New this Fall MCA invites all dancers aged 7+ who are interested in dancing with us this fall to come to a placement class. These low key classes will help ensure students get placed in the right level to help them grow. Due to interruptions in dance instruction during COVID-19 MCA envisions reorganizing some of our levels slightly. This is a perfect time for new students to give dance a try or for dancers who have took some time off to come give it a try.

Dancers who are 6 years and under are able to just register for a class that fits in their age group. Registration for all classes will open after placement classes. Please see the Q & A below to answer commonly asked questions.

There is no cost to participate in the placement auditions. Dancers who are auditioning should follow MCA Dresscode for the dance class they are taking. If a dancer does not have access to dance clothing please contact the MCA office at mca@smumn.edu or 507-453-5500 to borrow gently used items.

If you are unable to attend but interested in dancing with us in the Fall, please contact the office prior to Aug. 16th. Please read the descriptions below carefully to determine which audition is best for you/ your dancer. If you have questions contact the office at mca@smumn.edu or 507-453-5500.

Fall 2021 Placement Audition Class Schedule

Monday, August 16 (Contemporary/Modern/Jazz Placement Day) 

5+ years of Jazz, Contemporary, or Modern   3-4:15 pm Studio 1

Beginner to 2 years of Jazz, Contemporary, or Modern (8+ years old)

2-4 years of Jazz, Contemporary, or Modern   5:30-6:30 pm

Tuesday, August 17 (Tap Placement Day) 

5+ years of Tap   3-4:15 pm Studio 2

Beginner to 2 years of Tap    4:30-5:15 pm     Studio 2

2-4 years of Tap   5:30-6:30 pm Studio 2

Wednesday, August 18 (Ballet Placement Day)

5+ years of Ballet 3-4:30 pm Studio 1

Beginner to 2 years of Ballet (7+ years old)    4:45-5:30 pm     Studio 1

2-4 years of Ballet 5:45-6:45 pm Studio 1

Thursday, August 19 (Hip Hop Placement Day)

3+ years of Hip Hop  4-5:15 pm Studio 1

Beginner to 3 years of Hip Hop  (7+ years old)    5:30-6:30 pm     Studio 2

Placement Audition Q & A

How do I know what level I should attend?

We are holding these auditions with the recognition that many students have had a pause in their dance training at MCA or they may be new to MCA. Please use the following information to help you determine the best or feel free to contact our office at mca@smumn.edu.

  • If you have danced at MCA in the past the following is a guide of how things would line up with our levels historically: Beginner to 2 (or 3) years of experience classes – 7+ years old that has taken beginning classes such as pre and beginning ballet, Tap for Kids, beginning Hip Hop and level I of any class. 2-4 years experience classes- Those who have taken or recently moved up to Level II-III class in Ballet or Tap or level II in Hip Hop or Contemporary. 5+ years of experience classes- will be best suited for those that have  have taken or recently moved up to level IV-VII in Ballet, level IV-V in Tap, level III-V in Contemporary, Modern, or Hip Hop.
  • If you are 7-9  years old we would recommend attending the Beginner to 2 years experience class. If necessary we may ask a student to stay for the 2-4 years experience class.
  • Middle School Students with some dance experience should attend the 2-4 years experience class.
  • Students with pointe work experience should attend the 5+ years experience class.
  • If you have taken a year or more off from dancing you please don’t count that year in your years of study. For example if you beginning dancing at 8 years and you are now 11 years, but you did not dance for the last year, you would have 2 years of experience, not 3.
  • If you are interested in taking Open Ballet (for Teens & Adults) or Irish, you do not need to attend the placement audition to register.

 

Still unsure? Please contact us at mca@smumn.edu and we can help.

Do I need to pre-register to attend?

There is no pre-registration required, upon arrival dancers will be asked to provide a few details.

How many days should I attend?

Dancers are invited to attend their level for any dance style they are interested in studying this fall. Students will receive placement/registration information for each genre they audition in.

Are MCA's Dance classes age or level based?

Early Childhood classes are based on the age of the student. Leveled classes begin around 7 or 8 depending on the style of dance. Once students enter Level I students progress at a rate unique to them, but can expect to spend approximately 2-3 years in a level. Placement for classes is at the discretion of the instructor, but is carefully decided upon to ensure that students will be provided the right amount of challenge to grow as a dancer and person.  Formal evaluations take place during Fall and Winter sessions for students in Level I or higher classes in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, and Tap.

It is should be noted that because MCA level I and above classes are based on skill level instead of age, classes can expect to have students who range in age. We believe strongly that it is important to meet students where they are at for everyone to build a strong foundation.

Can I still enroll if I can not attend placement auditions?

Though attending the audition is best. We understand that some families may be traveling or have other conflicts, so those unable to to attend will initially be placed in an estimated level based on past experience and age. The first week of class will be used as an opportunity for instructors to observe and evaluate students in class to determine the appropriate level. If a level change is needed, instructors will make this change within the first two weeks of the semester.

If possible, please contact the office (mca@smumn.edu) by Aug. 16 to let us know you are unable to attend the placement classes with the name, age, and dance style(s) they are interested in so that we can keep this in mind when organizing levels.

What COVID-19 Protocol's will be followed at Auditions

Students participating in in-person auditions and classes will be required to follow our strict COVID Code of Conduct. Currently, this includes masking for all ages regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your understanding during these unexpected times.

What is MCA's Dance Division Dresscode

MCA students are asked to follow the below dress code. Adhering to this policy promotes safety and injury prevention, allows instructors to view the student’s bodylines and placement to make corrections, and provides a sense of tradition, discipline and respect. Please note: no jeans may be worn for any classes. Basic dance shoes and attire may fitted and ordered through MCA’s Dance Boutique. Other items may be ordered online or may be found at Blades to Ballet in Rochester. If the cost of dance attire makes participation in MCA programs difficult please contact our office at 507-453-5500, we would love to see if we are able to help provide gently used donations.

Ballet:

Students Identifying as Female – pink tights or appropriate skin-toned tights, pink ballet slippers/pointe shoes or appropriate skin-toned shoes, and a black leotard, hair pulled tightly off the face and neck in a bun.  A ballet skirt may be worn for pointe and variations classes. Pre-Ballet for 4 & 5 Year-olds and Beginning Ballet Students are also invited to wear pink leotards and simple ballet skirts (please non-tutu’s).

Students Identifying as Male – white t-shirt, black leggings/tights or shorts, and black or white ballet slippers (dance belt required for teen and adult male dancers). 

Gender Non-conforming Students:  fitted black t-shirt or leotard, black tights or leggings and black ballet shoes (dance belt as appropriate)

Modern & Contemporary:

Students Identifying as Female – Any colored leotard. Leggings, footless tights and or biker shorts may be worn., well-fitted socks, and hair pulled off face and neck.  Female attire – Any color leotard. Leggings, footless tights and or biker shorts may be worn. No shoes needed, this class is taken barefoot.

Students Identifying as Male – Any color plain (no logos or design) T-shirt, dance pant, leggings, or shorts. Compression shorts and dance belts are required for teen and adult male dancers, respectively. No shoes needed, this class is taken barefoot.

Gender Non-conforming Students:  fitted black t-shirt or leotard, black tights, leggings or jazz pants, and well-fitted socks (dance belt as appropriate). No shoes needed, this class is taken barefoot.

Creative Movement & Boys in Motion:

All students: Movable clothing (not too baggy as to hinder the instructor’s view of the student’s body lines), bare feet, hair pulled off the face and neck.

Tap:

All students: Movable clothing and oxford style tap shoes. Hair is to be pulled off the face and neck.

Jazz:

Students Identifying as Female – Any colored leotard, black tights, leggings, or dance pants, black jazz shoes, jazz sneakers, or ballet slippers. Hair pulled off the face and neck. 

Students Identifying as Male – Any colored t-shirt, dance pants or leggings, and jazz shoes or jazz sneakers. 

Gender Non-conforming Students:  fitted black t-shirt or leotard, black tights, leggings or jazz pants, and jazz shoes or jazz sneakers, and hair pulled off the face and neck. (dance belt as appropriate)

Dance Technique for Boys:

Students Identifying as Male: White T-shirt, black leggings, tights, or shorts, and black or white jazz shoes or ballet slippers.

Gender Non-conforming Students:  fitted black t-shirt or leotard, black tights, leggings or jazz pants, and jazz shoes or jazz sneakers, and hair pulled off the face and neck. (dance belt as appropriate)

Irish:

Movable clothing (not too baggy as to hinder the instructor’s view of the student’s body lines), shorts or leggings are preferred, and Irish soft shoe Ghillies. Black ballet slippers are acceptable for beginners. Irish hard shoes also required for dancers in Irish III & up.

Hip Hop, Adult & Other Specialty Classes:

Movable clothing as desired. Hip Hop students wear clean tennis shoes or jazz sneakers. Oxford style tap shoes required for Clogging and Teen/Adult Tap students. Ballet slippers or jazz shoes for Teen/Adult Ballet. Barre  Students can be barefoot.

When will placement results be shared?

Placement results will be shared after all placement classes have been held between Friday, August 20-Monday, August 23, by email. 

What Make's MCA's Dance Program Special?

MCA is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Students at the university, or those taking a post-secondary education option (PSEO) for high school, can get university credit towards their major, minor or PE credit, when they take an upper level MCA dance class. Our younger dancers also get the opportunity to perform in main-stage university productions, due to this connection, such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, etc.

The Conservatory’s Dance Repertory Company puts on a biannual Nutcracker, as well as a full-length performance every April. This production is either a full-length story ballet, or contemporary dance concert choreographed by a variety of professional choreographers from across the region. For the winters in years that there is not a Nutcracker, MCA produces a dance showcase in our black box theatre for the younger dancers, as well as pieces choreographed by students that have taken the Choreography class at the Conservatory. When possible dance classes also perform at local establishments and events. MCA’s dance program does not participate in competitions, nor does it do recitals.

MCA’s dance division offers students exciting technique classes and performance opportunities in a nurturing and rigorous but non-competitive environment with qualified instructors. MCA successfully prepares students for future arts-related professional and educational pursuits.

Students and alumni have studied at or performed with:

  • American Ballet Theatre
  • Ananya Dance Theatre
  • Ballet Austin
  • Ballet Chicago
  • Broadway
  • Butler University
  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
  • Chicago Human Rhythm Project
  • Colorado Ballet
  • Columbia College
  • Continental Ballet
  • Eastman School of Music – Rochester University
  • Joffery Ballet
  • Juilliard
  • Limon Dance Company
  • Milwaukee Ballet School
  • Minnesota Ballet School
  • Minnesota Dance Theatre’s The Dance Institute
  • Radio City Music Hall Rockettes
  • Saint Olaf College
  • St. Paul City Ballet
  • Texas Christian University
  • The Laban Institute
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • University of Missouri Kansas City
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Utah
  • Wichita State University among others.

Whether you or your child dreams of dancing professionally or just want to reek the benefits of a fun, enriching, quality dance education MCA has a program for you!

To ensure the continuous education of both our instructors and students MCA is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Schools and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). As a member of NDEO MCA is also sponsors Junior (6th-8th grade), Secondary (High School), and Collegiate National Honors Society for Dance Arts Chapters to help recognize dancers accomplishments and commitments and further the field of dance education.