High schoolers who want to work in the field of professional dance have two choices to make. They can either go to college for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the subject or find a school that has a Bachelor of Arts program. At first glance, the differences between the two may seem negligible. However, when you dive more deeply into the programs, you'll see that they have some very serious differences.
So, which degree is best? It all depends on what you want from the world of professional dance. Here are some things to consider.
Curriculum Differences Between the Programs
No matter what, a Bachelor of Arts degree program and a Bachelor of Fine Arts program require a very similar number of credit hours. The main difference lies in what those credit hours consist of. Since a standard Bachelor of Arts degree is considered to be more well-rounded, students will take both dance classes and classes in additional areas to supplement their degrees depending on their interests, such as business, education or the liberal arts.
On the other hand, a Bachelor of Fine Arts program is designed to be a pre-professional program. Students are trained to be professional dancers, so most of their classes revolve around the subject. They'll end taking about two-thirds of their total credit hours in technique and dance-related topics, giving them a more specialized background.
Training for the Stage
Although both degrees provide students with dance training that they can use as a professional, dancing on the Broadway stage or in Hollywood productions, one is a more rigorous program than the other. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance usually includes more in-depth training than a Bachelor of Arts degree would. Students in the former find themselves going to dance lessons and various movement classes most days of the week, which is on par with the type of rehearsals required when working as a professional dancer.
Consider the End Goal
Something else to think about is your end goal. Not every dance student wants to end up on the stage. Some want to be choreographers, dance therapists or even dance studio owners. Other might want to teach dance or become a talent manager. Some programs, like our Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, provide students with the chance to choose a sub-specialty to focus on, like studio management or dance pedagogy. This can give students the knowledge and background that they need to find a job doing what they love off of the stage.
On the other hand, Bachelor of Fine Arts programs will focus even more on techniques and mechanics of movement, choreography, and plenty of different types of dances. It's up to the student to choose one that will help them meet their goals and get them on the right career path. Whether you choose a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, there are plenty of options that come with both of them, and they will set you up with the knowledge and experience you seek. Not sure which is right for you? Request more information and speak to one of advisors, today!