*Nazareth College

Nazareth College Dance Program

LOCATION: Rochester, NY
YEAR EST.: 2015
DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP: Heather Roffe Wiktorski
DEGREE PROGRAMS OFFERED: B.S. Dance Studies, Dance minor, B.F.A. Musical Theatre
PROGRAM EMPHASIS: Modern, Ballet, Afro-diasporic forms (Tap, Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, West African), Somatics, Musical Theatre Dance
CONTACT: Websitehroffe4@naz.edu
SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Develop as a dancer at Nazareth College through diverse classes in movement and theory, performing and choreography opportunities, as well as master classes, workshops, and residencies with faculty and guest artists who are professional dancers and field-certified educators. Grow with personal attention in our small classes, and take advantage of our flexible program to combine studies in professionally relevant ways. It is possible to combine the Dance program with another major degree or minor in a field of your interest, and many of our dancers do this.

Part of Nazareth’s mission is outreach and professional preparation – there are many ways both on and off campus to develop your knowledge, skills, artistry, and technique. Pursue your passions in your choice of capstone courses by collaborating with other artists, or with the off-campus community. Broaden your perspective through one of our study abroad programs, rich cultural experiences on campus, internship opportunities, or global courses.

Jake Allen Smith ’18, has been working steadily since the summer of his graduation, across the country in summer stock theatre, as a dance film artist, photographer, Hip Hop/contemporary guest teacher, and a dancer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Even during his time at Nazareth, while majoring in Dance and minoring in Musical Theatre, Jake had several professional performance opportunities as a dancer with HR Dance company in international/national festivals (i.e. DUMBO, Rochester Fringe Festival), and in summer stock with musical theatre productions during the summer of his Junior year.

Zhongyuan “Grace” Fa – Dance Studies ’16, has already earned her MFA in Dance (2019), and is now pursuing a second graduate degree in Business Administration, using her talents as an artist and administrator to create new professional pathways for dancers. In addition to her studies, she continues to perform, and also has been collaborating with RIT’s Department of Computer Design to use virtual reality programming in dance films and virtual reality applications since her senior year capstone project with them at Nazareth. These collaborations have even won awards in the field of digital arts, animation and interactive technologies! 

Ariel Weigand ’20, is currently in grad school at Nazareth for Physical Therapy, after graduating with a double-major in Dance Studies and PT/Health Sciences. During the summer after her sophomore year, she completed an internship via Nazareth’s partnership with the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, in the 1st Health Intern position they created, and in the summer after her Junior year, she interned with a Rochester-based PT practice that specializes in working with dancers. After earning her doctorate in PT, her goal is to work with rehabilitating dancers who have sustained injury and in injury-prevention through her knowledge of dance, physical therapy, and somatic practices, as well as continuing to perform and choreograph!