Apply and Audition

Students majoring within Dance must apply and be accepted into both the Department of Dance and Western Michigan University. You can apply concurrently to both, you do not have to wait until you are accepted by WMU.


Application and admission requirements for the Online Certificate in Dance Studio Management can be found at

For dual enrollment students, please see our dual enrollment policy.


Apply to the Dance program by signing up to audition. Please complete the reservation form early since audition slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be made no later than two weeks before your desired audition date. We will confirm receipt of your application by email.

Prospective students from outside a 500-mile radius of Kalamazoo may elect to audition for admission via video. Please see our video audition requirements for more information. Video submissions are due by April 1, 2020.

Audition Resevation Request


Audition Days (on main campus - Dalton Center)

Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, for Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 admission and scholarship consideration
Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, for Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 admission and scholarship consideration
Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, for Fall 2020 admission and limited scholarship consideration

All students who wish to major in dance must attend an entrance audition day. The audition consists of taking classes in ballet, jazz, and modern, including sections designed to showcase quick-study and improvisation skills. Most accepted students enter the dance major program in the fall semester. The Department of Dance accepts a limited number of new majors for January depending on the number of majors that graduate in December.

Dance minors are not required to audition.

For further information on auditions, please contact the Department of Dance Academic Advisor Debra Gambino at or (269) 387-6171. Please leave your valid email address in your message. Email is our most effective way to communicate with you.

Please add the email address to your address book so that our communications with you do not go into a spam folder.

Your Audition Day

What do I do during auditions?

Those who wish to major in dance must take all auditions classes. Scholarship candidates must also write an essay at the audition and have a brief interview with a dance faculty member (October and November dates only). Those accepted musical theatre performance majors and those who desire a dance minor may audition for advanced placement during the February audition, unless space becomes available in the October and November auditions. Please note the dance idioms (ballet, jazz and/or modern) for which you wish to audition on your reservation request form. If you audition, we encourage you to attend all classes.

What should I wear for classes?

Hair should be secured away from the face. No jewelry. All warm-up clothing should be removed at the start of audition classes.

Women: solid-colored leotard, tights with feet (preferably pink), ballet slippers
Men: white t-shirt, black tights, ballet slippers
Solid-colored leotard; tight-fitting covering for the legs such as tights, dance pants, unitard, or dance shorts (mid-thigh); socks or bare feet
Solid-colored leotard; tight-fitting covering for the legs such as footless tights, dance pants, unitard, or dance shorts (mid-thigh); bare feet


Parents or friends who come to audition day may not observe audition classes.

8:30-10:00 Check-in: Dance office, Third floor of Dalton Center

8:30-9:45 Onsite Scholarship Essay, 3127 Dalton

10:00-11:15 Ballet class: Dance Studio A, 3118 Dalton Center

10:00-10:45 Parent meeting:  Richmond Center 2nd floor lecture hall, room 2008.  Campus tour to follow.

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:15 Jazz class: Dance Studio B, 3116 Dalton Center

12:30-1:45 Department Presentation, Student Panel, and Brown Bag Lunch, 2008 Richmond

2:00-3:15 Modern/Improvisation Class: Dance Studio B, 3116 Dalton Center

3:15-3:30 Break

3:30-4:00 Group Scholarship Interviews

4:00-4:20 Informal Showing and Q & A in Dance Studio B, 3116 Dalton Center, Parents welcome!

Dances by Western Dance Project

Audition results

Within two weeks of the audition, we will mail and email your audition results. Those accepted into the program will be given their placement level in ballet, jazz and modern technique. You will also be notified of one of the following decisions:

  • Accepted: Please notify us in writing via mail or email if you plan to accept your place in the dance major program. You must also apply to the university and be accpted by the Office of Admissions if you have not already done so.  Your next steps may then be to pay your Admissions Confirmation Deposit, register for a Freshmen Orientation session through the GoWMU portal, and register for WMU housing.
  • Not accepted: An indication that the department feels you will not be successful in the dance curriculum at this time and you may not begin coursework as a dance major. You may audition again at a later date.  Scholarship auditions (October and November) may be limited to those who have not recently auditioned.  You may audition for entrance into the dance program no more than three times.

The Department of Dance has designed the entrance audition process to focus solely on judging prospective students' potential to thrive and succeed in its dance curriculum. Because of that, the department has made a decision not to provide individual feedback to the over 150 students who audition each year. 


Prospective dance majors may also elect to apply for scholarships via the October or November auditions.  Some scholarship funding may be available for those auditioning in February.

Department of Dance Scholarships

Scholarship candidates will write an essay on-site and have an interview with a member of the faculty. Candidates must submit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a dance teacher.  Recommendation letters are due to the department two weeks prior to your audition.

Awards range from $1000 to $4,000 per academic school year, some of which may be renewable. Scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated skill and potential. Those applying for scholarships will also receive notification of their scholarship status with their acceptance letter.

Dance Minor

Prospective dance minors do not audition but may seek placement beyond the beginning level by:

  1. Enrolling in the beginning-level class and indicating to the instructor that you are a dance minor or on the dance minor waiting list. The instructor then places these students on the form provided and returns it to the dance academic advisor. The advisor keeps these forms on file for quite a few years so that when students on the waiting list are offered a space in the minor, those lists may be referenced to determine placement for those students.
  2. If you are already a dance minor you may contact the instructor of the Technique I course to arrange a day to come and take that level. The instructor of that course will inform the dance academic advisor if you have the skills and may register for Technique I level course. If the instructor approves you for the course without having to first take the beginning level course, you would need to see the advisor at or after your time to register in the WMU registration system as those are restricted enrollment classes.

Due to excessive enrollments, the department is currently placing prospective dance minors on a waiting list for entrance into the dance minor program. To be placed on the dance minor waiting list, please email your name, local phone number and current email address to You will be contacted by email when space is available for you to enroll in the dance minor program.

If you have further questions, please call (269) 387-6171 or email