Loyola University Chicago

Dance

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Careers in Dance

Loyola's Dance program offers conservatory-level training within the context of Loyola's liberal arts curriculum. The dedication, discipline, and passion needed to complete a degree in dance can open the doors to a myriad of opportunities, whether in the dance community or beyond. Here are a few career possibilities for a dancer:

Performer

  • Concert Dance
    • Loyola’s Dance faculty consist of some of the finest concert dance performers in Chicago. Their mentorship and the transformational process of daily ballet training make our students highly competitive in the concert dance field.
  • Musical Theatre
    • We support a significant cohort of dance majors who double major with theatre, and Loyola offers a minor in musical theatre. Our graduates work throughout Chicago performing, choreographing, and directing.

 Choreographer

  • Our dance students have numerous opportunities to choreograph throughout the year, whether through the annual Dance Composition Showcase, our annual attendance at the American College Dance Association Conference, or through local partnerships in Chicago. Our dance students go on to choreograph for dance companies, musicals, plays, and other large-scale entertainment companies. 

Costumer

  • As a dancer, you have likely worn numerous costumes over the course of your life. You know what feels good to perform, practice, and relax in, and you have the unique advantage of understanding how clothing should move with the body. While at Loyola, you have the opportunity to learn about costume design and craft, and even work in the Loyola costume shop. That training can lead to a career in dance costuming, or even your own line of dance wear.

Dance Educator

  • School Teacher
    • The City of Chicago has made a tremendous investment in arts education, calling for certified dance faculty to teach in both public and private schools. There is a significant demand for dance educators who have completed teacher certification.
  • Studio Teacher
    • Most childhood dance instruction takes place in private dance studios and academies.  Dancers who can teach a variety of techniques to multiple age groups are in high demand. Our Dance Pedagogy class provides Loyola students with a framework for planning, development, and best practices to prepare them for community teaching opportunities.
  • Teaching Artist
    • A teaching artist is professional artist who conducts workshops, both short range and long range, within an educational setting on a variety of themes.                

Arts Administrator

  • Studio Director
    • The liberal arts education at Loyola prepares students for leadership roles in the dance community. One area of success for our graduates comes in dance studio ownership or directorship. These positions require a very comprehensive view of dance as an art form and service business.
  • Company Administrator
    • Dance administration includes (but is not limited to) company management, grant writing, performance production, artist contract management, partnership expansion, and non-profit board development.
  • Dance Marketer
    • This role is closely linked to other arts administration positions, and is related to graphic design, advertising, and communications. This could include designing and maintaining web pages, designing flyers and other promotional materials, event planning, or social media promotion. 

Dance Photographer/Videographer

  • As a dancer, you have already been on the other side of the lens. The awareness of movement and the positions of the body gives dancers the ability to predict great photo moments or video framing.

Dance Movement Therapist

  • Dance Therapist
    • A type of therapy typically used in a clinical setting. Dance movement therapists use movement and rhythm to alleviate psychological suffering. 
  • Physical Therapy/Dance Medicine Specialist
    • A dance major, besides extensive dance training, also graduates with knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology. Injuries in dance are unfortunately common, and your ability to understand a dancer's body as a therapist or doctor is a key advantage

Yoga/Pilates/Somatic Teacher

  • Dancers gain numerous transferable skills over the course of their training, including yoga, pilates, gyrotonics, and Feldenkreis. All of these movement practices are great fields for a trained dancer.  


Continuing Education

  • Master of Fine Arts
    • An MFA is the terminal degree granted in performance studies, either in dance or choreography.
  • Master in Education
    • A MEd degree may provide public school teaching certification or prepare you to work in other public institutions.
  • Dance Kinesiology
    • The precise nuances of human movement and anatomy are studied in fine detail and experimentation and publication.
  • Dance History and Criticism
    • This field has a PhD as the terminal degree. Writers author books, articles, blogs and reviews of dance performance or dance studies.
  • Professional Studies
    • Several of the most internationally significant concert dance companies offer professional training programs, which may be commensurate with an MFA.
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Acceptance into DPT programs is very competitive; however, a dance major is a highly desirable foundation for physical therapy.