Popular Dance Courses Around the World

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Best Courses to Study Dance

Did you know that Uday Shankar popularly known as the ‘Father of Modern Dance’ was the first Indian to perform abroad? In the mid-1920s, he choreographed the dance drama, Radha Krishna, with famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova while touring across the USA. A career in dance is not just restricted to choreographers in TV and movies, you can become a fitness trainer, visual artist, or even a dance therapist. Let’s explore how you can kick-start your career in dance with popular dance courses offered by top-ranked universities.

Credits -Columbia University

About Dance Courses

Dance courses develop the knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as a means of artistic communication. A Dance Major is a focused area of learning in dance at a college where you undergo technique classes, academic lessons and practical classes. Being one of the 10 related majors within the broader visual and performing fields of study, comprehensive education in Dance includes improvisation, technique, choreography, performance, observation and analysis; exposure to dance history and cultures, kinesiology and anatomy, and movement theories and more that are responsible for enriching the educational experience. 

Also Read: From a Classical Dancer to India’s Women Team Captain, Here’s the Story Of Mithali Raj!

Types of Dance Courses

There are many different dance courses. Confused which courses are perfect for you? Then, try our AI Course Finder and you get what you are looking for!

Degree Type Duration
Associate Degree 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 4 years
Master’s Degree 1 – 3 years
Doctorate At least 4 years

An Associate’s Degree 

As a two-year degree, holding an Associate’s degree in dance will make you eligible to become a dance teacher, be it in a community center or your own private dance studio. You can also go on to become a pilates or yoga instructor and work in the body therapy industry. The core curriculum usually includes the following topics:

Bachelor’s Degree

The name of the courses can vary on the basis of the location. In Australia, the Bachelor of Dance is offered under different names like BA (Dance Studies), BFA (Dance Performance) are similar.  A BFA requires more credit points courses and hours of focused study into the art than a BA and a BS course will; this allows the students in these courses time to pursue other things like choosing a double major in another area of study.

  • BA in Dance
  • BFA in Dance
  • BS in Dance
Basis B.A. in Dance BFA in Dance BS in Dance
Duration 4 years 4 years 4 years
Allowed Electives Electives in any other area of interest required to score credits Electives chosen, if any, are related to the area of specialization Electives in any other area of interest required to score credits
Combined Degrees A student can choose to opt for a Double Major or a Dual Degree Combined Degrees are not common because of the already existing commitment to your specialization in this course. A student can choose to opt for a Double Major or a Dual Degree
Nature of Degree Academic Degree Professional Degree Research Degree
General Education Courses (if required) English-Communications-Social Sciences Varies from Institution to Institution but generally must be a liberal arts subject. MathsScienceComputer ScienceHumanities 
Benefit Beneficial for Dancers who wish to explore the related theatre, business or media areas alongside their core curriculum. Beneficial for individuals aiming to become professional dancers.  Beneficial for Individuals who wish to gain knowledge about the correlation between dance and biology, and the science of movement.


If you planning to study further to expand your knowledge and enhance your skills, you can opt for master level dance courses. It will help you get employment in another area of the field like dance education and arts administration. Certain jobs like teaching at a higher education level or conducting related research require a master’s degree. You can pursue a masters in MA, MFA and MSc.  A Master’s programme can last for a period of 2 to 3 years. Typically, the courses include the following 

  • Dancing biomechanics
  • Teaching methods for dance
  • Advanced ballet
  • Dance technology and media
  • Dance pedagogy
  • Movement analysis


You can also earn a doctorate in Dance. There are two doctorate-level degrees in Dance. A Ph.D. in Dance teaches the academic aspects of dance, including its history, theory,  and pedagogy, and involves research into performance, movement, music, and more.   Different schools provide different focus to the two aspects, some prioritising focus on the academic aspects rather than on the performance aspect and vice versa.

  • Ph.D. will prepare you for a career in choreography, dance performance, artistic direction, administration, or education. 
  • Similar programs may be called Ph.D. in Dance, Dance Studies, or Ph.D. in Performance with a concentration in Dance.

EdD (Doctor of Education)

An EdD focuses more heavily on the pedagogy and teaching of dance. It involves a more interdisciplinary study with the field of education, alongside more classes on policy, management and leadership. Students who pursue an EdD can teach dance at higher levels, such as graduate study programs.

Credits: The Julliard School

Also Read: Music Production Courses

Major Specialisations

Dance is a vast field to pursue a degree, with a  number of specialisations spread across multiple universities and colleges. The following is a list of the most commonly sought out dance courses taught around the world. The names of the courses can vary from university to university

  • Ballet: The course involves learning about expressing ideas and feelings through classical dance. It involves the study and practice of ballet technique, pointe, partnering, modern dance, specific styles, and the history of ballet
  • Choreography: The course focuses on dance styles, dance theory, and composition.
  • Dance education: This programme is designed to prepare prospective dance teachers to be highly skilled and creative dancers and choreographers, as well as scholarly, reflective educators, able to meet the varied needs of students of all grades.
  • Ethnic Dance: This programme focuses on the various cultural dances that are found throughout the world. Ethnic dances serve as a representation of the history, culture, and tradition of the people belonging to an ethnic group.
  • Music and Dance: It is a double degree in Music and Dance. This subject is designed to develop your academic and vocational skills by focusing on the academic study of various music and dance practices. 
  • Theatre & Dance: The programme focuses on the professional skills expected on any stage, set, studio, audition, or in any dance company. 
  • Performance Studies: Performance studies incorporate the theories of drama, dance, art, anthropology, folkloristics, philosophy, cultural studies, psychology, sociology, comparative literature, communication studies, and music performance as part of its curriculum.


Academic requirements vary from institution to institution. Some specify their preference for applicants with a past history in the study of a similar subject while others accept students with no prior education in any of the performing arts. Some universities ask you to attend an audition to display your range of skills. Universities will provide information on the audition format and how you should prepare. 

India is home to some of the finest dance schools, here is the list of popular colleges offering dance courses:

  • Indira Kalra Sangit Vishwavidyalaya
  • Kerala Kalamandalam,
  • Bhatkhande Music Institute
  • Raja Mansingh Tomar Music and Arts Gwalior.
  • Manipur University of Culture
  • Christ University
  • Miranda House
  • St. Teresa’s College

Greatest Dance Schools of the World

From the USA to France, there are numerous top-ranked universities around the world offering dance courses. Here is the list of the greatest dance schools of the world.

S.No Dance Schools
1. Paris Opera Ballet School-France
2. Vaganova School – St Petersburg,  Russia
3. Juilliard School of Dance – New York
4. The Royal Ballet School-England
5. Sunhwa Arts High School- Seoul, South Korea
6. New York University – New York
7.  Millennium Dance Complex – United States
8. Académie des Arts Chorégraphiques- France
9. Pineapple Dance Studios- United Kingdom
10. Broadway Dance Center- United States
11. Fordham University- New York
12. Brenau University- USA
13 Vanderbilt University – United States 
14. University of Auckland – New Zealand 
15.  The Queensland University of Technology- Australia 

Paris Opera Ballet School 

Paris Opera Ballet School is one of the greatest dance schools in the world. The school was founded by King Louis XIV and was initially only meant for adults. Recently children are also admitted into the school. The school has held its prestige for the last three centuries. 

Vaganova School – St Petersburg 

The Vaganova school is one of the best dance schools in the world. It is known for ballet classes and was established in the year 1738. At the time it was known as the Imperial Theatrical School and only had 12 girls and 12 boys as students. The school later received its name in 1957 and was named after Agrippina Vaganova who was instrumental in the development of the present Russian Ballet. 

The Royal Ballet School

The Royal Ballet School was founded by Dame Ninette de Valois, a ballet dancer. The school was originally known as the Academy of Choreographic Art and later on became home to the Roal Opera House. It was only in 1946 that the school received its current name.

Juilliard School of Dance

The Juilliard School of Dance has set artistic standards since the year 1905. The school opened its dance division in 1951 and is popularly known for accepting only the best dance students in the world.

Also Read: Top Dance Schools Around the World

Career Prospect

After completing a degree in Dance, you have plenty of opportunities in the employment world. Here are some of the popular job profiles:

  1. Choreographer
  2. Set Designer
  3. Professional Dancer
  4. Physical Therapist
  5. Personal Trainer
  6. Dance Critic
  7. Dance Teacher
What is the #1 dance school in the world?

Juilliard School of Dance in U.S.A is the number 1 dance school in the world

How are dance and media connected?

The film and television industry has expanded the dance audience and led to new forms of dance. On the other hand, computer technology and videos have helped in the creation of dance, its preservation, education, and marketing,

What is the highest paying job in dance?

The highest paying job in dance includes the job of dance instructor, production designer, choreographer, and photographer.

Are you interested in pursuing any popular dance course abroad?  Connect with our study abroad experts and kickstart your study abroad journey. Call us at 1800 57 2000 to book your FREE counselling session today. 

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