Dance Institute

2/9/2021 – Important Update!
Due to university COVID-19 restrictions, the MPulse Dance Institute will be held online for the Summer of 2021.

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 premier dance programs in the country. Typically this program is held on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus where dancers gain an excellent pre-college dance experience in a bustling university environment. For Summer 2021, the MPulse Dance Institute will be modified to be held online.

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

Session Dates: July 11 – July 24, 2021
Tuition: $1,900

Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2021
Priority Application Notification: March 1, 2021

Final Application Deadline: June 1, 2021, at 11:59PM EST

Applications are still open! We are now accepting applications on a rolling basis as openings remain. Students who submitted their materials by the priority deadline will be reviewed and considered first.


*Sample Schedule – MPulse Dance Institute (In Person)
*Please note the above sample schedule is for an in-person version of the MPulse Dance Institute. A sample schedule for an online version of the program will be posted in the near future.

Start your application now
Here you will

  1. Fill out your application.
  2. Upload your audition materials (videos via sharable link (Google Drive (preferred), Dropbox or YouTube).
  3. Share any need-based scholarship information.
  4. Pay your non-refundable application fee ($75 per institute).

Please note you can revisit your application as many times as needed, however, all of the items listed above are due by your institute’s deadline. The application will automatically save as you fill in your application.

Priority deadline for all application/audition materials to be submitted is February 1, 2021.

We are now accepting applications on a rolling basis as openings remain. Students who submitted their materials by the priority deadline will be reviewed and considered first. Review, admission, and notification for applications received after the deadline will be handled on a rolling basis, subject to space availability per each individual institute. Space is limited.

Priority admission notifications will be e-mailed on March 1, 2021.

Admissions decisions will not be given by phone.

Audition Videos – Digital Audition Submission Guidelines
Students must submit THREE separate video files. Details below.

Introductory Section – Video 1
Personal Statement: 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 teacher(s), the genres of dance you are currently studying or have studied, and number of years of dance training in each genre.
  • A brief statement about why you are passionate about dance, why you want to study at Mpulse Dance Institute or something else interesting about yourself.

Performance Section – Video 2 & 3
Video 2 – Preferred Movement Practice (2-3 minutes maximum). Video should include:

  • Up to 2 minutes in any technique or style that you do regularly. Feel free to include more than one technique or style in this section.
  • These videos should showcase the skills that best represent you as a dancer, highlighting your strengths.
  • When demonstrating each of your selected dance techniques: Remember that each dance technique has different values and skills. Please be sure to demonstrate the physical and artistic values of the specific technique or style you choose. Your dancing should reflect the technique depth, complexity, and range. We encourage you to perform class exercises/movements that feature your ability to move with musicality or rhythmic sensitivity, that show the physical coordination necessary for the technique, and that involve moving in place and through space.

Video 3, Solo (one-minute maximum)
Video 3 – Perform a solo, either during a recital or from material from a recital, in your preferred style. This section may include videos or YouTube links of a dance work you’ve done in the last 18 months. If the video is of an ensemble or group work, please indicate who/where you are in the video. Costumes are allowed.

Clothing requirement

  • Wear attire appropriate for each specific genre/style that you choose to showcase. For ballet and modern, attire should show clean lines, such as leotard and tights or leggings. For other styles, clothing should be appropriate to that specialization.
  • Do not wear skirts, loose fitting tee-shirts, leg warmers or costumes. However, costumes are allowed for the Solo video.

Video Preparation Suggestions

  • Make sure there is adequate lighting.
  • Avoid placing yourself in front of a strong light source (for example, a window or an overhead lamp).
  • Your entire body should be in view at all times. Refrain from close-ups.
  • Wear clothing that contrasts with the filming environment so you can clearly be seen and stand out from the background.
  • 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.

Upload a resume giving details of your training and/or experience in dance, music and other performing arts.


  • 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.

Recommendation Letter
Applicants should submit one teacher evaluation (artistic teacher or mentor(s) (preferred), academic teacher, or non-relative who can speak directly to the student’s academic aptitude, potential, and classroom performance). A recommendation is required for this institute.

Given the disruptions caused by COVID, we know that student/teacher relationships may have been impacted, making it more difficult for students to acquire teacher recommendations. We still encourage students to submit a letter of recommendation, preferably someone who instructed the student within the prior 12 months. However, the teacher recommendation may come from someone other than a teacher (not a parent/guardian, grandparent, sibling or other relative) who can speak directly to the student’s academic and artistic aptitude, potential, and performance. This might include a community-based organization educator or academic support program professional.

Students should send the recommendation form to their recommender to fill out or the recommender may download the recommendation form here. Please have your recommender email their recommendation letter to Recommendations are due by February 1, 2021.

Download Recommendation Form – Available as PDF, Word Document, or Google Document)

Digital Audition Resources
How to upload to Google Drive (preferred) and Dropbox
How to create an unlisted video on YouTube
Tips for making a successful recording

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 families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or under in the previous calendar year, or with special circumstances due to the pandemic. To be considered you must upload your financial aid materials by the application deadline as part of your application. This includes:

  • Monthly Expenses
  • Previous Year’s Tax Return
  • Statement of Need

Watson Scholarship
In the spirit of the life of a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School (1942) and Michigan physician, the Watson A. Young Scholarship promotes academic excellence and college aspiration among students with financial need. These need-based scholarships support middle and high school students’ participation in summer opportunities at U-M that seek to develop students’ interests and abilities in academic disciplines and expose students to the experiences and possibilities provided by higher education.

Application open to Michigan residents only.
Apply for a Watson Scholarship

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