What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

Reena Gold Kamins
Founder College, Career & Life, LLC.

Do you want to be a trained dancer or have general knowledge about dance?

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.

Mr C Coakley
President Academic Coaching Services

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

Mollie Reznick
Associate Director The College Connection

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

John Lee

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

Ryan Aldrich
Director of College Counseling The White Mountain School

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

Zulema Wascher
Counselor Rio Rico High School

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

A college is part of a university. And a conservatory is dedicated only to dance, or fine arts.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

A panoramic view versus microscopic vision 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.

Angela Conley
College Admission Expert VentureForth

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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.

Patty Finer

What are the differences between college and conservatory dance departments?

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 thier professional and personal goals will be met. If the student's goal is one of profession, they may want to consider the intensity of BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) program that ultimately prepares dancers for roles as professional dancers. For others, dance may be a passion, but not a career goal.