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Majoring in Dance — The Process Beforehand

by Maxine Patronik

in community

For any high school student, the decision to go to college is a big and important one, and includes many decisions about where you want to go, what you want to do, and if college is even right for you. As a young dancer, one of the biggest decisions we are faced with is the decision to go to college for dance. Other options include auditioning for companies after high school, joining a apprentice program or second company, or going to college for something else. Of course there are many other options as well, and everyone is different. What worked for one dancer may not be the best for another, because it’s all very individual.

dancemagcolguideI chose to apply for college and major in dance. I was very drawn to BFA, or Bachelor in Fine Arts, programs, especially ones that were associated with a dance company or school. I liked the idea of working for a degree in dance while also taking academic courses at a university. After lots of research (this Dance Magazine College Guide is very helpful), I decided to audition and apply for: the Lines/Dominican BFA Program, the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, Point Park University, Indiana University’s contemporary dance program, and Butler University’s ballet program.

The application process was hard, I’m not going to lie. Not only do you have to focus on applying and getting accepted academically, but you also have to focus on auditioning and making it into the program. All the programs I chose to audition for were like this, meaning your acceptance to the university does not guarantee your acceptance into the dance program.

The dance audition usually consists of a ballet and/or modern class, solo, and maybe an interview as well. For example, the Ailey audition I attended was made up of a ballet class, Horton (modern) class, 2 minute solo, and short interview with the judges. Then, I had to wait months before finding out if I made it. The waiting is the hardest part!

I ended up deciding on the Lines BFA program, after auditioning in San Francisco and touring the Dominican campus. It felt like the perfect fit for me, and it offered exactly what I was looking for. I am beyond excited to get started in just a couple weeks, and I plan on keeping you updated on what it’s like to be a dance major!


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