10 Best Colleges For Dancers In The US

For aspiring dancers, getting a standard education program is the safest way to start a career, and finding the best colleges for dancers became essential for them.

Whether you are looking forward to practicing classical ballet or modern dance styles, a program honing your skills and focusing on your goals will be more than necessary.

Take a quick look at our compilation of such colleges across the expansive territory of the US and find your best match!

10 Best Colleges For Dancers In The US

Juilliard School – Best college for ballet dancers

Juilliard School

After 100+ years of development, Juilliard is the dance school for many famous talents worldwide. Here, students will have the chance to learn the language of movement via various techniques.

For example, ballet technique (pointe, classical partnering), modern techniques (Limon, Cunningham, Graham), repertory, contact improvisation, contemporary partnering, tap, jazz, and hip-hop dance college, to name a few.

Apart from performance, you will also learn how to nourish your original voice through movement and music exploration.

However, due to its low acceptance rate (8%), Juilliard School is considered a hard choice for applicants.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is the first public art college in America located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is also the exclusive affiliate art education center for the American Ballet Theatre. Thus, UNCSA has a close connection to the dance industry.

As a professional center for dance education, UNCSA offers 3 academic programs – classical ballet and contemporary dance in high school and Bachelor of Fine Arts; and preparatory dance for younger dancers.

The preparatory dance program is qualified for the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. This course is for students from 3rd to 9th grade to nurture dance talent, and prepare for dancers’ health, training etiquette, and discipline.

NYU Tisch School of the Arts

NYU Tisch School of the Arts

The Bachelor program of the Tisch School specializes in ballet techniques and contemporary dances, balancing between stage presence and choreography.

The Research Program for Master is for practitioners and artists who want to use practical or speculative research to picture and enact new pieces of choreography. It can be self-directed or collaborative, depending on what you would like to improve.

For people who are interested in the course, they can join the tour or the virtual FAQ session! The Master’s program comes with an MFA session in Dance Info.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona is the first university in Arizona territory and also a public grant-research university that offers dance majors in Bachelor of Fine Arts.

This college is among the top 5 best universities in the US that provide dance education through technical training and performance experience.

The most notable highlight of the dance degree at the University of Arizona is that this school teaches 3 key majors – ballet, jazz, and modern dance. You can choose to focus on one of these 3 majors or learn 3 of them in a broad approach.

Butler University

  • Established: 1855
  • Located: Indiana, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 30%
  • Graduation rate: 93%
  • Official website: https://www.butler.edu/

Butler University

Among 6 colleges of Butler University, Jordan College of the Arts is the professional training center for dance with an undergraduate program. This program is listed among the best classical dance programs.

At Butler, you will learn about 3 key majors – ballet, modern, and jazz, with a focus on ballet.

Besides coursework, students have various opportunities for performance and choreography. They will have at least 3 performances (2 classical dances and 1 mixed contemporary/modern dance) per year to form their dance team for practicing and performing on stage. 

Southern Methodist University

  • Established: 1911
  • Located: Texas, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 52.7%
  • Graduation rate: 77.9%
  • Official website: https://www.smu.edu/

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private research university, started by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and is now part of the United Methodist Church. However, it welcomes students of all religions for admission.

Meadows Division of Dance in SMU offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Dance performance program, with two training directions – conservatory dance instruction and liberal arts programs.

First-year students and sophomores will take a balanced time for 3 required techniques – ballet, modern, and jazz. From junior and senior years, they will choose one among these 3 techniques as their concentration.

The school also offers a Minor in Dance Performance for all students of SMU. This program aims at students who are pursuing a liberal arts program and have a passion for serious dance education.

Oklahoma City University

  • Established: 1904
  • Located: Oklahoma, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 73.1%
  • Graduation rate: 63.2%
  • Official website: https://www.okcu.edu/

Oklahoma City University

The four-degree track of OCU will give you the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree in performing arts, dance education, dance management, and dance science.

If you prefer a program tailored to performing arts, there are theatrical and commercial paths for you to choose from. You will approach and hone your skills in various styles, from hip-hop to classical ballet. Additional and advanced courses on tap, pointe, partnering, and more are also ready.

So, what about the opportunities?

OCU will pave the way for you to perform for Star Dance Company, aside from activities hosted by the university such as holiday shoes, spring revues, musicals, and companies on the campus.

Point Park University

  • Established: 1933
  • Located: Pennsylvania, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 69.5%
  • Graduation rate: 59.2%
  • Official website: https://www.pointpark.edu/

Point Park University

Point Park University (previously known as Point Park College) is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance. 

The school offers a BFA in Dance with 3 concentrations – ballet, jazz, and modern:

  • Ballet concentration: classical ballet technique, training in Pointe and Pas de Deux;  performance in classical repertoire and 20th-century ballet masters/contemporary choreographers.
  • Jazz concentration: Broadway techniques, commercial/contemporary jazz styles (classical to modern trends).
  • Modern concentration: Modern dance rules, contemporary movements.

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Established: 1817
  • Located: Michigan, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 26.1%
  • Graduation rate: 91.9%
  • Official website: https://smtd.umich.edu/

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan (UMich, U-M, or Michigan) is the oldest one in Michigan and also among the most prestigious universities in the world.

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD), founded in 1880 by Calvin Brainerd Cady, is responsible for the professional dance education of this public research university.

This school was first named Ann Arbor School of Music and was later merged into a part of UMich. Some of its notable alumni are Madonna, Michael Fabiano, William Albright, Yakov Kreizberg, Chip Davis, etc.

SMTD offers professional training in performing arts in undergraduate and graduate education, from bachelor to doctoral degrees. The Department of Dance offers the BFA and MFA in Dance.

The University of Southern California

  • Established: 1880
  • Located: Southern California, USA
  • Acceptance rate: 16%
  • Graduation rate: 91.9%
  • Official website: https://www.usc.edu/

The University of Southern California

The dance program is a vital reason for USC to become extremely well-known in the industry. It was ranked #9 by College Factual among schools with a dance major.

The most acclaimed courses they have are considered good for veterans and professionals with great value. Graduates from USC tend to have a good and stable income.

Recent data showed that only 21 students graduated from the USC program, which can serve as a sign that the program is quite limited and challenging.

Final Words

After taking a glance at the 10 top colleges for dance, you have had more information to pick up some options that are best suited for you.

Which one is your dream school? Which school should also be added? Tell us in comments.

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