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Dance programs teach people to express ideas and feelings through movement and dance performance.

Dance programs teach people choreography and dance notation. Students study steps related to ballet, modern, and folk dance. They also study the histories of music and dance and learn how each form conveys various emotions and meanings.

In dance programs, students learn:

Dance programs include topics such as:

Dance programs prepare students to:


Community colleges and independent schools of the performing arts also provide training in dance and choreography.

Many colleges and universities offer programs that lead to bachelor's, master's, or doctoral (PhD) degrees in dance. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

For admission to dance conservatories and private dance schools, you typically need to audition and complete a personal interview.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and a strong record of performance. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Your bachelor's degree does not necessarily have to be in dance. However, you should be able to demonstrate your skills as a dancer through an audition and a personal interview. You also typically have to submit the following:

If you want to pursue a doctoral degree in dance, you should have a master's in dance or a related field.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary from program to program. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Both undergraduate and graduate curriculums typically include studio time for dance training and practice. You also have a lot of different opportunities - required and optional - to perform.

Things to Know

Dance is hard work. Students must maintain good health and physical condition to keep up with its demands.

When choosing schools to which to apply, you may want to consider the equipment and facilities available at each school. This is especially true if you want to focus more on dance performance than on dance theory or history.

Many schools offer different kinds of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees depending on your desired concentration. Some of these degrees focus more on studio training and choreography. Others combine studio training with a broad liberal arts education.


East Side Area

Walla Walla Community College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Cornish College of the Arts

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

West Side Area

Western Washington University