaking, however, conservatories focus more on performance. In contrast, college dance programs may not be as intense within the major, but they usually give you a broader base of liberal arts from which to draw ideas. That being said, however, it is very difficult to make such broad assumptions. As always, investigate each school independently and comparatively.
Conservatory dance departments tend to focus on just dance and you may get some academics in a few other areas. A college dance department will focus not only on dance but other academic areas as well. Typically a college dance department will have classes available for non-majors as well. Conservatory dance departments tend to be smaller and more selective. For dancers in the industry, there can be benefits to both. A well rounded education may be what you desire. It depends on you.
Conservatory programs are more rigorous and more focused on the specific major or art, where most programs will still include a core component if that is part of that college’s curriculum or the necessity to take course work outside of the major.
A conservatory will focus the curriculum on the arts. The degree a student will receive will likely be a BFA or something similar. A college with a dance department will offer a broader curriculum with an opportunity to minor or double major in a non-arts related field, education for example. The arts are a very competitive career choice and a student must not only be talented but either be in the right place at the right time or have the right connections. It can be difficult to make it as a performer or visual artist. College is a good choice for someone who wants a back-up plan. A conservatory would be a good choice for someone who is very talented and wants to put all their eggs in the arts basket.
The differences begin at the admission stage. Conservatories almost always require auditions. The next difference is in the curriculum. In general, college dance (or theater or music) majors are designed to give students a general overview of the discipline along with general education requirements of math, English, history, etc. The dance classes usually make up about one third of all the courses the student will take. Conservatory programs, on the other hand, are designed to train students in the discipline. Usually two thirds of their requirements are dance classes and the remainder are general education requirements. The other difference is in what is expected of students. Conservatory students, for example, have very rigid requirements about attendance and participation. However, if you miss a handful of classes as a dance major, no one will kick up much of a fuss.
Conservatory dance departments are moreso exclusively dedicated to the arts. Every student at this level is either a music or theater arts major. Conservatories also very seldom offer extra-curriculars such as greek life, sports, ect. Students also are not provided with housing, such as dorms and students are not able to obtain the true “college experience.” In comparison, college dance departments still have expectations for students to take courses in other areas of study such as math, sciences, languages, etc. They are able to participate in sports, greek life, live on campus and pursue other interests.
They are actually very different. A conserVatory program is focused strictly on th the art of dance and everything related to it. You won’t be required to take any liberal arts courses like English, a foriegn language, or math. You classes will focus on the different aspects of dance techniques and performance. It’s different than attending a school School of Dance at a college. You’ll only be with other conservatory students and it’s not your typical college experience. At a college, the dance program may or may not be audition based. If it is not audition based, these may not be as presitgious or as difficult in which to gain admission, but still be what you are looking for! Colleges may also offer a BA , BS, or a BFA degree. A BFA is about two thirds dance and dance related courses and about one third liberal arts courses. The BA is the other way around; one third dance and two thirds liberal arts courses. The BS is the least common degree and can be structured like either the BA or the BFA depending on the school. You need to do a lot of research to find out which way a BS is structured at each school. You also need to spend time doing research on the types of dance programs each college is known for. If you are planning to get a BFA, (or BS that is structured like a BFA), make sure the program is NASD (National Association of Schools of Dance) accredited or a member of Dance/USA. NASD programs set standards for dance departments to make sure that students have access to a vaired dance faculty of a certain calibre and different concentrations within their programs. Dance/USA members receive announcements abut developments/information on nationwide opportunities in dance including federal funding opportunities, develop realtionships with dance companies and get periodicals about dance to share with their students. These accreditations are important. You should also ask about opportunities for performing during the school year. Are there only a few opportunites or many? You should also look at their list of accomplished alumni to see what they are doing in the field of dance.
They are actually very different. A conserVatory program is focused strictly on th the art of dance and everythign related to it. You won’t be required to take any liberal arts courses like English, a foriegn language, or math. You classes will focus on the different aspects of dance techniques and performance. At a college, the dance program may or may not be audition based. If it is not audition based, these are not as presitgious or as difficult in which to gain admission. Colleges may also offer a BA , BS, or a BFA degree. A BFA is about two thrids dance and dance related courses and about one thrid liberal arts courses. The BA is the other way around; one third dance and two thirds liberal arts courses. The BS is the least common degree and can be structured like either the BA or the BFA depedning on the school. You need to do a lot of research to find out which way a BS is structured at each school. You also need to spend time doing research on the types of dance programs each college is known for. If you are planning to get a BFA, (or BS that is structured like a BFA), make sure the program is NASD (National Association of Schools of Dance) accredited or a member of Dance/USA. NASD programs set standards for dance departments to make sure that students have access to a vaired dance faculty of a certain calibre and different concentrations within their programs. Dance/USA members receive announcements abut developments/information on nationwide opportunities in dance including federal funding opportunities, develop realtionships with dance companies and get periodicals about dance to share with their students. These accreditations are important. You should also ask about opportunities for performing during the school year. Are there only a few opportunites or many? You should also look at their list of accomplished alumni to see what they are doing in the field of dance.
They are actually very different. A conserVatory program is focused strictly on th the art of dance and everythign related to it. You won’t be required to take any liberal arts courses like English, a foriegn language, or math. You classes will focus on the different aspects of dance techniques and performance. At a college, the dance program may or may not be audition based. If it is not audition based, these are not as presitgious or as difficult in which to gain admission, but still be what you are looking for! Colleges may also offer a BA , BS, or a BFA degree. A BFA is about two thrids dance and dance related courses and about one thrid liberal arts courses. The BA is the other way around; one third dance and two thirds liberal arts courses. The BS is the least common degree and can be structured like either the BA or the BFA depedning on the school. You need to do a lot of research to find out which way a BS is structured at each school. You also need to spend time doing research on the types of dance programs each college is known for. If you are planning to get a BFA, (or BS that is structured like a BFA), make sure the program is NASD (National Association of Schools of Dance) accredited or a member of Dance/USA. NASD programs set standards for dance departments to make sure that students have access to a vaired dance faculty of a certain calibre and different concentrations within their programs. Dance/USA members receive announcements abut developments/information on nationwide opportunities in dance including federal funding opportunities, develop realtionships with dance companies and get periodicals about dance to share with their students. These accreditations are important. You should also ask about opportunities for performing during the school year. Are there only a few opportunites or many? You should also look at their list of accomplished alumni to see what they are doing in the field of dance.
The difference is conservatory dance schools focus solely on dance (all types of styles) and college dance programs focus on dance as a major but also give student the opportunity to explore other higher learning opportunities beyond the dance field.
Conservatories are much more focused on the arts, whereas colleges (depending on the size) have a wider range of programs beyond the arts. Competition can be high at both, but conservatories will have a more exclusive focus on their arts programs, and the overwhelming majority (if not all) of the students will be majors in the arts, and so the overall experience will be much more focused on living and learning the arts. Colleges, on the other hand, will have a student body with more diverse interests, and may require more diversity of coursework (outside dance) than their conservatory counterparts.
One of the major differences is the amount and type of training that you will receive. Conservatories prepare you more for rigorous full-time training. Classes are smaller or there may be more individual attention. They also have more connections to other ballet options. A college dance department is small school within the college, There may not be as many opportunities outside of the college program depending on the reputation, location and size of the college. Since it is part of a college, the lifestyle will also be different. Not to mention there are rules and regulations that the dance department must uphold if they wish to continue their accreditation. This filters down to the expectations of the students as well.
A conservatory program will offer more of a focus on the Arts and less of a focus on overall academics than a college program would. The departments themselves would be unique based upon each individual school. I would encourage you to think about this simple question; Do you want the Arts in your life or do you want the Arts to be your life. The answer may help you focus on what type of an experience you may prefer.
College dance departments allow students to pursue majors in dance while also taking classes in other non-dance academic areas while conservatory dance schools are strictly dance oriented, with students living and interacting solely with dance students and participating in only dance.
At conservatories, almost all coursework revolves around dance and much of it is focused on dance performance. Liberal arts programs can train strong technicians and performers, too, but they offer more of a balance between arts and academics. If you just want to dance and don’t have other academic interests, then a conservatory is likely your best bet. If you’re after a broader academic/college experience, a liberal arts degree is probably better.
At a conservatory you will be dancing most of the day as that is what you are there for. You will have few classes outside of ballet.
It always pays to plan ahead, and if you know the difference between college and conservatory dance departments you will be able to make an informed choice between the two models. At a college dance department, you will be required to complete other core subjects besides dance. English, math, history, and social and behavioral science will probably be included in your list of required courses. Dance classes would complete the rest of your degree program.
A conservatory dance department focuses 100% on your dancing skills and these courses are usually not transferable to other colleges. You would have an excellent opportunity to focus on your dance skills, but not on the overall college experience or degree pathway. For the dancer who only wants to dance, dance, dance, this would be the correct decision with the academic piece of higher education being put off for the future.
Just like other questions about the best colleges, you need to determine what your requirements are in deciding which are the best programs for you personally. Look at the faculty (training, teaching styles and affiliations). Where are the alumni working? Are they dancing professionally? Are they teaching and if so, where? Research and learn about performance opportunities. What are the audition requirements for the ballet program? Who were the guest artists in recent years? Look at the course offerings and become familiar with the requirements. Finally, visit the campus. Can you arrange to participate in a ballet class or at least observe one? Connect with and speak to current dance majors.
Again, dance is an unfamiliar area. I would conduct research before giving anyone advice.
There are a great number of opportunities in various dance programs and this is a good time to become familiar with the differences among them. A conservatory is a professionally based dance program that is committed to training students who want to dance as a career. Students within a focused conservatory setting will typically train all day, several days a week. This type of intensive curriculum does not have much room for liberal arts classes or other courses. A dance program within a liberal arts college will offer a dance program (taking various dance classes within the department) and also the opportunity to complete a liberal arts core curriculum. This is a good fit for students who want to major in dance but also want to pursue other (academic) interests. It is best to investigate the admissions/audition requirements, in addition to, the dance curriculum at a number of schools and see which type of program is best suited for you.
At a conservatory dance program, the resources are concentrated on that one specific discipline, vs. a college, where they are spread across many. If a student does not like a conservatory then a transfer may be in order to a college that would offer strong dance programs, but where the student could perhaps change their major or concentration to something other than dance, while still maintaining a strong dance focus.
Conservatory programs are more specific to the performance selected. The program is extremely weighted to performance. A college program will require more general liberal arts courses.
Per research into the topic many dancers have been in the field their entire lives and are looking to become professionals and make dance their career. If that is your focus a Conservatory is the better option, typically they are rigorous programs and highly competitive.
The key difference between college and conservatory dance programs relates to the goals for graduates. Think carefully about the ideal setting for your professional and personal goals. Do you want the intensity of BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) program that ultimately prepares dancers for roles as professional dancers? For some, dance may be a passion, but not a career goal. Students seeking a broad academic experience should consider small liberal arts schools which offer greater opportunities for double majoring.
Serious dancers have choices to make to pursue their passion to a professional career. The differences in these three choices primarily reflect the amount of focused study in dance to the inclusion or exclusion of other subject areas.
The most simple way to generalize the differences between a dance conservatory program (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and a dance major within a liberal arts college (Bachelor of Arts) is the amount of time you will spend in dance classes. Typically, with any conservatory program, 2/3 of your classes will be in the arts while only the remaining 1/3 will be general education; as a major within a liberal arts program, that ratio is reversed. Conservatory programs tend to be more competitive and rigorous, while taking an arts major leaves you more time to dabble in other academic areas and develop other skills.
The difference isn’t the quality of academics. The difference is that you won’t have the traditional college experience if you attend a conservatory. There won’t be any college football games, fraternities/sororities, coursework in topics like science or US History, etc.
Do you love to dance so much that everything else feels like an intrusion? Are your closest friends all dancers? Do you have trouble thinking of things you want to learn in college beside dance? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, a conservatory program might suit you well. As a college dance major, approximately 1/3 of your courses will be dance or dance related. In a conservatory program, between 2/3 and ¾ of your courses will be dance. The remaining courses in both programs will be general academic courses. You can get good training and preparation for a career in dance or related fields in both programs. The difference is focus and intensity.
when we visited Boston Consevatory as a group of counselors, we had the opportunity to talk to students and ask them many questions about how competitive it was as applicants.
the difference in my view is that size and specialization of the programs.
for example, students at Boston Conservatory can take classes from many nearby colleges and universities where students can enjoy varies of classes and activities.
In a conservatory program, artistic credentials are likely to be more important than academics in the admissions process. Conservatory programs will always require an audition and approximately 3/4 of coursework will be in dance. There will be fewer non-dance opportunities than at a college or university. All students at the conservatory will be in the art/dance field. At graduation, you will earn a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree.
Conservatories are highly focused on arts, specifically fine arts as opposed to liberal. Depending on what you’re looking to do thereafter (perform, teach, etc.) you may lean more towards a degree in pedagogy where the required courses emphasize academics/fundamentals more than performance.
Colleges, on the other hand, will have a student body with more diverse interests, and may require you to complete coursework outside of the area of dance. Finally, if ever unsure, check with your local college academic adviser for more information. Hope this helps!
In some settings, conservatory and college dance departments can be similar, but my understanding is that the peripheral activities for students vary greaty depending on whether one is enrolled in a college program or a conservatory. Conservatories are dedicated, comprehensive programs focused on developing a students’ talents for professional exposure and/or placements. While conservatory programs many vary individually, students are usually screened to allow only the most gifted and motivated artists to be selected for work with a master teacher or artists. On the other hand, performance departments within a college setting usually offer greater variability with regards to the expertise required for selection and participation. Students often enroll in college departments may enjoy dance (or even musical theatre) and wish to improve their talents, but some may not wish to commit to a professional career as a performer. To my understanding,a college program may set the stage for professional work, but may not provide the comprehensive training to elevate one’s abilities from school to stage. Some dance professionals have told me that if a student wishes to work on stage as a career, he or she should forgo college and enroll at a conservatory, where students do not have the “distractions” of college life or other academic requirements needed to earn a degree. I don’t feel qualified to comment on this debate, but if professional selection and performance is the ultimate goal for a student, I usually suggest that she or he explore the conservatory route first.
It’s a big difference. Conservatories are very small and intense environments almost strictly devoted to producing performers. They are extremely competitive, and often socially challenging. These are for the performers who believe they will rise to the top 5% of the actual conservatory’s class, because that’s how hard it is to get a performance spot on the outside. College departments can be just as challenging, technically, but when you attend an arts performance program within a college or university you have the ability to both feel the comfort of a larger setting and broaden your horizons. You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket, and you will often have a more general college experience. That said, some of the college performance depts are just as intense as conservatories, and they can often feel like little cordoned-off sections of the world as well. You can definitely become a performer from attending a college department, but it will be a little harder on the outside. You may have less connections to practicing performers. However, you will also have more flexibility and the chance to work outside the realm of performance, which is often priceless.
The short answer distinction between college and conservatory programs lies not just in the strength of the dance program, but also rests in the availability of other programs. Conservatories can polish one’s dance skills but may not allow students to pursue other educational opportunities as well. Because studies indicate most college freshmen change their major at least once before graduating, it is best to be somewhere that will have the other opportunities that may hold an appeal for prospective freshmen. But if that passion to dance is there, has been there and will remain there forever, certainly a dance conservatory may be the best place to get the training to reach the rank of a professional dancer.
Depending on what you would like to study and how you would like to study can point you in the right direction as to whether a liberal arts college or a conservatory dance program is right for you. Taking the time to do your due diligence will help you to become more knowledgeable about how each school approaches this major and what the benefits are of each. There are two main differences to consider when deciding between a college and a conservatory: a traditional college experience versus a non traditional college experience, and surrounding yourself within the arts or taking other courses in general education electives. Which is better for you? It depends ~ which is why this process can be so fun and exciting! Immerse yourself in your college planning process; you will become more confident in your selection when it comes time to pick your college choice.
The main difference between a Conservatory and a typical liberal arts degree is how much time you are spending on the art (in this case dance). Conservatory degrees are extremely focused and typically much harder to get into than a regular liberal arts degree in dance/theater/art. You typically will need to audition and this audition will account for most if not all of the decision on whether you are accepted to that school. For a liberal arts program their may or may not be an audition but your grades and scores will likely count the most in their decision. Talent is one thing to think about when you are deciding whether to apply to a conservatory or liberal arts program, another thing to think about is whether you have additional interests that you also want to pursue in college. You will have little time to take classes in other areas during a conservatory program.
If you want the “true” college experience (sports, Greek Life, residence hall, etc.) then you should consider a college. Many colleges offers dance but remember you will still be required to complete the general academic requirements (Science, Math, English, and Foreign Language, in addition to Dance courses). If you are serious about your dancing and a good arts student, then consider a conservatory which provides more intense focus on arts/dance curriculum. Yes, you will still have to complete the required courses (English, History, and Science) but will have a greater focus on your dance.
The primary difference between college and conservatory dance departments comes in rigor and selectivity. Conservatory admissions is based heavily on the audition, whereas most college dance departments are not too selective. As a result, college dance programs will have a much wider range of talent, and dancers will be able to take advantage of many non-dance opportunities, both academically and extracurricularly. In conservatory, every single element of study will focus on dance and elements of performance. The environment is more specialized and (usually) more rigorous. Essentially, a conservatory trains its students to be professional artists whereas a college teaches the arts in a wider context.
The choice of college and conservatory dance departments should relate to a dancer’s interest in liberal arts or dance as a profession after graduation. There are many fine dance programs at liberal arts institutions such as Barnard, Duke, Wash U, Williams and Vassar, to name a few. Students who attend these schools will come with a more broad background than those attending conservatories, and in theory would be better prepared for a career in dance management or in the world outside the stage, should their lives take them down such paths. This is a serious and very expensive decision, so candidates are strongly advised to visit both and ask many questions in the process. Speaking to ballet teachers and dance company members would also be advisable.
While conservatories focus primarily on dance, colleges offer a blending of dance and academics. Students hoping to experience “college life” may be wise to consider a college program over a conservatory. More serious dancers or those wishing to postpone their academic pursuits may wish to enter a conservatory.
The most important difference between a college/university and conservatory dance department is the actual degree you will be earning. A BA program, most commonly offered at a college, is composed of approx. one-third art (dance)-related coursework, and the balance in liberal arts and required courses. A BFA, on the other hand, is considered a professional degree, and the ratio of arts to non-arts course is opposite: about 2/3 dance and 1/3 liberal arts. As such, your dance major will be more rigorous and you may have more opportunities for professional networking. Let me be clear – a great education can be earned in either type of program, in any setting – urban, suburban, college town. Deciding on which direction to pursue is all about what will be the right place (and fit) for you for the next four years. Also, either degree is admissible if you pursue an MA or MFA program in Dance or other performing arts.
Conservatory is highly competitive, rigorous, and focused for those who look to dancing as a primary career. College programs my also be competitive and rigorous but they will offer more flexibility to explore other career options.
The primary difference between college dance departments and conservatory dance departments is the difference between a comprehensive education and a specialized training focus. College dance majors are often required to take courses that may have a broader, more liberal arts bent, while conservatory programs focus on performance and specifically on performance arts. If the student is committed to performance arts, then a conservatory approach might be the best avenue to consider. However, if the student wants a broader education with a major in dance, then considering a college with a strong dance department would be suggested. The college approach would be a more generalized approach, while the conservatory would be a more professional training in the performance arts approach.
Colleges that offer dance programs have a more liberal arts focus where students still are required to take other courses to earn a degree while a conservatory is more focused in the dance curriculum. Students attending a college with a dance program can take dance as a non-major and do not necessarily have to audition for the program. They can take dance for leisure. On the other hand, students applying to conservatory must audition to getting in the program as they must be strong candidates for the program as they intend to pursue a career in dancing. Dancing is a real passion for them.
Conservatories are often very competitive when it comes to the admissions process, and they are very specialized within a particular field of study. Students within a conservatory dance department spend many hours of their day dancing. College dance programs tend to be more balanced among the other expectations of college life. Courses, student life, studying, etc. in college are all very important, while dance in the conservatory is the main focus.
Students can enter a college/university and pursue a dance major therefore enjoy pursuing their passion while also pursuing an additional liberal arts degree or general education classes in pursuit of some other type of degree. In a sense allowing an individual to pursue the best of both worlds.
Not all colleges offer a performing arts programs. Lets research conservatory dance programs and schools the it together.
Depending upon the goals after college is how a student should determine whether a college or a conservatory is better for them.
Some students are ready to eat, sleep and breathe dancing. They are looking for focus, intensity, rigor and a competitive program that will prepare them for performance. Dance is their life and future career goal. A conservatory or pre-professional program is the right way to go for these students. On the other hand, students who love dance and want to pursue it as a major but also want to continue to expand their base of knowledge in other academic areas would be better served in a liberal arts college or university program.
A college teaches many subjects and offers different types of degrees in different subjects. A dance conservatory teaches only dance – they may teach different types of dance, but they only offer dance.
Conservatory is performance and training based. Colleges will give you a degree
Conservatory Dance Companies are danced focused. It is intensive preparation into the field of dance. College dance departments are one part of a students education, and provide a well rounded education as well as concentrations in dance
While each program will provide dance instruction, the intensity and professional preparation will be significantly greater with a conservatory dance program, and is usually the choice for those wanting to become a professional dancer.
Colleges and Universitys offer degree programs while conservatories typically teach dance and have community performances, but they do not offer degrees. When searching for a degree program, it is wise to choose colleges and univeristies that are regionally accredited.
College gives you the ability to be dancer
A liberal arts college will offer the student options for their future that a conservatory can’t, it’s too limited. Additionally, if the student has a physical injury, their career can end on the spot. A dancer’s career has a finite limit; a BA or BS degree has no restrictions or limitations as far as the future.
he key difference between college and conservatory dance programs relates to the goals for graduates. Think carefully about the ideal setting for your professional and personal goals. Do you want the intensity of BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) program that ultimately prepares dancers for roles as professional dancers? For some, dance may be a passion, but not a career goal. Students seeking a broad…
A “college” has a much more broadly defined curriculum and more “holistic” than a conservatory curriculum. If you only want classes specifically targeted towards a conservatory and nothing else (meaning, you will not learn beyond the conservatory) – then you do not want a college program.
College programs are general programs offered to students who register. Conservatory dance departments are specialzed, competitive, and require tryouts to participate.
Colleges offer a variety of majors and dance might be one of those majors or minors they offer. A conscervatory focuses on teaching the performing arts, from dance to drama and music. There are conservatories within the confines of a college, such as SUNY-Purchase for example, or you may have stand-alone conservatories such as Peabody or Curtis. The goal of a conservatory education is to train the student for an immediate career in the chosen art, so it’s less academically focused and more experientially and hands-on focused.
Typically students in conservatory programs spend a preponderance of their focused work in the selected speciality. While many dance programs exists, specialization requires concerted effort, often more than four hours a day. This reality is weighed agains other studies in general college settings. In conservatory, your investment is largely in your chosen craft specialty and other programs are accommodated around your planned professional emphasis.
Conservatory dance departments focus on performance at the professional level. College dance departments incorporate dance into the curriculum of the college and students are more likely to have a traditional college experience.
Conservatories typically offer a sepcific area of focus and in this case, dance. A college dance department will provide you with both a dance background and a traditional education. Remember too, that some colleges have a conservatory within the university itself. If you are committed to dance and know that this is your path a conservatory is a great option. However, if there is any doubt, a tradiitonal college program will provide an easier transition if there is a change of heart.
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