Colleges with Dance Majors: How to Choose

Becoming a dancer requires determination and hard work, and schools help each student realize his or her potential through a rigorous curriculum. Read on to learn what you should keep in mind as you consider different dance programs, and see a list of some U.S. schools with dance programs.

How to Select a Dance School

Most schools combine a core of general education courses with daily technique classes, usually in ballet or modern dance. Bachelor's degree programs in dance are typically offered at 4-year colleges and universities. Graduates may pursue performance careers or open a dance studio upon completion of a bachelor's degree program.

Consider the following as you choose a dance program:

  • In addition to a technical foundation, schools allow students to choose from an array of dance styles and topics, such as choreography, Labanotation (a notation method for analyzing movement), world dance, tap, jazz, hip hop and Gyrokinesis (a yoga form for dancers).
  • To supplement a student's training, schools may invite guest artists to hold master classes or work in-residence, which allows students to experience different techniques and make connections with professionals in the dance industry.
  • Many schools boast state-of-the-art rehearsal spaces that transform into performance venues where dance students have the chance to showcase their talents and progress. Some students may wish to attend a school that offers ample opportunities to perform publicly.
  • Postgraduate students face heavy competition for jobs and roles in professional productions so it may help to research the achievements and performances of a school's graduates.

Dance Program Overviews

Bachelor's Degree in Dance

Students pursuing a performance career in dance may attain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Students who are interested in entering graduate school or working in other dance careers can choose to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Whichever degree students select, they usually must pass an audition for entrance into the program. In addition to a general liberal arts education, students may concentrate their studies in a specific form of dance through professional core and elective courses. The classes covered in a bachelor's degree program might include:

  • Ballet technique
  • Elements of performing
  • Dance history
  • Kinesiology
  • Modern dance
  • Choreography

10 Schools with Dance Degree Programs

University/College Institution Type
Anderson University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Ball State University 4-year, Public
Duke University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Emory University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Florida State University 4-year, Public
Marlboro College 4-year, Private not-for-profit
New York University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Ohlone College 2-year, Public
Santa Ana College 2-year, Public
Temple University 4-year, Public

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