Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts made some new changes to one of its programs. The nationally known Theatre Conservatory added a dance emphasis to its Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre degree.
This semester, the new program complements the already existing BFA degree with a voice emphasis.
More than 60 dancers from across the country applied to be in this program. Classes will be offered in the Wabash Building.
The dance faculty is diverse and all come with a great deal of accolades. This includes the Tony-nominated Broadway performer Jane Lanier plus other renowned dancers from across the Chicago dance scene.
“I’ve worked with the masters of dance in New York,” Lanier said. “Now I get the chance to pay it forward. That’s what it’s all about!”
Sean Kelley, director of the Theatre Conservatory, said he is very enthusiastic about the new dance program.
“We want to train people to be [a] triple threat, not just be good in dancing, but also singing and acting, as well,” he said. “There are only a few programs like this in the country, and we are really happy to be a part of that selective group.”
Kelley said he was hopeful that the program would bring in new students to Roosevelt.
“Dancing is an area that no one has tapped into,” he added. “There are schools with voice majors, theatre majors, but none specifically for dance. We are adding dance to one of the top musical programs in the country. It is so exciting coming into this new program. I have extremely high hopes that this program will be successful.”
Lanier shared Kelley’s excitement for the new dance program.
Lanier has many plans for upcoming shows, including the upcoming Fall Freshman Showcase.
“[I am] very excited to incorporate song and dance into [the] numbers,” she said. “They are going to be big and spectacular.”
Luis Perez, head of the Musical Theatre Department added, “I want to teach these kids things that I wish I’d been taught when I was growing up.”
Perez encouraged people to come see the shows.
“Every show is top quality. If you come out to the shows, you will not be disappointed.”