• People dancing in the middle of a crosswalk in a  4-way intersection
  • Dance students performing onstage
  • Dancers performing acrobatic moves in a studio
  • A dancer on a dark stage
Department of Dance

Frequently Asked Questions

» Frequently Asked Questions

These are answers to frequently asked questions about the Department of Dance at Chapman. For FAQs about applying to Chapman in general, check here.

Admission Questions

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Do I have to audition to become a Dance major?

Yes. Everyone who wants to major in Dance must submit an audition video. Select applicants will also be invited to audition in person. 

You can review our How to Apply page for detailed instructions to apply to the BA in Dance program.

How many students apply to the dance program each year, and how big is the class size?

Typically, we receive about 300 applications for the dance major every year. Our target first-year class size is 30-35 students.

Are there scholarships available for dance students?

Yes. Chapman provides Academic Merit Awards to students who qualify based on their academic achievements. The Department of Dance has a limited number of Talent Awards for incoming first-year and transfer students.

To be eligible, you must list dance as your first-choice major on your application. The audition for entrance, whether in person or by video, serves as the basis for Talent Award consideration.If you receive an award, you’ll be notified about it when you get your financial aid package, or shortly thereafter.

What criteria is used to evaluate dance-major applicants?

As a dance-major applicant, you’ll be evaluated on your dance technique, performance quality and artistry. 

We will assess your strength, coordination, flexibility, ease of movement, use of dynamics and appropriate use of facial and full-body expressive qualities required by the choreography. The faculty also considers the interview and all written application materials in their decision.

In addition to dance criteria, the Office of Admission also reviews your grades, letter of recommendation and test scores (if you provide them).

Can I choose either the B.A. or B.F.A program?

All dance majors begin in the B.A. program track. The B.A. program provides a comprehensive education in dance technique and training. The B.A. is the track for a dance major who wants to double major with another discipline or gain a more broad-based education.

The B.F.A track is for those who want more intense dance training. The B.F.A track begins in the junior year and requires additional technique, performance, choreography and elective courses. You can audition for the B.F.A program in the spring of your sophomore year.

Dance Program Questions

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How many dance productions are there each year?

Several! You can check our event calendar for upcoming dance events

In the fall semester, the Department of Dance produces:

  • A Fall Dance Concert, which is a concert choreographed by Chapman faculty and guest artists.
  • Chapman Celebrates, where Dance students perform in a musical-theatre scholarship fundraiser show.
  • The Chapman Dance Alliance Concert, which is produced by the student leaders of the Chapman Dance Alliance.

In the spring semester, the Department of Dance produces:

  • Two separate Works in Progress concerts for first-time choreographers
  • Concert Intime featuring junior choreographers
  • The Spring Dance Concert featuring senior choreographers

Do dance students have the opportunity to work with guest artists for master classes and residencies?

Yes! Students have worked with Ido Tadmor, Pilobolus and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company on choreographic residencies.

They also have had master classes with dancers from Hubbard Street, the Ailey Company, the cast of La La Land, Cirque du Soleil, Batsheva Dance Company and many more!

Can first-year students be cast in dance concerts?

Yes. All dance majors are eligible to audition for all Department of Dance productions. (Recently, first-year student Jack Levis was cast as the lead in Chapman’s production of The Who’s Tommy.)

Dance majors who received a Talent Award are required to audition for all productions.

Is there a dance minor?

Yes. We offer a 22-credit minor in dance. You need to apply and audition to become a dance minor. The audition is held in the spring semester and is only open to first-year and sophomore students who have majors other than Dance.

Can dance minors and other non-dance major students perform in Department of Dance productions?

Some productions are open to dance minors and other non-dance majors:

  • The Department of Dance spring student choreographed concerts
  • The Chapman Dance Alliance concert
  • Chapman Celebrates
In addition, non-dance majors are eligible to audition for the Chapman Dance Team and the hip-hop group Team Shaka. The Fall Dance Concert is limited to dance majors only.

Can you work professionally while a Dance major?

We do not have a mandate against professional work while enrolled at Chapman. However, there are strict class-attendance policies in all dance classes and your grades are affected by attendance.

There are no excused absences allowed for professional work. If you miss class often to go to work or auditions, you won’t meet the academic standards of the degree program.

If you have the opportunity to work professionally while in school and this work interferes with academic requirements, consider a leave of absence. We also encourage you to use summer and winter breaks to work professionally.

Why would the Department of Dance be a great place for me?

  • You’ll get superior training in technique and performance combined with exceptional academics. 
  • Chapman has one of the few university dance programs that offers equal numbers of courses in ballet, modern and jazz dance, along with tap, hip-hop, ballroom, yoga and conditioning.
  • We focus on choreography in our program, and young choreographers are closely mentored throughout their creative process.
  • The Department of Dance supports Chapman’s emphasis on personalized education by helping you find your strengths and passion in dance. 
  • We exclusively focus on undergraduate education and every year provide multiple opportunities for performance, choreography and research, as well as leadership and participation in student dance organizations.
You’ll get career advising from your own full-time advisor.

Contact the Department of Dance


(714) 516-5223

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