How do I know what level of technique I should take? Do I need to take beginning levels if I’ve been dancing a long time?

During freshman advising, incoming students discuss with a faculty advisor her/his past experience in dance. At this time, advisors make recommendations about the level most appropriate for the student. If a student is entering the program with prior dance experience, the faculty will typically advise the dancer into Modern Technique and Theory II, and an appropriate level of ballet. When in doubt, students are advised into a lower level class to assure a strong foundation upon which to build. The first few weeks of the semester we frequently move students around to ensure they are in the appropriate class.

Do I have to audition for dance technique classes?

No and Yes. Our beginning level technique classes are enrolled on a first-come basis. Students planning to enroll in upper level modern/contemporary dance technique classes are required to audition for these courses. This audition takes place the Friday morning prior to the commencement of the autumn academic semester. In all cases, if the teacher feels you are in the wrong class, s/he will discuss it with you and suggest another.

What kinds of scholarships are available?

The Dance Program primarily offers scholarships to dance majors who demonstrate financial need.

Incoming students interested in studying dance at the University of Montana are eligible to audition for scholarships, one of which may be awarded in person each year during UM Dance Days.

Scholarships as well as other achievement awards are handed out by the faculty and staff to continuing students in May at the annual School picnic.

Details about applying for Theatre & Dance scholarship opportunities are found on our general Scholarship page.

I might like to double major. Can I do that?

Yes! For students who double-major, we recommend pursuing the BA degree, which was created for students who have multiple areas of study.

How much previous experience do I need to be a dance major?

In order to complete our major, students must be able to successfully complete advanced levels of modern and intermediate levels of ballet. Although some are able to complete the major with little previous experience, most students need an intermediate proficiency when they arrive as freshman. If the dance faculty believe a student will not be able to graduate from the UM Dance Program in four years, she or he is alerted to this following the Admission Audition.

How many classes a week do I get to take?

Faculty advise students to take a class load that blends general education requirements and dance classes. The majority of students take 2-3 dance classes each day.

Will I get a job when I graduate?

Although dance may not be considered the most lucrative field, dancers can find employment as performers, choreographers, teachers, or in related fields such as dance and multimedia, somatics, pilates, yoga or as physical trainers. Others pursue employment as arts administrators, critics, or dance historians/scholars. Many students pursue graduate work in dance and apply for positions in colleges or universities. Some pursue the field of dance therapy or pursue musical theater or video work. Graduates with the most success are enterprising and persevering. They follow-up with contacts made here at UM and at workshops they attend. Our class: “Junior/Senior Seminar” prepares students for life after graduation with assignments in writing a resume and cover letter, preparing portfolios, writing grant proposals and make persuasive arguments for dance in various settings. The UM Dance Program does its best to send its students out into the world as articulate, outward looking artist/teachers.

Am I good enough to make it in the dance world?

The Dance Faculty are available to discuss each student’s strengths and her or his potential for professional employment after graduation. Feel free to make an appointment with one of us!

I’m a freshman, do I have to live on campus in the residence halls?

Yes, all students with less then 30 credits are required to live on campus.

Is housing plentiful?

No, and therefore Residential Life requests that you apply for residential housing early.

What does on-campus room and board cost?

For information about room and board visit the following website:

What is the cost of attendance?

For information regarding cost of university attendance, visit the following website:

How long does it take to establish residency?

For information regarding the establishment of in-state residence, visit the following website: