Admission & Audition

For more information:                                        
University of Minnesota Dance

Dancers from wide-ranging trainings, experiences, and backgrounds are encouraged to audition for University of Minnesota Dance.

Acceptance into the BFA and BA Dance Majors, as well as placement into technique/courses movement above level 1 is by audition.

Auditions consist of a class in modern/contemporary, African diasporic movement, jazz, hip hop/street styles, and ballet techniques, a short student solo and an interview. Dancers need not have trained in all forms to audition. Students auditioning for the BFA and BA Dance major submit a paper copy of a writing sample the day of the audition in response to essay questions (see instructions below). The Dance Minor does not require an audition; however, students with previous dance/movement experience are strongly encouraged to audition for DNCE course leveling.

Prospective dance majors are strongly encouraged to submit an application to the University of Minnesota by the Office of Admissions priority deadlines, but need not have received notification from the University before participating in an audition.

Prospective dancers are encouraged to register online in advance for on campus Dance Program auditions.

Audition Dates and Schedule

  • Saturday, November 18, 2023
  • Saturday, February 10, 2024

While the Dance Faculty/Staff encourages students to participate at an in-person whenever feasible, dancers unable to travel to in-person auditions are welcome to submit a video audition:
Please see for instructions to submit materials.

Scholarship Information

Prospective students who audition for the BFA or BA Dance Major will be considered for Dance Program scholarships based on the audition and their application to the University of Minnesota Office of Admissions. Students are also strongly encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note most Dance Major scholarships consider the intersection of merit and financial need.

Visiting the University of Minnesota Dance

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the Dance Program to observe class, see a performance, and talk with the dance faculty, staff and students. Visiting activities are scheduled on the Friday afternoon prior to group dance major auditions, but may also be arranged individually by contacting Dance Program Coordinator Nora Jenneman at (612) 624-4008 or Scheduled sessions are open to all prospective students and families and are held in Studio 100 of the Barbara Barker Center for Dance.  Pre-registration is not required. Take a Virtual Tour of the Twin Cities campus!

2:05 - 3:35 pm - Observe Modern/Contemporary Class

3:45 - 5:15 pm - Informal Q&A and Optional Building Tour

All auditions are held at the Barbara Barker Center for Dance, Studio 100, 500 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (612) 624-5060,

Observers are not allowed in the audition studio. The Barker Center lobby is open for those accompanying participating dancers.

Dancers are encouraged to register online prior to scheduled audition dates. Dancers should arrive at least 15 minutes early to confirm registration and receive an audition number. Check in will take place in the lobby of the Barker Center for Dance. The studio space will be available 30 minutes prior to the start of major auditions for dancers who wish to warm up on their own. Dancers must be registered and in the studio by the start time of the audition; latecomers will not be allowed to participate. Dancers should be prepared to stay for the entire length of the audition. Walk up registration will also be accepted if dancers are signed in by the start of the audition day.

Students auditioning for technique course levels only (including Dance Minors) should plan to participate in all morning classes for placement, but need not be available for the afternoon callback, and do not need a prepared writing sample or solo.

Dancers should arrive prepared to move. No specific dress code is required, though the line of the body should be clearly visible, including ankles, knees and hips. The faculty suggest students cover their midriff and legs in tights, leggings, or dance pants (no bare legs please). Dancers should be ready to dance barefoot, and bring ballet, jazz, and non-marking/non street-worn athletic shoes if available – pointe shoes are not needed.

Dancers should prepare a one-minute (maximum) solo of their own choreography/creation for the afternoon callback. Students are welcome to use the sound system to connect a device; music should be cued/ready for assistance with playback. Students auditioning for the major should also prepare a writing sample; see instructions below.

Dancers are on their own for the lunch break. Guests are welcome to use the public refrigerator and microwave in the Barker Center kitchenette and lobby. There are also walkable options for dining and take-out close to the Barker Center.

Students auditioning for the dance major will submit a paper copy of a writing sample the day of the audition. Please respond to the following questions in a short essay: one to two pages, double-spaced, font size 12. Be sure to proofread.

What has brought you to dance?

Why do you plan to pursue a degree in dance?

How do you imagine the relationship between writing about dance and dancing?

Please discuss how dance can be applied to other aspects of life, for example social justice, medicine, science, etc.

Optional - The University values diversity, broadly defined to include diversity of experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and talents. Enrolling a diverse community of scholars interested in learning with and from each other fosters discussion and discovery inside and outside of the classroom. Please share briefly how you might contribute to, or benefit from, our community of scholars.

Be sure to address each question in your essay.

Audition results will be available within five days after in-person auditions. All students will be given course placement levels regardless of their major candidacy status. Students auditioning for the major program will receive a letter from the Dance Program following the audition process within three weeks following the date of the audition; students auditioning for technique placement only must contact the dance program for audition results. Audition results are valid for one academic year (i.e., two semesters).

Prospective dance majors are encouraged to submit an application to the University of Minnesota by the priority deadline, but need NOT have received notification from the Office of Admissions before auditioning. Both acceptance into the University of Minnesota (by the Office of Admissions) and the Dance Program (by audition) are required to become a degree-seeking BA or BFA dance major student at the University of Minnesota.