Can You Major in Dance With No Experience? No Audition College List!

Unlike many college programs, dance at university generally requires an audition for entry into the program. This leaves many would-be dance majors asking if they need experience in dance or how much they need to major in dance at college.

You can major in dance with no experience IF you pass the audition for entry into the college dance program or IF the college has no audition prerequisites for entry into their dance courses. In both cases, you will still need to meet academic standards to be admitted to the university.

That being said, entry into most dance programs is very competitive and entry auditions require hopefuls to master complicated choreography quickly. Many people who have danced for many years narrow down two or three colleges and audition for them and find they need to audition for more after receiving rejections from those initial institutions either based on their dance audition or for academic reasons.

Why you may not need experience to major in dance at college

There are some college dance programs, that require no audition for entry. These courses are not generally going to churn out professional level dancers by the end of them, but are more programs set out to up the dance skills of theatre majors or that align with science or education majors or are experimental dance programs seeking individualism and creativity.

Colleges and Universities without an Audition Process for their Dance program

For a comprehensive list of universities and colleges with dance programs check out our article Dance Colleges Across All 50 States which will open in a new tab or click here to quickly pin it to your College Dance board to read later. The following are a few that I have found do not currently audition, but the list isn’t complete, there are probably others that don’t, which is why you should also look at the our other article which has links to every college to check the admission policies of any other institution you are interested in. You should also check out other colleges you are interested in because there are ways to still study dance in college which I mention at the end of this article at those colleges and universities, without majoring in dance.

Please note all colleges mentioned require you to first apply academically to be accepted to study at their university. The following information is based on registering or declaring a major in dance as part of your degree.

Non Audition Dance Majors

College NameDegrees OfferedDance Major Admission Requirements
American University , Washington DCBA in Dance
Minor in Dance
An audition is not required to major or minor in dance. The department does advise that you make an appointment to speak with them if you are interested in their courses to help you map out a study plan.
Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GeorgiaBA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Courses in Dance
Dance can be taken as a liberal arts discipline.
Appalachian State University, Boone, North CarolinaBA in Dance Studies
Minor in Dance
Minor in Somatic Sustainability
Appalachian State University dance program is open to all students and honors each individual’s entry point into the program.
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
(A member of the Five College Dance Department)
BA in Theater and DanceNo experience is needed to major in theater and Dance at Amherst College. The department advises you to email them and set up a meeting to discuss your interests and options first.
Brigham Young University, ProvoBA in Dance
BA in Dance Education
(Auditions required for the BFA in Dance and the BFA in Music Dance Theatre is a limited enrollment program)
Although you do not technically have to audition to major in dance at Brigham Young, to declare a major in Dance you will need to pass a dance screening.
California State Polytechnic University, PomonaBA in Theatre – Dance Theatre
Minor in Dance
A theatre degree with a dance track is offered for students interested in both theatre and dance.
California State University, East BayBA in Theatre Arts – Dance and Inclusive Performance Concentration
Minor in Dance
Minor in Inclusive and Social Justice Performance
The department encourages everyone to participate and offer beginner classes.
California State University, Dominguez Hills, CarsonBA in Theatre – Dance Option
Minor in Dance
Classes in dance are available to all CSUDH students.
California State University, FullertonBA in Dance
Cleveland State University, ClevelandBA in Dance – Creative Process and Perfomance Track
BA in Dance – Dance in Community Track
Minor in Dance
No audition is required to declare a major or minor in dance.
Colorado College, Colorado Springs
Department of Theatre and Dance
BA in DanceThere is no audition, but you will need to meet with the chair of the department to discuss your interests and career goals when declaring your major.
Columbia College Chicago, Illinois, Chicago BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Minor in Hip Hop Studies
(BFA in Dance entry by audition only)
The dance faculty at the Columbi college Chicago will encourage you to develop your distinct perspective as a dancer, regardless of the training you’ve had so far. Auditions will determine the level of technique classes that’s right for you. 
Columbia University in the City of New York
Barnard College
BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
The dance department offers lessons for students of all expertise levels in dance.
Denison, GranvilleBA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Students are encouraged to visit the campus, speak with staff and even participate in a class before applying to the university.
Duke University, Durham BA in Dance – Choreography & Performance
BA in Dance – Dance of the 20th & 21st Centuries
BA in Dance – Human Movement in its Cultural Context
Minor in Dance
Duke offers classes for everyone from the total beginner to the advanced dancer. They give applicants the opportunity to include supplemental materials such as video of rehearsals and performance to help them get to know your passion, interests and your level better, but it does not impact your admission to the university or dance program.
Emory University, Atlanta BA in Dance and Movement Studies
BA in Dance and Movement Studies with Honors
Minor in Dance
The Dance Faculty encourage prospective students to visit the university and speak with staff from the dance department and even participate in a class before applying to the university.
Hamilton College, ClintonBA in Dance and Movement
Minor in Dance
There is no audition but in order to complete the degree and register for a senior project, students must have maintained a 3.0 in their studies.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New YorkBA in Performance and Choreography
BA in Dance Education
BA in Dance Movement Studies
BA in Dance Theory and Performance
Minor in Dance
There is no audition, any student can enter a dance course. The department can guide students as to the best classes based on their ability.
Hofstra University, Hampstead, New YorkBA in Dance
BS in Education: Dance Education
Minor in Dance
(BFA and Minor in Musical Theatre require Auditions)
Prior to registration, an interview with a member of the Dance faculty is highly recommended.
Hope College, HollandBA in Dance
BA in Dance Education
Ability to do a double major
Minor in Dance
Minor in Dance Production
Minor in Dance Pedagogy
All students are welcomed into the dance degree program. But adjudication in the fall of the freshman year by the faculty will assess students potential to successfully complete the degree in dance.
Humboldt State University, Arcata, California BA in Dance Studies (Interdisciplinary)
Minor in Dance
Although there is no audition, under the requirements for the major it is written that you need to be able to place in three dance courses DANC 310, 320 and 330 to be eligible to complete the degree.
Hunter College, New York
CUNY
BA in Dance
BA in Dance Education
BA Pre K-12 Dance Education
To be able to register for a dance course you still need to attend a placement audition./
Keane State College, Keane, New Hampshire BA in Theatre and Dance (specialization in – Choreography and performance/Dance Education/Dance Education dual degree)
Minor in Dance
The dance program welcomes all interested dance students, no matter what genre or their experience.
Lake Erie College, Painesville OhioBA with a concentration in Dance
Minor in Dance
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
An audition is not required for admission to the college or dance major, but attending one can improve your chances of admission and ability to receive a scholarship.
Northwestern University, Evanston, IllinoisBA in Dance
BA in Performance Studies
MA/PhD in Performance Studies
There is no audition for the dance major, but students do need to attend a placement class during Wildcat Welcome.
Oberlin College & Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Honors Program
Students planning to major in dance must secure the approval for a program of study from a member of faculty from the dance department. Some classes and courses do require placement classes and auditions.
University of Richmond, Richmond BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Honors Program Available
A grade of C- or better is required in all coursework comprising the dance major
Sacramento State University, Sacramento, California BA in Dance
Minor In dance
Minor in Musical Theatre
San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California
School of Theatre and Dance
BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
New major and minor students are required to take placement auditions on the advising day at the beginning of each semester and it is compulsory for students to consult with their advisors every semester.
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New YorkBS in Dance – Performance and Choreography Track
BS in Dance – Dance Research Track
Minor in Dance
Skidmore believes that dance is for everyone, for all bodies to practice and have many students studying dance as a double major. Most seniors successfully design their dance capstone projects to incorporate the learnings of their second major.
The George Washington University, Washington DC BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
There are no audition requirements as part of the application process for the BA in Dance.
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice with a concentration in Dance
Minor in Dance
There is no audition to major in the dance concentration, a placement for ability and technique takes place during the first week.
University of Oregon, Eugene, OregonBA in Dance
BS in Dance
Minor in Dance
Certificate in Teaching Dance and Dance Courses
Students eligible for admission to the university may declare dance as a major. Placement classes are to be taken and the faculty consistently reviews student progress and ability to complete the degree in a timely manner.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas BFA in Dance in Performance and Choreography
BFA in Dance in Production and Management
BFA in Dance for the Professional
Minor in Dance, Minor in Pilates
Certificate in Pilates Training
The following is taken from the University of Nevada dance program admission page as linked to in column 1.
There is no formal audition to be accepted into the Department of Dance. Students who are accepted into UNLV can declare a dance major and will be placed into the production and management degree program. The first year curriculum of all degree tracks is the same. – Acceptance into the BFA in Performance and Choreography track is by audition (which occurs during freshman year).
University of Texas, El Paso, TexasBA in Dance with Teaching Certification
BFA in Dance
Minor in Dance
BFA in Theatre: Musical Theatre concentration
There is no audition for entry into the dance courses, but to be eligible to continue with a major you need to have passed with at least a C in every subject.
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Dance Teaching Endorsement
There is no audition for the dance major, but you are required to be registered in or have successfully pased one dance technique course to declare a dance major.
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming BFA in Dance Performance
BFA in Dance Science
BA in Dance
BFA in Theatre: Musical Theatre
Minor in Dance
Although an audition is not required, the university recommends that you attend one to create an impression of your interest in the course with staff and so that you can see if you are the right fit for the course as the audition would include a visit to the campus and meetings with faculty.
Washington University in St.Louis, Missouri BA in Dance
Minor in Dance
Certificate Program in Somatic Studies
Registration in certain dance classes (upper-level courses) needed as a dance major is subject to approval after a 1.5hr placement class has been taken. So although there is no audition
Wesleyan University, MiddletownBA in Dance
BA in Dance with Honors
Minor in Dance
There is no audition into the dance program, but to declare a major in dance you must complete two gateway courses one in dance technique and an introductory class, as well as have an interview with your prospective major advisor.
Western Oregon University, MonmouthBA/BS in Dance
Minor in Dance
Incoming Freshman and transfer students are required to do a technique placement class to do dance lessons.
Winthrop University, Rock HillBA in Dance
BA in Dance with Teacher Certification K12
Minor in Dance
Although there is no audition there is a placement class and continued review to ensure students are proficient in ballet and modern dance.

What is a placement class and why might I need to do one?

The purpose of a placement class is for the dance faculty to see what abilities and experience in dance you are bringing with you to your studies. From this class they are able to help you map out the best classes and courses for success in your major. Many dance departments offer three or more leveled ballet classes for example – Ballet I (Beginner), Ballet II (Intermediate) and Ballet III (advanced). As technique classes in some courses are required to be taken daily or weekly, some students will repeat the same course for example take Ballet II for two years and Ballet III for the final two.

Why you need experience to major in dance at college.

The purpose of going to university and college is to educate and prepare you for a career or job. To become a professional dancer, you don’t need a college degree, but you do need to have many years of dancing experience behind you as written about in our article How Many Years of dance or ballet does it take to be a professional? Many experienced dancers pursue dance in college to help hone their skills for a professional career as well as for the degree it will give them which will help them develop a career in other areas of dance such as teaching, arts administration, production, choreography or kinesiology, psychology or even physiotherapy for example. Therefore if you have no prior experience in dance, even if the major does not require you to audition, you may be competing with experienced dancers for a place in the dance program and if you do get in, you then need to have to keep up with the standard required of that course to be at a passable level to obtain your degree which can sometimes set at a GPA level of 3.0!

Why do you need to audition for entry into a dance program at college?

Most colleges and universities require you to audition for a position within the dance program or department which will then allow you to declare that you are taking on the study of a major in dance in your degree. The purpose of the audition is to ensure you have the ability to complete the courses of study at the standard needed to pass, remembering that university is preparing you for a career in dance. On the Dean College website audition page it states:

Students applying to degree programs in Dance or Theatre are required to complete an audition so that the applicant’s ability to succeed within the demanding performance curriculum may be assessed.’

If you have no experience and are worried about auditioning, many dance programs offer dance for all their college students as an elective to supplement their liberal arts credits or as a minor for those students wanting to study and learn a new skill or add something creative to their degree. I’ve written about these options a little further in the article.

College Dance Program Options for Students with little or no experience in Dance.

There are many options for students with little or no experience to learn and study dance without doing an actual dance major at college which I explain in detail in our article How to Dance in College without Majoring in Dance or Ballet.

  • To begin with, many theatre or musical theatre degrees require you to enrol in dance classes as part of their core curriculum. Most of these are mentioned in our article Dance Colleges Across all 50 States as the dance department is already combined within the theatre department but some are not on the list such as the BA in Musical Theatre at Birmingham Southern College so it is another option to investigate.
  • If you are a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science student you may be able to obtain credits or units to put towards for your degree in the form of a dance minor or by choosing dance electives.
  • Most dance programs open both credit and non-credit dance classes to any enrolled student at their college. Some require a placement audition to make sure you are attending lessons at a level best for your ability and others do not.
  • Some other options might include joining a student-run dance group or trying out for your college dance, poms or cheer team.

How to gain experience in dance?

As we mentioned above many colleges with dance programs offer dance lessons to all enrolled students at their college, in fact when I researched for the article Dance Colleges Across all 50 States I found many colleges without credited dance courses with dance programs that they provided for the health and enjoyment of their students – so you should do a search of any institution you are interested in attending or use our list to see if these kind of classes are offered.

Community Colleges sometimes offer dance programs for their Associate of Arts Degree students and I have many listed in our article Dance Colleges Across all 50 States. Some of these associate degrees also lead to transfers to public university degrees.

If you are still in high school explore any dance programs, teams or student-run groups your school has to offer.

Enrol in classes at your local dance school. Many schools offer beginner classes for teens and adults. Marie Forleo author of ‘Everything is Figouroutable’ as a young adult had this urge to learn hip hop dance and writes about her experience of her first class in her book. She sat at the back of the class in tears because everyone else seemed to know what they were doing, but she persevered, took as many classes as she could and in very little time was a hip hop fitness coach touring the world with Nike! You just need to take the first step and get into a class!

Lastly, today there are many online options available. There is nothing that compares to actually being in a class being given instruction and corrections in real-time to help you progress and become a better, more experienced dancer. But, if you really just need that first boost of confidence, you might like to start with some online tutorials to help you master the skills of learning choreography and some simple dance techniques so that when you do step into the studio you are confident in your ability and skills.

Did you know you can major in dance at college or university with no experience there are more than 40 college dance programs that admit students into dance degrees without an audition! So if you are a highschool student, planning to be a freshman next year choosing a university and putting in your applications, when doing your college prep check out the list of colleges with bachelor or art and science degrees in dance.

About the Author

Samantha Bellerose

Samantha is a wife and mother of four kids aged 1-9. She danced and acted from the age of 5 and performed in film clips, on television, and in musical theatre professionally. She also taught dance, but after leaving the profession to backpack through Europe, Canada and the USA with her husband for three years, she then completed an Education Degree and taught within primary schools in Australia. Today she is a business owner with her husband and the creator and writer for Dance Parent 101 where she hopes her previous experience as a dancer, current experience as a dance parent and the research and writing skills she gained completing her education degree will help enlighten parents on their journey with their child through the world of dance.