Dance students perform on stage


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completing our AA Degree in Dance students will:

  1. Demonstrate and understand the creative process through choreographed and improvised movement projects applying timing (musicality), space, and movement dynamics.
  2. Apply kinesiological based technique and performance qualities to expressive movement with physical clarity.
  3. Describe, analyze, and reflect upon historical, cultural, and theatrical styles of movement by use of their appropriate terminologies.
  4. Present themselves with professionalism through self-discipline, being prepared for the demands of a dancer, and working collaboratively with others.

Discover Your Potential at Barton Dance

Barton's Performing Arts Dance Program offers high quality dance instruction taught in excellent facilities like Studio 34 for students of all levels of dance experience. Our Dance Department is committed to the education of dancers by establishing a solid foundation of technical training coupled with artistic and aesthetic qualities and a welcoming and creative environment. Our department's goal is to prepare dance students for the next level, whether it be transferring to a university, in a dance company, or to gain a life-long appreciation of dance as an art form. 

Barton’s Dance Program is a proud member of the American College Dance Association and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)

Dance students

Why Dance at Barton? 

​​Dance Faculty: ​Classes are taught by dance professionals with decades of teaching experience. 

AA Degree in Dance and AA Degree in Dance Instruction and Management: ​Barton is one of the few community colleges in the Midwest offering an Associates of Arts Degree in Dance designed to transfer to university dance departments. Our full dance curriculum is designed to train a dancer's body and mind with multiple types of classes.

New Dance Instruction and Management Credential: Barton’s Dance Department offers a one-of-a-kind  program training dance educators for dance studios, recreational facilities, and other learning environments in the dance industry. Offered as an AA degree and as professional development for current dance instructors. Dance Instruction Information 

Dance Scholarships: ​Barton offers multiple generous dance scholarships for dance majors and non-majors. Please contact Danika Bielek at or (620) 792-9253 for more information.

Excellent Facilities: Barton's dance studio, Studio 34, is a sunny large space that includes a top-of-the-line Stage Step sprung floor, high ceilings, comfortable air conditioning/heating units, full stereo system, multiple ballet barres, balance boards, and LOTS of room to dance in! Check out a map of Studio 34!​​​

Barton Dance Theatre (BDT): Our college dance company, Barton Dance Theatre, gives dance students valuable experience working in a dance company while earning performance credits. BDT performs throughout the year at a wide variety of events and venues.  Auditions for BDT are held fall and spring semesters. 

Individualized Instruction: ​The many benefits of dancing at Barton include dancing in smaller sized classes where students receive more individualized attention at an affordable tuition.

Dancers practice in dance studio


    Degree Maps
    Degree Maps

    Associate in Art

    View the full list of Curriculum Guides (applicable for students admitted prior to Fall 2024) and Degree Maps (applicable for students admitted Fall 2024 and after).


    Barton Dance Theater (DANC 1001 – 2 credits) 

    Dance Composition I (DANC 1010- 3 credits)

    Tap Dance I (DANC 1016 – 2 credits) 

    Modern Dance I & II (DANC 1020 & 1030 - 2 & 3 credits) Modern dance class students

    Ballet I, II & III (DANC 1035, 1036 & 1038 – 2 & 3 credits)

    Pointe/Pre-Pointe (DANC 1037- 1 credit)

    Jazz Dance I & II (DANC 1100 & 1102 - 2 credits)

    History of Dance I (DANC 1040 – 3 credits) 

    History of Dance II (DANC 1042- 3 credits)

    Dance Teaching Methodologies (DANC 1110- 3 credits)

    Dance Internship (DANC 1115- 1 credit)

    Barton Dance Theatre
    Barton Dance Theatre

    Barton Dance Theatre dancerBarton Dance Theatre (BDT) is committed to bringing high quality dance experiences with artistic motivation to Barton students and beyond. BDT members learn, rehearse and perform challenging dances from a diverse range of styles with intent to represent the college at a wide range of local and national venues. Giving students the experience of what working in a dance company is like while gaining two college credit hours, BDT is an excellent choice for those looking to work in the field of dance or for those who pursue dancing with commitment, energy, and perseverance.

    BDT (course DANC 1001) meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. After being accepted by audition, students must register for the 2-credit hour class to participate.

    BDT Company Requirements: 

    • Acceptance by audition.
    • A minimum of two years dance experience in Modern/Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dance, and/or Ballet.
    • Be actively enrolled and attending dance technique classes in the fall semester at Barton or regional dance studio.

    Upcoming BDT Auditions

    Barton Dance Theatre dancers perform on stageThe class-style audition can be done either virtually through Zoom or live. Please contact Danika Bielek at or (620)792-9253.

    • Check for audition schedules!

    Barton Dance Theatre Alumni

    Dance Faculty
    Dance Faculty

    Danika BielekDanika Bielek
    Dance Instructor, Dance Program Coordinator, & Director of Barton Dance Theatre

    With 25 + years of working as a dance educator, Danika Bielek has taught students from beginners through professionals of all ages, including instructing at multiple colleges, preparing dancers for YAGP, and teaching Olympic trainees in Colorado Springs to understand how the moving arts can benefit their sport. In addition to being a dance educator, she is also a Yoga instructor. She has a B.F.A. cum laude in Dance Performance/Choreography at Arizona State University. After spending days in the studio, her love for dancing continued to Phoenix nightclubs where she began Salsa dancing.

    In 2013 Ms. Bielek began studying dance as a form of therapy for many purposes- whether it be maintaining a mind-to-body connection in aging adults or building self-confidence in abused children, with Dance for PD and Gibney Dance. She performed professionally for over a decade with modern, ballet, improvisation, and Afro-Caribbean companies by Daniel Nagrin, CK Ganyo, Cliff Keuter, Bill Evans, Marion Kirk Jones, David Taylor, Cleo Parker Robinson, and Brazilian choreographer, Rosangela Silvestre. Other career highlights include choreographing a Heart Ball Gala for the American Heart Association, founding Composite Dance Theatre, being a featured choreographer on the PBS’s series Dance Horizons, and is currently one of the Rehearsal Directors for the Prairie Nutcracker in Central Kansas. Ms. Bielek is passionate over arts advocacy and has worked as an arts administrator as the Dance Chair at Pikes Peak Community College, Executive Director & Dance Director of the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts and is currently a dance representative with the Kansas Creative Arts & Industries Commission.

    In addition to enjoying life as a dance instructor and Director of Barton Dance Theatre, she also serves as the Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator at Barton Community College. She is Mom to a “sciencey” adult son, Nigel, and lives with her musician husband Scot, and silly dachshund, Franz.


    Mara Klenda 
    Ballet & Pointe Instructor

    Mara Whitaker Klenda began her ballet training at the age of three in Tacoma, Washington. She has studied with David Howard, George de la Pena, Rebecca Wright, Kimberly Glasco, Boston Ballet School, Wichita State University, and chiefly with Nancy Hervey and Jill Landrith at Nancy Hervey School of Ballet in Wichita, Kansas. In 1989, Mara joined Ballet Wichita, formerly Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita, as a junior member. In 1995 she was promoted to soloist, and to principal in 1998. Her roles include Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, and nearly every other female role in "The Nutcracker", Effie in "La Sylphide", Mazurka in "Les Sylphide", "Paquita", Little Swan in "Swan Lake" , the title role in Snow White and many others. Mara created roles in Jill Landrith's "Merlin's Song", "Blue", "Torch", and others. Mara also worked with guest choreographers Sean Duus of Kansas City Ballet and Rebecca Wright, formerly of American Ballet Theatre. In 1999 Mara was awarded the Kansas Cultural Trust. Mara has been a ballet teacher and choreographer in Kansas for over a decade. She has taught at the Nancy Hervey School of Ballet, the school of Ballet Wichita. She has also been on staff at the Center For World Dance, The Movement Authority, Wichita YMCA, Goddard Public Schools and Artistree at the Forum in Hutchinson, KS.  She is currently Ballet Mistress at Tamara Howe School of Dance and Artistic Director of Ballet Salina. She is excited to share her vast knowledge of and passion for ballet technique with Barton Community College’s dance students!


    Dance for the Community
    Dance for the Community

    Classes for Adults & High School Students

    Dancing for Mobility class studentsWe welcome and invite high school students and adults from the community to join dance technique classes for personal enjoyment. Barton specifically offers lunchtime and evening classes to be available to working adults.

    Dance for Aging Adults

    Our program has unique movement classes designed for seniors to help increase balance, promote better posture and develop a stronger mind-to-body connection necessary for mobility. DANC 1003- Dancing for Mobility (DANC 1003) meets on Monday and Wednesdays from 1:30 - 2:45 pm.