MAJORING IN DANCE
Q: I’m a newly accepted freshman dance major. How do I get my classes for fall?
A: You will need to register for Freshman Orientation which is scheduled for June. At that time we will meet to schedule your classes for fall. You can register for Orientation online by visiting GoWMU and following the directions.
Q: I was not accepted as a dance major at the auditions. What do I need to do?
A: We regret that your dance skills as demonstrated at the dance major entrance audition did not match the requirements for admission to the dance major program at Western Michigan University. Our program focuses on ballet, jazz and modern dance equally and demands versatility, artistry, physical strength and flexibility. Due to the large number of prospective students auditioning, we are unable to provide specific individual feedback on your audition. Prospective dance majors may audition up to three times for admission to the dance program. Should you wish to re-audition, please submit a new audition application.
Q: Is it possible to double major in dance and something else without going to school for five or six years?
A: Prospective students should contact the department chair at firstname.lastname@example.org with the anticipated 2nd major so that she can provide you with an estimated length of time to graduate. Current students should contact the dance academic advisor at email@example.com to have a graduation projection completed.
Q: What about transferring to WMU?
A: Thank you for your interest in dance at WMU. The university requirements for admission for transfers can be found here.
We evaluate dance courses on an individual basis. Technique courses are usually no problem, but please retain syllabi for any dance theory courses you take. It is sometimes more challenging to determine how they will transfer. It is also helpful if you retain video samples of your choreography from any choreography class you may wish to transfer. You will also need to audition for acceptance to the dance program. You may do that either by attending one of our auditions next year, or by submitting a video audition if you live outside a 500 mile radius of Kalamazoo by using our video audition guidelines. Details and an audition application form can be found on our website here.
Q: I already have a bachelor’s degree. Can I get a 2nd degree in dance from WMU?
A: Thank you for your interest in pursing a second degree at Western Michigan University in dance. WMU requires acceptance by both the university and the department and a minimum of 30 credits at WMU in order to award a second degree in dance. Much will depend on what courses from your first degree might be used in the dance major at WMU. The dance academic advisor would need to review your transcript in order to determine this.
The BA dance major requires 53 credit hours in dance. The BFA dance major 80 credit hours in dance and related studies. All students accepted to the department are accepted to the BA program. To be eligible to apply for the BFA, the student must complete or be currently enrolled in:
- At least one ballet, one jazz and one modern technique course at WMU;
- DANC 1800 The Creative Choreographer;
- At least one dance theory course.
BFA applications are accepted in November and March each year.
Q: Can I start the dance major in January if I am accepted?
A: A limited number of spaces may be available to begin the dance major in January depending on the number of students graduating in December.
Q: Can I teach in the public schools with my dance degree?
A: Though we do require a dance pedagogy course of all dance majors, WMU does not currently offer certification to teach dance in the schools K-12 because dance it not a teachable K-12 subject in the state of Michigan. Some of our students double major in education in a subject other than dance and have dance as a second major.
Q: I can’t make the scheduled audition dates. Can I schedule an individual audition?
A: Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange individual auditions because the entire faculty must be present to evaluate candidates for the dance major; therefore we only consider students for admission to the dance major during our October, November and February audition dates.
Q: Can I audition via videotape?
A: Prospective students from outside a 500-mile radius of Kalamazoo may elect to audition for admission via videotape. Videos must be received by March 1 for entrance for the following fall semester. If more than one dancer appears on the video, a clear description of the auditioning dancer must be included with the tape. Detailed instructions for submitting a video audition are available on the department web site here.
Q: Are there any merit scholarships other than the dance scholarships?
A: There are several scholarship programs. All students who have officially applied to Western Michigan University by DECEMBER 1ST are AUTOMATICALLY considered for scholarships based upon academic grades in high school. Medallion details can be found
here and financial aid scholarships can be found here.
Q: Are there scholarships for dance minors?
Dance scholarship guidelines stipulate that dance scholarships can only be awarded to a dance major.
MINORING IN DANCE
Q: What do I do if I want to minor in dance?
A: We currently have a waiting list to get into our dance minor program, and it is taking approximately 12 to 18 months to rise to the top of the waiting list in order to declare a dance minor. The dance minor is an 18-hour program and you may take some of the required courses prior to officially being in the minor. Prospective dance minors are not required to audition unless they are seeking advanced placement (see What if I want to minor in dance but don’t want to take the beginning level courses? below for details). Both of the following courses are required of all dance minors and may be taken by anyone at the university on first come, first served basis:
- 1450 Experiencing Dance
- 1810 Dance Improvisation
In addition the non-major technique courses are also open to any student and may be counted in the minor:
- 1010 Beginning Ballet
- 1020 Beginning Jazz
- 1030 Beginning Modern
- 1040 Beginning Tap
If you would like to be added to the dance minor waiting list now and have been admitted to WMU, please send the following information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Complete name
- Date of Birth or WIN (not SS#)
- Preferred email
Q: Are dance minors eligible to audition for performances?
A: A student must be currently enrolled in and regularly attending a Technique I level course during the audition, rehearsal and performance process in order to be eligible to participate in departmental performances. This would include dance majors, minors and musical theatre majors whose skill level is at Technique I (ballet, jazz and/or modern) so they could enroll in the requisite course(s).
Q: Do dance minors take class with the majors if they demonstrate the ability to do so?
A: Students are placed into technique levels during the audition process. Dance majors, minors and musical theatre majors all take the same courses provided they have the skill level necessary for the course.
Q: What if I want to minor in dance but don’t want to take the beginning level courses?
A: Only accepted dance majors, dance minors and musical theatre majors are eligible to enroll in dance courses beyond the beginning level. Once you are a dance minor, there are three ways to get into a dance technique course beyond the beginning level:
- Take a beginning level course and be placed into a technique-level course by the course instructor (be sure to inform the instructor that you are either a dance minor or on the dance minor waiting list so s/he knows to place you at mid-term time).
- Contact the instructor of the Technique I level course you wish to take without having first taken the beginning level course in that genre, the semester BEFORE you hope to enroll, and request to take class for evaluation of level. The course instructor will inform you and the dance academic advisor if you demonstrate the technique skills necessary to skip the beginning level course.
- Attend the February department audition and take the audition classes in the genres for which you are seeking advanced placement. You must submit an audition reservation form at least two weeks prior to the scheduled February audition date available here.