The Dance Performance program at Illinois State University offers an intensive, individualized and performance-based approach. We provide a challenging yet nurturing environment that prepares you for the diverse career options within the field of dance performance or for future post-graduate study.
Program of Study
At Illinois State we believe that dancers must be proficient in a variety of dance genres to achieve success in the field. The styles and techniques we emphasize include:
- Classical Ballet
- Modern Dance
- Jazz Dance
The structure of the Dance Performance sequence is based on our belief that creative, theoretical, and kinesthetic work will merge to support your total growth as a dancer and performer. Therefore, as a Dance Performance student you also will study:
- Fundamentals of movement and somatics for dance
- Rhythmic fundamentals and literature for dance
- Dance history
- Multicultural perspectives in dance
A vital component of your education in Dance Performance is exposure to courses from the Theatre program. Classes in basic acting, stage make-up, and introduction to costuming complement the dancer’s curriculum at ISU.
As a crowning achievement in your senior year, Dance Performance students complete a Senior Seminar in Dance Performance. This course provides a formalized approach to embarking upon your future endeavors, helping you create an individualized plan of professional goals in the field.
Students selected into the program are assessed formally and individually with the entire dance faculty in their academic and dance coursework, their performance and artistic endeavors, and their short and long term goals.
Click here to see the Four-Year Plan of Study in Dance Performance (pdf).
The Dance Performance program is supported by a diverse and ambitious faculty who embrace a wide variety of movement styles and philosophies. They are committed to nurturing the technical and artistic potential of each student. Our Dance teachers are nationally recognized practicing artists, scholars and arts administrators. Their creative activities further enhance their instruction in the Dance program while providing strong connections within the field, both professionally and academically.
The School of Theatre and Dance Advantage
- A professionally active Dance faculty with strong connections to nationally renowned companies.
- A broad scope of Theatre faculty and peers across the arts to enhance students’ development as artists.
- Opportunities to work with a wide variety of guest artists and professional companies during the school year.
- Summer training and performance opportunities.
- Two annual concerts featuring the works of faculty and guest choreographers.
- An annual student-choreographed concert.
- The opportunity to perform in opera and musical theatre productions and audition for other School of Theatre productions.
- A rigorous and disciplined approach that encourages individual growth.
- Emphasis on a variety of movement styles and techniques within the disciplines of classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz dance to prepare students for a variety of options upon graduation.
Admission to the Undergraduate Dance Performance Sequence
Prospective freshmen and transfer students must participate in one of several on-campus auditions or, in rare circumstances, may submit a videotape in place of their audition for the Dance Performance major. (Students also must audition for the Dance minor. This audition, held in the Spring, is separate from the audition for the major.)
The Dance major admission audition consists of a technique class with some ballet, modern and jazz work, the viewing of individual solo performances by the candidates and a brief interview.
Students auditioning for the Dance Performance major are automatically considered for scholarship support and do not need to participate in an additional scholarship audition or interview.
As a prospective freshman or transfer student in Dance Performance, you must:
- Apply to Illinois State University. If you are ready, apply now!
- When you fill out your ISU application you will also sign up for an Audition date.
Upcoming audition dates at ISU are:
- Saturday, September 28, 2013
- Monday, November 11, 2013
- Saturday, February 22, 2014
- Friday, April 4, 2014 (not for scholarship consideration)
For information about how to prepare for your audition, see Admission & Auditions. For information about available scholarships, see Awards, Scholarships & Assistantships.
Within two weeks of your audition, you will be notified about your status. You will be accepted into the Dance Performance sequence, not accepted, or placed under consideration, with a decision to be made following the final School of Theatre and Dance on-campus audition. Any student not accepted into the Dance Performance Sequence but already admitted to Illinois State University is eligible to re-audition for the Dance Performance sequence at a later date.