July 8, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Guide taps SRU's dance program as one of the top in the nation
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's dance program has been named one of the top 200 programs in the country for creative students by "Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers." The 2008 book, which helps college-bound students pick a school, covers academics, auditions, portfolios and admission essays.
Other best-of schools cited in the dance category include Julliard, Marymount Manhattan, New York University and the University of California-Irvine, among others.
Author Elaina Loveland, who evaluated liberal arts universities and conservatories, selected SRU because the dance department requires an audition and offers advanced-level classes in three techniques, modern, ballet and jazz.
"Offering advanced level classes in all three techniques prepares dancers to be more well-rounded so their options for employment are better," said Loveland, a former dancer and current managing editor for International Educator. "Plus, Slippery Rock University is a reasonably priced institution and offers scholarships for dance majors. Cost is especially important today as college costs are increasing and for dance students, it's important to have a minimal level of debt upon graduation so they have the freedom to pursue a professional dance career."
Loveland sent surveys to 1,000 institutions in the U.S., collecting data on selling points, costs, classes offered and outcomes of graduates. SRU's curriculum impressed her.
"What makes Slippery Rock University unique is the depth and variety of the program, especially for the size of the institution," she said. "It's not necessarily in a big metropolis, but it offers a breadth of coursework required to launch a professional career. It offers a minor if you don't want to major, and I saw the information on dance history, kinesiology and other courses, things you typically see at a much larger dance program."
"Loveland evaluated dance programs nationwide and determined that Slippery Rock University has one the country's strongest programs," added Kelly Tanabe, spokeswoman for SuperCollege, which published the book. "It is a huge honor to be selected for "Creative Colleges." This is the guide that creative students across the country turn to when trying to decide which colleges to apply to and how to make their applications stand out."
SRU's dance program, launched in 1987, has grown to include more than 100 majors and 40 minors. Six full-time faculty members and two, part-time guest artists teach courses, which include technology and research components.
"We're incredibly proud and pleased to be cited as one of the nation's premier dance programs for creative students," said Thom Cobb, associate professor of dance. "We focus on challenging students to push themselves, but in a nurturing manner."
Our alumni have gone on to prestigious graduate schools and many have found professional employment in major cities such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
"Being a part of SRU's dance department has been one of the best choices I ever made because of the versatility it offers," said Lisa O'Brien, a senior dance and exercise science major who expects to graduate in August. "Personally, I hope to go to medical school and would love to work with dancers and other athletes through physical medicine."
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.