Dance Degree in USA

Dance Courses in the USA

Introduction to studying a dance degree

A dance degree in the USA can be an excellent choice for students pursuing a career in the dance industry. The United States is home to some of the world's leading dance schools and companies, and studying here can provide students with access to top-notch training, facilities, and opportunities. Many dance programs in the USA offer various styles and specializations, allowing students to tailor their education according to their interests and career goals.

Dance degrees typically last four years, and core modules often include ballet, modern dance, jazz, choreography, dance history, and anatomy. Performances, workshops, and collaborations with professionals in the field complement the hands-on nature of the program.

A dance degree can open up various career opportunities in the dance industry, such as a professional dancer, choreographer, dance educator, dance therapist, dance critic, or dance company director. A dance degree can also prepare students for other fields that require creativity, discipline, and physicality, such as fitness training, physical therapy, or event planning.

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Types of Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance offers aspiring artists a comprehensive foundation for a successful career in the dance world. This professional degree emphasizes rigorous training in dance technique, choreography, and performance, providing students with a holistic understanding of the art form. Through coursework in dance history, anatomy, and pedagogy, students gain valuable insights into dance's cultural and physical aspects. Starting a career with a BFA allows students to refine their technical skills, develop a unique artistic voice, and build a professional network through performance opportunities. The degree's immersive nature fosters discipline, creativity, and resilience, equipping graduates with the expertise and confidence to pursue diverse paths in dance, whether as performers, choreographers, or educators.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Dance

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Dance is an advanced dance performance and choreography degree. The degree offers a unique blend of intensive training, artistic exploration, and scholarly inquiry. Students delve into advanced techniques, honing their choreographic skills while engaging in substantive research. The program encourages the creation of original works, fostering innovation within the field. Embarking on a career with an MFA in Dance provides graduates with a competitive edge, positioning them as accomplished performers, choreographers, and scholars. The benefits extend beyond skill refinement, encompassing a deepened understanding of dance theory, collaborative experiences, and the ability to contribute significantly to the evolving landscape of contemporary dance.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Dance

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Dance is an advanced degree offering students a profound exploration of dance history, theory, and related disciplines. The program goes beyond practical skills, delving into scholarly inquiry and critical analysis. Students engage in rigorous research projects, contributing to the academic discourse of dance. Starting a career with a PhD in dance opens avenues for becoming a thought leader, researcher, or educator. Graduates gain a deep understanding of dance's cultural, historical, and theoretical aspects, enhancing their ability to teach, publish, and shape the future of dance scholarship. The degree is ideal for those passionate about advancing the academic discourse surrounding dance and making lasting contributions to the field.


Many universities in the USA offer scholarships for international students pursuing a dance degree. Here are some:

Scholarship name

Provided by

Awarded Value

International Student Academic Merit Scholarship

New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts

$25,000 per academic year

Dean’s Excellence Award

University of Southern California (USC) Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Tuition Fees

International Student Scholarship

Florida State University School of Dance

Up to $12,000 per year

Dance International Merit Award

Loyola Marymount University

Up to $10,000 per year

Jobs and Careers

A dance degree can open doors to various career paths within dance and related industries. Here are some jobs and careers that individuals with a dance degree might pursue:


Entry-level positions, such as dance instructors or performers in smaller companies, start at around $20,000 to $40,000 annually. However, experienced professional dancers or choreographers working with renowned companies or in major productions can earn significantly more, ranging from $40,000 to over $100,000 annually. Dance educators, particularly those with advanced degrees and experience, earn between $40,000 and $70,000 annually, depending on their position and the institution they work for.

While the dance industry offers diverse career paths, salaries can fluctuate widely, often reflecting the individual's expertise, experience, and the specific niche within their field.

Top Universities for Dance Degrees in the USA

To learn more about the best dance courses in the USA, find details on the top ten ranking Dance universities in the US News 2023 rankings below:

  1. Johns Hopkins University
  2. Northwestern University
  3. Columbia University
  4. Cornell University
  5. University of California, Berkeley
  6. University of California, Los Angeles
  7. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
  8. Emory University
  9. Washington University in St. Louis
  10. University of Florida

Study Dance in the USA

If you want to learn more about studying a dance degree in the USA, arrange a free consultation with SI-USA today.

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