Applying to Purchase: it’s time to step up.
Deadlines and Requirements: Dance Performance
January 20, 2022
Round One Pre-screening Video
January 31, 2022
Round Two In-Person Auditions*
February 11, February 19, February 25, and March 5, 2022
*Live audition dates on campus by invitation only.
- SUNY Application and Purchase Supplemental, or Common Application
- Application Fee: $50 for either application
- Academic Transcripts
- Letter of Recommendation
- Audition Cost: $65, non-refundable
Admission to the Conservatory of Dance is highly competitive. Acceptance is based primarily on your dance audition, demonstrating:
- Extensive prior training in modern, contemporary, and/or classical ballet
- Serious commitment to dance training and a career in the professional dance field
- Talent and potential as a performer
To be considered for admission, you must first apply to the college BFA Dance program and submit a first round pre-screening video. Finalists will then be invited to the second round campus audition.
The non-refundable audition fee of $65 must be submitted online at the time of your pre-screening submissions.
Applicants selected for the auditions on campus will be emailed the live audition registration instructions after the pre-screening round is complete (after January 31).
International Applicants should complete the pre-screening as per the directions below. If you are invited to participate in a live audition, you will be contacted by the Conservatory Coordinator to schedule a time.
Please note: Live audition registration is not yet available.
Round One Pre-screening Instructions
What to Include in Your Video
Your pre-screening audition should not exceed 20 minutes and should consist of:
- A ballet class
- Modern/contemporary exercises and combinations in the center and across the floor
- A ballet and a modern/contemporary phrase that will be shared with you via the student application portal or you can find the details in #5 below.
- While we are not expecting you to submit a professional quality video, we must be able to see you clearly.
- Clothing should contrast with the filming environment so that you stand out from the background. We recommend wearing a unitard; tights and a fitted top; or a leotard that enables you to move freely and enables the viewer to assess your technique.
- Hair must be off your face, eyes, and neck.
- Ballet class requires ballet slippers. Modern/contemporary class is barefoot.
- Avoid placing yourself in front of a strong light source and choose a space with minimal visual distractions for the viewer.
- The frame of the video should show the full body throughout and not include any dancers other than the applicant.
- If you plan to use a phone, please hold the phone horizontally to ensure that the view is as wide and clear as possible.
Your solo must be filmed as one continuous shot. Each ballet and modern exercise must be filmed as one continuous shot.
Please submit your video with sections arranged in the following order:
A brief close-up shot of your face. State your name, current city, and country of residence.
2) Ballet Class
Alternate sides for each exercise. There are no set exercises required for barre, but we are expecting you to present all the traditional exercises:
- Pliés and port-de-bras
- Tendus—starting in 5th
- Battement Jetés or Dégagés—starting in 5th
- Rond de Jambes—starting in 1st
- Fondus—starting in 5th (flat or relevé)
- Grand Battement
- Adagio: Four phrases of eight (two phrases on the right side, two phrases on the left side)
- Petit allegro: Four phrases of eight (two phrases on the right side, two phrases on the left side)
- Pirouette combinations: Two phrases of eight (two phrases on the right side, two phrases on the left side)
- Big jumps, as per the space you have available to work in (sissonne, pas de chat)
Please do the above exercises to music.
Please note: Pointe is not required for the pre-screening audition, but you are welcome to present your material en pointe.
3) Modern/Contemporary Class
No set exercises required. Present warm up exercises, center work including back work and across the floor combinations.
4) Prepared Solo
Each dancer should prepare a 90-second solo performance in ballet, modern, or contemporary dance to music. Your solo should be filmed in a space without theatrical lighting.
The solo should demonstrate your artistic and technical qualities. Choreography may be created by you or done by another person.
Please introduce your dance: title, choreographer, composer and any additional information you wish us to know. Do not submit work that is edited with jump cuts, dissolves, or musical overlays.
If you are experiencing difficulty in recording your pre-screening video (i.e. not enough space, cannot access a studio etc.), please contact Adriana Pera at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will not negatively impact your application.
5) Supplemental Dance Phrases
Please view the following ballet and modern/contemporary phrases:
Prepare and perform these phrases to the music provided below:
Record your phrases as per the demonstration in the video and submit with your pre-screening video.
All dancers are required to submit the following items via their Admissions Portal when they submit their pre-screening video. Please do not e-mail these materials to the conservatory.
- Dance Resume
- One (1) Artistic Letter of Recommendation
- Dance Photo (an 8x10 full body shot)*
*A professional photo is not required.
Round Two Live Audition (By Invitation Only)
If selected, applicants will be invited to sign up for a live audition on one of the following dates: February 11, 19, 25, or March 5, 2022.
These live auditions will take place on campus at Purchase College, SUNY. Please do no call the conservatory to schedule an audition. All auditions are scheduled online.
International applicants: if the pre-determined dates and time for the live auditions are not possible due to time differences, please contact Adriana Pera at email@example.com.
What to Expect During the Live Audition Callback
This portion of the audition will take place on campus, in a dance studio with your peers.
The audition class will be led by a Purchase dance faculty member. Students will be observed by a panel of 2–3 faculty. Faculty will then choose students to present a 90-second solo.
The dance audition class will consist of a ballet class and modern/contemporary combinations in the center and across the floor. You might be asked to improvise.
Following class, the audition panel will call back the dancers who will present their solos in the afternoon. The faculty will conduct a short interview following the audition.
The schedule is adhered to as much as possible; however, the number of people in any given audition, the weather, or other extenuating circumstances may cause changes. Please plan to spend a full day at Purchase College.
Each dancer should be prepared to present a 90-second solo performance in classical or contemporary ballet, modern, or contemporary dance. We would like to see you in a work that shows you at your best. Note the following carefully, as no exceptions will be made:
- Your music should be on your phone.
- Choreography may be by you or another person.
- Please do not let your dance exceed 90 seconds. If your dance exceeds 90 seconds, you will be asked to stop. We are primarily interested in your performance and movement ability.
- Be prepared to introduce your dance: title, choreographer, composer and any additional information you wish us to know.
- The audition studio has a marley floor.
- No costumes are permitted.
The live audition will conclude with a short interview.
If you become injured prior to your scheduled audition date, then you may reschedule your audition for a later date. If your recovery period exceeds the final scheduled audition date (March 5, 2022), then you may be granted an extension by request. Please contact Adriana Pera at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.
You will be notified of your admission decision three to four weeks after your audition date if your application is complete and you have paid the audition fee.
For additional information about the Dance BFA program visit the Conservatory of Dance.
Whether you just graduated high school or you’ve taken a gap year (or more), if you have not yet attended college you should apply as a freshman. Even if you’ve taken college-level courses in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, you’re still a freshman.
Who We’re Looking For
It takes a certain nature to thrive at Purchase. While we seek to enroll academically qualified students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum, we also seek students with grit—the determination to strive and succeed.
Successful students at Purchase are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in our community as well as the world at large. Our students are passionate about their goals and persevere to achieve them. They are daring—willing to take calculated risks to achieve more when they create works of art, engage in research and scholarship, or take on internships. They are driven to succeed and exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit in creating that success for themselves. In addition, Purchase students are often socially aware and will take an active stand for what they believe in.
All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors and Advanced Placement coursework. The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your Think Wide Open Statement, and supplemental information.
Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a GPA of 3.0 (or 85 on a 100 point scale).
Purchase does not require scores from the SAT or ACT exam (with exceptions), though applicants are given the option to submit them. It is recommended that test scores be submitted only if it is believed to benefit the application. For applicants who are considering submitting scores, we typically prefer the following:
- SAT: 1170 total score
- ACT: 24 Composite
Students who are required to submit test scores include:
- Applicants who are homeschooled
- International students, who will need to provide a TOEFL score
- Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale
Think Wide Open Statement
Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open.” It’s our way of learning, teaching and being and so much more. By choosing Purchase, students make a conscious decision to join an intense community with a deep respect for individuality and diversity and an unparalleled environment of creativity and innovation.
As an applicant, we want to know what Think Wide Open means to you. All students submit either an essay, video or other creative work (poem, song, visual artwork, etc.). It should be original and should connect to Think Wide Open broadly or specifically. Videos and creative works should include a brief introduction or statement that helps contextualize your submission for the viewer/reader.