Dance College Major Guide 2024

What is a Dance Major?

Pursuing a Dance major is an exhilarating choice for those with a passion for movement, expression, and the arts. This academic discipline focuses on developing your technical skills, understanding of dance history, and ability to choreograph and perform. As a Dance major, you'll dive deep into various dance genres, including ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary, among others. It's not just about moving your body; it's about connecting with the music, conveying emotions through movement, and telling stories without words.

Top Courses Required for the Dance Major

When you decide to major in Dance, you're signing up for an immersive education that covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of the art form. Here are some of the top courses you can expect to take:

  • Dance Technique Classes: These are the backbone of your Dance major. You'll take multiple levels of ballet, modern dance, jazz, and potentially other styles like tap or hip-hop. These classes focus on improving your strength, flexibility, and overall technique.

  • Choreography: Learning how to create your own dances is a crucial part of the Dance major. These courses teach you the principles of choreography, including how to develop concepts, select music, and work with dancers to bring your vision to life.

  • Dance History: Understanding the evolution of dance throughout different cultures and time periods gives you a broader perspective on your craft. These courses cover significant movements, works, and figures in dance history.

  • Anatomy for Dancers: It's essential to understand how your body works to prevent injuries and improve performance. This course covers the basics of anatomy and kinesiology as they relate to dance.

  • Dance Production: Here, you'll learn about the technical aspects of putting on a performance, including lighting, costume design, and stage management. This knowledge is crucial for anyone looking to pursue a career in dance performance or production.

  • Improvisation: This course helps you develop your ability to move spontaneously and creatively. Improvisation is a vital skill for dancers, as it enhances your versatility and ability to adapt in both choreographed pieces and auditions.

  • Dance Criticism: Being able to critically analyze dance performances is key for developing your artistic judgment. This course teaches you how to observe, evaluate, and articulate your thoughts on various aspects of dance.

By undertaking these courses, you'll not only refine your technical abilities but also deepen your appreciation for dance as an art form. The Dance major is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to pursue a variety of careers in the dance industry, from performance and choreography to education and beyond. Whether you dream of joining a professional dance company or starting your own studio, a degree in Dance is your first step towards turning that dream into reality.

Dance Major FAQs

What can you do with a Dance major?

A Dance major can lead to a variety of career paths, both directly and indirectly related to dance. Here are some common professions pursued by Dance majors:

  • Professional dancer or choreographer for dance companies, TV, film, or Broadway
  • Dance instructor in schools, private dance studios, or community centers
  • Dance therapist, utilizing dance as a form of emotional and physical therapy
  • Arts administrator for dance companies, theaters, or arts organizations
  • Dance critic or journalist, covering performances and writing for publications or websites
  • Fitness trainer or yoga instructor, incorporating dance techniques for wellness

What skills do you learn in a Dance major?

Pursuing a Dance major not only refines your performance abilities but also equips you with a broad set of skills valuable in many fields:

  • Technical skills in various dance forms (ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, etc.)
  • Creative thinking and choreography
  • Physical fitness and understanding of body mechanics
  • Teamwork and collaboration from working with other dancers and choreographers
  • Time management and discipline through rigorous training schedules
  • Critical analysis and appreciation for the history and theory of dance

Is a Dance major competitive?

Yes, pursuing a Dance major can be competitive, especially at prestigious institutions or programs renowned for their alumni and connections in the dance world. Key factors include:

  • Audition requirements that may involve performing solos or learning choreography on the spot
  • Limited spots in top programs to ensure personalized attention and adequate performance opportunities
  • High standards for technical skill, creativity, and physical fitness

However, many programs welcome students with varying levels of experience who demonstrate potential and passion for dance.

How can you prepare for a Dance major?

To prepare for a Dance major and strengthen your application:

  • Take dance classes in various styles to become a well-rounded dancer.
  • Participate in dance workshops or summer intensives to gain experience and learn from different instructors.
  • Perform in local productions or competitions to build your stage presence and confidence.
  • Record your performances to create a portfolio or reel that showcases your talents.
  • Research programs to understand their focus, audition requirements, and faculty.

Are there scholarships available for Dance majors?

Many institutions offer scholarships specifically for Dance majors, based on talent, academic merit, or financial need. To increase your chances of receiving a scholarship:

  • Prepare thoroughly for auditions, as talent is a significant factor.
  • Maintain strong academic records since some scholarships consider GPA.
  • Apply early for scholarships; some may have deadlines before college application deadlines.
  • Seek out external scholarships from arts organizations or community foundations.
  • Contact the financial aid office of the schools you're interested in to inquire about available scholarships.

By diving into the world of dance through education, you're not just developing your artistry and technique; you're also opening doors to diverse career opportunities and enriching your personal growth with invaluable life skills. Whether you aspire to perform on global stages or teach the next generation of dancers, a Dance major offers a unique blend of creativity, discipline, and passion.

Dance Major Resources

As a dance major, you're embarking on a vibrant career path that is as dynamic as the art form itself. To support your journey, it's essential to connect with the right resources. From professional associations that can provide networking opportunities to industry publications that keep you updated on the latest trends, these resources are invaluable. Here’s a curated list to guide you:

Professional Associations

Industry Publications

  • Dance Magazine

    • A leading publication in the dance industry, Dance Magazine offers insights into the lives of professional dancers, performance reviews, and tips for improving technique.
  • Pointe Magazine

    • Focused on ballet and pointe work, this magazine is a go-to for aspiring ballerinas looking for career advice, audition tips, and dancer health articles.
  • Dance Spirit

    • Catering to young dancers and students, Dance Spirit covers all things related to dance lifestyle, including fashion, training advice, and competition tips.
  • The Dance Enthusiast

    • As an online publication, The Dance Enthusiast offers a platform for dance journalism and community engagement through reviews, interviews, and events coverage.

Online Resources and Forums


    • An online community with forums discussing everything from auditions and college programs to costume advice and makeup tips.
  • Reddit: r/Dance

    • Reddit’s dance community is a place where you can share videos, ask for advice, and discuss various aspects of dance with enthusiasts around the world.

Career Guidance

  • Career.Guide: Dance Careers
    • Your go-to resource for exploring career paths within the dance industry. Find comprehensive guides on how to build a successful career in dance, including resume tips, job search strategies, and more.

Utilizing these resources can significantly enhance your knowledge, network, and opportunities within the dance industry. Whether you're just starting your education or are about to step into the professional world, these associations, publications, and online platforms can provide valuable support every step of the way.

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