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Frequently Asked Questions | Dance

What is the audition process?

An audition is required for entrance to the major and for the minor in Performance and Choreography. Auditionees will take portions of Ballet, Modern, and African or Jazz technique classes and a short Improvisation. You also need to meet the general university requirements for admission to Ohio University. Explore our audition dates and open house events for this year here.

Are scholarships available and if so, what is required?

Yes, the College of Fine arts offer talent-based scholarships for incoming students such as the Fine Arts Talent Award (FATA). If awarded the FATA, it is renewable for four years as long as the student maintains a 3.0 GPA in the major and enrolls for 15 credit hours per semester. The audition for the Dance major is also the audition for talent-based scholarships.

Funds for academically talented and creatively gifted students are offered by Ohio University through a variety of scholarships. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships also offers awards with special criteria. Your first-year admissions application serves as your application for most University scholarships. Information on these may be found at:

Can I participate in a music/dance/theater group if I’m not a major? When are auditions for these groups?

Yes! We encourage all students to participate in dance courses. The School of Dance offers non-major studio classes in modern, ballet, jazz, and African dance forms, yoga, and Pilates. We also offer Tier II Fine Arts courses in dance appreciation, dance history, and dance cultures, including 1700: The Dance Experience; 2700: Languages of Dance; 2710: Black Dance Forms; 3550: Dance Cultures of the World; and 4711: Dance, Gender, and Sexuality.

There are also two student-run dance organizations that are supported by the School of Dance:

The Movement is an organization for Ohio University students interested in the performance and other presentations of dance and artistic collaborations involving movement. A primary aim of the organization is the promotion of dance as a thriving art in both the University and the Athens community. “The Movement,” works closely with the School of Dance using some facilities, equipment, and sharing some goals. It maintains autonomy as a student organization. “The Movement” presents concerts of student works and offers scholarships for summer study. John Bohuslawsky serves as advisor to The Movement.

Athens Black Contemporary Dance (ABCD) is a dance organization that presents student choreography that celebrates Black dance forms, themes and aesthetics. Like “The Movement,” it maintains autonomy as a student organization and uses resources within the School of Dance to help promote its goals.

Additional Information About Student Organizations

What are your graduation rates? Can I graduate in four years?

The B.F.A. and B.A. in Dance are four-year degree programs, and most of our students complete their degree in four years. Graduation rates depend on student enrollment in the first year of college and compliance with advising recommendations. Students who pursue a dual major in another discipline may need to complete additional semesters.

Are there internship opportunities in your unit? If so, how are they arranged?

Yes, many students in the School of Dance complete internships during their undergraduate career in order to gain professional experience. Academic credit can be granted for internships. Our students have completed internships at Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, OhioDance, Cathy Sharp Dance Ensemble in Switzerland, and many other organizations.

The School of Dance also offers an internship program through Factory Street Studio, a local non-profit dance studio. Ohio University students gain hands-on learning in dance education by assisting teachers, teaching their own classes, or helping to plan dance events in the community. This internship is available to all students who have successfully completed the Dance Pedagogy course.

Can I sit through classes on a visitation day as an observer? If so, how do I arrange this?

Observing and/or participating in classes is readily possible with some advance notice. Open House days are scheduled in November and January. Prospective students are encouraged to attend and participate in a modern technique classes on these days from 10:45-12:45.

High school students may also participate in Experience the Arts Day. Our faculty and students will be your hosts as you learn about our programs. Sit in on a class, get faculty feedback on your informal dance audition, participate in technique classes, watch a rehearsal, audition for the dance major and a talent scholarship. Meet other artists, dancers, designers, musicians, and actors just like you.

All events are FREE and open to students, parents, teachers, and school counselors.

During Experience the Arts Day you can see what students do during a typical day in each School in the College of Fine Arts.

Do you offer a minor and what is required to add it to my major?

The School of Dance offers three minors: The Minor in Dance Performance and Choreography enhances students’ kinesthetic knowledge and performance presence, which can be applied in any career that requires physical skill and confidence. Through courses in dance composition, dance production, and dance history/cultural studies, the Dance Performance and Choreography minor also emphasizes the creative process, knowledge of how to produce a stage concert, and how to understand dance in socio-cultural and historical contexts. Our graduates have applied these skills and concepts in fields as diverse as education, publishing, journalism, anthropology, communication, social work, physical therapy, acting, broadcasting, and many more.

The Minor in Somatic Studies considers the particular bodily kinesthetic knowledge that dancers develop in the course of their education. Students perform physical activities and analyze movement practices from a variety of somatic theory perspectives, learning about the body’s operations through both theory and practice. Study in the minor augments degree work in psychology, pre-physical therapy, exercise physiology, recreational therapy, and physical education. Somatic Studies minors have also gone into the field of Dance/Movement Therapy.

The Minor in Dance History and Theory focuses on the growing field of dance studies that uses a dance-based theoretical perspective and other movement practices to analyze dance in cultural contexts. This concentrated study helps prepare students with a specialized dance emphasis for employment or graduate study in dance studies, arts administration, dance ethnology, journalism or criticism, and dance in film or video.

What is your placement rate? Where do your students find jobs?

Approximately 70% of our graduates continue in the field of dance and related arts. Career opportunities available to the dance graduate include preparation and/or studies leading to the following:

  • Choreographer for concert, theater, video and film;
  • Dancer in companies or theatrical productions;
  • Company manager or arts administrator;
  • Studio Teacher of children and adults in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, African technique; teaching in university programs, K-12;
  • Body-based therapeutic work such as Pilates, Bartenieff Fundamentals, massage therapy; Physical Therapy, Exercise Physiology;
  • Dance Movement Therapist;
  • Dance Critic or Dance-related Cultural Historian, Writing in Dance; and Preparation for Graduate Study in Dance.