Dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts
The ASFA Dance Department curriculum is grounded in the philosophy of the Revolutionary Principles of Movement. It focuses on research-based kinesiology while emphasizing the inherent joy of movement and self-expression in dance. Multiple dance forms, repertoire and somatic practice round out the class offerings and a registered physical therapist and nutritionist are on staff. Juniors and seniors take a professional practicum which includes dance history, composition, a broad survey of the field investigating career and higher education opportunities, and essential elements of production. Senior year culminates in a unique student-created and choreographed performance.
Faculty includes chair Wes Chapman, ASFA Alum and former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer and director of ABT II; Margi Cole, ASFA alum, artistic director, choreographer, dancer, educator, and founder of The Dance COLEective; Shawn Black, extensive dance educator and former Atlanta Ballet / American Ballet Theatre dancer, and master educator/choreographer; Germaul Barnes, BESSIE award-winning répétiteur for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and artistic director of Viewsic Dance; and adjunct faculty member Eryn Cade, ASFA alum, hip hop, and contemporary instructor and professional dancer.
Each year, renowned guest teachers and choreographers are brought in for masterclasses. The repertoire includes works by Robert Battle of Alvin Ailey, Mark Morris, and up-and-coming choreographers. The dance faculty believes the stage is the best teacher, thus dancers have many performance opportunities. ASFA dance students go on to attend prestigious colleges and join dance companies.
Universities/Academies Accepted Into:
The Juilliard School, Auburn University, Birmingham Southern College, Boston Conservatory, Butler University, Ohio State University, Tulane University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Oklahoma University, Florida State University, London Studio Center, New World School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, University of Alabama, the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wright State University, Alabama University, Fordham University - Ailey-Fordham Program, Hartt School - University of Hartford, Rutgers University, NYU, George Mason University, Point Park University, SUNY Purchase
Notable Dance Alumni:
- Shawn Black: American Ballet Theatre soloist & teacher
- Clare Croft: Dance historian and theorist, professor and author
- Laverne Cox: Emmy-nominated actress and advocate
- Annie Morgan: Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch," dancer with GroundWorks Dance Theater
- Maria Taylor: Singer/songwriter
- Javan Patton: Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge, former Assistant City Attorney