Dance applicants submit a recorded audition consisting of both pure technique and a solo piece showing the full range of abilities. Technical requirements range from grand adagios, allegros, varied tempos, floor and spatial work, nimbleness, to name a few.

National adjudicator evaluation is based on criteria that measures technique, presentation, musicality and phrasing and overall artistry. The panelists specifically look for originality and individuality of a creative voice. Choreographic pieces are judged on concept, clarity of purpose; movement invention and development of thematic material.

An interesting component of the dance discipline is the World Dance subcategory, which adds a special appreciation for creative diversity as well as technique. World Dance Forms may include folk dances or performing arts of any cultures of the world. Examples include, but are not limited to: African, Bharata Natyam, Flamenco, Irish Step, Korean Drum, Kuchipudi, Native American, Hip Hop, etc.

Notable YoungArts alumni in Dance have continued their passion as principal dancers in premier dance companies like Alvin Ailey and the New York City Ballet. Past participants have also progressed to executive leadership roles in organizations that carry on the collective mission of preserving the arts in American society.


We consider six categories within the dance field – ballet, jazz, modern, tap, world dance, and choreography.

Notable Alumni

  • Rachel Moore, 1982 Executive Director, American Ballet Theatre
  • Philip Neal, 1986Principal Dancer - New York City Ballet
  • Matthew Rushing, 1991Principal Dancer - Alvin Ailey
  • Desmond Richardson, 1986Artistic Director, Complexions Contemporary Ballet
    Stage: Fosse, Movin’ Out
    Film: Chicago
  • Linda Celeste Sims, 1994Principal Dancer - Alvin Ailey