Saint Anselm College is excited to announce that beginning in the fall of 2024, students may major or minor in dance. Through the newest major, dancers can pursue their favorite styles including ballet, tap, hip hop, and modern. Enrollment for dance is open now.

“Studying dance develops creativity, teamwork, confidence, critical thinking, self-discipline, physical health and the ability to work collaboratively—all beneficial to any 21st-century career path and to one’s quality of life,” shared Professor Andrew Haringer, Fine Arts Department chair. “The job outlook for dance majors is good: overall employment of dancers and choreographers is projected to grow 27-30% in the next ten years.”

The dance curriculum will employ a liberal arts approach to dance with a rigorous technique-based training including performance and foundational courses to produce versatile dancers, artists, and dance educators. The unique program allows dancers to pursue their favorite styles of dance and will differ from other schools by offering core styles of ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance and tap – two of which will be required per semester. In addition, opportunities to study in New York City with college partner, Broadway Dance Center, will be available. 

Aaron Tolson
Aaron Tolson, Director of Dance

Dance majors will be prepared to enter the professional world as dancers, choreographers, teachers, and leaders in the arts; graduates will go on to be principal dancers and choreographers in professional companies, studio owners, artistic directors, and teachers at private studios, and others will pursue advanced degrees.

“I believe in providing challenging and comprehensive instruction, while having fun,” says Aaron Tolson, director of dance. “Dance teaches discipline and brings out your joy. There’s nothing better than working in a profession you love that allows you to share joy with others.”

Originally from Manchester, Tolson has danced his way across five continents, been a featured soloist with Riverdance, performed on Broadway and at Radio City Music Hall, was an instructor at The Boston Conservatory. He has returned to his New Hampshire roots at Saint Anselm in Manchester.  

As part of the Fine Arts Department, the program will offer additional courses in music, English, theater, and studio art. Students may also take part in events and programs through the Aaron Tolson Institute of Dance, which offers intensives throughout the year.