Why Choose Nazareth for Dance Studies?

The program at Nazareth College emphasizes both the how and the why of dance, providing a solid grounding in not only the physical, but also the cultural, historical, aesthetic, entrepreneurial, therapeutic, pedagogical and theoretical functions.

Develop as a dancer through diverse classes in movement and theory, performing and choreography opportunities, as well as internships, workshops, and residencies with faculty and with guest artists who are professional dancers and field-certified educators. Grow with personal attention in our small classes, and take advantage of our flexible program to combine studies in professionally relevant ways. Easily collaborate with other departments, such as music, and with the off-campus community.

Broaden your perspective through study abroad, rich cultural experiences on campus, and global perspectives courses such as Dance and Culture, Afro-Caribbean Dance, and Anthropology of Dance.

Nazareth’s Arts Center is the region’s premier mid-size theater and the place to be for world-class dance, international entertainment, and other performances. 

Program Highlights

  • Individualized study: Shape your studies and capstone project to fit your individual needs and interests, gaining relevant and professional experience in your area of focus.
  • Work with professional artists: Each year, Nazareth's Movement and Dance (MAD) Weekend offers dozens of master classes in a myriad of styles and cultural forms. Faculty and student dancers regularly perform in the Rochester International Fringe Festival. Nazareth hosts  professional residencies on campus such as The David Dorfman Dance Co. (video).
  • Double major or minor options: There is flexibility in your schedule to add a minor in theatre arts, music, women and gender studies, business, or community youth development, among other options, or take courses towards a possible B.A. or B.S. double major in another field of interest.
  • Career prep: Prepares you for employment, graduate degrees, and/or certification programs in areas such as performance, choreography, pedagogy, production/stage management, arts administration, therapy, history, criticism, theory and research, somatic therapies, and movement analysis, depending on your interests and combination of electives.
  • Study abroad: Intern at a studio in Barcelona or Florence, train with an intensive in Argentina or Ireland, learn West African dance in Ghana, teach dance in Costa Rica or the Philippines, and more.

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

How to Audition

Auditions are required for this major. View audition details and register.

Contact Information

Heather Roffe Wiktorski

Heather Roffe Wiktorski

Associate Professor of Dance
585-389-2163
hroffe4@naz.edu
Arts Center 22
Bio

Program Director of Dance. She has performed nationally and internationally with the Garth Fagan Dance Company; Bill Evans Dance Company; FuturPointe Dance; Assemblage Dance; her own work as artistic director of Heather Roffe, Dance; and at festivals such as Jacob’s Pillow, the International Dance Festival, and the American Dance Guild Festival. Roffe’s choreography has been presented across the country, internationally, and has been commissioned by dance companies and college programs. Her choreography explores the human experience,  including relationships to each other, our world, and technology; solidarity vs. isolationism; and divisive memes such as classism, racism, and gender. Roffe collaborates through movement to reveal and dramatize the power of human gesture and of the body’s inherent ability to convey universal themes of love, loss, compassion, and fear. Roffe is an active scholar in the field of dance, presenting nationally and internationally on dance pedagogy, somatics, and dance and feminism.

Her website: heather-roffe.squarespace.com

Theatre and Dance Faculty »

Jake Smith, dance studies major

Spotlight: Jake Smith '18

"There is an incredible range of diversity in professors and classes, limited class sizes that allow for individual focus and growth, and a focus on technique and performance-based classes. However, I believe the biggest strength of the dance program is the emphasis placed on the science behind dance. The somatic, anatomical, and kinesthetic knowledge I gained in the program proved invaluable to understanding my body and ensuring my health and longevity in an athletically driven career path."

"Nazareth provided countless opportunities within the college and in the field with working professionals. I was able to perform twice in the Rochester Fringe Festival (Merged Series with Prof. Heather Roffe), play the title role of Peter in Peter And The Wolf with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and perform a piece in the DUMBO White Wave Festival at the Gelsey Kirkland Art Center in NYC. Simultaneously, I was also fortunate enough to be cast in five musicals and two plays within the Theatre and Dance Department. These opportunities shaped me into a well-rounded performer, which helped tremendously after graduation."

— Jake Allen Smith '18, a dancer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Example Careers

  • Dance educator - private studio/coach, public school educator, higher education professor
  • Dance therapist
  • Performer
  • Choreographer
  • Somatic practitioner (Pilates, yoga, fitness)

Internships

  • Professional dance company administrative intern
  • Studio teaching intern/summer workshop intern
  • Choreographer, dance captain, or performer in community/regional theatre productions

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • Ohio State University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Goddard College
  • Rutgers University