A small number of colleges in Florida offer degree programs in dance, a field the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies as highly competitive. These programs give dancers an opportunity to improve their technique and perform, while receiving a broad liberal arts education. Located throughout the state, these public and private colleges give graduates the ability to pursue other fields in the event that work is difficult to come by in the competitive field of professional dancing.
Florida International University
Located in Miami, Florida International University is a public university with more than 31,000 undergraduate students. Admission to the college is highly competitive; only one-third of students who apply receive invitations to attend the school, reports the 2009 Barron's Profiles of American Colleges. An audition is also necessary to receive admission to the Bachelor of Arts in dance degree program. Dancers takes classes in production and then specialize in one of three styles: ballet, modern dance or African diaspora techniques. In addition, students select whether to study liberal arts, professional dance or dance education along with the major.
Florida International University University Park Miami, FL 33199 305-348-2363 fiu.edu
Florida State University
With nearly 30,000 undergraduate students, Florida State University is one of the largest universities in the state. Admission to the Tallahassee-based college's dance program requires an audition. All students complete coursework in contemporary dance, ballet, dance production and theater. Choreography is a major component of the coursework at Florida State, and the university is home to the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a nationally-recognized research facility in choreography. Dance students at the university have the opportunity to spend a semester studying professional dance in New York or to earn a certificate in community arts, which prepares students for teaching dance or running a dance therapy program.
Florida State University P.O. Box 3062120 Tallahassee, FL 32306 850-644-6200 fsu.edu
Palm Beach Atlantic University
A non-denominational Christian college, Palm Beach Atlantic University is home to fewer than 2,500 students. An audition is necessary to declare a dance major at the university, but students can minor in the field with no audition. All dance majors take classes in ballet, modern, tap and jazz and then choose whether to specialize in education or performance. Each year, dance majors participate in an annual dancer's retreat to build camaraderie among the members of the department's dance ensemble.
Palm Beach Atlantic University 901 S. Flagler Drive West Palm Beach, FL 33416 888-468-6722 pba.edu
University of South Florida
Based in Tampa, the University of South Florida is a public college with nearly 36,000 undergraduate students. The university grants two degrees in dance: the Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and the Bachelor of Arts in dance studies. Auditions are required for admission into either program. Performance students take classes in ballet, jazz, modern and world dance as well as choreography. The dance studies program allows students to combine their study of dancing with another field, such as psychology or anthropology. The college offers a semester dance program in Paris.
University of South Florida 4202 East Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33620 813-974-3350 usf.edu
- ballet on point image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com