Dance Teacher Education
The Dance Teacher Education program at Illinois State University offers an intensive, individualized and performance-based approach. We provide a challenging yet nurturing environment that prepares you for diverse career options within the field of Dance Teacher Education, helping you achieve teacher certification for grades 6-12 and providing you with a basis for future graduate study.
Program of Study
At Illinois State we believe that dance educators 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 teacher education sequence is based on our belief that creative, theoretical, and kinesthetic work will merge to support your total growth as a dancer and educator. Therefore, as a dance teacher education student you also will study:
- Fundamentals of movement and somatics for dance
- Rhythmic fundamentals and literature for dance
- Dance history
- Multicultural perspectives in dance
- Dance pedagogy
A vital component of the dance teacher education sequence is exposure to courses from the theatre program. Classes in Lighting for the Stage, Theatre Practicum, and Introduction to Costuming complement the dance education curriculum at Illinois State.
As a crowning achievement in the senior year, dance teacher education students complete a senior seminar in dance education. This course helps you consider your long-term goals as a teacher of dance while you also are meeting the obligations of a student teaching residency. In the senior seminar you will:
- discuss pedagogical issues encountered during your student teaching residency
- research specific career goals
- develop short and long term professional goals
- learn to market yourself as a professional educator.
Illinois State’s School of Theatre and Dance admits a limited number of new students into the dance teacher education sequence each year. Students selected into the program are assessed formally and individually by the entire dance faculty in terms of their academic and dance coursework, their performance and artistic endeavors, and their short- and long-term goals.
The Dance Teacher Education Sequence at Illinois State University is a rigorous program of study reflecting the standards set forth by the National Association of Schools of Dance Accreditation for Teacher Preparation. Additionally, students in this sequence are expected to develop the range of knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with national, state, and local dance standards.
Illinois State University, with its historic and enduring commitment to educating teachers, is the only teacher certification program in Dance within the State of Illinois. We therefore are uniquely positioned to prepare those undergraduate Dance students who are interested in preparing for teaching careers in public schools as well as in the private sector. The Dance Teacher Education sequence provides training and professional education which is both broad and deep, demanding proficiency as performers and excellence as educators.
Click here to see the Four-Year Plan of Study in Dance Teacher Education (pdf).
The 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 education program while providing strong connections within the field, both professionally and academically.
The School of Theatre and Dance Advantage
- A professionally active faculty with strong connections to nationally renowned companies.
- A broad scope of theatre and dance 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.
- 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 and Dance 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 dancers and educators for a variety of options upon graduation.
Admission to the Undergraduate Dance Teacher Education Sequence
Prospective freshmen and transfer students must participate in one of several on-campus or off-campus auditions or, in rare circumstances, may submit a videotape in place of their audition for the Dance Teacher Education major. (Students also must audition for the Dance minor. This audition, held in the Spring, is separate from the audition for the major.)
The admission audition consists of a technique class with some ballet, modern and jazz work, the viewing of individual solo performances of candidates and a brief interview process.
Students auditioning for the Dance Teacher Education sequence 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 Teacher Education, you must:
Upcoming audition dates are:
- Saturday, October 1, 2016 (ISU)
- Saturday, November 5, 2016 (ISU)
- Saturday, January 21, 2017 (Chicago: times and locations TBA)
- Saturday, February 18, 2017 (ISU)
- Friday, March 31, 2017 (ISU: not for scholarship consideration)
For information about how to prepare for your audition, see admission and auditions. For information about available scholarships, see awards, scholarships and assistantships.
Within two weeks of your audition, you will be notified about your status. You will be accepted into the dance education sequence, not accepted, or placed under consideration, with a decision to be made following the final School of Theatre on-campus audition. Any student not accepted into the dance teacher education sequence but already admitted to Illinois State University is eligible to re-audition at a later date.