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Dominican University/Lines Ballet: BFA Program

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Media Contacts:

Selby Schwartz

Alonzo King's LINES Ballet

415-863-3040, ext 224, selby@linesballet.org


Sarah Gardner

Dominican University of California

415-485-3239, sarah.gardner@dominican.edu


For release: Monday, January 16, 2005






Dominican University of California and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School will on Monday, January 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) announce their new partnership in a unique joint educational program: the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance. The BFA in Dance will combine Dominican’s comprehensive liberal arts education with the technically rigorous and artistically expansive dance training of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School. The four-year program will make its debut in fall 2006, with classes held in San Rafael and in downtown San Francisco.


Members of the press are invited to a reception and short performance by the LBS ensemble celebrating the new partnership. The reception will be held January 16 at 2 p.m. at the San Francisco Dance Center, Studio 1, Fifth Floor, 26 Seventh Street, San Francisco. Please RSVP to 415-863-3040, ext. 281.


The new BFA program will allow dancers to combine their plans for a professional dance career with the collegiate experience. The LINES / Dominican BFA program is only the second such degree in dance program anywhere in the country, and the only such program on the west coast. (The only other BFA in Dance to be affiliated with a major company, comparable in stature to LINES Ballet, is the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center/Fordham University program in New York City).


“Students in the LINES/Dominican University program will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for a professional career in today’s dance world, while also gaining the life-long benefits of a liberal arts education”, said Harlan Stelmach, chair of Dominican University of California’s Department of Humanities. “The BFA in Dance reflects a need expressed by dance students from across the country for a program with a strong emphasis on ballet technique and artistry with a contemporary approach,” Dr. Stelmach explained.


The LINES/Dominican BFA in Dance program will offer a curriculum that combines intensive ballet training with improvisation and composition studies. The program offers the knowledge and insight of intensive study in an artistic discipline, which can enrich and inform one’s life in profound ways, regardless of career path.


“In LINES’ training philosophy, each individual’s interior facility is tapped, cajoled, nourished and brought forth. By focusing on individual character, we are offering a key to knowledge and awareness that will be utilized whether or not the student chooses to pursue a performing career in dance,” said Alonzo King. Marina Hotchkiss, BFA program director, added: “In the professional dance world, companies are increasingly demanding that dancers possess a wide range of skills and knowledge beyond ballet technique. Today’s ballet dancers are being asked to improvise, to generate dance material and participate in the creative processes of dance making to a greater degree than ever before.”


The curriculum includes ballet, modern dance, ethnic dance, Gyrotonic ®/Gyrokinesis ®, dance history, improvisation, composition, acting, percussion, expository writing, speech and rhetoric, math, anatomy/kinesiology, social sciences, ethics, and a cultural heritage colloquium. The culmination of the creative work of the program will be a Senior Project. Building on the knowledge and skills developed throughout the program, students will develop and complete a work of choreography to be presented to the community. Dance and choreography courses will be held at the LINES Ballet’s San Francisco Dance Center (SFDC), the largest dance facility on the West Coast. General education and theory courses will be held at Dominican University. “Students will receive the best the Bay Area has to offer: the graceful old buildings and shady tree-lined paths of Dominican University, nestled in the hills of San Rafael, and, just 11 miles south, the dynamic urban setting of LINES Ballet, in San Francisco’s Civic Center,” said Hotchkiss.


Dominican University of California enrolls more than 1,900 men and women in more than 30 graduate and undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions. Since awarding its first bachelor’s degree in 1917, the University has built its reputation on the quality of its faculty and on excellence in teaching.


Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet was founded in 1982 for the creation and presentation of original ballet in partnership with exceptional contemporary musicians and artists. LINES Ballet has received national and international acclaim for the extraordinary skill of its dancers and for the tangible grace of Alonzo King’s choreography. An international touring company, LINES performs in Europe and America and will expand to Mexico, South America and Asia in the next two years. A five time Isadora Duncan Award recipient, Alonzo King was honored with the prestigious 2005 Bessie Award for Choreography, and Drew Jacoby, a company dancer in her fourth season, became the third LINES Ballet dancer to receive the Princess Grace Award. In 2007, the Company will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with an expanded season in San Francisco, a tour of Asia and gala events throughout the year.


LINES Ballet School was founded four years ago and has grown to be one of the most highly regarded dance instructional institutions in America, with a stellar faculty of internationally renowned professionals, including Alonzo King at its helm.

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Wow! Fabulous! Wish I were still looking for a college program!


To all those who love dance but major in something else, like I did, go somewhere that you can double major in dance and then your dance classes will be free instead of having to pay for them like I do!

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This program sounds really great. I hope it gets off to a good start and sticks around. I don't know that much about Dominican University, but I am very familiar with Lines. I'm curious to hear the details about tuition and how they are going to deal with issues such as transportation to campus and Lines. It would be a pain to have to deal with parking near the studio everyday.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Starting in Fall 2006, Dominican University in San Rafael, California will offer a BFA in conjunction with Alonzo King's Lines Ballet (San Francisco). Because this is a new program, no info about the student/company crossover (if any). But students will take dance classes at the Lines facility.



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Got some literature from the school. They have no live audition dates listed, only gave info on videotaped auditions. This could be a disadvantage to some. Contact Lines to see if a live audition can be arranged, if you're interested.

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  • 4 months later...

I attended Lines this summer and talked to the director of the BFA program about the audition situation. She said that you can set up an appointment for a live audition but what they did last year was take those they liked most from the video auditions and invited them for a final audition all together in San Francisco.


Also, a car is the most obvious way of transportation from San Rafael to San Francisco. There is also a bus system that runs across the Golden Gate with stops just off Dominican's campus and across the street from the Lines studios.

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Just bumping this up to see if anyone who is attending might reply on how the programs going. My daughter is interested ...

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  • 5 months later...

Would love to hear some feedback from 2006/2007 students and current students. I spoke with a recruiter at a college fair this week about this program. She said there are 15-20 students in two levels that are chauffered in a college van back and forth between the campus and Lines Ballet School! Sounding very interesting. So, if you have any first hand knowledge on this program, please provide some info when possible!

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I'm a senior this year and planning to audition for this BFA. I'm worried about the transportation between LINES and the university. How long is the trip...in rush hour traffic. Does it take up too much of your day?



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We investigated this program this summer. It is, indeed, a beautiful, tranquil campus. San Rafael is about 30 minutes outside SF and across the Golden Gate bridge. Depending on traffic and the time of day, it would take about 30-45 minutes one way to go between the Lines studios in downtown SF and the Dominican campus. As I recall, they travel to the Lines studios four days a week and remain in San Rafael for dance classes one day a week. They have been using a van; they have explored other transportation options (metro, bus, etc). The program is still rather new and the administration is open to suggestions, trial and error, etc. So, the method of transportation may change from one year to the next. They do intend to keep the program quite small.


Marina Hotchkiss is the Administrator for the BFA program. Everyone we talked to was extremely candid, helpful, and accessible. I would recommend you contact the school for specific information.

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