DANCE EDUCATION PATHWAYS
Compiled by DANZ (2018)
Here you will find a list of institutions* that offer dance courses, papers and gateway opportunities which can lead to tertiary/full time study, dance qualifications, and career pathways in the dance sector. Areas of training include things from dance performance, choreography and production to dance writing/administration, and dance teaching.
*This information is not comprehensive. If you have general enquiries regarding training please contact DANZ or go to each institution directly for specific information. If there are other institutions that you feel should be added to the list, please let DANZ know.
Excel School of Performing Arts
EXCEL is New Zealand’s largest Christian-based school of performing arts offering a unique performance based course in music, dance and drama. They offer a New Zealand Certificate in Dance (Level 4) and a New Zealand Diploma in Dance (Level 5); all courses are NZQA approved.
The Level 4 Certificate is a performance-based programme that prepares students for higher level study by building practical experience and learning skills through content created individually and collaboratively in your Major courses as well as receiving tutoring from Aotearoa's leading industry professionals in their fields.
The Level 5 Diploma prepares students for higher level study and builds on practical experience and skills learnt in the Level 4 Certificate programme. There is opportunity to perform in different venues around Aotearoa including Schools, Theatres, Events and Churches as well as showcase original content created individually and collaboratively in Major courses.
Visit excel.ac.nz for more information.
Hagley Dance Company
Hagley Dance Company is a full-time dance course taught by leading New Zealand choreographers and dance professionals. It is aimed at students (ages 17+) wishing to take their dance training to the next level and prepare for tertiary study. On completion students receive the Hagley Certificate in Dance.
The course focuses on technique, choreography and performance and includes training in contemporary dance, hip hop, ballet, jazz, yoga, anatomy, nutrition, dance history, and pilates. Training leads to many performance and industry opportunities throughout the year including festivals, touring and standalone seasons.
In addition to the full-time Company, Hagley College offers Dance at all NCEA levels for students wishing to achieve national standards in Dance.
Visit hagley.school.nz for more information.
Ara Institute of Canterbury / National Academy of Singing & Dramatic Art (NASDA)
Ara/NASDA also offers the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4). This programme is a pathway for the Bachelor of Performing Arts and Bachelor of Music Arts. It covers a variety of subjects aimed at preparation for higher level study in the performing arts, including music fundamentals, skills for academic study and options in human biology, fitness training, and maths.
Visit ara.ac.nz for more information.
The Palace Academy of Dance
The Palace Dance Studio is an NZQA accredited Private Training Establishment (PTE).Their Hip Hop Industry Training Course is open to Year 12 or 13 GATEWAY and STAR students.
Students can earn 26 NCEA credits at Levels 2 and 3 in the following areas:
- Nutrition for a hip hop dancer
- Hip hop dance choreography fitness
- Personal presentation and attitude for working in a professional dance studio
- Stretching for hip hop dance
- Costume design for a hip hop performance
- Music technology for hip hop dance
The course also provides experience in dance studio, social media, and event management and merchandising for hip hop.
The Palace Dance Studio PTE is currently developing a full-time programme aligned with the NZQF Level 4 Certificate in Performing Arts, with a hip hop dance and vocational training skills focus.
Visit thepalacedancestudio.co.nz for more information.
Ara Institute of Canterbury / National Academy of Singing & Dramatic Art (NASDA)
The Ara/NASDA Bachelor of Performing Arts (Level 7) is a three year degree giving students the skills needed to succeed in a number of branches of the performing arts.
Students will gain practical experience in performance and production work in key theatre disciplines such as acting, singing and dance, as well as studies in spoken voice, music theory, theatre history, technical theatre skills and research methods.
Visit ara.ac.nz for more information.
New Zealand School of Dance
The New Zealand School offers a Dance Certificate and Diploma, which sit at Level 6 and Level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Students major in contemporary dance or classical ballet, while maintaining a strong grounding in both disciplines.
The Certificate in Dance Performance (Level 6) is a two year course designed to prepare students for a performance career.
The Diploma in Dance Performance (Level 7), is one further year of study, after the certificate course, with a focus on providing performance opportunities and industry experience. The Diploma is equivalent to an undergraduate degree, allowing the possibility of postgraduate study and other career pathways.
NZSD also offer Scholars and Associates programmes to provide a foundation for students aspiring to train full-time at NZSD. The Scholars programme provides training for classical ballet students from the age of 10 (year 6). The Associates Programme from ages 13-16 (years 9-11) identifies ballet and contemporary dance students who have the talent for a career in dance performance. Associates travel from throughout the country to NZSD in Wellington for four weekends of tuition a year.
Visit nzschoolofdance.ac.nz for more information.
Te Auaha (formerly Whitireia) has a Performing Arts programme which offers Diploma and Bachelor qualifications.
The New Zealand Diploma in Dance (Level 6) prepares students for the commercial dance sector, developing skills in jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop and lyrical dance. Students train in brand new studios and perform in productions. Students learn to market themselves and make a show reel, as well as developing industry-standard audition techniques.
The New Zealand Diploma in Performing Arts (Level 6) offers specialisations in Musical Theatre or Māori and Pacific Dance, including skills in singing, acting and dancing.
For the Bachelor of Creativity (Performing Arts) (Level 7), students can either go straight into the 3-year degree and focus on Māori, Samoan, Cook Island and New Zealand contemporary dance, or enter into the 3rd year after completing one of the above 2-year diplomas. In the third year, students focus on creating a body of work in their chosen discipline.
Visit whitireia.ac.nz for more information.
Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Manukau Inistitute of Technology (MIT) has the Diploma in Performing Arts (Level 5) which helps students develop skills within a wide range of performance crafts and apply knowledge to independent and collaborative projects.
The Bachelor of Creative Arts (Level 7) is an opportunity for students to specialise in their chosen area of performing arts and continue to develop skills within imaginative, project-based contexts.
Dance related papers across these courses include:
- Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance
- Performance Theory and Practice
- Dance Genres
- Professional Practice
- Contemporary and Pasifika Performance
Visit manukau.ac.nz for more information.
At Unitec students can gain a Bachelor of Performing Screen & Arts (Contemporary Dance). The Contemporary Dance major is a comprehensive programme covering technique, choreography, dance studies and digital dance. In this programme students will gain the knowledge, tools and abilities to pursue the range of opportunities available to them as a contemporary dance artist.
Visit unitec.ac.nz for more information.
University of Auckland (National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries)
Dance Studies, in the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries at the University of Auckland, offer a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for students, providing diverse educational opportunities that support students to pursue 21st century arts careers including, performance, choreography, arts administration, teaching and community work, backstage and production, writing, research, and entrepreneurial pathways. These programmes focus on contemporary, cultural and community dance, interacting with different dance forms and working with people of all ages and abilities. Featured programmes are:
- Bachelor of Dance Studies
- Bachelor of Dance Studies (Honours)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Dance Studies
- Master of Dance Studies
- Master of Community Dance
- Master of Dance Movement Therapy
- Dual Masters with Beijing Dance Academy
- Doctor of Philosophy (Dance Studies)
Students may also choose to extend their study through the Faculty of Education and Social Work in the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching. This is a pathway to becoming a dance teacher in a secondary school.
Visit auckland.ac.nz for more information.
University of Otago
The University of Otago’s School of Performing Arts offers a unique opportunity to study dance as an art form. In combination with theory and practice, students explore a diverse range of dance styles and develop an understanding and critical appreciation of dance as a performative medium and creative expression within a variety of cultural contexts. Papers in popular culture dance, contemporary dance and dance for musical theatre enhance students’ choreographic, performative and research skills in preparation for a successful career as a dancer/performer, choreographer, researcher or dance educator.
Dance is available as part of the Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) and also as an optional minor subject for the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), and Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degrees.
Visit otago.ac.nz for more information
The University of Waikato
Dance is available to all students as a minor and aligns well with papers in Theatre Studies, Māori Performing Arts, Arts Education, Screen and Media Studies, Health, Sport and Human Performance, and Education and Society. These areas can be found under the following qualifications:
- Bachelor of Media and Creative Technologies
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance
Dance students will develop creative and pedagogical knowledge and skills for dance in community settings, schools and professional contexts, informed by understandings of wellbeing and lifelong learning through the arts. The broad focus in the dance minor means that students will enhance their embodied knowledge and engage with interdisciplinary cultural, ethnographic, phenomenological, critical, pedagogical and creative practice research.
Visit waikato.ac.nz for more information
Listed below are secondary schools which offer dance programmes alongside academic study at NCEA levels.
Chilton St James Ballet Academy (CBA)
The Chilton Ballet Academy (CBA) provides a thorough and holistic training programme to prepare students for a career in dance both practically, and through their personal growth.
CBA allows students to maximize the amount of time spent in the dance studio without neglecting their academic studies. Students spend half of their school day in a range of dance classes including Classical Ballet Technique, Pointe Technique, Repertoire, Contemporary, Coaching, and Conditioning. The remainder of the school day is spent focusing on academic studies in a classroom environment with teachers dedicated to helping each student strive for success.
Chilton also has the Dance Centre, which is a community dance school offering extra-curricular dance classes to Chilton students and students from the wider community. The Dance Centre provides after school dance lessons and training in classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, tap and musical theatre.
Visit chilton.school.ac.nz for more information.
St Andrews Ballet Academy
St Andrew’s provides a co-educational, integrated ballet programme. Classes are held within the school day which offers students a seamless transition from academic class to ballet studio – with specialised tuition focused on classical technique, development of artistry and musicality, and the joy of performance. Dancers take yearly exams, partake in annual productions, and have opportunities to explore other dance genres such as jazz, lyrical, national character, and contemporary.
Students in Years 9-10 take Ballet and Dance Studies classes three times a week, students in Years 11-13 take four Company classes a week. Credits gained in these classes go towards NCEA levels.
Visit stac.school.nz for more information.
Saint Kentigern College
Students at the Saint Kentigern Middle College (Years 7-10) are required to take courses covering the four disciplines in the arts, which includes Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts. In Years 8 and 9, students are required to select two of the Arts disciplines for each year of study and thereafter, the Arts become part of a range of optional subjects for selection, leading to formal NZQA qualifications.
As part of the assessment for their Senior College (Year 11-13) course work, there is both a performance and a choreographic element at all three levels of NCEA.
Visit saintkentigern.com for more information.
Some dance studios/schools offer fulltime dance courses (secondary level) for students who wish to pursue dance at a higher education and career level.
Students who wish to take on these programmes are required to take academic correspondence in order to gain NCEA levels for tertiary entry.
Below is a list of schools/studios that offer these fulltime study options*:
- Mount Eden Ballet Academy / AUCKLAND
- Canterbury Ballet / CHRISTCHURCH
- Anneliese Gilberd Academy / CHRISTCHURCH
- KMS Dance Studio / AUCKLAND
Academic correspondence can be achieved through Te Kura. To study with Te Kura the prospective student must obtain a letter of support from the school they are looking to attend as well as a letter of attestation from a national dance organisation. Please contact DANZ for more information on letters of attestation.
*Note: Full time study with some of these schools is by invitation only
People can also gain dance performance and teaching qualifications through dance syllabus organisations which support studio taught dance in a range of styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, highland or Irish dance.
- Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) / rad.org.nz
- American Jazz Dance Affiliation / ajda.co.nz
- NZ Association of Modern Dance (NZAMD) / nzamd.co.nz
- NZ Academy of Highland Dance & National Dancing / nzahnd.org.nz
- British Ballet Organisation (BBO) / bbo.dance
- Imperial Society of Teachers Dancing / istd.org
- International Dance Teachers Association / idta.co.uk/
Download the PDF: Dance Education Pathways 2018