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Skidmore College
Dance Department


There is no audition required for the dance major. Typically, students with strong dance backgrounds choose Skidmore because they desire a quality liberal arts education but want to continue their dance training. There are also those who actually begin dancing at Skidmore and eventually declare a dance major. We believe the program benefits from this flexibility.

Yes, many of our dancers are double majors in a wide variety of disciplines. Balancing technique class, rehearsals and performances with academics can be challenging, but with proper planning and time management skills you can be successful in both of your majors. Your academic advisers can be instrumental in helping you chart the most efficient course of study throughout your four years.

No. Most of our classes are open to both majors and non-majors, with levels ranging from introductory to advanced. We welcome everyone into our studios, and you will be placed according to your level of training.

You don’t have to be a dance major or minor to perform. As long as you are enrolled in a technique class, you may audition for the faculty workshop classes (see Catalog descriptions), which are credit-bearing rehearsal periods. Auditions are generally given on the first day that class meets. There are also numerous other performing opportunities throughout each semester such as the Choreography I and II showcases, student clubs, and other independent projects.

This is entirely up to you and often fluctuates according to academic requirements. Most of our dance majors take one or two technique classes daily, with additional rehearsals scheduled throughout the week and weekend. It is not uncommon to dance between three to six hours per day with two hours per day being an average minimum.

The first class of the semester serves as the placement class, so attendance that first day is important. Individual professors determine whether the student is at the appropriate level for the course and will advise you accordingly.

You are more than welcome to take class with us when you visit the campus. Please contact our chair, Debra Fernandez ( or 518-580-5377), and she will be happy to help you choose the right classes in which to participate or observe.

Currently, we have approximately 40 declared majors and about 18 minors at any given time.

This depends upon the course being taught. Our largest enrollments begin at the introductory and beginning levels, with anywhere from 30 to 40 students in each class. Our intermediate and advanced classes are capped at 20 to 25, with the choreography courses ranging from 15 (Choreography I) to nine (Choreography II). Workshop classes fluctuate between seven and 15.

Our program prepares students for further study or careers in the fields of performance, choreography, dance education, dance history/criticism, lighting design, stage management, and arts administration. Our alumni are members and/or directors of professional companies, dance therapists, arts administrators, teachers and professors, and many unique variations on this theme. Others have become midwives, medical researchers, psychologists, mathematicians and lawyers who continue to dance as a personal practice.

At Skidmore all technical training degrees fall under the rubric of bachelor of science.  This allows for more flexibility in choosing from an array of electives and other interests while still leaving ample room for technical and theoretical dance training.