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Best Colleges for Dance Performance in the US

If you are a prospective student who wants to the best colleges for a dance performance in the US, this post is for you because it contains the list of the best colleges for dance performance in the United States.

The following list breaks down these details and more, highlighting key information dancers might consider when applying to the US foremost dance programs.

When looking at some of the premier dancers, from Rudolf Nureyev to Sylvie Guillem, to the legendary Anna Pavlova in the world, one finds that the rigorous training and professional development afforded by schools dedicated to developing burgeoning dancers served as key stepping stones in their careers.

This fact is no accident: few things can transform novice dancers into disciplined experts like the resources available to students at the following Dance performance institutions.

But what each individual dancer needs to best hone their craft is a unique thing. See Best Colleges for Acting, Theatre, and Drama.

As such, performance dancers must carefully consider the specializations of the dance institutions they seek to study within, the faculty that could become future mentors, the kinds of notable alumni these institutions have produced historically, and the culture of the dance scene within the cities that house these institutions.

All of these factors are crucial if they are to make the most of their time during advanced study. Some of these institutions are Bachelor’s degree-granting institutions, while others are training schools for future professional dancers.

This list represents 10 of the best colleges for dance performance in the US

  • Juilliard School (New York, NY)
  • New York University Tisch School of the Arts (New York, NY)
  • Dominican University (San Rafael, CA)
  • Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts (Newark, NJ)
  • Fordham University (New York, NY)
  • Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)
  • University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Oklahoma City University (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Oklahoma City University
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
  • Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
  • Point Park University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, WA)

Juilliard School (New York, NY)

Paul Taylor, who graduated from the program in 1953 is one of the first “superstar” dance alumni of Juilliard School, just two years after the dance division at Juilliard was formed.

Still active today, his ensemble, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, still tours and performs some of his 144 original works today. See Juilliard School Acceptance Rate.

Nowadays, Juilliard is comprised of the leading personalities in the world of dance. Faculty from the school, such as the well-known performer and pedagogue Jeff Edwards who is known as a premiere talent and scholar of Balanchine’s works, have performed in world-renowned dance companies and choreographed artists on Broadway and beyond.

Being in New York City, the arts capital of the country, off-campus performance opportunities are common here.

Students perform all throughout New York City’s legendary museums and venues, including the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Juilliard Opera, the Metropolitan Museum or Art, MoMa, and countless more.

New York University Tisch School of the Arts (New York, NY)

New York University Tisch is perhaps the top school in the country for the pre-professional dancer desiring both conservatory-level instruction as well as a well-rounded university experience.

At the school, dance students work not only with acclaimed faculty, but also choreographers who are among the top names in contemporary dance.

One way students get to work with these guest choreographers is through the Second Avenue Dance Company, a New York University organization that allows students to perform new and existing works choreographed by master artists.

The Chair of New York University Tisch’s Dance program is Seán Curran, a widely acclaimed American dancer and choreographer whose teaching credits span over 100 institutions, including Boston Conservatory, Bates Dance Festival, the American Dance Festival, and more. He previously won a Bessie award for his work in 1985.

Dominican University (San Rafael, CA)

Dominican University is one of the very best colleges for dance in the country, thanks in large part to its partnership with one of the very best dance companies on the west coast, the Alonzo King LINES Ballet.

Students of this program spend their time between Dominican University’s beautiful San Rafael campus and the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center situated in San Francisco.

Graduates of the program have been accepted into dozens of the top companies worldwide, including the AXIS Dance Company, the National Company for Dance of Spain, and even the professional company of Alonzo King.

One noted trait of this school is that the school is highly dedicated to arts as a service. In partnership with JUNTOS, a non-profit organization, the school provides students the opportunity to travel & perform for underserved areas of the US and Mexico.

The school’s foundation is strongly rooted in Western classical ballet – that said, many other dance forms are taught at the highest level at this impressive school.


Based on what was written above, we believe that you have been able to get information about the best colleges for dance performance in the US and you have also been able to make your choice of school from it. For more information on this topic, you can reach out to us using the comment section.

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Admin

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