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2021 Best Dance Schools

181 Colleges
$20,940 Avg Salary
$26,168 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Dance School for You

Dance is the #179 most popular major in the country with 3,234 degrees and certificates awarded in 2018-2019.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one for you. You're no longer limited to schools in your local area, either, since online programs are becoming more prevalent. Or you may find the programs at a trade school to be a better alternative for you.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Course Advisor has created the Best Dance Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. Our analysis looked at 181 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Dance Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Dance Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools in Dance

#1

Duke University

Durham, NC

Our 2021 rankings named Duke University the best school in the United States for dance students. Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham.

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#2

American University

Washington, DC

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend American University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Dance Schools list. The American University is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington.

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#3

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

The excellent programs at Texas State University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best dance schools in the United States. Located in the city of San Marcos, Texas State is a public school with a very large student population.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Wisconsin - Madison. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Dance Schools list. Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Madison.

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#5

University of Houston

Houston, TX

Out of the 181 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Houston landed the # 5 spot on the list. U of H is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Houston.

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#6

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best dance programs. Located in the city of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

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With a ranking of #7, University of North Carolina School of the Arts did quite well on this year’s best schools for dance students. UNCSA is a small public school located in the city of Winston-Salem.

After completing their degree, dance graduates from UNCSA carry an average student debtload of $25,000. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $259.

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University of Southern California did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for dance students. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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Southern Methodist University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for dance students. It came in at #9 on the list. SMU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Dallas.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for dance students. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U of Michigan is a public school with a very large student population.

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University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for dance students. It came in at #11 on the list. UW - Eau Claire is a large public school located in the city of Eau Claire.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus ranked #12 on this year’s Best Dance Schools list. Located in the city of Seattle, UW Seattle is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#13

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for dance students. It came in at #13 on the list. Located in the small city of Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#14

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best dance programs. Texas Tech is a very large public school located in the city of Lubbock.

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With a ranking of #15, University of Maryland - College Park did quite well on this year’s best schools for dance students. Located in the large suburb of College Park, UMCP is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#16

Luther College

Decorah, IA

With a ranking of #16, Luther College did quite well on this year’s best schools for dance students. Luther is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Decorah.

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Rutgers University - New Brunswick landed the #17 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best dance programs. Located in the city of New Brunswick, Rutgers New Brunswick is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Dance majors at Rutgers New Brunswick take out an average of $26,000 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $270, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #18, University of California - Santa Barbara did quite well on this year’s best schools for dance students. UCSB is a very large public school located in the suburb of Santa Barbara.

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#19

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Dance Schools ranking. Lindenwood University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Saint Charles.

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Minnesota State University - Mankato came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Dance Schools ranking. Located in the small city of Mankato, Minnesota State University - Mankato is a public school with a large student population.

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The University of Texas at Austin came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Dance Schools ranking. UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Austin.

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University of California - Los Angeles came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Dance Schools ranking. UCLA is a very large public school located in the city of Los Angeles.

The average amount in student loans that dance majors at UCLA take out is $17,351. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $180.

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#23

Towson University

Towson, MD

Towson University landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best dance programs. Located in the city of Towson, Towson is a public school with a very large student population.

While working on their degree, dance majors at Towson accumulate an average of around $25,292 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $262.

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#24

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY

With a ranking of #24, Skidmore College did quite well on this year’s best schools for dance students. Skidmore is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Saratoga Springs.

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Dance Schools ranking. Located in the city of Lincoln, UNL is a public college with a very large student population.

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Rest of the Top Best Dance Schools

#27

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Dance students that almost earned our Best Dance Schools award.

Rank College Location
28 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
29 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
30 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
31 Elon University Elon, NC
32 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
33 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
34 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
35 Mercyhurst University Erie, PA
36 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

Dance by Region

View the Best Dance Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 9 majors within the area of study, dance has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 40,751
Design & Applied Arts 36,179
Music 26,968
Drama & Theater Arts 17,726
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,756

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Jazzart Dance Theatre.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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