It’s no secret that becoming successful in performing arts has turned into a cutthroat competition, especially in dance. There are millions of passionate performers all over the world. If you want to gain a competitive edge, getting a degree in dance is the key.

Dance schools combine practical and theoretical education. Students who pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in dance develop a deep understanding of the art while honing their skills to the highest possible level.

The life of a dance student is hectic, consisting of hours of rigorous practice, workshops, and research work. It can be physically and mentally exhausting, but it’s all to prepare you for the life of a professional dancer, which demands strict discipline and working under a lot of pressure.

Europe is home to several dance schools that provide quality education and help you start your career. Here’s a list of the best ones!

Top Dance Schools in Europe

1. Performing Arts Research and Training Studios

The Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (PARTS) in Brussels, Belgium is known as the most selective and prestigious school for contemporary dance in Europe. To ensure that teachers can give ample attention to the education of each dancer, the school only accepts 45 students for the Bachelor’s Degree and 15 students for the Master’s Degree.

Getting your BA Dance at PARTS requires 3 years of study, while MA Dance requires 2 years. Students here learn about contemporary dance foundations, theories, techniques, and music. They also do public performances around Belgium frequently, which give students a chance to collaborate with industry professionals. All courses are taught in English.

Auditions happen only once every three years. PARTS conducts pre-selections in more than 20 cities around the world, including London, Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, and New York. Only selected candidates can join the final auditions in Brussels.

2. Fontys University of Applied Sciences

Fontys University is known as a leader in applied science education. However, the school is known for being a top dance school in Europe and also offers 18 programs in visual and performing arts. They opened a campus in Tilburg – specifically for these creative programs – which is now called Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Students of the 4-year BA Dance are taught the basics in Year 1 and choose a specialization in Year 2. You can choose to specialize in Contemporary, Contemporary Urban, or Choreography. During Year 4, all students must undergo a 6-month internship in the Netherlands or abroad.

Fontys also offers a 2-year Master in Choreography degree in partnership with Codarts University of the Arts in Rotterdam. Classes take place in both universities where students are free to use the available dance and circus facilities.

3. Falmouth University

For more than 100 years, Falmouth University has had a strong focus on developing creative minds. With two picturesque campuses in England, Falmouth is known as an excellent school for dance in Europe that specializes in educating artistic students, providing courses in animation, design, film, music, and acting, to name a few.

Aspiring dancers come to Falmouth to study BA Dance and Choreography. It’s a 3-year program designed to help students simultaneously enhance their dance and choreographic skills and develop a deep understanding of dance theories and histories.

Before graduation, students must perform an original work during a public showcase and complete two research projects, one practical and one written.

4. University of the Arts Helsinki

  • Dance Program
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s Master’s, Doctorate

The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts) is known as the top school in Europe that offers the highest levels of education in dance and theatre in Finland. Their goal is to provide a complete education for aspiring dancers so they have the competence to work in diverse roles after graduation.

BA Dance in Uniarts focuses on developing a strong understanding of the discipline, especially in contemporary dance. Aside from lessons in movement techniques, students are also taught history and performance theories. This 3-year program is only offered in Finnish.

Those seeking a Master’s degree can choose to specialize in Choreography, Dance Performance, or Dance Pedagogy. Courses are available in English, Finnish, and Swedish and take 2 years to complete. For those who seek to develop their expertise even further, Uniarts also offers a 4-year doctoral degree.

5. Institute of the Arts Barcelona

For teachers at the Institute of the Arts Barcelona, the goal is to train dancers who are career-ready by graduation.

IAB is one of the best dance schools in Europe and has a strong practical focus and uses a classic conservatoire style in teaching. Students experience intense training designed to hone their skills, creativity, and mental resilience. Alongside these practical lessons, you will also be studying dance history, theories, health, and business to prepare for the day-to-day life of a professional dancer.

Aspiring dancers who want to get their Bachelor’s degree can choose between BA Dance and BA Commercial Dance. Both require 3 years of study and will cover education in a wide variety of dance styles, including jazz, ballet, contemporary, and tap. In 2023, the school will begin to offer MA Dance.

6. Folkwang University of the Arts

Established in 1927, Folkwang University of the Arts has over 90 years of experience in art education. The iconic campus in Essen, Germany welcomes 1,600 students each year who dream of landing a professional career in dance, music, and theater.

The standard period of study for BA Dance in Folkwang is 4 years. To give their students practical education, the school places heavy importance on workshops and public presentations. Famous choreographers are frequently invited to teach on-campus. Dance students also work closely with music and theater students to encourage collaboration within the arts.

Those pursuing their Master’s degrees complete their studies in 2 years and can choose to specialize in Choreography, Interpretation, Movement, or Pedagogy.

7. Bath Spa University

Another excellent dance school in Europe with a strong focus on practical dance education is Bath Spa University. The campus in Bath, England boasts multiple fully equipped, modern dance studios that inspire learning and creativity.

Those studying the 3-year BA Dance are immediately thrown into a fast-paced, challenging environment in their first year. Expect to have regular performance projects in groups and individually. Workshops with established dancers and companies are also organized by the school frequently.

The year-long MA Dance provides further practical training, focusing more on crafting effective choreography for live performances and films.


I hope that this article on Best Dance Schools in Europe was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!