The Dance program at Illinois State University offers an intensive, individualized and performance-based approach connecting theory with practice. We provide a challenging yet nurturing environment that prepares students for careers in performance, choreography, teaching, and for future post-graduate study. The program is supported by a diverse and ambitious nationally recognized faculty, bringing a wide variety of movement styles and philosophies to the program.
Students in the Dance sequence take an extensive range of courses that emphasize different aspects of dance training and creativity within the fine and performing arts. Dancers will develop their intellectual and artistic abilities through coursework that includes choreography and improvisation, dance history, multicultural perspectives, dance kinesiology and somatic practices. Additionally, students have opportunities to study abroad, work with a variety of guest artists, and to network with Illinois State alumni working in the field.
Students will experience a variety of diverse performance opportunities alongside a strong and comprehensive curriculum. Illinois State Dance Theatre is the pre-professional dance company supported by the School of Theatre and Dance that offers students consistent performance opportunities to work with nationally recognized faculty and guest artists each school year. The program sponsors Dance Association, a registered student organization that offers weekly workshops, supports guest teachers, and produces the annual Dance Inventions Student Choreographed Concert. Students are also involved in theatrical productions within the College of Fine Arts, as well as touring productions of faculty and guest artists' work on a regional and national level.
Point of Pride
The Dance sequence offers an intensive, individualized and performance-based approach preparing students for a variety of careers in performance, choreography, teaching, and future post-graduate study.
Why study Dance?
The Dance 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.
Applying to Illinois State
Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!
Students seeking admission to the School of Theatre and Dance begin by applying for admission to the University, using the regular admissions procedure. When you fill out your admission application form, you will also select a date for a Dance Program audition, portfolio review or interview. More information about this process is outlined below. (If you later need to change your selected date, please contact the Head of the Dance Program, Darby Wilde.)
2018-2019 Audition Dates
- November 3, 2018: Illinois State University campus
- February 16, 2019: Illinois State University campus
- April 1, 2019: Illinois State University campus
Dance and Dance Teacher Education majors participate in the same audition.
- Audition Check-in: Center for Performing Arts Lobby
- Turn in photo and receive audition number - Photo in first arabesque
- Sign-up for solo/interview time
- 90-minute technique class (ballet, modern & jazz components) – Centennial East 116
- Individual solo/interview with Illinois State Dance Program Faculty – Centennial East 116
All prospective Dance or Dance Teacher Education students should prepare a solo dance or variation in the genre of their choice.
- Solos: 2-3 minutes in length and can feature the choreography of the applicant or another choreographer.
- Dancers should bring a device if they wish to use musical accompaniment. Please have a CD as a backup recording.
- Each student should wear professional, fitted dance attire with footless tights or leggings.
- Students should bring ballet and jazz shoes and will also dance barefoot.
If you cannot attend one of the on campus auditions you may upload your audition electronically via Acceptd. A Skype or phone interview will also be required if uploading electronically. The submission must include the following:
- ballet barre
- Center pirouette combination
- a turning and leaping phrase across the floor
- a two to three minute solo
Electronic Submission Guidelines
Prospective students submitting electronic auditions must follow these guidelines:
- Dancers must wear the same dance attire throughout the video
- Dancers must record the audition material on the same day in the same space
- Send link to video with resume and photo in first arabesque in email attachment to:
- Darby Wilde, Head of the Dance Program
- Video audition submissions must be received by March 1 for scholarship consideration
Deadlines and Review Dates
Students are accepted into the Dance major within the School of Theatre and Dance on a rolling basis, contingent on admission by Illinois State University. Normally students are notified within two weeks whether or not they have passed their audition or portfolio review.
School of Theatre and Dance scholarship awards are announced after March 1.