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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / School of the Arts / Dance

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Conservatory of Dance

The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College offers a BFA program 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 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 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 dance studios, state-of-the-art Pilates studio, 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. International students living outside the continental U.S. may audition by DVD or YouTube link. For additional information, updates, and audition schedules during 2016–2018, please visit the Admissions section on the conservatory’s website (

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, Batsheva Ensemble, Aszure Barton & Artists, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, AIM/Abraham in Motion, Mark Morris Dance Group, Gallim Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, 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, Kyle Abraham, Sidra Bell, Doug Elkins, 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.

Nellie van Bommel, MFA, DEA, Interim Director, Conservatory of Dance

For updates during 2016–2018, please visit

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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
Arts Open Access*
*open to students in other disciplines

Related Information:

Performing Arts Center

Program Progress &
Professional Standards

(Academic Policies)