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Dance Institute

Key Information

Faculty Director: Robin Wilson

July 17 - 30, 2016

Priority Deadline: February 12, 2016


Now in its 18th year, 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 U-M Ann Arbor campus where dancers gain an excellent pre-college dance experience in a lively university setting.

The 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 the creative aspects of dance. The Institute culminates in an informal dance performance featuring student composition studies and faculty works set on institute participants.

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

Application Procedure

The application consists of three parts. (Applications are not complete until the application fee has been received.)

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Audition Upload (see below)



Written Requirements - All Applicants (Upload)

  1. Resume: Upload a resume giving details of your training and/or experience in music and dance.
  2. Photograph: Upload a color or black and white photograph
  3. Recommendation: Invite a current dance teacher to write a confidential letter of recommendation addressing your dance abilities and personal characteristic. To invite a recommender, submit your recommender's email address, when prompted, on the audition upload link. Once you submit your audition (by selecting Final Submit), the recommender will receive a notification and link to use for sending your confidential recommendation. E-mailed submissions will not be accepted.

Performance Requirements

Audition in-person in Ann Arbor, OR upload a recorded audition.


In-person Audition (Ann Arbor)

  • Saturday, March 12, 2016
  • 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. 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.
  • Applicants auditioning in-person should also complete an uploaded audition profile. Upload a photo in lieu of the performance file.

Recorded Audition (Upload)

If not attending an in-person audition, submit five short videos following these specifications and as demonstrated in the instructional video (link coming soon).

Introductory Section (upload one 15 to 30 second video)

  • 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.

Performance Section

Exercise 1: Ballet (upload video - 1 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.

Exercise 2: Modern (upload video - 1 minute maximum)

Choose ONE of the traveling combinations as demonstrated in the video. Show ONE side only.

Exercise 3: Choice (upload video - 1 minute maximum)

Choose EITHER one additional ballet OR one modern combination of your choice.

Solo (upload ONE 1-minute video)

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 indicated who 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.



Admission Notification

Priority deadline for all application/digital audition materials is February 12, 2016. Admission notifications for priority applicants will be e-mailed on March 28, 2016.   

Late applications may be accepted while space is available, however priority will be given to applications received by the priority deadline. Late applicants may not have the option to audition in-person. Admission and notification after the priority deadline will be on a rolling basis.

Decisions will not be given by phone.

Tuition, Fees and Scholarships

Please visit the Tuition, Fees and Scholarships page for more information.


Media Samples

Please visit our Media Gallery for a video from the Dance Institute.



The General Information page includes many important items.


"I felt incredibly creatively stimulated at MPulse. The dance program gave me a lot of perspective on what pursuing a dance career would be like. Hands down, the coolest experience I ever had was the collaboration between the dance and PAT students. It was art coming to life in the truest sense of the word."
Erica, Dance Institute 2014, IL
MPulse Dance Duet MPulse Dance Class in Skirts MPulse Dancer Dramatic Pose MPulse Dance Trio MPulse Dancer Jumping

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower