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Photos by Drew Berry and Jeremy Mimnagh


Dance at The Creative School is the most intensive and comprehensive program of its kind in Canada, earning international respect within the industry.

As a student in this conservatory-style program, you'll receive rigorous training in multiple forms of dance, including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, West African, street styles and partnering. To help you become a versatile performer and expand your professional opportunities, this core training is combined with classes in improvisation, composition, music, acting, film and other creative practices. With plenty of opportunities to collaborate and perform with highly acclaimed guest artists and arts organizations, you'll gain the experience necessary to build a successful career as a performer, choreographer, educator, and more.


Degree Earned

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Program Format

Full time / 4 years

Program Highlights

Attend daily dance classes as part of an intensive, conservatory-style curriculum.

Build professional connections by working with internationally-acclaimed guest artists and dance companies.

Train in a variety of genres, including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, street styles, and West African dance.

Perform live in annual mainstage productions, studios shows, and choreographic workshops.

Courses & Curriculum

Throughout all four years of study, students in Dance receive intensive professional training, with daily dance classes in various forms including ballet, jazz, modern, street styles, West African, and contemporary dance. In first and second year, they're introduced to the fundamentals of dance performance while learning how to approach their work critically, develop entrepreneurial initiative, and find joy in the creative process.

In third and fourth year, students tailor their education to their career goals by taking professional and professionally-related electives. For example, they may choose to focus on business and marketing through courses in entrepreneurship, new venture startup and promotion. Electives are also available in more traditional performance areas like film acting, audition preparation, directing, and musical theatre — to name a few.

Required Courses

  • THF 120 Music I: Introduction
  • THF 121 Music I: Advanced Introduction
  • THF 111 Creative Performance Studies I
  • THF 112 Creative Performance Studies II
  • THF 100 Anatomy of Movement and Lifestyle I
  • THF 101 Elements of Production I
  • THF 200 Timelines of Performance History I
  • THF 201 Timelines of Performance History II

Liberal Studies

Required Group 1

Two courses from the following, based on student's program:

  • THD 100 Fundamentals of Tech I: Dance
  • THD 101 Fundamentals of Tech II: Dance

Required Courses

  • FPN 200 The Moving Image in Performance I
  • THF 230 Music II: Introduction to Singing
  • THF 231 Music II: Intermediate Singing
  • THF 221 Creative Performance Studies III
  • THF 222 Creative Performance Studies IV

Liberal Studies


Required Group 1

Three courses from the following:

  • THD 200* Intermediary Tech I: Dance
  • THD 201* Intermediary Tech II: Dance
  • THF 404 Landmarks of Choreographic Development

Required Courses

  • THF 331 Creative Performance Studies V
  • THF 332 Creative Performance Studies VI
  • THP 500 Conceiving the Production

Liberal Studies



Required Group 1

Three courses from the following:

  • THD 300 Performance Tech I: Dance
  • THD 301 Performance Tech II: Dance

Required Courses

  • THF 400 Creative Performance Studies VII
  • THF 401 Independent Study Seminars

Liberal Studies



Required Group 1

Two courses from the following:

  • THD 400 Advanced Performance Tech I: Dance
  • THD 401 Advanced Performance Tech II: Dance


Admission Requirements



In-person auditions will commence in January 2024. The Performance Dance program will contact you via email with an invitation to sign up for an audition date after you have applied to the program.

Please ensure you have paid the $50 assessment fee online prior to attending your audition. This fee is in addition to your application fee. You will not be able to proceed with the audition if the fee is unpaid. Please see the Assessment Fee tab below for instructions on how to pay.

Please read the instructions carefully. Incomplete packages will not be assessed. You are required to bring the following with you to your audition (do not submit prior):

  1. Photograph: Bring a recent photograph of yourself with your name, TMU Student Number and audition date printed on the back.
  2. Resumé: Prepare a current resumé/curriculum vitae highlighting your dance training. Be sure to include the names and addresses of your dance schools and the names of your dance teachers.
  3. Reference Letters: Two reference letters are a requirement for admission consideration. The reference letters should be from dance instructors, either from your high school or your dance studios.
    • Note: The School of Performance will not return submitted materials. It is recommended that you submit copies rather than originals.


Dress code for in-person auditions

Please wear tights, leotard/fitted T-shirt and ballet slippers for ballet. Form-fitting clothing is required for Jazz and Modern/Contemporary. If you have Jazz shoes, feel free to bring them. You may also be asked to work in bare feet. Hair must be up and off your face.

Expectations for the in-person auditions

Be prepared for:

  • 45-minute ballet class
  • 30-minute jazz class
  • 30-minute modern/contemporary class
  • Solo component

Solo component: You may be asked to perform a solo as part of the audition process. Please prepare a one-minute solo in the dance form of your choice. Faculty would prefer to see contemporary movement in the solo, if possible (no pointe work). Please ensure your music source is reliable.

Important notes

  • All candidates must have some prior training in at least one of the following disciplines:  Ballet, Modern, Jazz or Contemporary Dance
  • All candidates will audition in the presence of other candidates taking part in the session as well as the audition panel
  • All candidates must commit several hours to the audition process

In order to submit your non-academic requirements online, you are required to email first. The required items will then be added to your ChooseTMU Applicant Portal allowing you to submit. You must submit all components (including the audition) via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal if selecting this option. See the Submission Instructions tab below. 

These requirements are due by February 1, 2024 or 10 business days from your application submission date, whichever comes later. We therefore ask that you send the above email well in advance of this date.

Assessment fee

Please ensure you pay the $50 assessment fee online, along with uploading your non-academic requirements. This fee is in addition to your application fee. Your submission will not be assessed if the fee is unpaid. Please see the Assessment Fee tab below for instructions on how to pay.

Materials for online auditions

The faculty will assess your performance based on the materials that you include. With this in mind, we encourage you to present your best self in your audition material.

1) Photograph

Submit a recent photograph of yourself.

Please save the image as a .pdf file and upload this via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal.

2) Resumé

Prepare a current resumé/curriculum vitae highlighting your dance training. Be sure to include the names and addresses of your dance schools and the names of your dance teachers.

Please save your resumé as a .pdf file and upload this via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal.

3) Two reference letters

Two reference letters are a requirement for admission consideration. The reference letters should be from dance instructors, either from your high school or your dance studios. 

Please review your submission instructions in the tab below.

4) Audition

Please provide a YouTube or Vimeo link to your audition video in a .pdf document  and upload this file following the Submission Instructions below. Make the link public OR be sure to include the password in your .pdf file. Confirm that your link works and will not expire.

At the beginning of your video, state your name, where you are from, your age and height. Tell us why you are auditioning for TMU’s School of Performance: Dance Program.

Part I - Ballet

Dress code: Tights, leotard/fitted T-shirt and ballet slippers, hair off your face 

Required elements: Please refer to the table below.

A) Barre work (10 minutes maximum) B) Centre work(10 minutes maximum) * everything both sides
  1. Plié (one side)
  2. Battement tendu (one side)
  3. Battement glissé/dégagé (one side)
  4. Développé (both sides)
  5. Grand battements (both sides)
  1. Adage
  2. Pirouettes (en-dehors and en-dedans)
  3. Petit allegro
  4. Grand allegro
  5. Moving combination that illustrates your physicality and artistry
Part II - Modern/Contemporary/Jazz Sequences

Dress code: Form-fitting dance clothing. Hair must be up and off your face.

Required elements:

  1. Simple phrase showing torso articulation (e.g. side curve, forward curve, spirals, high release/lift)
  2. Short floor work phrase highlighting your flexibility and including rolls and level changes
  3. Short phrase highlighting the use of isolations, musicality and movement with rhythmicity
Part III - Choreographed Solos

Please include two (2), one-minute combinations or choreographed solos of contrasting styles in Jazz, Modern/Contemporary and/or any other discipline of dance you have studied. The panel is looking for the following in your online audition:

  • Alignment and posture
  • Mobility and flexibility
  • Clarity and articulation
  • Coordination and agility
  • Stability, balance, and control
  • Strength and power
  • Projection and presentation
  • Musicality and phrasing
  • Expression and performance quality
  • Efficiency and freedom of movement
  • Flow/fluidity/transition in movement
  • Use of turnout
  • Use of breath
  • Rhythm
  • Groundedness/earthiness
  • Nuance and sensitivity
  • Use of dynamics

Showcase your technique, movement and performance qualities, artistry, passion, and versatility.

Important notes
  •  All candidates must have some prior training in at least one of the following disciplines: Ballet, Modern, Jazz or Contemporary Dance
  •  Applications will not be considered if incomplete or the video link provided does not work

The non-academic requirements assessment fee is $50 CDN and must be paid in order for your submission to be reviewed. Here’s how to pay:

  1. Access your ChooseTMU Applicant Portal account (instructions to access the portal can be found below under Submission Instructions).

  2. Click on the button to link to the eForms Centre.

    eForms Centre button highlighted in the applicant portal account
  3. Next, click on the eForms Center tile.

    eForms Center button highlighted in the bottom right corner of MyServiceHub.
  4. Then click on the Non-Academic Fee Form link.

    Non-academic Fee Form highlighted in the eForms Center page.

Applicants are required to submit all components of their non-academic requirements via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal. Due to the volume of applications received and our system performance, we strongly encourage you to submit your documents well in advance of the noted deadlines.

Here’s how to access your ChooseTMU Applicant Portal account:

  1. Get your TMU Student Number in the email acknowledgement of your application
  2. Activate your TMU Online Identity. Fill in the Activation Form on the Accounts website. When asked for your Student/Applicant ID, enter your nine-digit TMU Student Number. Keep a record of your user name and password
  3. 24 hours after activating your TMU Online Identity, visit the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal

Complete the following steps to submit your Reference Forms:

  1. Input your references’ contact information via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal. Please ensure that all reference information is inputted accurately. If you wish to amend your reference information (e.g. change reference, change email address) please complete and submit the  (google form) Upload Help Form (external link, opens in new window) .
  2. Have your references complete the Reference Form. Your references will receive an email giving access to the Reference Form and instructions. If a reference has not received the email, please ask your reference to review their “trash” or “junk mail.” To request that the email be sent again, please complete and submit the  (google form) Upload Help Form (external link, opens in new window) .
  3. Confirm that your references have completed the Reference Form. A Reference Form is complete once its status on the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal indicates “Received.” It is your responsibility to ensure each reference completes their Reference Form by the noted deadline.

If you are applying for readmission or reinstatement, you may not be required to submit non-academic requirements. You must inform Undergraduate Admissions of your intentions.

 Contact ServiceHub at 416-979-5036 by and ask to speak with the admissions officer by February 1, 2024, or 10 business days from your application submission date (whichever comes later).


Frequently Asked Questions

How should I prepare for the audition? Are there any tips you can give me?

In this video, current student Tiffany Lau gives her insights and advice on how to manage stress during the audition process. 

TMU belongs in the heart of downtown Toronto where the dance industry thrives. With our tight-knit relationship to our community, we are able to connect students with many incredible artists, alumni and international guests who are amazing additions to our faculty.

Performance Dance at The Creative School consists of some of Toronto’s strongest teachers in their fields, who have all worked or continue to work as professional dance performers. This outstanding group of educated and experienced teachers provide the students with industry-level knowledge like no other. With a program that offers exceptionally high-level training in comparison to most university dance programs in Canada, we continuously emphasize the importance of versatility by covering a wide variety of styles and training.

On top of this, we are able to offer many discounts to dance shows and performances in our surrounding areas. In our beautiful location, we are close in distance to many famous Toronto theatres such as the Citadel Theatre, The Meridian Hall and the Ed Mirvish Theatre. With inspiration and innovation all around, the world of creation is limitless and this evidently shows through with all of our students and alumni at TMU. 

We train in a wide variety of styles, which gives you a solid foundation for a successful dance-based career post-graduation. With thoughtful mentorship from dance leaders in our own Toronto dance community, we strive to build versatility, physicality and artistry in each and every dancer.

Some styles that we train in are classical ballet, American modern, jazz, western-based contemporary, Afro-Cuban modern, West African, Street Styles, vernacular jazz, contemporary ballet and improvisation. Many of these styles are accompanied by live musicians who we work with regularly. With choreographic opportunities beginning in second year, genres can start to venture into further fields and stylistic endeavors.

Dance experience of some sort is definitely needed to audition for our program. Performance Dance prioritizes personal growth and development in every student, however this growth needs to come from an already trained body that has a strong history of dance movement. While it is not mandatory to have experience in every genre we offer, it is essential that you have the ability to strive in our program foundationally, technically and creatively. We emphasize that it is not one type of student we are looking for. While one applicant could be accepted for their strong technical background (in ballet, modern, contemporary, street or jazz), another could be accepted for their fierce passion and presence or their strong interpretive and improvisational skills.

Our live performances are done on a scaffolding scale where you receive more and more opportunities each year you are in the program. Starting in your first year, you perform in front of teachers and staff and as semesters pass by, the number of performances for a larger audience and on a larger stage increase. In second year, dancers also perform on film where they work with industry-level filmmakers and develop skills on how to dance on camera. 

Opportunities for showcasing your own choreography begin in second year and continue to grow as you progress in the program. By the end of fourth year, dancers delve into a large culmination project where the many acquired skills from the program are put to work in a self-produced and student-choreographed show!

Our program operates around an 80% to 20% ratio where a bulk of your hours are spent in the studio training, rehearsing, and creating. With a general standard of 44 hours per every major, we have an estimate of 20-30 hours a week with studio-based classes and rehearsals, with the other 20% being lecture-based classes. Our 20-30 hours includes your performance-specific classes such as dance, creative performance studies (CPS), music, production as well as rehearsals you may have for upcoming shows. The other 20% of your school hours usually fall into elective classes which are lecture-based and include faculty which are not performance-specific. 

Our program requires a lot of commitment, time and dedication, both in the studio and out. However, with only 6 courses required to attain a minor, many students are able to arrange their electives in a manner where a minor is possible. As a student, you are expected to commit to your studies, but the world is your oyster! Minor degrees are available to Performance Dance students and there are no restrictions against part-time occupations. These are definite possibilities, but balancing commitments is a personal responsibility. 

Performance also has an amazing academic coordinator who is able to help out with these personal needs.

Yes! Of course, remaining on campus means there is less back-and-forth, but because of Toronto’s elaborate transportation system, you are able to commute easily to and from school. A number of our students are commuters who can successfully maneuver through their courseload, and commitments, and thrive in our program. 

First year is an exciting and invigorating entrance into our 4-year program. Each week is full of dance classes along with academics and select electives.

A typical week of classes could look like 4.5 hours of ballet, 3 hours of jazz, 3 of modern, 1.5 hours of West African, an hour of improv and an hour and a half of street styles - which are all part of THD 101.

In addition, there would be classes in a mixture of music, anatomy, performance history, your chosen electives and creative performance studies - where your creative muscles are put to work! In your first year, you start to build a strong connection with your teachers, many of whom continue to work with you in future years!


You belong at
The Creative School

As a Performance student, you'll be part of The Creative School, a dynamic faculty offering 27 degree programs in media, design and creative industries. Through global experiences and transdisciplinary opportunities, our students emerge as some of the most in demand and employable graduates anywhere.

Ready to apply?