Performing Arts


  • Performing Arts [Tracks: Dance, Music, Theatre] (B.A.)


  • Dance [Options: Performance, Teaching]
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Theatre

Faculty Contacts

Additional Information About Dance

Additional Information About Music

Additional Information About Theatre

The performing arts major at Sweet Briar is strongly interdisciplinary, allowing students to pursue one area in great depth while encouraging collaboration with other performing arts as much as possible.

We recognize that students may be interested in specific disciplines, so the performing arts major has three tracks — dance, music and theatre. We also offer minors in dance, music, musical theatre and theatre.

What is distinctive about studying the performing arts at Sweet Briar?

  • For more than 40 years, our dance program has drawn on traditional and contemporary dance techniques — including aerial — combined with intensive training in choreography.
  • The culminating capstone dance project lets students choreograph, produce and perform a full-length concert for the community — an experience students at large universities often do not encounter until graduate school.
  • Music faculty believe proficiency in musicology and performance are equally important, so the curriculum balances historical/cultural, theoretical/analytical and applied (solo and ensemble) studies.
  • Students interested in teaching can choose a track toward teacher licensure in dance or theatre arts.
  • Sweet Briar Theatre produces works from all genres, including musicals, Shakespeare and contemporary plays. Murchison Lane Auditorium is a fine proscenium theater for large musicals and productions, while our Studio Theatre is perfect for small, intimate performances.
  • Upper-level theatre-track students may direct, design or write their own plays. Male roles are played by experienced actors from the community, so that students are part of a network by the time they graduate.
  • Sweet Briar’s close connection to the nearby Virginia Center for the Creative Arts brings in working artists who interact with students.
  • Sweet Briar hosts professional theater and dance shows from around the country throughout the academic year.

What can you do with a degree in performing arts?

The skills you learn in the performing arts — collaboration, teamwork, self-discipline, leadership and confidence — are in high demand across many different fields. As such, our graduates pursue a variety of paths, including:

  • Graduate study
  • Professional performance
  • Music and drama therapy
  • Teaching
  • Composing
  • Choreographing
  • Musical directing
  • Songwriting
  • Nonprofit management, particularly when combined with Sweet Briar’s Arts Management Certificate
  • Design
  • Stage management
  • Children’s theatre
  • Banking
  • Law