10 Best Colleges for Dance Performance in the US

4. Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)

photo by Peetlesnumber1 via Wikimedia Commons

Butler is regularly ranked in the top 10 dance programs in the country. In fact, there is even a very well-written “day in the life” piece profiling Butler Dance over at Pointe Magazine.

Jordan College of the Arts at Butler, home to the school’s dance department, is among the most impressive arts colleges in the US; the College of the Arts, overall, has a 94% placement rate for graduating students, one of the highest in the nation.

The core of the Butler experience is the Butler Ballet; at Butler Ballet, students perform professional level concert dances of classical productions, including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and many more. Two full-scale ballets are produced annually at Butler, according to the school’s website.

The facilities at Butler include five fully equipped studios, including a conditioning room reserved only for dance students. Through a partnership with St. Vincent Sports Performance, students are also provided an athletic trainer who consults on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and fitness goals.

Butler’s dance program performs not only for faculty and students at the school, but also entertains audiences throughout all of Indianapolis; the program is a cultural gem of the midwest.


3. Fordham University (New York, NY)

Photo by Howchou via Wikimedia Commons

Have YOU heard of Alvin Ailey? One of the most important choreographers of the 20th century, Alvin Ailey created the Ailey School, a premiere training center for dancers throughout the country.

In this unique program, students attend both the Ailey School full-time as well as Fordham University.

This bring together the excellence of the Ailey School’s faculty & state-of-the-art studios with the academic rigor of a Fordham University.

Both Fordham and the Ailey School are located in Lincoln Center, perhaps the center of the arts scene in all of Manhattan.


HONORABLE MENTION: Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts (Newark, NJ)

Photo by Zampromote via Wikimedia Commons

With just an 18% acceptance rate for applying students, Rutgers is one of the top schools for Dance Performance in the US.

Rutgers is known for having created, in recent years, students accepted into the world’s top dance companies.

One such dancer, recent graduate Bria Bacon, was placed into the world-renowned Stephen Petronio Company in two weeks of graduating the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Other alumni of the school have performed in Broadway musicals, won Bessie Awards (the “Tony Awards” of Dance), and have performed in New York City’s top venues.

The school is not only excellent for students pursuing Dance Performance, it is also one of the best schools for Dance Education as well.

For those who wish to both teach as well as train at the highest levels, the school does offer a 5-year Bachelor’s and Master’s in Performance and Teaching respectively.

The faculty and people at the school are top-notch, comprised of seasoned professionals who have choreographed and performed with the world’s greatest creatives.

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