Class of 2025:

How Important is the Director?

March 4, 2024 by Preston Miller

Every college dance program that’s worth its weight in tuition has a different way of going about the same thing: Create enough high level experiences that enable young dancers to grow into professionals. Some are excellent at this mission, and others are trash. Every year, college directors speak to thousands of dance parents about how their school accomplishes this mission at the highest level. The dance department director is the face of the program, especially when you’re applying, but what role do they REALLY play in your college experience?

The changes that directors make may affect your time at the school, and it may not. The teachers that they hire will certainly shape your experience, so it’s important that your director has great taste and expectations. Not just through speech, but through action. What is my director’s personal standard? If they hold themselves to a high standard, they will create a high standard of excellence, which is what you want as a future performer. 

You'll get to see their standard of excellence in the teachers they hire, the choreographers they bring in, and the opportunities they expose you to.  

In the end, directors of dance programs are former performers, which means that they can likely sell salt to a slug. Be aware: some directors are there to take your money, some are there to parent you, some are there to be your friend, and some are there to make you the best version of yourself through dance. Decide what you're looking for before you begin meeting directors and it will be easier to see who they are!

Good luck on your college admissions journey!

May the odds be ever in your favor 🙌🏽

About Preston Miller

Preston Miller is the founder of The Dance Artist Prep, which provides customized coaching to college dance applicants and their families. Preston’s philosophy is that every dancer applying to college deserves the best advice, and TDA Prep’s College Candidate Program aims to deliver just that!