Ohio State is home to one of the country’s premier contemporary dance programs, attracting talented students, distinguished faculty and gifted visiting artists each year.
Prospective students must audition for a spot in the program, and only one in three is selected. Calder White came from Ontario, Canada, to work with and learn from elite artists.
“The opportunity to work with faculty, visiting artists and other students — graduates, PhDs — has been special,” he says. “It’s nice to be in a small department at a huge, amazing university.”
His partner Callie Lacinski, a third-year from Cleveland, says she has been pushed beyond her comfort zone at times, which has led her to greater discovery in her exploration of the art form.
White and Lacinski choreographed and composed music for their performance piece “Inside Out and All Around.” The work incorporates rhythm into a sound inspired by ambient atmosphere. The students combined commercial and concert dance forms that are in their backgrounds.
About the dance program
Students in the contemporary dance program are exposed to interdisciplinary perspectives as part of their educational experience. Dance writing deepens performance; digital technologies expand choreography; and historical study informs teaching.
In addition to working with other arts programs on campus and Performing Arts Medicine, students also are exposed to partnerships with business, therapy, health services and social work.
Students routinely collaborate in scholarly and creative research. Undergraduate dance majors typically comprise 70 percent of the applicants for research grants among all arts departments and have earned more than $100,000 through the Arts Undergraduate Research Scholarship in the past five years. Graduate students receive support from the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship as well.
In seven studio laboratories and the state-of-the-art Barnett Theatre, more than 1,000 students receive a general education curriculum each year, and more than 100 undergraduate dance majors and 35 graduate students are pushed in the pursuit of their art. Ohio State is one of only four programs nationally to offer a PhD in dance studies.
Graduates are armed with artistry and leadership skills, with Ohio State dance alumni in chair positions at a dozen universities and colleges nationwide.