Ballet and Dance


You can design a degree that’s right for you. The Friends University ballet degree fosters excellence in preparation for a professional career in the world of ballet with opportunities for additional studies in teaching, administration and therapy. But ballet classes are only part of the curriculum. Each ballet degree can be uniquely designed for individual students depending on interest, ability and goals.

Our purpose is to offer a ballet education that creates talented performing artists so that they may achieve their individual goals and become confident leaders in their chosen professions. Final projects are designed to propel students into creative, successful careers. A nurturing and supportive environment, combined with professional ballet training, enables dancers to reach their full potential as their passion for arts education thrives.

The Friends University Ballet Department invites world-class guest choreographers, artists and teachers to visit the campus each year. Our repertoire includes ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Dominic Walsh, Shawn Stevens and many others. We are committed to introducing our dancers to current artists throughout the world of dance. Recent artists include dancers from the New York City Ballet, Denver Ballet and choreographers from Houston and Los Angeles.

In 2007 and 2008, Friends University was the host site for the Central Region of the American College Dance Festival Association Conference. These conferences involve more than 25 university faculty members and dancers representing 14 university ballet programs. Chosen performers participated in the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Friends University Ballet Department has toured in Orleans, France, and Cancun, Mexico, as well as participated in ongoing exchange programs with both sister cities.

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a performance technique that is applicable to your body.
  • Meet the required repertoire requirement of performance course work.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze rhythm, special design, the elements of dance, and the methods of constructing dances.
  • Demonstrate the ability to choreograph and present a staged group piece.

Potential Areas of Employment

  • Professional dance companies
  • Dance studios
  • Education
  • Private instruction
  • Coaching


Fall Ballet

Watch Friends University Student rehearse for James Wallace’s contemporary piece, Terminal, that will be performed at the Fall Ballet.

October 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
October 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
October 9, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

Call 316-295-5677 to purchase tickets or visit

James Wallace is one of the guest conductors at the 2016 Fall Ballet. Enjoy this short interview about him and his piece that will be performed at Friends University.

Q. How have you liked working with the Friends University dancers?

A. “They are doing really well. I have only been here since Tuesday and I’ll be leaving on Saturday and they (the dancers) are all doing just great and a wonderful job.”

Q. What do you hope to teach the Friends University dancers while you are here?

“I run my rehearsals as if we were in a professional environment; just like a company rehearsal. I really want to pass on to the dancers what a professional experience feels like to help prepare them as they go on in their careers.”

Q. What is this piece about?

A. “My piece is called Terminal and it explores the definition of the word terminal. The real definition is end point. There are many different ways you could look at the word terminal; a plane terminal, a change in career, the ending of a relationship, the end of your own existence. This piece is about exploring those end points.”

“I mixed the music myself. It is a combination of 4 seasons by Vivaldi and The Chemical Brothers song, Hanna.”

Wallace’s piece is a contemporary ballet style and is 18 minutes long and involves 12 of the Friends University dancers.

Q. How do you feel about what the Friends University ballet program?

A. “It’s amazing. Stan and Sharon’s ballet program is fantastic. To have a thriving ballet program in a university setting in the middle of Kansas is so great. I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for them.”

James Wallace starting dancing at the age of 20 with Stan and Sharon Rogers.

Q. What has been the highlight of your career?

A. “I used to own my own company. That was amazing because I was able to fulfil my artistry completely, unhindered. It was a wonderful opportunity. I’ve always had a passion for dance, so I’m incredibly happy that I took the risk. I don’t know where I might be today if I hadn’t.”

James Wallace currently teaches at the Colorado State University.

Ballet Events

Featured Faculty

Sharon Rogers

Sharon Rogers

  • Associate Professor of Dance
  • Fine Arts
  • B.F.A., Friends University

Stan Rogers

  • Associate Professor of Dance; Director of Ballet
  • Fine Arts
  • B.F.A., Wichita State University; M.A., Columbia University