Check Out The 10 Best Colleges For Dance Performance In the US

5. Butler University

Location: Indianapolis, IN

A nationally renowned ballet program located in the heart of the midwest, Butler University offers to its students the benefit of a liberal arts education as well as an intensive dance performance education. Their strength lies within classical traditions, as they regularly host productions of many classical ballets, including The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty in recent years. They do also choreograph modern ballets as well, allowing students ample experience working with the choreography of past masters and modern greats. If you don’t believe that Butler University has graduated students to the top ranks of dance performance, think again: here is a list of the organizations and companies their graduates have become affiliated with over the years.


4. University of Arizona

Location: Tucson, AZ

An excellent contemporary dance program that turns out many fine young artists and teachers of modern traditions, University of Arizona is also known for having a strong basis in classical ballet and jazz performance. Having the edge of classical training as a contemporary dancer is only a plus, and the students of this school have benefitted from this powerful combination: their dancers have advanced to major companies throughout the entire world. In addition, their facilities are unrivaled: all dance majors are given the opportunity to perform in a 30,000 square foot theatre, known as the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Although this program may not be for someone who wants an education in a big city, Tucson is certainly bustling with enough culture to keep a young student entertained for a four year degree. A remarkable school that has been consistently ranked by many publications as a top ten dance school, University of Arizona should be on the top of any young dance artist’s list of applications.


3. New York University Tisch School of the Arts

Location: New York, NY

Long considered to be one of the foremost colleges for dance performance, along with the Juilliard School, NYU Tisch offers a nearly unrivaled experience as a performer on the stage of contemporary dance in New York City. Graduates of NYU Tisch have advanced to virtually every single position a modern dance artist could hope to achieve, including spots in top dance companies, professorships at top universities, and soloist honors for a variety of important productions in New York City and abroad. The location is also undeniably unbeatable, as the university is located in the premiere city for dancers.


2. Fordham University

Location: New York, NY

Located in the dance epicenter of the US, Fordham University, like the number 3 and number 1 school on this list, allows its students the benefit of networking and thriving within one of the most culturally diverse cities in the entire world. But Fordham has much more to offer than just location: it also offers a partnership with one of the premiere dance institutions in the entire nation, the Ailey School. Founded by Alvin Ailey, one of the most popular modern dance artists of all time, the Ailey School has become a legendary institution which hosts a 30-member contemporary ballet as well as students in the Fordham/Ailey program. A program designed for contemporary dance specialties, students are expected to dance 4-6 hours a day as well as stay on top of their academic studies. It is intensive, yet rewarding, to those who succeed in the program.


1. Juilliard School

Location: New York, NY

Without much question, Juilliard is, and has been for decades, the very top school for dance performance in the entire world, as well as for acting and for musical studies. The program is known throughout the industry as being the gold standard for contemporary dancing. However, the college is also strongly tied to the traditions of ballet and other forms as well – there is even a faculty member who is renowned for ballroom dancing. Whether you choose Juilliard for the prestige, the location, the opportunities, the networking, or all four of those reasons and more, you possibly cannot choose a better college for dance. That said, the acceptance rate into Juilliard is around 8%, making it the most selective school on this list.


Cover Photo by chase_elliott Via Flickr Creative Commons

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