Pacific University

Doing More with Dance

Countless people have had a passion for dance early in life, but then reached a critcial point. Should I pursue it as a career? Or should I walk away? To pursue a performing career in dance is tough in many ways – physically and financially in particular – so many decide against it. But at Pacific University they see additional options.

“The goal of our program is to help students see all the opportunities they could take on through dance.” says Jennifer Camp, Associate Professor and Director of the Dance Program. “We emphasize that dance is not just an art but can be a tool for offering a different way of thinking about things.” For example, one student who was a double major in Dance and Chemistry completed a two-part research project for their Senior Capstone Project. Part I included a performance choreographed on a set of trained dancers that applied specific chemistry concepts to movement. The piece was presented as a teaching tool to the Chemistry classes in the fall semester. In Part II – the student created numerous dance lesson plans based around a chemistry course and then worked weekly with chemistry students applying dance teaching tools to assist the students in understanding the scientific concepts in the course.

As a liberal arts institution, Pacific University strives to help their students establish a more holistic approach to their careers. If dance majors want to go out and pursue a career as a performer that’s great, but Pacific also want them to be able to see past that and think about how dance can be bridging the gap between communities and how that can create more good in the world. “That’s really what we want students to take away from their experience here. We want them to look at dance as a broad, global experience.” A lot of kids come in as a minor and then change to a dance major once they realize all the potential there is to use dance outside of just performing.

Another very special point about Pacific, with just 1,900 total undergraduates, is that students get a high level of individual attention. They have deeper relationships with their professors, lots of hands-on experiences, teaching assistance-ships, and ultimately produce more work than at other University level programs. And if that weren’t enough, most dance majors receive scholarships. Scholarship auditions occur in March and are really for those with a deep passion for dance who intend to be dance majors or minors.

So for any young dancers out there wanting to change the world through their dance, check out Pacific and discover a new world of possibilities!


Click here for information about scholarship auditions coming up in March!