Department of Dance

The Mount Holyoke dance department is renowned for its extensive studio offerings in Hip-Hop and Street Dance styles, modern dance, choreography and repertory, as well as its rotating offerings in West African dance, ballet, Horton technique and improvisation. In the dance department, technique is supported by theory and cultural context through courses in Anatomy, Rhythmic Analysis, Dance and Culture and Dance History. This range of courses is further augmented by more than one hundred theory and studio courses offered annually through the Five College Dance Department.


You do not need to audition to get into the Dance Department. We hold advanced placement auditions at the beginning of the fall semester that, if passed, will allow you to take the advanced courses (levels 5 and 6) of ballet, modern or jazz. You need to be accepted into Mount Holyoke College first, and can choose to be a Dance major or minor, in consultation with the Dance Department.

Audition tapes are not required, but it is advantageous for you to submit a DVD or a YouTube URL, so that we can observe your dancing ability. If you are a strong performer or choreographer, we will send that information back to the Admissions office for their consideration when they review your application to the College.


If you are considering a Dance major, it is best to work closely with one of the Dance faculty to make sure your course of study is on track from the beginning of your first year. Some courses come up on the home campus every other year, so paying attention to scheduling courses when they are available is crucial.

Performance and Research

Dance at Mount Holyoke is an exploration of how the body speaks; how cultural and historical traditions shape the language of expression; and how choreography is inspired and developed. The dance department presents numerous performances, lectures, panel discussions and master classes throughout each semester.