Master of Fine Arts in Dance

Website: https://twu.edu/dance/graduate-dance-programs/master-of-fine-arts-mfa/

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance program provides students with opportunities to acquire and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to participate significantly in the field of contemporary dance. Through the development, implementation, and expansion of individual artistic vision and goals, the program prepares students to excel in critical engagement while exploring innovative formats, venues, and creative processes as a choreographer, performer, researcher/writer, and arts leader. The M.F.A. program is a 3-year program of study focused on developing an understanding of contemporary dance practices that values individual somatic engagement and diverse approaches to implementing artistic visions in shifting professional landscapes, including the ability to use and adapt a variety of technologies in ways that will expand notions of where and how to reach dance audiences.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Acquire sophisticated analysis and improvisation skills by applying advanced research methods, bodywork techniques, movement analysis, and creative process models, to develop, synthesize and understand complex content, creatively problem solve, manage details, make decisions about abstract information when a problem asks for it.
  2. Obtain project management skills by developing, planning, managing, and evaluating professional projects that fall within a mission of an organization by using artistic, community, and pedagogical dance models and leading independent dance events, dance companies, and/or arts organizations.
  3. Cultivate ethical teamwork and cooperative learning skills by applying collaborative dance making models to develop the appropriate personal and professional values and an ability to make sound judgments based on work-related situations in groups.
  4. Develop interpersonal skills by using movement analysis theories, personal management, and collaborative dance-making models when working with performance groups and producing creative products with teams.

Admissions

All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

63 semester credit hours (SCH), including choreography/performance culminating project and professional paper. The M.F.A. is a three-year course of study.

Technique (Must be registered for at least one technique course every semester)
Six credits of either of the following are required6
Techniques in Contemporary Dance I
Techniques in Contemporary Dance II
Three additional credits, which may also include3
Advanced Ballet Technique I
Advanced Ballet Technique II
Independent Study (Urban Global)
Choreography & Performance/Creating a Body of Work
Developing Artistic Vision and Practice:
DNCE 5211Workshop in Dance (Somatic Practices)1
DNCE 5232Improvisation and Spontaneous Choreography2
DNCE 5233Workshop in Dance (Guest Artist Residency)3
DNCE 5252Dance Choreography: Art of Remembering2
DNCE 5253Artistic Process3
DNCE 5262Dance in Alternative Venues2
DNCE 5272Dance Artist as Entrepreneur: Grant Writing and Media Marketing2
Implementing Artistic Vision/Practice:
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project (Taken three times.)9
DNCE 5453Culminating Project I: Project Proposal3
DNCE 5463Culminating Project II: Rehearsal and Performance3
Performance:
DNCE 5101Dance Performance/Choreography (Taken two times.)2
Dance Praxis
DNCE 5023Methods of Research in Dance3
DNCE 5223Historical and Cultural Study of Dance3
DNCE 5243Pedagogical Foundations for Dance3
DNCE 5433Contemporary Contexts of Dance3
DNCE 5973Professional Paper (with Final Oral Presentation)3
Electives7
Total SCHs63

Special Requirements

Continuation in the program is contingent upon successful completion of the first year review. Students unable to complete either the Culminating Project Proposal or Culminating Project Analysis within two semesters may be dismissed from the program. 

Comprehensive Final Examination

Oral examination encompassing academic and artistic aspects of the program. May be repeated once at discretion of the committee.

Special Requirements for all Master’s Degrees

Students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better in all courses applied to the degree. A grade of C or below in any course will not count toward the Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree.

Attendance Requirement

The program requires one summer intensive and two weekend residencies in the Fall and Spring semesters during the coursework. Students should follow the prescribed sequence of courses, and attend all on-campus residencies and meetings.  Contact the Department of Dance for the dates of summer intensives and residencies.

Suggested Sequence of Coursework for Those Starting in Fall of Odd Years

Year 1
Fall Odd Years (11 sch)
DNCE 5023Methods of Research in Dance3
DNCE 5101Dance Performance/Choreography1
DNCE 5232Improvisation and Spontaneous Choreography2
DNCE 5253Artistic Process3
DNCE 5281Advanced Ballet Technique I1
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
Spring Even Years (12 sch)
DNCE 5101Dance Performance/Choreography1
DNCE 5223Historical and Cultural Study of Dance3
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
Electives3
Summer I Even Years (3 sch)
DNCE 5233Workshop in Dance (Guest Artist Residency)3
Year 2
Fall Even Years (10 sch)
DNCE 5252Dance Choreography: Art of Remembering2
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
DNCE 5433Contemporary Contexts of Dance3
DNCE 5911Independent Study (Urban Global)1
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
Spring Odd Years (13 sch)
DNCE 5211Workshop in Dance (Somatic Practices)1
DNCE 5262Dance in Alternative Venues2
DNCE 5243Pedagogical Foundations for Dance3
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
DNCE 5453Culminating Project I: Project Proposal3
Year 3
Fall Odd Years (9 sch)
DNCE 5281Advanced Ballet Technique I1
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
DNCE 5463Culminating Project II: Rehearsal and Performance3
Electives 4
Spring Even Years (6 sch)
DNCE 5272Dance Artist as Entrepreneur: Grant Writing and Media Marketing2
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5973Professional Paper3
Total SCHs63

Suggested Sequence of Coursework for Those Starting in Fall of Even Years

Year 1
Fall Even Years (11 sch)
DNCE 5023Methods of Research in Dance3
DNCE 5101Dance Performance/Choreography1
DNCE 5252Dance Choreography: Art of Remembering2
DNCE 5281Advanced Ballet Technique I1
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
DNCE 5433Contemporary Contexts of Dance3
Spring Odd Years (10 sch)
DNCE 5101Dance Performance/Choreography1
DNCE 5262Dance in Alternative Venues2
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
Electives3
Summer I Odd Year (3 sch)
DNCE 5233Workshop in Dance (Guest Artist Residency)3
Year 2
Fall Odd Years (10 sch)
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
DNCE 5232Improvisation and Spontaneous Choreography2
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
DNCE 5911Independent Study (Urban Global)1
DNCE 5253Artistic Process3
Spring Even Years (12 sch)
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5272Dance Artist as Entrepreneur: Grant Writing and Media Marketing2
DNCE 5223Historical and Cultural Study of Dance3
DNCE 5443Independent Dance Making Project3
DNCE 5453Culminating Project I: Project Proposal3
Year 3
Fall Even Years (9 sch)
DNCE 5301Techniques in Contemporary Dance I1
DNCE 5281Advanced Ballet Technique I1
DNCE 5463Culminating Project II: Rehearsal and Performance3
Electives4
Spring Odd Years (8 sch)
DNCE 5973Professional Paper3
DNCE 5311Techniques in Contemporary Dance II1
DNCE 5243Pedagogical Foundations for Dance3
DNCE 5211Workshop in Dance (Somatic Practices)1
Total SCHs63