If you can do some acrobatics in the air and pirouette so fast that you get onlookers amazed by your skills, you should consider becoming a professional dancer. And a degree in dance means so much more than dancing and training at the studio every day for the next four years.
It involves pedagogy, kinesiology, and history. Become a master of one of humanity’s oldest art forms and inspire the rest of us lousy dancers. So, this post analyzes the best dancing schools where you can kickstart your career pursuit.
Hence, this article will help you learn why you need to maximize your skills cum talent, how much you can make as a professional dancer, and the best dance schools in the world to get the perfect college experience as an undergraduate.
Dance is an essential part of human life. It is everywhere, and everyone is doing it in some way. The desire to express ourselves through music and fluid movement is inherent in man and almost inseparable from man. As a matter of fact, dancing and singing are two things that all humans do almost unconsciously.
So, you might be saying that getting a degree in dancing doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a successful dance career. Yea, but a degree certifies you as a professional. You won’t just be dancing as a hobby or relaxation outlet, but a degree will aid you to become intentional about your skills.
In fact, “The reality today is that if you don’t get a degree, you will be at a disadvantage,” says Dr. Sally R. Sommer, director of the Florida State University dance department’s semester-long immersion program in NYC.
So, you see, the truth is, it is difficult to become a better and professional dancer in this present age without a degree. It requires a lot of time, learning, and practice. But as much as anything, you will also need a free and open-minded attitude. This will enable you to soar high in your dancing career.
Table of contents
- Who is a Dancer?
- Why Study Dancing?
- How long will it take to study Dancing?
- How much does a Dancer earn? | Salary
- What is the job growth for Dancers?
- How much does it cost to study Dancing?
- What are the Best Dance Schools in 2023?
- Acceptance Rate
- Accreditation Bodies
- Students Faculty Ratio
- #1. Brenau University
- #2. Vanderbilt University
- #3. Skidmore College
- #4. University of Rochester
- #5. Fordham University
- #6. Elmhurst Ballet School
- #7. The Hammond School
- #8. University of Cumbria
- #9. The Juilliard School
- #10. Columbia University
- #11. New York University
- #12. Butler University
- #13. University of Buffalo, SUNY
- What are the Best Schools for Dancing Online?
- What Are The Best Dance Schools in the US?
- FAQs on the Best Dance Schools in the World
- Author’s Recommendations
Who is a Dancer?
According to Wikipedia, dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture.
Dance can further be categorized and described by its choreography, its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.
So, a dancer commits to years of learning and practicing to master this beautiful art. He is someone who uses movements to express ideas and stories in performances.
Dancers typically do the following:
- Audition for a part in a show or for a job within a dance company
- Learn complex dance movements that entertain an audience
- Rehearse several hours each day to prepare for their performance
- Study new and emerging types of dance
- Work closely with instructors or other dancers to interpret or modify choreography
- Attend promotional events, such as photography sessions, for the production in which they are appearing
- Create dances or interpretations of existing dances
- Choose the music that will accompany a dance routine
- Audition dancers for a role in a show or within a dance company
- Assist with costume design, lighting, and other artistic aspects of a show
- Teach complex dance movements
- Study new and emerging types of dance to design more creative dance routines
- Help with the administrative duties of a dance company, such as budgeting
Check out our: 13 Dance Colleges in New York
Why Study Dancing?
Dancing goes beyond just exploring different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music; it is a manner of movement that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. Through dance, students learn teamwork, focus, and improvisational skills. It also awakens new perceptions in an individual which helps him learn and think in new ways.
Dance also enables students to better understand themselves and the world in which they live. As a matter of fact, it also enhances skills of perception, observation, and concentration which will undoubtedly help students in all of their school subjects.
How long will it take to study Dancing?
How long it will take you to become a good dancer largely depends on your natural ability and how much time you put into practice. Constant practice they say makes perfect. If you practice well and often, you would have become a pro dancer within six months to a year.
It is however important to note that it takes about four years to get a bachelor’s degree in dancing.
How much does a Dancer earn? | Salary
Various professional dancers earn different salaries. The amount of money dancers make depends on their employer and how good they are too. Those working as college instructors earn the highest salaries.
A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average a professional dancer earns per year is $48,589. Dancers can make an average of $41,371 working for performing arts companies. Those of them who work in amusement parks can earn $37,918 annually.
What is the job growth for Dancers?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the employment of dancers is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. Also, the employment of choreographers is projected to decline by 3 percent from 2018 to 2028. Choreographers held about 7,200 jobs in 2018 and dancers held about 13,900 jobs in 2018.
As a matter of fact, positions in large dance companies are competitive, so dancers may find positions in smaller companies or in companies that stage professional dance competitions.
Also, see: 21 Best Dance Scholarships [UPDATED]
How much does it cost to study Dancing?
Different dance patterns may have different costs. The amount of money you will spend learning how to become a dancer will largely depend on the number of classes you take each week and the region where you live. Also, it will depend on how much your instructor or school is. The fees can range widely, from about $14,000 to over $60,000 a year depending on the conditions earlier stated.
Usually, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a dance school costs about $50,000 a year on average for international students. The fees cover tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies.
What are the Best Dance Schools in 2023?
There are several schools in the world that offer dancing programs. But for the sake of this article, emphasis will be laid on 13 of them.
Now, taking cognizance of the student’s academic, we’ve ranked these dancing schools in the World using the following ranking factors:
This refers to the number of students the dancing school accepts in each session. A lower number of the school is selective
This refers to the accreditation bodies that give institutions official recognition or official standards.
Students Faculty Ratio
This refers to the number of students the dancing school has for each lecture in each class. A lower number means that the lecture gets to give the students the required attention they need.
This refers to the fee each student is to pay for the session. child. Tuition shows how affordable the school is.
The best dance schools in the world are:
- Brenau University
- Vanderbilt University
- Skidmore College
- University of Rochester
- Fordham University
- Elmhurst Ballet School
- The Hammond School
- University of Cumbria
- The Juilliard School
- Columbia University
- New York University
- Butler University
- University of Buffalo, SUNY
#1. Brenau University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Acceptance Rate: 64%
Brenau University gives its dance students plenty of options. Get your dance B.A. with a concentration in advanced ballet, modern dance, jazz/musical theatre, dance pedagogy or even pre-occupational or pre-physical therapy.
You’ve only got one ballet technique class, modern and jazz dance center combinations, an improvisation problem and a post-audition interview standing between you and all the Brenau dance education your twirling heart can handle.
Also, you’ll benefit from the small student-faculty ratio and a mentorship program to help you grow both personally and professionally.
Freshman year focuses on preparation and professionalism. By your final year, you’ll graduate prepared to land work with an artist statement and final capstone project. If you want a better idea of where you’ll stretch and sweat, Brenau’s fitness center has four dance studios and an athletic training room. Brenau East, its second studio space location, houses a fully equipped Pilates studio and two more large studio spaces.
In addition, you can keep your summertime sadness at bay with the Summer Dance Intensive, a two-week program that packs in ballroom dancing, pointe, West African dance and yoga classes.
Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associates, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral degrees.
Also, see: 20 Colleges With Dance Majors in 2023
#2. Vanderbilt University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Acceptance Rate: 9%
Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dance instructors at Vanderbilt offer classes in classical ballet, tap, contemporary/modern, hip hop and world dance techniques. The Vanderbilt Dance Program is conveniently located in Memorial Gym and offers classes for beginners through advanced levels.
Thus, this best dancing college has an acceptance rate of 9.6% and the graduation rate of 92.9%. Also, it has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. The tuition fee is $50,800.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
#3. Skidmore College
Students-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Acceptance Rate: 30%
Another school among the best dance colleges in the world is Skidmore College. Skidmore is a top liberal arts college situated on 1,000 acres of natural beauty in Saratoga Springs, New York, which Travel & Leisure calls one of “America’s best college towns.” Skidmore College offers 2 Dance Degree programs. It’s a small private university in a small suburb.
With 2,500 students from 67 countries, 43 majors, 120 student clubs, funded research and internship opportunities, and 100+ study abroad programs, there are lots to choose from.
At Skidmore, the core is creativity, which empowers students to combine unconnected ideas, bring them to life, and turn them into solutions. No matter what you’re meant to be or do — creative thought matters. And that makes all the difference.
Furthermore, the school is accredited Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
#4. University of Rochester
Students-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Acceptance Rate: 30%
Rochester is a highly rated private university located in Rochester, New York. It is a mid-size institution with an enrollment of 6,250 undergraduate students.
Admissions are fairly competitive as the Rochester acceptance rate is 34%. Popular majors include Nursing, Biology, and Economics. Graduating 85% of students, Rochester alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $44,800.
Also, Rochester University has been ranked among the best dance colleges in NY. The University of Rochester is accredited Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
#5. Fordham University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Acceptance Rate: 30%
Another top school on the list of dance schools in the world is Ford University.
Fordham University offers a 1 Dance Degree program. It’s a large private university in a large city. Founded in 1841, Fordham offers an urban educational experience rooted in the Jesuit tradition of intellectual rigor and respect for the individual.
Basically, students choose from more than 60 majors and complete a core curriculum that spans literature, history, science, theology, philosophy, and the arts. Fordham has two residential campuses: Rose Hill, adjacent to the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo; and Lincoln Center, in the cultural heart of Manhattan near Central Park.
As the Jesuit University of NYC, Fordham is a place where talent and intellect are nurtured and dreams are achieved. In addition, Fordham University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the Middle States Association.
#6. Elmhurst Ballet School
Students-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Acceptance Rate: 67.8%
Formerly known as Elmhurst School for Dance, Elmhurst Ballet School (in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet) is the oldest vocational dance school in the UK. The school was originally based in Camberley, Surrey, but relocated to Birmingham in 2004.
The school is based on a five-acre campus and includes seven dance studios, a theatre workshop, a 250-seat studio theatre, a medical center, and a physiotherapy/exercise center. Their association with Birmingham Royal Ballet benefits many students, with opportunities to appear in the company’s productions.
The school has an excellent success rate with graduates working with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Black, plus dance companies across Europe, USA, and Japan.
Interestingly, Elmhurst acknowledges the risk of a dance career being potentially cut short by injury, and so they offer strong academic tuition.
Students in the sixth form can study A-Levels, with a small number of students accepting places at universities following graduation from Elmhurst. In 2018, there was a 100% pass rate at A-Level, with 85% gaining A*-C.
Elmhurst school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
#7. The Hammond School
Students-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Acceptance Rate: 96%
Established in 1917, The Hammond School offers specialist training courses in dance, drama, and music for 11-16-year-olds and dance, drama, music, and musical theatre for ages 16+. The School is based in Hoole Bank House, built in the 1860s, and now has a Performing Arts Centre (with 420-seat theatre), dance studios, and a music suite.
Most students sit up to 10 GCSEs, and students in the sixth form can also take a range of A-Level subjects – the school was rated as outstanding in all categories by Ofsted. For students who do not wish to study A-Levels, or have already completed them, the school offers alternative options such as Pilates Level 1 Mat Teaching Qualification, Zumba classes or fitness training. Sixth-form students study for a Level 6 Diploma, validated by Trinity College, London.
The school also offers a prep school for entry at Year 3 – applications are welcome from all children, particularly those who demonstrate skill in the performing arts.
Dance students from the school have graduated to companies such as English National Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Lithuanian National Ballet, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.
#8. University of Cumbria
Tuition: 9,250 GBP
Students-Faculty Ratio: 16:5
Accreditation: British Government
Acceptance Rate: 73%
The University of Cumbria is a public university in Cumbria, with its headquarters in Carlisle and other major campuses in Lancaster, Ambleside, and London.
At the University of Cumbria, you get to meet all the students on your dancing course and within the Performing Arts Department. They introduce you to the life of a performing arts dance student. So expect games, rehearsals, mini-lectures and performance opportunities.
The University of Cumbria offers an undergraduate degree program in Dancing. Also, the school is fully recognized by the British Government and duly listed on the United Kingdom’s Department for Education list of recognized UK awarding institutions.
#9. The Juilliard School
Students-Faculty Ratio: 5:1
Acceptance Rate: 6.9%
“I expect my dancers to show up; not just in the sense that they walk into a room and are marked present, but that they fully commit to investing in their own potential on a daily basis,” said the director of Juilliard’s Dance Division Alicia Graf Mack.
Well, if you know you’ve got what it takes, then audition to become one of 24 Juilliard dance B.F.A. students. Once you get the acceptance letter most people only dream about, you’ll begin rigorous training in ballet, modern, partnering, contact improvisation and topics in dance.
“Our curriculum is multifaceted, creating effective communicators and citizen artists,” said Mack. Your departmental and liberal arts requirements will include courses like society, politics, and culture, dance history and stagecraft.
Basically, you won’t find any shortage of productions to audition for at Juilliard. The Dance Division puts on about 30 public performances each year. So, you could even be one of six talented dancers chosen to collaborate with music composition students to create new works in the Choreographers & Composers course.
Thus, one of the qualities that make Juilliard one of the best dancing schools around the world is that it pushes you past your own expectations to achieve greatness in the craft of dance.
In addition, The Juilliard School (Juilliard) is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
#10. Columbia University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Acceptance Rate: 5%
Columbia University is one of the best dance colleges in the world. CU is an elite private university located in Manhattan, New York in the New York City Area. Columbia University offers 2 Dance Degree programs. It’s a large private university in a large city.
It is a mid-size institution with an enrollment of 7,592 undergraduate students. Admissions are extremely competitive as the Columbia acceptance rate is only 7%. Popular majors include Economics, Computer Science, Political Science, and Government. Graduating 95% of students, Columbia alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $66,500.
#11. New York University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Acceptance Rate: 16%
Bring your best foot forward to NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ selective dance audition. If your plies are on point, you’ll be asked to perform a short, three-minute solo dance followed by a personal interview. Even if it takes months to perfect, this solo dance should be flawless and show your physical potential and technical skills.
Tisch’s dance B.F.A. curriculum spans three years and two summer semesters of intense and increasingly nuanced dance training. The first year emphasizes placement and alignment, teaching you to dance in the most efficient and healthy way possible. Third-year focuses on professional dance experience, performance, and choreography.
Tisch students graduate as professionals chiseled to industry standards. Also, New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#12. Butler University
Students-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Acceptance Rate: 73%
With a B.F.A. in dance performance from Butler, your pre-professional opportunities don’t stop at The Nutcracker. The performance component of the program gives students the chance to take part in classical ballet shows like Swan Lake, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.
Can you see the sparkles and backstage mist of hairspray yet? The application process includes a ballet class judged by the entire full-time dance faculty.
Then you’ll be randomly assigned to take another ballet class with current dance majors. You’ll get access to a conditioning room, consultations from an athletic trainer, several fully equipped dance studios and art partnerships with the likes of the Indianapolis Opera, Symphonic Choir, Chamber Orchestra, and Dance Kaleidoscope.
#13. University of Buffalo, SUNY
Students-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Acceptance Rate: 61%
University at Buffalo is a highly rated public university located in Amherst, New York in the Buffalo Area. Here, they offer 2 Dance Degree programs. Also, it’s a large public university in a large suburb and one of the best dance colleges in The world.
It is a large institution with an enrollment of 19,401 undergraduate students. Admissions are fairly competitive as the University at Buffalo’s acceptance rate is 57%. Popular majors include Business, Psychology, and Social Science Research Methods. Graduating 75% of students, University at Buffalo alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $40,800.
You can also read: Best Fashion Design Schools in the World
What are the Best Schools for Dancing Online?
Online dance training platforms are an ever-growing option for dancers of all genres and skill levels. Although they should never replace your live training, they can be convenient.
So, here are a few online dance training schools that offer the best programs:
What Are The Best Dance Schools in the US?
Even here in the U.S, we have some of the best dance schools in the world. they include:
- NYU Tisch School of the Arts
- The Ailey School at Fordham University
- Oklahoma City University
- The Juilliard School
- Point Park University
- Butler University
- Southern Methodist University
FAQs on the Best Dance Schools in the World
The dancing school fees can range widely, from about $14,000 to over $60,000 a year depending on the conditions of the training.
It’s easy to become a dancer without a degree but if you want to have a successful career as a dancer, it is advisable to get a bachelors degree in dancing.
Honestly, according to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average professional dancer earns per year is $48,589.
Yes, you can. However, its advised to get a dancing degree offline so as to get hands-on experience in dancing techniques.
Like we said earlier, a degree in dance means so much more than hitting the studio every day for the next four years.
Once you learn music and dancing at the undergraduate level, you’ll become a master of one of humanity’s oldest art forms and inspire the rest of us cha-cha-sliders with what the human body is truly capable of.
- 21 Best Dance Scholarships [UPDATED]
- Physician Assistant Scholarships
- Top 15 Ph.D. Scholarships for Public Health Students
- OTS/Talent Master Grant Faculty of Arts for students of University of Groningen, Netherlands
Does this article meet your immediate needs? If yes, leave us with a 5-star rating in the Review Box below. However, if no, leave a comment on the comment box to express your concern or ask the question and we will get back to you as soon as possible.