Prospective Dance Students

A group of children on a dark stage reach for the sky

The American University Dance Program welcomes prospective students to embark in a program of movement exploration, intellectual pursuit and creativity! Based in the nation’s capital, the Dance Program in the College of Arts and Sciences is for the curious and creative dancer who wishes to pursue a rigorous dance program in addition to individual interests and ambitions. Our diverse and award-winning dance faculty is committed to preparing and mentoring students for their professional and post-college pursuits.

Whether your background is in ballet, hip-hop, improvisation, African dance, or you've never taken a dance class before, all AU students are welcome in the Dance Program! Dance can be a part of your AU experience by adding a dance class to your schedule, choosing to declare a Dance Major or Minor to your course of studies, or participating in one of the many creative opportunities each semester! All students can take class, perform, and choreograph within the Dance Program, regardless of major or minor.

With faculty mentorship, students can design their dance studies towards their specific goals - this may mean investing in one dance form primarily, or engaging with the full range of dance forms offered. Dance technique courses (called Embodied Knowledge at AU) are offered at three different levels. Students may register for a level I course at any time, and can place into level II or III through Level Placement. Incoming students are encouraged to complete Level Placement at Prospective Student Day, or participate in the August Level Placement the week before classes begin.

What to expect

Dancers perform with projection of abstract images behind them, at the Greenberg Theatre
  • A wide range of dance courses in levels 1-3, including African, ballet, contemporary, improvisation, jazz, musical theatre styles, tap, urban dance forms, somatic forms.
  • Opportunities to perform and/or choreograph every semester.
  • Small class sizes that allow dance faculty to work individually with students.
  • Master classes, choreographic residencies and workshops by professional guest artists across all dance disciplines.
  • Community engagement and networking with institutions/organizations in Washington D.C. and beyond.
  • A dance community that supports the multitude of identities and experiences our students bring to the program.

Visiting campus? Meet with the Dance Program

If you are unable to join us for Dance Program Preview Day, we would be happy to arrange another time for you to visit the Dance Program, schedule a tour and chat with a faculty member. Please send an email to, with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Current year in school, and where you are from.
  3. Date of campus visit, and time of your AU Tour (if you already have one scheduled).
  4. Current interests in Dance.

What is the dance community like?

Dancers stand together and smile backstage during a performance

The dance community at American University includes major, minor and non-degree seeking students as well as many international and exchange students who have a wide range of academic interests. Dance Program students can be found participating in student organizations throughout campus, interning, working and attending performances and events in the capital. Many students double major, have minors in other fields on campus, study abroad, and more.

Application Process

Dancers perform on the lawn in front of Mary Graydon Center

The Dance Program offers a Major and Minor in Dance. An audition is not required to become a Major or Minor, however meeting with the Director of Dance is strongly encouraged to discuss your academic goals. Prospective students in the Dance Program must complete American University’s Admissions application and submit all required materials. No video is required to apply. Students can attend Prospective Student Day to participate in Level Placement and get to know faculty and students in February. Alternatively, students can attend Level Placement in August before the first week of classes.

Financial Aid

Students stand in arabesque in the dance studio

Financial aid granted by American University and approved external scholarships are applicable to the Dance Program. Students should consult AU's Financial Aid Office for more information.