School of Theatre and Dance
Shades of Blue cast onstage

Dance Program Auditions

Audition dates for entrance into ECU’s Dance Program for the Academic Year 2018-2019

Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sunday, February 18, 2018

8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Messick Theatre Arts Center

Admission to the Dance Program is competitive and requires both an online application AND an in-person audition. Video-only auditions will be allowed only in extenuating circumstances. Priority for acceptance will be given to those students who attend the in-person auditions.  

For questions about the Dance Program, applications, and audition process, please contact Dr. Marissa Nesbit.  

The deadline to submit your online application is 5pm the Monday prior to each audition.

Monday, November 13 is the application deadline for the November 19 audition.

Monday, February 12 is the application deadline for the February 18 audition.

The ECU Dance Program will also be participating in the auditions at Dancewave-Dancing Through College and Beyond (Oct 7-8 in NYC) and the Charlotte Ballet Middle and High School Dance Festival (Oct 21-22 in Charlotte, NC).

Video auditions are accepted on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us if you need to submit a video audition after February 18. 

Get started on your ONLINE APPLICATION now!

We encourage prospective students who are auditioning to attend the weekend performance of—

Contemporary Concert Nov. 18 and 19

Senior Choreography February 17 and 18

Beginning September 2, individual tickets may be ordered through the School of Theatre and Dance Box Office at 252-328-6829 or online at our Box Office or ECU Arts.

What is needed for the online application?

The ECU Dance faculty strives to evaluate each candidate in terms of his or her unique abilities and potential, and the online application gives us the opportunity to see your individual strengths.

Within the online application, you will provide:

Your academic background

·       High school GPA

·       SAT and ACT Scores (Note: if you have not taken these exams, please enter “NA” and submit your application without scores)

·       A copy of your transcript

·       Optional: You may request a recommendation letter from a dance educator. 

Your dance background

·       A dance resume

·       A recent headshot/photograph

·       A one-minute video of your solo in ballet, modern, jazz or any combination thereof. This solo should be well-rehearsed and represent material that you feel comfortable and confident in performing. You should be the only dancer visible in the video.

·       Optional additional video if you have experience in another dance or movement form (hip hop, tap, martial arts, gymnastics, ballroom, and so on) that you would like to share with the faculty. Video should be limited to one minute.

Responses to Essay Questions (max 250 words each)

a.    Why have you chosen dance as a college major and career path? What are your academic, artistic, and professional goals, and how do you expect your college experience to prepare you to meet those goals?

b.    The dance faculty strives to admit a diverse group of students who will benefit from their shared learning experiences. Please describe interests, skills, and talents that you have outside of dance that you will bring to your college dance program.

c.    The dance program at ECU expects students to make substantial commitments to artistic and service projects above and beyond what is required though individual courses. If you are admitted to the program, how will you contribute to the thriving dance community here? To support your answer, describe your involvement and contributions to past programs, dance or otherwise.

What is the cost to apply to the dance program?

To submit the online application, all candidates will pay a $30 fee to Acceptd. There is no additional fee for the in-person audition.

I cannot attend the in-person audition. Can I still apply to the dance program?

Yes, although this is not encouraged. Priority is given to students who attend an in-person audition.

If you are unable to attend the in-person audition, you may choose “audition by video” within the online application. You will then be prompted to explain your reason for requesting audition by video and will be able to upload a video of class combinations (in addition to the solo required of all candidates). This should include up to 10 minutes of additional video compiled from class combinations, including ballet barre [include plié/relevé, tendu/degagé, ronde de jambe en l’air, and grande battement], ballet center, modern, and jazz. You should be the only dancer shown in the video.

What options do I have for a major in the dance program?

The dance program offers two concentrations in our BFA program: Dance Performance and Dance Education

Within the online application, you will be asked to indicate your intended concentration.

After successful completion of your first year in the program, you may consult with an advisor to determine any additional requirements and apply to change or add a major.

What should I expect at the audition?

The day will start with a brief welcome and overview of the dance program. Family members are encouraged to attend this introduction with you, but are not allowed to observe during the rest of the audition day.

All candidates will participate in a ballet barre and ballet, modern, and jazz combinations taught by ECU dance faculty. In the afternoon, all candidates will participate in a group interview and an improvisation session and will learn short combinations. Because you will upload a video of your solo to the online application for review by the faculty, you will not be asked to show a solo at the auditions. An optional tap audition will be held for those students with an interest and prior experience in tap. Please indicate your intention to participate in the tap audition on your online application.

What arrangements should I make for lunch?

During lunch, you will meet with current dance majors to ask questions and learn about their experiences in the program. Candidates should bring a healthy brown bag lunch and stay on campus to eat. Since family members are not allowed to observe during the actual audition, many parents go to a nearby restaurant and pick up a meal to bring back to their student. (Dining options on campus near Messick are limited on weekends.)

How should I prepare for the entrance audition?

During the audition, the faculty aims to create a supportive yet challenging atmosphere to give you a taste of what dance at ECU is like.

Arrive at the audition well-rested and ready to focus. Although you’ll be asked to participate in ballet, modern, and jazz combinations, as well as an improvisation session, we know that many high school students do not have prior experience in all of these forms. That’s OK! Stay focused and try your best with everything presented, and keep a positive attitude toward your dancing and your fellow candidates.

There will be no “cuts” during the audition day—everyone is expected to stay and participate during the entire day. We look forward to seeing you dance and learning about your interests.

Attire and shoes

Women should wear solid color leotards and pink or black tights. Men should wear solid fitted tops and black tights. Pants are acceptable for the jazz and improvisation sections.

Dancers are expected to wear ballet slippers for the ballet audition. Women with extensive experience on pointe may choose to wear pointe shoes, though this is not expected. All dancers should dance barefoot for the modern audition. Dancers who have them should wear jazz shoes for the jazz audition; otherwise, dance barefoot or wear ballet slippers. Those participating in the tap audition should bring tap shoes.

Bring appropriate cover-ups and a water bottle with you.