How Long Does Dance School Take?

If you can’t think of anything else but be on stage, perform in front of a crowd and dance then no other career would make you happier and content than that of a dancer. This profession may have its share of challenges but it’s definitely a fulfilling occupation for those who have it in their hearts to dance for a living. If you are intent about pursuing a career as a dancer, having raw skill and talent is not enough.

You need to develop your abilities under the tutelage of experienced teachers to hone the finer points of your craft. Equally important is the fact that dance school provides you with the opportunity to start forming your network of people who might be able to help you after you graduate. Besides, dance companies are more willing to hire professionals as evidenced by their dance degree.

The length of time you spend in dance school primarily depends on the kind of degree you wish to obtain and the type of dance you want to be proficient in. An associate’s degree in dance takes two years to complete while a bachelor’s degree can be finished in 3 ½ to 4 years. Training for ballet starts very early, even as young five years old while modern dance can be learned in high school or afterwards, although these can’t be considered formal training.

Informal training programs typically take place after school and in the summer when dance companies host summer programs. Sometimes, it is in these programs where they choose candidates to train with them fulltime.

To give you an idea of the length of dance school programs, let’s look at two examples. The Julliard School offers a bachelor of fine arts in dance and a diploma in dance. Both programs take four years to complete. The difference is that the bachelor’s degree has a liberal arts curriculum while the diploma does not have the liberal arts curriculum. The bachelor of fine arts in dance degree at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts can be completed in three years and two summers.

For those who wish to major in ballet, there are also schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in ballet. At the Department of Ballet at the University of Utah, students must complete at least 122 credit hours to graduate. The course can be completed in four years, although it is usual for female students to finish the program in six to nine years.

Summer programs are offered by dance schools for high school students. Julliard has a summer dance intensive program in classical ballet and modern dance which lasts for three weeks. NYU Tisch School of the Arts also has two dance programs in the summer for adults, college students and high school students which lasts for three weeks each. The Department of Ballet at The University of Utah also has an eight-week summer intensive program in ballet.

There are more than 70 dance programs in the United States. Aside from a bachelor’s degree, some dance schools also offer master’s degrees if you who wish to take your profession to the next level.

Career Spotlight: Dancer

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