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Bachelor of Fine Arts | B.F.A.

TROY Dance is home to disciplined, diverse, and determined dancers
who recognize the demands it takes to live the life they have imagined.

The BFA in Dance is an all-encompassing program which not only prepares its graduates for a professional performance career, it also includes the extensive areas of choreography, pedagogy, and artistic direction. The comprehensive major is a competitive program in which students train intensively in the styles of Ballet and Contemporary, in addition, recognizing the evolution occurring in Dance of the 21st century, TROY’s BFA also allows the dancer to focus on the Commercial Dance industry. Upon graduation, the Troy University BFA Dance graduate will be a versatile and viable artist, well prepared for the future of their choice.

TROY Dance Degree Program - B.F.A

56 Hours General | 64 Hours Dance Major

56 Hours

General Studies

English & Literature
Humanities & Fine Arts
Math & Science
History & Social Sciences

Dance Faculty

Deborah Chappell Hicks

Coordinator of Dance
Office: Long Hall 103

Deborah serves the Department in developing the new BFA Dance major and overall Dance program. Since 1987, Deborah has worked closely with the University’s theatre program. She has also been a professional storyteller and clinician, and has coached and judged for Junior Miss, DYW, and Miss Alabama preliminaries. She is also an instructor in the English Department.

Dominique Angel,

Office: Long Hall 103

Dominique is the primary ballet instructor for the Department. Her background includes study and performance with the Joffrey Ballet and Miami City Ballet. Before arriving at TROY she was a member of the dance faculty at The Miami Conservatory, The New World School of the Arts, and Randolph College. She finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and love of dance with all of her students and hopes that they too will continue this tradition.

James Boyd

Office: Long Hall 103

James L. Boyd III is an artist born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured and entertained the world with the knowledge of ten (10) professional styles of dance under his belt. James is a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate and received his B.F.A from SUNY Purchase College in 2010 in Dance and Choreography. Since graduation he performed with Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, and Bruce Springsteen. James was a guest artist with the hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance” and a semi-finalist on the well-known
show, “America’s Got Talent”. While performing around the world, entertaining in 30 countries and over 80 cities with the Bad Boys of Dance and Bad Boys of Ballet, he shared the stage with greats such as Misty Copeland, Joseph Gatti and Rasta Thomas.

James strives to be successful in dance, business and on behalf of his community. He produced his first dance show for Northeast Florida in 2012 titled, “Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet”. James’ passion for community most notably is demonstrated through his recently incorporated not-for-profit endeavor known as Art In Flight Inc. As Founder and CEO, he activated its mission in 2016 and begun fundraising in addition to and outside the Cultural Council on behalf of arts agencies throughout Greater Jacksonville. Art in Flight’s mission is to enhance the development and sustainability of arts organizations in Northeast Florida in order to educate our citizens, increase arts appreciation and support, foster an arts rich culture and, in turn, help grow Jacksonville into a nationally beloved, thought-leading city.

James L. Boyd III continues gaining experience to only share with others. James is currently obtaining his Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) with Jacksonville University. It’s only a matter of time before James is the Master of his own voice.

In addition to building Art in Flight, James is an international faculty member for the Manhattan Dance Project, a former Artist In Residence at Jacksonville University, a Trustee level member of the JAX Chamber, currently serving two local arts boards including Players By The Sea and the JIA Arts Commission and blessed to be a new faculty member for Troy University.

Dante Puleio

Assistant Professor
Contemporary Dance
Office: Long Hall 103

Dante Puleio, a Jersey Boy and a Medici Scholar, began training for a career in dance at nineteen years old in London, UK at the Laban Centre and at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, UK. He graduated with a BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an MFA from University of California, Irvine. He was a soloist and principal with the Limón Dance Company, performed in national and international tours of Broadway shows, such as The Who's Tommy and The Wizard of Oz and was a cast member of Lifetime TV's Your Mama Don't Dance. He sets Limón work, holds residencies and choreographs for festivals, intensives, universities and companies worldwide.

Tracy Gilland-Shillabeer


In the Department, Tracy is the primary Contemporary/Modern faculty member, also teaching classes in dance history, anatomy, and composition and choreography Tracy has an extensive background in dance performance, choreography, and teaching. Her training includes the University of Alabama and NYU-Tisch, and her choreography has brought her wide recognition. Tracy regularly mentors students and choreographs/directs in Dance productions.

Tori Lee Averett

Department Chair 
Coordinator of Theatre Education (P-12)
Office: Malone Hall 131

Tori brings a strong and committed voice for all arts education. Currently, Tori heads up the Theatre Education program and teaches performance classes and first-year classes in the CHLC. Tori serves the Department as a director, choreographer, music director, and private vocal coach.

Jane Barwood

Departmental Secretary II
Office: Malone Hall 132

Jane received a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University, taught kindergarten for ten years and then was an Educational Administrator. Jane is entering her 10th year in her most recent adventure with the Department of Theatre and Dance.

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