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Western Michigan University - Department of Dance

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WMU Dance values aesthetic breadth, disciplinary excellence, and student choice. We provide high-quality, undergraduate education preparing you for a vibrant, professional career in dance. Through comprehensive training and support from faculty, you will explore and articulate who you are as a dance artist and leader – we can prepare you to be the dancer you want to be.

Dance Programs:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance: emphasizes performance, choreographic and aesthetic training and is designed for the student seeking employment at the professional level. Audition required.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Dance: offers students an opportunity to individualize dance studies through electives that support their career goals. Audition required. 
  • Online Certificate in Dance Studio Management: designed to provide current and prospective dance studio owners with knowledge and skills related to dance studio ownership and management. No audition required.
  • Dance Minor: for students who wish to continue their dance studies as an avocation. No audition required.

Why WMU?

  • Tri-focus training with equal opportunity to study ballet, jazz, and modern techniques to the advanced level.
  • 7-10 performances opportunities each year, freshmen students perform in their first semester 
  • Connection with dance professionals through master classes, residencies, and opportunities to perform professional works 
  • Supportive learning environment with individual feedback from faculty on artistic development and career goals. 
  • Successful alumni!  WMU Dance alumni are actively engaged in performing, choreographing, creating, producing, and teaching dance across the country and around the world. Many have taken their love of dance into related fields such as physical therapy, dance movement therapy, personal training, dance education, community outreach and service. Others apply the skills developed as dancers to careers outside of dance including medicine, engineering, business, and law.

Who are we?

  • WMU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Our Students:

  • 110 dance majors (approx. 85 pursuing a BA, 25 pursuing a BFA), 50 dance minors
  • 40% of BA students double-major in fields such as Exercise Science, Elementary & Secondary Education, Psychology, Marketing, or Business; popular minors include Business, Event Management, and Nonprofit Organizational Leadership.
  • Over 30% of dance majors are members of the Lee Honors College

Our Faculty:

  • 7 full-time dance faculty who are accomplished artists and scholars
  • 2-6 part-time instructors each semester
  • 20+ guest artist master classes, lectures, and presentations every year


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APPLY & AUDITION

Students wishing to major in dance at WMU must be accepted by both the university AND the dance program. 

  1. Apply to Western Michigan University: https://wmich.edu/apply
  2. Complete your dance application right here through Acceptd and either register to participate in an on-site audtion OR submit virtual audition materials. Dance application available September 1, 2021. 
    • On-site auditions for acceptance starting are:
      • Friday, October 15, 2021 
      • Friday, November 12, 2021 
      • Friday, February 4, 2022
    • On-site auditions are 10am-4pm and include ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique classes; opportunities to meet WMU faculty and students to learn more about WMU; an informal performance by WMU dance students; and a meeting for parents/friends accompanying the student to meet with university representatives from Financial Aid, Residence Life, Admissions, and Family Engagement.  Auditioning students are expected to participate in all audition activities.

For more information on the dance application and audition process, select Dance Major in Start an Application menu, and click Guidelines at the top of the page.

All students audition into the BA program.  Students may petition for acceptance into the BFA program after completing one semester each of ballet, jazz, and modern technique courses; DANC1800 The Creative Choreographer; and at least one additional dance theory course. Most students interested in the BFA apply during the second semester of freshmen year, or during the sophomore year. Recommended courses for the first year of the BA and BFA programs are identical. Transfer students may petition into the BFA program and should contact the academic advisor for more information.  

Questions?  Contact us at dance-info@wmich.edu or call 269-387-6171. For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.