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UST Brings Dance Back to Campus with METdance Partnership

In spring 2019, University of St. Thomas Houston will introduce a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance through a partnership with METdance, one of Houston’s largest dance companies.

METdanceUST is currently auditioning students for this major.

“The collaboration with METdance Center is ideal,” Professor and Chair of Fine Arts & Drama at UST Claire McDonald said. “As dancers’ progress through the program, they will experience the amazing creative potential of our UST liberal arts environment combined with the exceptional opportunity to work and learn from professional dancers in a prominent professional company.”

METdance received the idea of partnering with UST with great enthusiasm. Jennifer Mabus, a well-known choreographer, dancer and dance educator helped design the program, which the UST faculty and Board of Directors approved in June 2018. The major and minor in dance were also recently approved by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“We are modeling this dance program not only on the exciting collaboration that the University of St. Thomas has with the Glassell School of Art, but we are also modeling this on programs around the nation that collaborate with professional companies and schools, such as the Ailey/Fordham program,” Mabus said.

“Our hope is to enrich the educational and professional dance community in Houston with more opportunities for students wishing to study dance,” Mabus said.

In the meantime, UST is in the process of building a new dance room on campus.

“We hope to hold dance major auditions, possible master classes and other dance events in the new space,” McDonald said.

The Houston METdance company contracts 13 dancers a year starting in September, and members are trained in-house. The METdance season includes seven main performances per year in Houston at Discovery Green, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, MATCH, White Oak Music Hall and the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

UST’s Fine Arts & Drama Department currently offers Bachelor of Art degrees in studio arts and drama; a BFA degree in theatre education; a five-year B.A./BFA degree in studio arts; minors in studio arts, drama and art history; and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a concentration in art history.

For more information, contact Admissions at 713-525-3500.

The University of St. Thomas was founded in 1947 by the Basilian Fathers as an independent, Catholic, coeducational university in Houston, TX. Situated in the city’s Museum District, the University enrolls 3,312 total students with an undergraduate population of 1,602. Set against the backdrop of the Texas Medical Center, UST has seen a 75 percent growth rate among students pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and over half of the undergraduate student body pursues a degree in one of the STEM fields. The University of St. Thomas was ranked 28th in the U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” list of universities in the western region of the United States and was additionally ranked one of the best colleges in the West according to The Princeton Review. For more information, please visit