LEAP Into Your Future

LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) was founded by a former dancer and is directed, managed and supported by former dancers, arts professionals, and LEAP graduates. It is currently the only comprehensive national Bachelor of Arts degree program specifically designed for and offered to current and former professional dancers and other performing artists. 

Historically, a dancer's rigorous training and the professional demands of a full-time career in dance didn't allow for an academic education past that of secondary school. It was always very difficult or impossible for these artists to prepare for the inevitable career transition that comes when age or injury takes its toll.

Our curriculum has provided a broad and individualized course of study, as well as a significant level of flexibility with respect to coursework taken from LEAP and to transferability of coursework.


Mission and Learning Outcomes

LEAP endeavors to provide higher education of exceptional quality to professional dancers, a community for whom access to college has been traditionally rare or impractical. In alignment with Saint Mary’s core values and traditions, LEAP makes it possible for dancers to prepare intellectually and emotionally for a meaningful life beyond dance performance by offering them the chance to explore different disciplines, develop multiple perspectives, discover new passions, and become confident, lifelong learners. The 10 LEAP Core Curriculum courses have been specifically chosen to model the Liberal Arts education of the traditional undergraduate program at Saint Mary’s College. The individual course learning outcomes also reflect the larger LEAP program goals for student learning.

Graduates of the LEAP program will:

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with a wide variety of academic disciplines
  • Demonstrate competence in the skills of careful reading, analysis, critical thinking, interpretation, collaborative inquiry and communication in both written and oral forms
  • Demonstrate competence with information literacy
  • Engage in thoughtful critical discourse about complex intersections of social identity that illuminate the construction, reinforcement, and interrogation of systems of power and inequality
  • Construct and apply knowledge of professional performance and life experience to new learning
  • Reflect an understanding of the impact of their own academic experience and how it prepares them for a life of active citizenship and continued learning