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Dance Institute

Now in its 21st year, the Dance Institute was established to assist young dancers in their pursuit of a comprehensive dance education. Dancers will be introduced to the U-M Department of Dance, one of the top pre-professional training programs in the country. The program is set on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus where dancers gain an excellent pre-college dance experience in a lively university setting.

U-M Faculty Director: Associate Professor Robin Wilson
Co-Director: Jillian Hopper

Session Dates: July 19- August 1, 2020
Tuition: $3,150
Application Open: November 15, 2019
Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2020
Priority Admissions Notification: February 28, 2020

Digital Audition Deadline: February 1, 2020
Live Audition Date on U-M Ann Arbor Campus: February 15, 2020 at 10:00AM

This intensive dance training program provides an immersion in a diverse range of dance styles with dynamic dance professionals. Daily classes are offered in a variety of dance techniques that emphasize both performance and creative aspects of dance. The Dance Institute culminates in an informal dance performance featuring student composition studies and faculty works.

Rounding out the daily dance classes and workshops, there are evening and weekend educational and recreational activities. Class offerings and workshops include:

  • Modern Dance
  • Ballet
  • Jazz/Hip-Hop
  • African/Afro-Caribbean
  • Repertory
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Dance in College
  • Origins of Jazz Dance
  • Injury Prevention
  • Dance History
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

The Dance Institute application consists of three parts.

Applications are not considered complete until all required materials are received.

Application Checklist for Dance Institute

  1. Complete the Online Application
  2. Pay the non-refundable Application Fee of $75.00
  3. Upload your Audition Materials via Acceptd, the MPulse Online Audition Portal (details for each entry outlined in Audition Portal)
    1. Audition (choose one)
      1. In-Person (Ann Arbor, February 15, 2020)
      2. Digital Audition
    2. Resume
    3. Headshot
    4. Recommendation Letter

You may choose one of the following options for your audition:

  • In-Person Audition at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2/15/20)
  • Digital Audition via upload.

In-Person Audition in Ann Arbor – Saturday, February 15, 2020

In-Person Applicants should complete the Online Application, pay the non-refundable application fee and submit all other application/audition materials via Acceptd, the MPulse Online Audition Portal by February 1, 2020.

The In-Person Audition will take place in the following location on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 10:00AM:

  • U-M Dance Building, Studio A, 1310 N University Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (Central Campus)

The audition will consist of a ninety-minute modern dance class.

Audition Attire: Dancers should wear footless tights and leotards for the audition.

E-mail confirmation of your audition date will be sent once all application materials are received and processed.

Digital Audition (Submitted via the MPulse Online Audition Portal)

If not attending an in-person audition, you must complete the MPulse Online Audition Portal, which consists of submitting the following components:

  1. Audition Videos
  2. Resume
  3. Headshot
  4. Personal Statement Video
  5. Recommendation Letter

1 – Audition Videos
You must submit five separate short videos following the guidelines below and as demonstrated in the INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO.

Digital Audition Submission Guidelines:
Students must submit FIVE separate video files. Details below.

  • Video 1, Student Introduction (15-30 seconds)
    • A brief close-up shot in which you state your full name, current city, state, and country of residence.
    • A brief description of your training and background in dance including current teachers, genres of dance you are currently studying or have studied, and years of dance training in each genre.
  • Video 2, Exercise 1: Ballet (one minute maximum)
    • Choose ONE of the ballet combinations (traveling tendu with pirouette, adagio, or petit and grand allegro) as demonstrated in the video.
    • Show ONE side only.
  • Video 3, Exercise 2: Modern (one minute maximum)
    • Choose ONE of the traveling combinations as demonstrated in the video.
    • Show ONE side only.
  • Video 4, Exercise 3: Choice (one minute maximum)
    • Choose EITHER one additional ballet OR one modern combination of your choice.
  • Video 5, Solo (one minute maximum)
    • Perform a contemporary solo, either during a recital or from material from a recital.
    • Do NOT perform a ballet or pointe work solo.

Video Preparation Suggestions:

  • Make sure there is adequate lighting.
  • Wear appropriate dance attire that will show clean lines: leotard and tights or unitard (for both male/female applicants.
  • Your entire body should be in view at all times. Refrain from close-ups.
  • Music may be live or recorded.
  • Recital excerpts should be close enough to really see your work. If you are a member of an ensemble, please clearly indicate who/where you are in the performance (e.g. second from the left in purple dress.) The excerpt should show your level of technique and passion for dance.

2 – Resume
Upload a resume giving details of your training and/or experience in music and dance.

3 – Headshot

  • Upload one color headshot
  • Headshots should be recent, clear, and against a neutral background.
  • Headshots should be front-facing and from the neck up.
  • Headshots do not need to be professionally taken and should resemble a Driver’s License/Passport Photo.

4 – Personal Statement (one video file)
Record and upload a Personal Statement video. In your video, please state your full name and current city, state, and country of residence. Then give a brief description of your training and background in dance. This should include your current teacher(s), genres of dance that you have studied/are studying, and number of years of dance per genre.

5 – Recommendation Letter
Invite a current dance teacher to write a confidential letter of recommendation addressing your dance abilities and personal character.

To invite a recommender to upload your letter of recommendation, submit your recommender’s email when prompted in the online application process. Once you finalize your submission (clicking ‘Final Submit’), the recommender will receive a notification and link to submit your confidential recommendation.

E-mailed submissions will not be accepted.

Priority Deadline for all application/audition materials to be submitted is February 1, 2020.

The In-Person Audition is Saturday, February 15, 2020.

Admission notifications for Priority Application applicants will be e-mailed on February 28, 2020.

For priority consideration and notification, all application and audition materials must be received by the Priority Application Deadline of February 1, 2020. Applications may be accepted after the priority deadline for programs and/or instruments in which openings remain. Review, admission, and notification for applications received after the priority deadline will be handled on a rolling basis, subject to space availability per each individual institute. Space is limited.

Admissions decisions will not be given by phone.

Merit Awards
MPulse awards a limited number of scholarships to extremely talented students based on Faculty discretion. Consideration for these scholarships is automatic for applications received by the priority deadline.

Need-Based Awards
A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To be considered for a need-based scholarship you must complete the online need-based financial aid application by the priority deadline. To begin the process, select “Need Based Award Consideration” in the program application.

MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes
Office of Engagement & Outreach-Youth & Adult Programs
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Stearns Building │ 2005 Baits Drive │ Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734) 936-2660
Email: mpulse@umich.edu