» Frequently Asked Questions

Dancer Kira Bartoli poses during the BFA Dance ShowcaseDo I have to audition to become a Dance major?
Yes.  Any student who wants to be a Dance major (whether auditioning in-person or via audition upload) must submit the Creative Supplement, go.chapman.edu/apply. Please refer to the individual “Apply” page for detailed admission requirements for the Department of Dance.

How many students apply for the Dance program each year?
Typically the Department of Dance receives about 300 applications for the Dance major each year. Our target freshman class size is approximately 30 - 35 students.

Are there scholarships available for Dance students?
Chapman University 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. Students must list Dance as their first choice major on their application to be eligible for a Talent Award. The audition for entrance, whether in person or by video, serves as the basis for Talent Award consideration. Students are notified of these awards either with their financial aid package or shortly thereafter.

What are the criteria for acceptance to the Dance major?
Auditioning applicants are evaluated on their dance technique, performance quality, and artistry. The faculty assesses the applicant’s strength, co-ordination, flexibility, ease of movement, use of dynamics, and appropriate use of facial and full body expressive qualities required by the choreography. The faculty considers the interview and all written application materials in their decision making.

Can I choose either the BA or BFA program?
All incoming Dance majors begin in the BA program track. The BA program provides an excellent comprehensive education in dance and excellent technique training. The BA is the right track for any Dance major who wishes to double major with another discipline or the student who wants a broad-based general education. For students who want to pursue more intense dance training, the BFA track, which begins in the junior year, requires additional technique, performance, choreography, and elective courses. The audition for the BFA program is in the spring of the sophomore year.

How many Dance productions are there each year?
In the fall semester the Dance Department produces a Fall Dance Concert which is a faculty and guest artist choreographed concert. Dance students also perform in the musical theatre scholarship fundraiser show Chapman Celebrates and the Chapman Dance Alliance Concert which is produced by the student leaders of CDA. In the spring semester, the Department produces two separate Works In Progress concerts for first-time choreographers as well as Concert Intime featuring junior choreographers and the Spring Dance Concert featuring senior choreographers.  Additionally, BFA seniors are showcased as soloists for the capstone BFA concert, and students have the opportunity to work with faculty and guest artists during site specific concerts and Dance Masters at Chapman.

Do 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, as well as 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 freshman majors be cast in dance concerts?
Yes, all Dance majors are eligible to audition for all Dance Department productions. Majors who are receiving Talent Awards are required to audition for all productions.

Is there a Dance minor?
The Department of Dance offers a 22 credit minor in Dance. An application and audition to become a Dance minor are required. Students interested in the Dance minor DO NOT audition for the minor prior to admission to the university. The Dance minor audition is held in the Spring of each year and is open only to freshman and sophomore Chapman students who have majors other than Dance.

Can Dance minors and other non-major students perform in Dance Department productions?
The Department of Dance spring student choreographed concerts, the Chapman Dance Alliance concert, and Chapman Celebrates are all open to Dance minors and non-major students. The Fall Dance Concert is limited to majors only. In addition, non-major students are eligible to audition for the Chapman Dance Team and the hip-hop group Team Shaka.

Can a student work professionally while a Dance major?
The Department does not have a mandate against professional work while enrolled at Chapman, however, there are strict class attendance policies in all Dance classes, and a student’s grades are affected by attendance. If students are often missing classes for professional work or auditions, they will find that they will be unable to meet the academic standards of their degree program. No excused absences are allowed for professional work.  Students who have opportunities to work professionally while in school are encouraged to look into taking a leave of absence to accommodate the work if such work interferes with their academic requirements. Students are also encouraged to use the academic breaks in winter and summer to work professionally.

Why would the Chapman Dance Department be a great place for me?
The Chapman Dance Department offers 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. Training in choreography is an important focus of our program and young choreographers are carefully mentored throughout their creative process. The Dance Department supports Chapman’s emphasis on personalized education by encouraging and assisting each individual student in finding his or her strengths and passion in dance. The Dance Department focuses only on undergraduate education and every year provides multiple opportunities for performance, choreography, and research as well as leadership and participation in student dance organizations.