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Conservatory of Dance

The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College offers BFA and MFA programs that prepare students for careers in the professional dance world. The BFA curriculum offers the serious and dedicated dance student professional training in classical ballet and contemporary modern dance, as well as an extensive composition curriculum. Performance—on campus and on tour—is an integral and required part of professional dance training at Purchase.

The Conservatory of Dance BFA program emphasizes performance and choreography. Courses in music for dance, dance history, dance production, improvisation, anatomy for dance, and other related arts provide the foundation for each dance student to build a personal artistic vision. The rigorous standards are based on the levels of achievement found in the professional dance world.

The MFA program in the Conservatory of Dance is designed to develop the choreographic or performance/teaching skills of serious and dedicated dance artists. The individual attention of the faculty, superb facility, proximity to New York City, and unique balance of artists in the music, theatre design/technology, and visual arts graduate programs provide a stimulating atmosphere for the mature artist.

The Conservatory of Dance is a member of the U.S. Council of Dance Administrators.

The award-winning Dance Building, designed by Gunner Birkerts, is the first facility in the U.S. to be constructed solely for the study and performance of dance. The 10 fully equipped studios, saunas, and Dance Theatre Lab provide students with space, light, physical therapy, and inspiration. Conservatory of Dance students also enjoy numerous opportunities to perform at the Performing Arts Center.

Entrance Auditions
All prospective BFA students are required to audition at the announced audition times, on campus or regionally, to qualify for admission to the Conservatory of Dance. Students may audition two times and return for one callback, if they are requested to do so by the conservatory, within a 12-month period. Students must audition within 10 months of their anticipated enrollment date. MFA candidates must audition on campus (regional auditions are not available). International students living outside the continental U.S. may audition by DVD or YouTube link. For additional information, updates, and audition schedules during 2013–2015, please visit or contact the Office of Admissions (www.purchase.edu/Departments/Admissions/ApplicationInstructions/conservatoryofdance.aspx).

After Purchase College
Alumni of the Conservatory of Dance perform in companies throughout the world, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, American Repertory Ballet, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Mark Morris Dance Group, Houston Ballet, Doug Varone and Dancers, Pilobolus, Ballet Municipal de Santiago, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Trisha Brown Company, Frankfurt Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Feld Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Limón Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, David Parsons Company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Twyla Tharp and Dancers, and in Broadway musicals. Alumni like Doug Varone, Nicolo Fonte, Tere O’Connor, and Kevin Wynn have founded their own companies or are performing, teaching, and choreographing as guest artists around the world.

Wallie Wolfgruber, MFA, Director, Conservatory of Dance

For updates during 2013–2015, please visit www.purchase.edu/dance.

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Conservatory of Dance:


Dance BFA Program

Concentrations &
Academic Requirements:

Dance Composition
Dance Production

Undergraduate Courses:
DPB 1000–4999
DPC 1000–4999
DPD 1000–4999
DPM 1000–4999
SOA 1000–4999*
*open to students in all disciplines

Dance MFA Program

Academic Requirements

Graduate Courses:
DPC 5000–5999
DPD 5000–5999
DPG 5000–5999
DPM 5000–5999

Related Information:

Performing Arts Center

Program Progress &
Professional Standards

(Academic Policies)