Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of California, Irvine

Recommended Posts

Thank you Sandersen, I appreciate the help. I read that several hundred audition, do you know how many they accept?


It was 221 people at UCI and then out of state and international can apply by DVD. They accept aprox. 50

Link to comment
  • Replies 114
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • dancemaven


  • DegasDancer


  • DancingGirl


  • Amie


One more question - how are they grading you in ballet/dance programs. I really don't understand the process of dancing for the grades.

Link to comment

We do have a final in our dance classes. All the teachers that we have for ballet, jazz or modern are there watching and writing things down. It's basically just a class that feels a lot like an audition. It still seems weird to me to get a grade for ballet. The lowest grade I've ever heard of anyone getting is a B-. Obviously, class attendance is part of the grade. If you are there and are applying the corrections you're given, you're fine. I hope that helps.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I'm not sure what ballet class you are referring to, but if you go to this website, and choose the department 'Dance,' then go to the bottom and click on 'Display Web Results,' you will see what classes are being offered this semester. There is one pointe class listed. Classes begin September 19th.



Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

If you're in the area and are interested in the dance program at UCI, their Dance Escape program begins tonight and goes through Saturday eve. Looks to be a very interesting program. Tickets available on the UCI website.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

Has anyone auditioned recently for UCI? If so what was the audition like? Is there anyone studying at UCI that is willing to answer some questions about both the dance program and the University as a whole?


Link to comment


I am a current dancer in the UCI dance program

I auditioned for UCI dance program in 2011 (started UCI 2011-2012 school year). The audition is usually massive (300+ people). You are split up into two studios (PSTU 1130 &1140) which are crammed tight. You will learn two combinations in each style of dance in your studio (ballet, modern, and jazz) ballet is usually some sort of adagio/turning combo and a jump combo. If you want to get into a high level you must do it on pointe (level 3 or above)

Modern is one center combination and one traveling combination; usually freshmen will get into level 2 or 3. Jazz is not "competition" jazz, and it is very difficult to get into level 3 for this section. Saleemah E. Knight will most likely teach this section. If you get into the school, there will be a placement audition on the first day during Week 0.

When you have learned your combination for each section, you will go into PSTU 1100 ( a much larger studio but with the same floor) and perform it in groups of 8-12. Ballet is always first, then modern, and then Jazz.

It seems stressful since it is not at all like summer intensive auditions or any other college audition I attended.

Apply for the school with your backup degree (second choice) as Arts Undeclared because that will allow you to see if you didn't get into UCI as a university or into the dance program because you didn't pass the audition. It is possible to audition in after the school year starts but I would never recommend it.


When you get in the school this is my advice:

Take all 3 technique classes your freshmen year (ballet, modern, and jazz)

I took 22 units each quarter when I was living in the dorms, and it is not uncommon for students to take up to 30.

Try to get into Pointe technique class (offered Fall Quarter) if you are below level 5 for Ballet. Ballet 4 and 5 do a lot of pointe work but level 3 unfortunately does not.

Look up G.E. classes that count for two categories. ex: Intro to astronomy counts as a science and math. Some Poli Sci classes count as a social science and multicultural studies.

Take Dance History your Sophomore year, Critical issues your Junior year or Summer before junior year.

It is easy to graduate in 3 years if you enter the school with some G.E. categories finished (i had 16 units done: spanish language and international studies) -- i would only recommend this if you truly want to join a ballet company because ballet companies usually hire at a younger age.

If you do not make it into a show your first year it will be difficult to get the B.F.A.

Audition for EVERYTHING! this is a must and has ruined a lot of dancer's connections and networking during the program.


This is my experience at UCI:

I graduated high school at 16 years old and started UCI immediately after. I was placed in level 3 for ballet, and level 2 for Jazz and Modern. I took pointe and spanish dance my first quarter. I auditioned for the first performance: NEW SLATE and got into a ballet piece. Through that piece I was able to participate in a M.F.A. student's thesis, which was a full length work in May. This is why it is important to audition, because the graduate students are always looking for their thesis dancers.

I have to admit that I was rather bored in Ballet 3. I was trained in classical ballet and I really felt that it was too east, not enough pointe work, etc. Later I realized how good it was for me to go back to the basics and work slower and cleaner. Now that I am in Ballet 5, we are doing challenging combinations, preparing for variations, and the class size is much smaller.

I really enjoy the Modern offered at UCI, this year we have a new teacher David Zurak, who teaches graham technique. Chad M. Hall does his own contemporary modern based off of Diavolo Company in Los Angeles and he has his own company as well. This year I will perform a solo int he modern piece for Dance Visions (faculty concert)

Being part of the performances is a vital part of the experience at UCI. It is also important to make connections while you are here, with the teachers and with the graduate students. NEVER be afraid to approach a teacher and ask for help/advice. Even if it does not rub you the right way, it will help them realize that you are fully interested in learning and advancing your dance career. I would recommend talking to a teacher once a quarter for each technique. Find out where you can improve, what you should be doing to advance to your final goal, etc.

I have had an amazing fun time at UCI, have learned a lot and have improved a lot in all techniques. The dance department is small so it is easy to make friends. You don't need to stay in the dorm necessarily, if you are a social person, you will easily make friends in class. The rest of the campus, I wouldn't say is too friendly compared to the arts departments. Try to join a club or two if you have time if you would like to meet non-arts majors.

One thing I have to say that I did very well is: never be lazy. Teachers realize when you don't show up to class. Don't make excuses for being absent or sitting out. Try to be present and ready to dance at all times. After all you are working for your career in dance not for a specific teacher to like you. You need to remember or establish your end goal in the dance world otherwise you will not get the most out of UCI. Do not be one of those dancers that floats through a university program and doesn't get anything out of it. You need to push yourself, work for yourself, and ask for help to do what you want. This is the way in most university programs.

I will now graduate UCI in June after 3 years at the school. I really enjoyed the Dance Science and Kinesiology courses offered here. And the academics at UCI are very strong, so you really do feel like you have a good education supporting you on the side of dance.

Also make sure you prepare yourself for auditions around your 3rd year at the latest. Practice variations, videos, pictures, and keep on auditioning for Summer intensives and companies throughout your time at UCI to practice for when you graduate.

I went to a summer intensive each year during college and it really helped me improve ahead of my level.

There are also great options to take classes outside of UCI, in Los Angeles, and in Irvine/Costa Mesa. And plenty of places to apply and teach dance.

I have a friend at UCI that studied Art History and Dance and now is successfully graduating, two internships later, with a job for arts administration. There is definitely other options other than being just a dancer and is always good to have a degree in your back pocket.


Hope this helps, sorry that it is so long!

Feel free to ask any questions.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

@ Dancinggirl Thank you so much for all the info above about the program. My DD wants to double major and is not sure how this will work. What does an average weekly schedule look like for a freshman in terms of hours & classes at the studio? Thanks and good luck in the future :)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...