Loyola University Chicago

Dance

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Careers in Dance

Check out what Abby Newlon, a recent alumna, has to say about her experience as a Dance major at Loyola!

Loyola's Dance program offers conservatory-level dance program 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:

Performance

  • 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 musical theatre.

 Choreograph

  • Our dance students have distinct opportunities to choreograph throughout the year, whether through the annual Senior Dance Compositions, our annual presentations at the American College Dance Festival, or through a myriad of other activities each year. Our dance students go on to choreograph for dance companies, musicals, plays, or other large-scale entertainment companies. 

Costume/Clothing

  • 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 gear.

Dance Education

  • Public School
    • The City of Chicago has made a tremendous investment in arts education calling for faculty certified to teach in the public school in Dance. There is a significant demand for Dance educators who have completed teacher certification.
  • Private Studio
    • Most childhood dance instruction takes place in private dance studios and academies.  Dance teachers who can teach a variety of techniques to multiple age groups are in high demand. Our Dance Pedagogy class provides Loyola graduates with a framework for development, class practice, and community teaching opportunities to prepare for studio teaching.
  • Teaching Artists
    • Teaching Artists are professional artists who conduct workshops, both short range and long range within an educational setting on a variety of themes.                

Arts Administration

  • Dance Studio Director
    • The liberal arts education at Loyola well 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.
  • Dance Administration
    • Dance administration includes (but is not limited to) company management, grant writing, producing performances, artist contracts, partnerships and non-profit board development.
  • Dance Marketing
    • This role could be closely related to other arts administration positions, or you could pursue graphic design and specialize in dance marketing. This could include designing and maintaining web pages, designing flyers and other promotional materials, promoting events through social media and more. Graphic design work may require additional training, whether through online courses, community classes, or in addition to your studies at Loyola.

Dance Photography/Videography

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

Dance/Movement Therapy 

  • 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.