Best schools of dance

by Elizaveta Chebotareva
(Moscow, Russia)


I need a list of 5-10 best schools of contemporary dance in the world for an article. We are making an education project and need a professional advice.

Comments for Best schools of dance

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Jun 04, 2011
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Elizaveta,

You know contemporary dance is nowadays a heterogeneous art. You might find companies that have completely different artistic proposals which might be sometimes even contradictory. And the same thing can happen with the schools, as contemporary dance is approached in such different ways.

Therefore, comparing schools as being better or worse might not be so useful, because before that you need to know what type of contemporary dance you are interested in. For example, you might feel more attracted towards an experimental work related to visual arts, a new trend rooted in a modern dance style or a specific method which uses young techniques like flying low or contact improvisation.

There are different approaches and normally each school makes its own emphasis, depending on its conditions: teachers, local trends and so forth.

So, I will propose you a list of renowned places where someone could study contemporary dance, but it is up to each person to decide if the place fits her/his interests or needs.

In our directory, you will find a lot of contemporary dance schools and companies world wide, with links to visit their websites and understand what kind of insight of contemporary dance they have. I suggest considering the companies as much as the schools, because they also teach and studying with professionals is a great way to learn particular aspects of specific artistic works.

Here are the links to those pages in our contemporary dance directory:

Contemporary Dance Schools

Contemporary Dance Companies

So, here's a list of renowned places to learn contemporary dance:

- P.A.R.T.S. (Belgium)

- David Zambrano (Holland)

- The Place (U.K.)

- Folkwang Universität der Künste (Germany)

- The Juilliard School (U.S.A.)

- Conservatori Superior de Dansa (CSD). Institut del Teatre. (Spain)

- Trisha Brown Dance Company (U.S.A.)

- In France, there are the so called 'choreographic centers' (one for each region), where there are always educational programs by all of the most renowned French choreographers.

I hope this is useful as a first guideline. If you wish me to help you with identifying the specific approaches of some important companies, just let me know.

Wishing you the best,


Jun 05, 2012
where in the world rank is Martha Graham school
by: Maija Rutkovska


I would like to know about where in the world rank is Martha Graham school of contemporary dance?

Thank you.

Jun 05, 2012
Reply for Maya
by: Maria

Dear Maya,

As far as I know, there's no such thing as a world rank of contemporary dance schools. Please read my answer above to understand better.

The Martha Graham School is famous and has a great reputation. However, Graham's technique is considered to be a modern style and not a contemporary or postmodern type of dance. But I guess there are contemporary dance classes there anyway.

All the best,


Apr 11, 2014
The Place, London
by: Anonymous


I have successfully passed an audition in The Place and I have been admitted but I am asked to pay a very high tuition fee.

I wonder whether my admission may have been for economic reasons rather than for my talent.

Do such things happen in dance schools?

Thank you vey much for your comments.

Best regards

Apr 11, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

I do not know if The Place applies such politics.

But remember that contemporary dance is a very wide and heterogeneous art form. It's difficult to know why you passed the audition.

Still, if you can afford to pay tuition there, you should be very happy to have that opportunity.

But to answer to your question, I'll have to say 'yes'. That happens in dance schools. In Cuba, for example, almost all foreigners are admitted at the schools, only because they will pay for it. Private academies all around the world also admit every kind of students, only because they pay for the classes.

Yet that fact should not discourage you. That's just a functional issue of our reality and it sometimes opens the doors to hidden talents... like you?

Nov 12, 2014
Country preferable for learning Contemp and jazz
by: Anonymous

Which country is preferable for learning contemp and jazz .??
And a country which is also cheaper!??

Nov 22, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

For learning contemporary dance, you better go to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany or New York. For Jazz, it’s definitely New York you have to be in.

For a cheaper country in which you’ll find good contemporary dance, you may go to Argentina (in South America), or Brazil, but Brazil is more expensive.


Dec 14, 2014
Dance School in Australia ?
by: James

I wanted to know about dance schools in australia...i heard about Brent street...i am 22 years old and want to apply for some professional full time course..which can help me make a career in dance.

Dec 15, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear James,

All the contemporary dance schools I know in Australia are listed in our directory. Visit the page to see them:

Directory of contemporary Dance Schools


Feb 24, 2015
Schools in Geneva
by: Anonymous

I'm just about to move to Geneva, do you think there is a good contemporary academy there? If not a very good school?

Thank you so much in advance!!

Feb 24, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there!

Well, I haven’t been there personally, but there’s one contemporary dance school in Geneva listed in our directory. Visit the page to find the link to their website. You’ll see the link to the directory just right here, in the previous comment.


Apr 22, 2015
Iwanson Interational
by: Anonymous


I have been accepted in Iwanson international school of contemporary dance in Munich, Could someone tell me how is the work in this school ? How is the spirit ? Does creativity take a main part in the schedule ?
I did not found anything from former student about this school.
Thanks for your reply !

Apr 30, 2015
by: Dancer's mum


My teenager will be looking to go into a full time dance school next year. Her strength is Contemporary. Are there any particular schools in Australasia that are standouts in Contemporary Dance? Also, although she has a talent in this genre and offered scholarships, she has been told to not specialize in Contemporary but study all genres to get any future work. What do you think about this statement? As a mother, I feel she should pursue what she loves and excels at - which is Contemporary. Thanks in advance for your answers to these questions.

Apr 30, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear dancer’s mum ; ) !

The Sydney Dance Company offers dance classes. That is a great place to learn and to be, because of the social context it offers. It may open doors.

I agree with you. Your daughter should pursue what she loves and excels at. Anyway, if she follows a contemporary dance studying program, she will very probably receive classes of other kind of dances. Also, in time she’ll always have the possibility to explore. Being as young as you say, it is better that she focuses on one genre first.

Warm regards.

Aug 13, 2015
Contemporary kids school
by: Stella


We are from Portugal but we go to Madrid because my girl, 10 years old, was admitted in Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza- Mariemma. She want to be Contemporary Dancer but don´t know Schools were I can go with her for Holidays dance courses of Contemporary dance. The bests are for adults or minimums 15 years old. Can you help me?
Can you help me?


Aug 13, 2015
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Stella,

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the contemporary dance schools in Madrid (personally). I will try to find some reliable information and will come back to post it if I find something.

For the moment, I suggest you to search around the neighborhood you’ll live in Madrid and if you find something for kids, ask for permission to see the classes. Take your daughter with you and ask her how she feels about the classes you saw. It’s important that she feels right about the dancing style and ambiance.

Warm regards,


Apr 02, 2016
searching for school abroad
by: Anonymous

i am anisha,22,from india,been dancing for not quite a long have done ballet contemporary but would really want to pursue dance, where should i apply for further studies, where i can get to do all the forms.
or how do i start my search for the same.

Apr 03, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Anisha,

I recommend you to visit our directory of dance schools. You’ll find a lot of options there to start your research:

Worldwide directory of contemporary dance schools

; )

Feb 22, 2017
Dance summercamp Los angles/ Hawaii
by: Anonymous

Hi Maria,

I am looking for a summer camp in Los Angeles and Hawaii, we I can train intensively Ballet and contemporary and jazz dance.
Could you recommend any schools/ dance companies

Thank you,

Feb 23, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

The information that I have about schools or companies in Los Angeles or Hawaii is listed in our directories. Have you search there yet? :

dance schools usa

dance companies usa

I recommend you to visit the websites of the places listed there so that you make yourself an idea of what they offer.

; )

Apr 13, 2017
by: santiago

hi, im thinking of auditioning for a contemporary school, and i know that some schools take to consideration the age of the dancer, and im 25 years old, can you help me by telling me wich schools dont have a age limit

thnx for ur help!

Apr 16, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Santiago,

I don’t know where in the planet you are located. According to where in the world you are, I recommend you to search for the schools available and ask your question at each place. You can use our directory of contemporary dance schools to do it:

Contemporary Dance Schools World Wide

Warm regards.

Jul 04, 2017
Searching for school in Toronto
by: Josh

Hi Maria,

I'm trying to help my 15-year-old daughter to find a good contemporary school in Toronto, I saw Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) in your link, would you please describe what you know about this school? Maybe the pros and cons if possible? Thanks!


Jul 04, 2017
Reply for Josh
by: Maria

Dear Josh,

I’m sorry to say that I don’t know that school personally. For what I can see in their website, it is a well established school.

Consider that the choice for your daughter depends on her goals and what the school can really offer. If she is looking for amateur classes, that school will be good enough for sure. But if she is looking for something that leads to a professional degree, you should ask directly at the school about the studying programs. If you have the possibility, it is better to visit various options and, ideally, watch some classes, before you make a decision.

Warm regards.

Aug 21, 2017
Contemporary modern jazz
by: Vidushi

Im Vidushi, 23 from India.
Ive been trained in contemporary jazz and ballet.
Id like to further study contemporary and jazz, short term course like the ones in Kibbutz. But Kibbutz is just contemporary. Im looking at modern, contemporary as well as jazz. Ive been told to go to broadway, but thats too overhyped.

Also some place with an option for company induction later after the course would be great.
Please suggest how to go about shortlisting companies and school. Im not looking at anything for more than 1 year in duration.

Aug 26, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Vidushi,

If you definitely want to study jazz, it’s indeed somewhere near Broadway where you should go.

However, there are jazz teachers spread around the world, so you could search for a place where they teach contemporary dance and then ask if there are jazz teachers there. The ideal method for choosing is to watch the classes, but if you are planning to travel abroad for this project, you may explore the schools or companies in the web and ask information directly to each institution.

I’m sorry but I can not tell you how to shorten your options. I know that all the schools that I’ve listed in our directory exist, but I have no knowledge about jazz related issues. The only thing that comes to my mind is that you can shorten your search to schools located in New York or somewhere near.

The link to our directory has already been placed several times in this chat. Just scroll up to find it.

; )

Oct 27, 2017
European Contemporary Dance Schools
by: Jules G


My daughter is currently applying for Contemporary dance schools in the UK, The Place, Northern and Rambert. She is also interested in studying abroad, is there anywhere you can recommend of a similar calibre? I have been looking at AP Conservatoire in Antwerp...
Thank you
Ps This page is really useful - thank you!

Oct 30, 2017
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Jules,

The places I would recommend are listed above, in my first reply in this chat. Just scroll up to find them.

; )

Oct 31, 2017
recommended Contemporary dance schools
by: Anonymous

Thanks Marie,

Yes I did read that... I guess I was just checking this was still the case as this thread has been going on a while :-)

Jan 11, 2018
Where should I study? France?
by: Anonymous


I'm at the point where I have to make a decision about the college I'm going to study at. I have to take a different approach for each country. So I have to choose one and choose wisely. Every artist that I love once lived or studied in Paris. I don't think it's a coincidence. I also love French culture, their movies, their cuisine, their language and so on. I also like their approach to art. But I still have some question marks in my mind. It's a big decision after all. I've never been to France. But I've been to Denmark once and I felt I belonged there. I liked their approach to contemporary art too. I'm looking for a school that will expand my mind, make me fluid just like water, a school that will free my body and soul. So what do you recommend? Which one would you pick between France and Denmark?I'm open to different country options too.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Jan 15, 2018
France or Denmark for dance studies?
by: Maria

Hi there!
I believe both countries are great to study, but it is undeniable that Paris is one of the epicenters of western culture. If you feel so attached to Denmark, it will also be a great place to study because it is your own researching attitude, curiosity and work, what will make you grow as an artist and as a person; and France is very close to Denmark, so you can also make trips there every now and then. I believe both options are great.

Apr 04, 2018
Elaboration on Dance Schools
by: Lisa

Hi there,

I have recently auditioned for a number of schools offering higher education dance degrees, including the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Place, and ArtEZ School of Dance. I understand that there is no way to rank or compare dance education programmes, but is there any way you can elaborate on the similarities and distinctions between what these schools have to offer? Perhaps just anything you may know about them that could help me make more of an informed decision? Thank you!

Apr 05, 2018
For Lisa...
by: Maria

Dear Lisa,
I understand your concern and question perfectly, but unfortunately I don’t have the information you are asking for. To have an idea of this, one would need to do some specific research about these schools. You could try contacting teachers or students that have an experience about the places. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much information available, other than what you can find on each institution’s website. Sorry...
Good luck with the research.
; )

Nov 22, 2018
Dance schools in Europe
by: Anonymous

I’m looking to pursue a career in contemporary dance and currently live in South Africa, but would love to move to Europe after I finish highschool. I love their way of approaching art and the style of dance encompasses exactly the type of dancing I see myself doing in the future. Where would I be able to find a school/company that allows me to study dance or has a pre professional programmer that I could look to join? Or where would you recommend? Thank you !!

Nov 23, 2018
Where to study dance in Europe?
by: Maria

Hi there!

Nowadays, there are a good amount of dance programs to study dance in Europe. My recommendation for you is to use our directory of dance schools and visit their websites. Each place is different.

Read this whole chat from the beginning carefully and follow the link to the directory of schools after that.


Nov 27, 2018
MA in choreography
by: Anastasia

I would like to know which countries are the best to study choreography in contemporary dance. Are Chichester,Folkwang and Hochschule universities included "inside the list"?

Dec 02, 2018
by: Boy mom

Good day.

I am the mother of a son who has been dancing/training in all genres for several years now and is looking to make a career of dance. His passions lie in contemporary & hip hop but again he dances/trains in all areas. He is looking to attend a college with a dance program that offers a curriculum in both and is not opposed to attending school or training abroad. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

Dec 05, 2018
Reply for 'Boy Mom'
by: Maria

Dear ‘Boy Mom’,
I don’t know about programs which are specifically designed to include contemporary dance and urban dance with the same level of importance. However, contemporary dance programs usually include complementary cross trainings with other types of dance. If your boy enters a school for urban dance, he might not get contemporary dance classes. But if he enters a school for contemporary dance, he will very probably have the option to practice his urban dance too.
For recommendations, please scroll up and read my first reply in this chat.


Apr 01, 2019
Studying abroad
by: Marina

Hi, I'm 16 and i've been dancing basically all my life. I'm from Spain and i've danced all styles but i'd like to dedicate to contemporany. I'm gonna audition to Madrid's dance conservatory, Mariemma, which is really great and professional, but my dream is to study abroad. For sure i'll study in the conservatory at least 2 years until i'm legally adult, but I wanted to ask you which are the best schools to study contemporany abroad but who aren't as expensive. My family doesn't have much money and even if i'm working and saving we can't spend a lot of money. I've seen P.A.R.T.S isn't that expensive, is still a bit expensive but not as expensive as others. What do you recommend?

Apr 01, 2019
Maria's reply for Marina
by: Maria

Dear Marina,
The Mariemma conservatory is a very good place to study. Regarding the artistic quality, you already are in one of the best places in the world.
P.A.R.T.S. is a very good option, if you can afford it.
I don't have an updated information about the costs for attending each of the schools that I mention in the first message of this chat. I recommend those places for their reputation and the artistic quality that I know about them.
To have this information, visit their websites and take your time to ask for the scholar fees in each one of them.

Jul 18, 2019
revised list of schools
by: Anonymous

hi! messaging from australia!

I am very interested in going to a university in europe to study contemporary next year, and I was curious if you have any updates to give to your current list? such as newer schools, schools that have imporved their reputation, etc. I ask because I don’t what the dance world currently looks like in europe, nor do I know very much about the schools over there, and neither do many of my teachers.

also I really appreciate this website! It has been a great jumping off point for researching schools 👍🏼

Thank you !!

Aug 18, 2021
Contemporary School of Dance
by: Anonymous

Good afternoon,

I´m trying to find a school of Contemporary dance but with a classical approach, I used to dance ballet but now I´m more attracted to contemporary dance but I would like to find a school that combines the two of them.

Could someone point me in the right direction?

Jan 02, 2022
by: Mama

Mijn zoon studeert volgend jaar af aan CODARTS Havo Rotterdam Nederland.
Graag wil hij zich verder ontwikkelen op dansgebied mn modern.
Wat zij goede vervolgschermen in Nederland of anders ook in Europa? Hij is pas 17 dus tussenfase in Nederland en daarna buitenland zou ook mooi zijn.
Heb je misschien suggesties.

Groet mama Jacqueline

Jan 12, 2022
Recommendation for Mama Jaqueline
by: Maria

Dear Mama Jaqueline,
I don´t speak your language but in the middle of the English, French and German that I speak, I believe you are asking for recommendations of where your son that dances could study. Please scroll up and read my first reply in this chat. You'll find your answer there.


Oct 27, 2023
Dance schools in europe
by: Gab


I am in grade 11 in Canada and am looking hard for dance universities that offer a degree (BFA, MFA, etc..). I am training at a very high level of dance currently (over 25+ hours per week), and i am looking for contemporary schools globally that are of quality. The dance programs at CAD universities do not compare to those of the US and Europe. (Arts Umbrella is a good option but does not offer a degree). I can speak english and french fluently. Some of the schools at the top are the Juilliard School (unrealistic), and the Conservatoire national superieure de musique et de danse du paris. That is the quality of dance i am looking for. My question is: do you know any quality contemporary dance universities in europe? if so could you describe their programs and degrees? Thank you.

Oct 27, 2023
Reply for Gab
by: Maria

Dear Gab,
Please make use of our directory of dance schools to find places to study in Europe. You'll find the linking button at the left column of this website (or scrolling down, if you're reading from a mobile). All schools are different, but those who offer certificates usually describe their syllabus on their websites.
What you'll find there is the information I have.
Warm regards, María.

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