MajorBachelor of Fine Arts

Where Excellence Takes Center Stage.

Distinguished as one of the select institutions offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance, Butler’s program stands as a beacon for the nation’s most exceptional dancers. Acknowledged consistently among the top five classical dance programs in the country, our program ensures an unparalleled learning environment. Led by a faculty comprising esteemed artists/teachers, you’ll receive conservatory-level instruction, pushing the boundaries of your artistic capabilities.

Our program places a focal point on Classical Ballet, providing a platform for an array of performance and choreographic experiences. Beyond ballet, you’ll engage in a comprehensive curriculum that includes Modern, Jazz, Pointe, Choreography, Teaching Analysis, and Music, fostering a well-rounded and versatile skill set essential for success in the dynamic world of dance.

Program Information


Students take studio coursework in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz, with an emphasis on Classical Ballet. Students also take supplementary studio classes in Pointe, Men’s Allegro, Character Dance, World Dance, Pas de Deaux, and Classical Variations. Sample courses in this program include:

  • DA131/132 and DA 231/232 – Modern Technique 1 and 2
  • DA261 – Laban Movement Analysis
  • DA233 – Improvisation
  • DA266 – Dancing Beyond Boundaries
  • DA361 – Choreography
  • DA365-W and DA 366-C – Dance History 1 and 2

See all Dance—Performance curriculum information

The Butler Advantage

Without apology, we honor the traditions of the art form, while simultaneously encouraging exploration into innovative practices. Students will successfully:

Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual underpinning of the various dance techniques in terms of structure, vocabulary, syntax, and phrasing.

Interpret, compare, and critique the art of choreography and performance through theoretical and practical study in terms of innovation, craft, and sophistication.

Demonstrate an understanding of the physical and intellectual underpinning of the various dance techniques as manifested in execution and pedagogy.

Articulate and apply an understanding of the impact of dance in history, society, and the allied arts, thus becoming advocates for the art form.

Value an ethic of professionalism as manifested through respect for appropriate etiquette and interaction with faculty and fellow students.

My time at Butler gave me tons of exposure.

“The productions I performed in at Butler gave me first-hand physical knowledge of classical ballet as well as modern and contemporary dance, all of which have vastly different aesthetic and choreographic vocabularies.”

Erica Johnston ’14, Dance Performance
Costume Designer and Builder, NYC-based Freelancer

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Meet Your Faculty

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Headshot of Larry Attaway
Larry Attaway
Professor of Dance and Department Chair
Larry A. Attaway is Chair of the Department of Dance at Butler University and Executive Artistic Director of the Butler Ballet.  Mr.Attaway is a composer, choreographer and administrator and has been actively working in the dance field since 1971. The…
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Headshot of Marek Cholewa
Marek Cholewa
Professor of Dance
Marek Cholewa, Professor of Dance, began his studies at the National School of Ballet in Poznan, Poland.  As a young dancer his talent was noted by his teachers during the early stages of his training and he received continued support by…
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Headshot of Rosanna Ruffo
Rosanna Ruffo
Associate Professor of Dance
Rosanna Ruffo is native of Panama where she began her ballet training at the National School of Ballet.  She received a scholarship to study at the Russian Ballet Academy (Vaganova School of Ballet) in Saint Petersburg – Russia.  While in Russia…
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Dance Performance FAQs

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Whatever path you’re interested in pursuing, there’s a place for you at Butler.


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