Is it possible to major in dance with little dance experience?


I’m not sure if this is the best forum but if it’s not please suggest another! So I’ve always wanted to dance when I was younger and I just never got the chance to because 1) my family wasn’t supportive of it and didn’t care much about my interests, and 2) transportation problems. Anyways that dream I just kept in the back of my head up until high school. I got depression at this time and so a lot of my free time I would just spend hours watching dance videos knowing that I could never dance because I wasn’t fortunate enough to. Junior year comes and finally I was able to drive. My mom let me go to one dance class a week (even though she could afford more) and so I realized how much I loved it. I appreciate dance as an art and it makes me feel good about myself. It’s something that I always envision myself doing in the future in any way. Then senior year comes (which is now) and I find out about this amazing performing arts high school where they offer dance. It is free and anyone can audition to join. I did not know about this opportunity beforehand and so me being so desperate to pursue that childhood dream of mine I go and audition. I got in (but it was based on lottery anyways) and it’s the one thing that makes me happy and going in life. Now I’m working so hard, but I’m afraid it is too late anyways by the time I go to college. I just want to pursue dance very badly. I know that it is very unlikely for me to land a job even if I do major in dance, but I’m just wondering if it is possible to get in as a dance major with so little experience. Is it possible? At all? What do you guys think? By the way I am not aiming for ballet, rather probably modern or contemporary. And I don’t have much of an athletic history. I’m just a average sized girl that wants to dance. Please be honest and if you need to tell me that you trained since you were 3 and that there’s no way of me getting in, then by all means. I just really need help, or hope if that’s even possible.


Chances are, your teachers and counselors at the high school would be a better judge of your talent than strangers on the internet. The best programs require an audition, and they could help you prepare for that.

Fine arts scholarships are not exactly plentiful. Would your parents be financially supportive?

You can always dance, even if you don’t major in it in college. You can take classes both in college and beyond - and perform too. Having exercise you enjoy doing will provide lifelong benefits. This is not to say you won’t get into a dance program. I am trying to reassure you that if you truly enjoy it, even if you don’t formally study it, you can choose to make it an important part of your life anyway.

There are colleges that have dance programs that do not require auditions so I would think that you could pursue dance as a major somewhere. I did a Google search and came upon this blog post:

As mom2adancer said, there are colleges that don’t require auditions for dance majors, and you’ll want to make sure some of those are on your list. When you do that, make sure that your academics line up with the college’s averages, that you like the school, etc.

You can also apply to colleges that require auditions. We can’t see your dance, so we can’t judge how talented you are, so we can’t tell you what your chances might be at programs like this. Talk to your dance teachers, look up the audition requirements for some programs you like, and see what you think. If you do apply to colleges that require an audition, be sure to also apply to some that don’t require an audition.

And start thinking about what you may want to do when you graduate. You may decide to minor or double major in something related to that. You might, for example, want to run a dance studio/teach dance at a local studio. You might want to look into becoming a professional ballroom dancer and teaching that, then owning your own studio on that field (which is welcoming of dancers from other fields). You may want to go into something like dance history, or become a physical therapist, or run the business side of things for a dance company, or… but research some options, and then learn more about what you’d need to do to get there.

There are definitely lots of options for majoring in dance that don’t require an audition, but I agree with the above poster that the really important thing is looking at what your goals are post-graduation. If you want a strong liberal arts education at a school where you can major in dance, there are lots of options. If you want to be a professional dancer, that’s another thing entirely–most of the programs that will prepare you for that path DO require an audition and expect a high level of training. If your aspirations are more in that direction, it might make sense to take a year off and focus on your training, either in a formal post-grad program or by taking lots of classes.

I would really encourage you to talk to your current teachers, since they are the ones who really know where you are at in terms of training and ability. Since they know you, they will be able to give you the best advice about what your options might be and where to go from here.

As others have said, if you want to major in dance you likely can. My daughter only danced for two years before auditioning for colleges. Though she did get some rejections, she also got acceptances. She’s on a gap year now and is a trainee at a professional dance company. Her teachers were supportive and told her that she had natural talent and should try, and she believed them and it made her begin to believe in herself. She will be a double major because she, like you, doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to support herself with dance- but she loves it and lives and breathes it, so she wanted the keep her focus on it as long as possible. She’s going to be double majoring in dance performance and elementary education. We’ve seen people double major with all sorts of other departments. In the end she chose a school that didn’t require an audition because it was the best fit for her overall, so even non-audition schools can be great. Best of luck!

Loving dance and being able to dance at the college level are very different things. I love singing but couldn’t do it professionally. Don’t waste $100,000 to find out you can’t. But… Video yourself doing a few minutes to some and submit it for some opinions… Get some feedback. Many schools have student dance orgs. Etc… But some students have natural ability or potential… You will be comparing yourself to students that have danced since birth . Very few people have this “natural” talent but… Maybe your that kid. Get some solid feedback. You can always do a non audition dance minor or the like. Dance and performing arts is really all about ability. Get feedback on that.

A university to consider in the Midwest is Ohio University. They offer a BFA, BA and 3 different Minors in Dance. Me D graduated with a BA in Dance from OU and I asked her if they accepted students with little to no dance experience and she said “yes”. Two of her classmates came in with little dance experience and they became excellent dancers. OU is a modern based program with courses in many different areas of dance. You would be studying performance, choreography, history, pedagogy, somatics and more. It would require an audition primarily for advising purposes. OU is a beautiful campus and the oldest university in Ohio. While in Appalachia it is very artsy. If you were to go the BA route and wished to major in another field as well, OU is strong in the health fields, communications, education, and it’s business and engineering schools are good. My D knew BAs who also studied Business, Nursing and Engineering. My D is currently in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Something to consider. Good luck.

Just about any college with a dance program, will have classes for non dancers and non majors. Most will require a placement class. Majoring in dance could be a little more challenging, because the competition is strong. It is even tough for some dancers to get into their desired programs. Go to a college that meets your academic needs that has a dance department, and go from there.