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Western Michigan University - Dance Program

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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.

Explore our Dance Programs at wmich.edu/dance/programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (BFA): emphasizes training in performance, choreography, and the skills necessary to support an active career in dance and related fields at the professional level. Audition required.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Dance (BA): focuses on flexibility within a liberal arts education with a strong foundation in dance studies. Students individualize their dance program by choosing electives to 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.
All students audition into the BA program. Dance students interested in the BFA may petition for entrance during the second semester of their first year at WMU or later. This allows students to explore all that WMU has to offer and select the program that will best support their career goals as a dancer.

Why WMU?

  • Tri-focus training with equal opportunity to study ballet, jazz, and modern techniques to the advanced level
  • Many performance 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:

  • 120 dance majors (approx. 90 pursuing a BA, 30 pursuing a BFA), 50 dance minors
  • 40% of students double-major in fields such as Exercise Science, Education, Psychology, Marketing, or Arts Administration; popular minors include Business, Management/Leadership, Marketing, Holistic Health, Music, Art, or Theatre.
  • Over 30% of dance majors are members of the Lee Honors College

Our Faculty:

  • 6 full-time dance faculty who are accomplished artists and scholars
  • 2-4 part-time instructors each semester
  • Many guest artist master classes, lectures, and presentations every year



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. 
    • 2024-25 on-site auditions for acceptance are:
      • Friday, November 1, 2024
      • Friday, February 21, 2025
    • On-site auditions are 10am-4:30pm and include jazz, ballet, and modern dance technique classes; improvisation; 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 from the Start an Application menu, and click Guidelines at the top of the page.

WMU Dance will also audition students at the following regional auditions for both acceptance and scholarship. Students must still apply to the unversity, but do not need to complete an Acceptd application here. 
  • October 6, 2024 - Eisenhower Dance Detroit "See & Be Seen" Collegiate Audition, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • November 8, 2024 - CNADM College & Career Fair, Schaumburg, IL
  • February 2025 - National High School Dance Festival, Pittsburgh, PA

Questions?  Contact our dance academic advisor, Thom Cooper at thomas.cooper@wmich.edu or call 269-387-6171. For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.