Programs

Dance

BFA HONOURS

Offered as:
Full-time and Part-time

Entry in:
Summer, Fall and Winter



Dance Students

OVERVIEW

Dance

Designed to inspire, develop and enhance creative and critical moving and thinking, AMPD’s Department of Dance curriculum balances physical and intellectual learning. Students in Canada’s largest and most comprehensive dance program graduate as innovative, thoughtful and articulate dance professionals who are ready to be engaged leaders in diverse communities.

Dance students take a common first-year and then branch into one of two streams according to their interests and goals. Upper-year students may audition to join the department’s resident company, the York Dance Ensemble. Students also have the opportunity to gain valuable training in lighting design and dance production, to embrace emerging media and integrate technology into their dance practices, and to extend their professional experience through field placements, collaborative research and guest teaching.

HIGHLIGHTS

Top 6 reasons to apply

First and most comprehensive dance program in Canada

The foundation year introduces multi-facetted opportunities in dance

Two streams to choose from in second- to fourth-year

Multiple pathways to choose from in years three and four

State-of-the-art studio and performance facilities

Supportive environment that fosters optimal learning and development

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Opportunity to join the resident dance company, the York Dance Ensemble

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Placement courses in which students teach in diverse community settings

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Collaborations with professional guest choreographers and artistic directors

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Performance and lighting design opportunities in world-class, professional facilities

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Opportunity to choreograph and perform pieces which are presented publicly

HIGHLIGHTS

Experiential Education

  • Senior project fosters networking and the transition to professional practice

Year One

Student dancing

OVERVIEW

Incoming students share a common first-year foundational curriculum in which they take courses across the various areas of Dance, after which they stream into one of two areas: Performance/ Choreography or Dance Education.

The foundation-year engages students in dance classes with the entire first-year class. Students take contemporary modern and contemporary ballet classes every day. The Introduction to Dance Studies courses offer inspiration and a foundation in the many contexts of Dance in the world. Production courses provide the opportunity for students to understand and experience everything that goes into producing a dance piece. Students have lots of opportunities to get involved in the performances that will happen throughout the year, as well as the option to participate in the Dance Student Association and enjoy socializing with fellow dance students from all four years of the program.

The foundation-year engages students in dance classes with the entire first-year class. Students take contemporary modern and contemporary ballet classes every day. The Introduction to Dance Studies courses offer inspiration and a foundation in the many contexts of Dance in the world. Production courses provide the opportunity for students to understand and experience everything that goes into producing a dance piece. Students have lots of opportunities to get involved in the performances that will happen throughout the year, as well as the option to participate in the Dance Student Association and enjoy socializing with fellow dance students from all four years of the program.

Our BFA Honours degree offers two streams of study: Dance Education and Choreography/Performance.

Following the foundation-year experience, students complete their studies in one of the two specialized streams. Each year in April, faculty assist first-year BFA students in choosing a stream by assessing area strengths demonstrated during their first two academic terms of study.

First year highlights

Become immersed in the Dance program from day one

Prime Time

LEADING EDGE PRACTICES

Use dance and media technology to create innovative, leading edge projects.

Play Ground

PERFORMANCE PRODUCTION

Learn valuable production and design skills that support you in becoming a well-rounded professional

Faculty Advisors

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

Develop your performing abilities by auditioning to dance in department shows.

Sample courses

Ballet/Contemporary Dance

This course offers Ballet technique for dance majors. Ongoing training develops artistic expression, classical ballet vocabulary, musicality and performance skills.

Contemporary/Modern Dance

This course offers Contemporary/Modern dance technique for dance majors. Ongoing training develops artistic expression, modern dance vocabulary, musicality and performance skills.

Human Anatomy for the Fine Arts

This is an introductory course on the structure and function of the human body specifically oriented towards the needs of students in Fine Arts. Body systems are studied from anatomical, physiological and biomechanical perspectives.

Dance Studies in the 21st Century

This blended course, engages students in a social media-enhanced dialogue concerning dance, history, anthropology and cultural studies to develop their own research identity. The course encourages students to position dance both in terms of theory and movement in its social, political, and economic contexts.

Dance Production

This course encompasses the specific expertise necessary in each area for the mounting of a dance production. Students will be assigned to, and responsible for one of the areas of production for each show: lighting, sound, projections, wardrobe, stage management, or front-of-house. Ultimately, students will develop an understanding of how all of the various departments of a production team work collaboratively to create a unified dance production.

YOUR CHOICE OF TWO STREAMS

Years two to four

Theatre Students

OVERVIEW

The Choreography/Performance stream offers students opportunities for creative engagement with initiating, forming and presenting works of dance. With studio experience at its core, this training will provide students with skill in devising innovative movement and structuring choreography, through understanding choreographic elements and principles, and in the presentation of dance in various live performance venues and online media platforms.

Graduates of this stream may go on to develop within the professional dance milieu as emerging dance artists, or seek further qualification and training in the growing fields of dance production, technology, arts administration, science and/or somatic practices.

Program highlights

Become immersed in the Dance program from day one

Learn from Canada’s dance leaders

The program offers current contemporary dance experience informed by fifty years of leadership in Dance education.

Experience many forms of dance

Learn about the rich history and traditions of dance from across the globe, as well as present day global perspectives.

Develop skills for a rich and rewarding career

Experience a well-integrated curriculum that explores the many facets of dance artistry, opening up career possibilities.

Learn a broad base of skills for real-world application

Opportunity to not only perform and create dance pieces, but to produce and manage the many aspects of public performances and performance-based events

Sample courses

Choreography (2nd Year)

This course introduces the study of the basic principles of dance composition. Both practical movement studies and analytic/critical work will be employed to explore the creative process and to begin to develop the craft and skills of choreography.

Dance Video & Intermedial Performance

This multidisciplinary studio course explores the design and production of dance on camera. It covers the practical aspects of video production from expressed intention through distribution. Students have hands-on experience lighting, shooting, and editing dance video and the opportunity to investigate video production and projection for intermedial dance presentations.

Traditional and Current Dances of Sub-Saharan Africa

This course introduces students to selected African dance forms in their cultural contexts such as Ghanaian, Togolese, Beninois, Nigerian and Guinean, including the effects of contemporary changes on these art forms.

THE STARS OF THE THEATRE AT YORK PROGRAM

Notable Alumni

Nicole Marrello is a dance educator who is trained in ballet, jazz and tap. She has taught at schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area as well as summer classes with the American Academy of Ballet.

Nicole Marrello Dance Educator
BFA 2007, MA 2009

Megan Andrews is a dance artist, scholar, educator and writer. Her work covers a broad spectrum of dance theory and practice in movement and performance. Megan received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship for 2017 to undertake an artistic research project in scoring and perceptual practices in dance.

Megan Andrews Artist, Scholar, Educator and Writer
BFA 1993, MA 2001, PhD 2016

Carmelina Martin’s teaching career spans over two decades in the Peel District School Board in Ontario. She is a founding member for the National Roundtable for Teacher Education in the Arts, founder and director of Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference and a recipient of the Ontario Premier Teacher of the Year Award in 2011.

Carmelina Martin Teacher
BFA 1990

Yvonne Ng is a dancer, choreographer, presenter, producer, curator and arts educator. She is the Artistic Director and creative instigator behind tiger princess dance projects, which has been in operation since 1996.

Yvonne Ng Choreographer, Dancer, Arts Educator
BFA 1987, MA 2018

Debra Brown is an award winning choreographer. She received an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles for her efforts as the creative force behind the Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to special effects at the 74th Annual Academy Awards.

Debra Brown Choreographer
BFA 1978

Justine Comfort is a contemporary dancer and dance educator. She is a founding member of Half Second Echo is a Toronto based contemporary dance collective, she has danced freelance for various choreographers and instructs figure skaters in off-ice dance and conditioning.

Justine Comfort Contemporary Dancer and Educator
BFA 2013

Christopher House was the Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre for 25 years from 1994-2019. He has also directed two collaborations with indie-pop band The Hidden Cameras, and in 2015 was a contributing choreographer with Cirque du Soleil for the Opening Ceremony of the Pan Am Games in Toronto

Christopher House Artistic Director
BFA 1979

Shanny Rann is the Editor of Dance Central and a PhD student in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on the role of gender within Tai Chi practice in Vancouver. Her previous research on ‘cham, a Tibetan Buddhist dance ritual, was conducted in the Himalayas with refugee monks and has been published in Recherches en Danse as well as Ausdance.

Shanny Rann PhD Candidate. Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Dance Studies MA 2013

Theatre Students

OVERVIEW

The Dance Education stream offers students the opportunity to explore theoretical and practical aspects of teaching dance in a range of settings. Through theory and practice, students develop skills for leading dance classes with diverse populations that may include children, adolescents, adults of all ages, as well as marginalized individuals and those with disabilities.

Upon graduation, students in this stream will be prepared to pursue dance leadership positions in recreational, community, and private educational settings, as well as to pursue a consecutive degree in Education, graduate level studies, and/or other certifications.

Program highlights

Become immersed in the Dance Education program from day one

Develop skills for teaching in diverse contexts

Gain pedagogical skills for teaching dance to a wide variety of populations, understanding the particular needs and appropriate techniques for those groups.

Prepare for a multifaceted career

Experience an integrated curriculum that supports students as you explore the many facets of dance education, increasing personal insights and career opportunities.

Apply your skills in community settings

Placement courses give students opportunities to teach dance in a variety of contexts, gaining valuable real-world experience.

Sample courses

Teaching Dance to Youth

This course presents theories, models, tools, strategies, and applications for teaching age appropriate dance to the preadolescent and beyond (ages eight and older); explores contexts for dance learning appropriate for the young dancer’s progress and experience; develops concepts of skill acquisition and the arts-making processes of dance creation with and for young people; and demonstrates approaches to integrating dance to life and other disciplines.

Embodied Thought: Moving, Dancing, Learning

This course is an experiential look at the relationship between movement, awareness and thought. Practical and theoretical studies in selected methods of somatic education provide a context for motor/sensory experimentation and highlight embodied movement as a way to consider issues such as creativity, problem solving, focus and social interaction.

Community Dance Education

This course provides students with theories, tools, strategies, and applications for teaching dance to a range of community populations, which might include older adults and/or people with mobility or other personal or societal challenges. Students will learn to plan, teach, and assess movement experiences for various community populations using a range of dance forms. In addition to lectures and studio work, this course includes a 1-hour practicum.

THE STARS OF THE THEATRE AT YORK PROGRAM

Notable Alumni

Nicole Marrello is a dance educator who is trained in ballet, jazz and tap. She has taught at schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area as well as summer classes with the American Academy of Ballet.

Nicole Marrello Dance Educator
BFA 2007, MA 2009

Megan Andrews is a dance artist, scholar, educator and writer. Her work covers a broad spectrum of dance theory and practice in movement and performance. Megan received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship for 2017 to undertake an artistic research project in scoring and perceptual practices in dance.

Megan Andrews Artist, Scholar, Educator and Writer
BFA 1993, MA 2001, PhD 2016

Carmelina Martin’s teaching career spans over two decades in the Peel District School Board in Ontario. She is a founding member for the National Roundtable for Teacher Education in the Arts, founder and director of Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference and a recipient of the Ontario Premier Teacher of the Year Award in 2011.

Carmelina Martin Teacher
BFA 1990

Yvonne Ng is a dancer, choreographer, presenter, producer, curator and arts educator. She is the Artistic Director and creative instigator behind tiger princess dance projects, which has been in operation since 1996.

Yvonne Ng Choreographer, Dancer, Arts Educator
BFA 1987, MA 2018

Debra Brown is an award winning choreographer. She received an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles for her efforts as the creative force behind the Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to special effects at the 74th Annual Academy Awards.

Debra Brown Choreographer
BFA 1978

Justine Comfort is a contemporary dancer and dance educator. She is a founding member of Half Second Echo is a Toronto based contemporary dance collective, she has danced freelance for various choreographers and instructs figure skaters in off-ice dance and conditioning.

Justine Comfort Contemporary Dancer and Educator
BFA 2013

Christopher House was the Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre for 25 years from 1994-2019. He has also directed two collaborations with indie-pop band The Hidden Cameras, and in 2015 was a contributing choreographer with Cirque du Soleil for the Opening Ceremony of the Pan Am Games in Toronto

Christopher House Artistic Director
BFA 1979

Shanny Rann is the Editor of Dance Central and a PhD student in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on the role of gender within Tai Chi practice in Vancouver. Her previous research on ‘cham, a Tibetan Buddhist dance ritual, was conducted in the Himalayas with refugee monks and has been published in Recherches en Danse as well as Ausdance.

Shanny Rann PhD Candidate. Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Dance Studies MA 2013

JOINT DIPLOMA AND DEGREE

Affiliated Programs

The Department of Dance offers programs designed to meet the professional interests of incoming students. We have a number of transfer credit agreements with Professional Training institutions in Canada.

Dance BFA students interested in a ballet-focused studio teaching career can consider our five-year Joint Diploma/Degree Program with Canada’s National Ballet School. In this program, Dance majors combine study toward their Honours BFA in Dance with the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). The program’s five years of study are divided into two possible routes, Option A and Option B:

Option A

Three years in the York University Department of Dance, followed by two years at NBS. Students wishing to pursue this program are advised to declare their interest during their first year of study at York University, and to complete their audition for the National Ballet School at the end of their first year.

Once accepted by NBS, students in this Joint Program receive specialized advising so that all the graduation requirements for York are met during the three years. Prior to entering the NBS portion of the program, students are expected to have successfully completed their Royal Academy of Dance or Cecchetti Elementary Examination.

Option B

Three years at NBS, followed by two years in the York University Department of Dance. In this case a York University Department of Dance audition is not required for entry. Please contact the Dance Department for further information, dance@yorku.ca.

The Department of Dance offers simplified, guaranteed transfer credit to qualified students coming from these professional institutions:

Professional Training Programs -The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (STDT)

The School of Dance Contemporary Programme, Ottawa

Sampradaya Dance Academy, Mississauga

Holland College, Charlottetown, PEI

Students who successfully complete the Programs at these institutions, with a minimum B standing (6.0 GPA) are eligible to apply for admission to the York BFA (Hons) Dance Program. After successful application to York University, students admitted will have between 50 – 60 credits (depending on the institution) from their training applied towards their 120-credit BFA (Hons) degree. Each joint program will have a specific dance course requirements as per the agreement with the school. Please contact the Dance Department for further information, dance@yorku.ca.

APPLICATION PROCESS

How to apply

Please note that the supplementary application procedures may change due to Covid-19. Please check back to learn about interim measures. If you have any questions please contact ampd@yorku.ca.

A. Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) Application

Use this application if:
  • You want to apply to degree studies for any session (Ontario high-school students should see their guidance office). Fee Information.
  • You’re a mature or university/college applicant (if you’re applying to more than one university). Fee Information.

Apply Now

B. York University Application

Use this application if:
  • You are a mature, international or university/college transfer applicant (if you’re only applying to York), OR
  • You want to take courses as a Visiting Student, OR
  • You want to apply to a certificate, OR
  • You are currently taking a York pre-University/”Bridging” course or YUELI course

Fees: $130 payable by Visa, Visa Debit or MasterCard (non-refundable)

Apply Now

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email containing your York reference ID. This email will be sent approximately 5-10 business days after you submit your application. Please complete step 4 once you have your York Reference ID.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email containing your York reference ID. This email will be sent approximately 5-10 business days after you submit your application. Please complete step 4 once you have your York Reference ID.

  • Make sure you have your York Reference ID on hand.
  • Complete the questionnaire which helps us get to know you a little better.
  • Pay the administration fee of: $60 CAD. You will then be able to proceed with the audition.
  • Read through the instructions below on the audition process.

Audition Process

The Department of Dance BFA program requires you to complete a dance audition as part of your general admissions process. Typically, we have in-person auditions that take place in January, with the option to submit a video audition for those applicants living far away from the university.

There will be no in-person auditions this year. Due to the pandemic, all applicants will submit a video audition for the Fall 2021 entry to the Department of Dance at York University. We don’t require a professional recording. A basic “home” recording will suffice, provided the recording quality doesn’t detract from viewing the components required, and you are able to show your whole body moving through the components. Please move within an area 2 metre square or smaller; there is no need to seek out or rent a professional space.

For your online audition, upload no more than a 5 minute video of yourself doing the following components:

– warm-up movement of your choice to get your body ready for this audition (no music) – 2 minutes long.

– Improvise or create a solo for yourself that uses levels and different qualities (with music) – 3 minutes long.

*During the coronavirus pandemic public events on campus have been cancelled.

Have Questions?

WE HAVE ANSWERS

The York U Dance Auditions take place throughout a full morning and are normally made up a few different activities. There is a welcome reception for students and parents, a warmup session for the auditioning students, an observation class or demonstration (where prospective students can watch current students dance), the audition class (all the students auditioning that day participate in a class as a group for a number of faculty assessors), and then a Q&A session. Auditioning students do not need to prepare solos or anything in advance, they are simply asked to participate in the various activities and styles during the class.
Following the common first-year experience, students complete their studies in one of the two specialized streams. In April, faculty assist first-year BFA students in making the stream choice by assessing area strengths demonstrated during the first two academic terms of study (i.e., Fall/Winter). For more information visit https://dance.ampd.yorku.ca/bfa/