The Performing Arts Department offers majors in dance, interdisciplinary fine arts, music, and theatre, and minors in dance, music, speech, and theatre. A major in the performing arts offers the study of the world and the parallel issues faced by all generations. From the effect of societal values on women to the comic expressions of human nature, both allow opportunity to examine current issues. The performing arts offer a venue for the exploration of subjects from all disciplines where students have a unique opportunity to explore everything from the ancient to the unknown future, from ethical dilemmas to cultural conundrums, from politics to polemics. All performing arts majors are offered a varied curriculum allowing the student to choose a focused approach in one or more areas such as performance, design, therapy, education, business or religion. Numerous opportunities to perform and observe performances are available for all students through play productions, four choirs, and two major dance concerts per year. Additionally, the department offers a theatre tour to the public schools in alternate years and appearances by the Cedar Crest Singers and the Madrigal Singers in off-campus performances at local churches and clubs. Applied music lessons in piano, voice, organ, woodwinds and brass, violin and viola, flute, classical and folk guitar, and percussion are offered to students from any major.

The performance facilities include Tompkins College Center Theatre with a 250-seat proscenium theatre with a state of the art computer lighting system and fully equipped costume and scene shops. Major theatre productions and dance events are staged here. Additionally, a 500-seat auditorium in Alumnae Hall hosts major music events, and the Little Theatre, seating 75, hosts student productions and smaller departmental events in music, dance and theatre. An outdoor Greek-style theatre is also used occasionally for special events.

Students majoring in dance may elect concentrations in dance therapy, education, dance administration, or general studies. A core of courses is required of all dance majors. The dance program provides multiple perspectives and experiences for understanding dance movement techniques and somatics as mediums for the acquisition of knowledge, creativity and lifelong learning.

The interdisciplinary fine arts major is for those students interested in career possibilities such as, but not limited to, criticism, museum work, radio-television programming, fine arts librarianship education, consulting newspaper or periodical writing, teaching, and editing. The integrated approach to art, theatre, speech, dance, music and creative writing provides in-depth specialization in combination with the general knowledge in related arts areas. Each student is expected to reflect coherence in her course selection. Continual advising and evaluating is essential to success in this program. The course work reflects a balance of creative and historical/critical experiences.

Students majoring in music are required to complete a core of courses and select a concentration from vocal performance, business, music therapy, or religious studies. Career-oriented programs such as preparation for graduate work, church music, private teaching in applied music and combining music with elementary education or fine arts are encouraged.

The theatre program revolves heavily around the extensive production season, and students majoring in theatre are expected to participate in all productions each term, either onstage or backstage in some capacity: on stage crew, cast, box office, scene shop, costume construction crews, or stage management. Students may select from concentrations in performance, design and technical theatre, or business. A core of courses is required of all theatre majors.

Campus work-study jobs nicely complement the work in the department as students can receive hands on production and management training in theatre, dance and music as part of their work-study requirements.

All departmental majors are obliged to abide by the written departmental policies. A grade of "C" or better is required in all courses taken for application toward all major requirements in the performing arts.


Dance offerings at Cedar Crest range from beginning levels to advanced in the areas of ballet, jazz, modern and tap. Students from any major may register for technique courses in dance without an audition. The prerequisites for upper level dance courses are listed in the college catalog. Classes are held in the Steinbright dance studio and tap classes are held on the stage in Alumnae Auditorium.


The Cedar Crest Dance Company is under the direction of Carol Welton Kelly. Each fall all interested dancers, regardless of major, may audition for the company. Company members of previous years are required to re-audition for membership each year if they wish to remain with the company. The company consists of 10-15 dancers. Master classes are offered to the company in addition to their Monday through Thursday 4-6pm rehearsal schedule. Members may be selected for full company membership or apprentice status.


Two dance concerts are held annually as a showcase for student and faculty works. Guest artists are often invited to perform for the concert. Both concerts are held in Tompkins Center Theatre.

To find out more about Cedar Crest Dance, click on any of the topics below.

Dance Mission & Philosophy

Dance Major

Dance Requirements

Dance Courses

Dance Performance Opportunities

Dance Company




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