When planning my Eat Pray Love trip, I knew that dance training had to be a part of it. I had always wanted to go to California, after watching too many episodes of The Hills! And so it made sense to search for dance training programs in California.
Here I found the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. I was super excited! Especially when I discovered their Certificate Program.
Designed for dancers who want to commit 2-12 months of intensive dance training in a range of styles. This opportunity was perfect for me! I knew I wanted to commit 3 months of full-time dance training to see if this was something I wanted to pursue professionally.
So here is my review of the whole process with Millennium Dance Complex.
Check out my blog on How to Move to LA as a Dancer to figure out where to live in LA.
The Certificate Program
The Certificate Program at Millennium Dance Complex is open to all dancers internationally. You basically pay for unlimited classes at Millennium as well as monthly private classes with a teacher of your choice. You also have a Dance Advisor who will sit with you each week (for the first month), to discuss your dance goals. They also help you define your schedule.
You can choose to train from anywhere between 2 months to a year. This is great because it can take some time to settle into a new country and dance studio.
I chose to train for 3 months so I could get a real feel for the dance studio and life in LA. Plus it was more affordable, LA is very expensive. Something I did not factor into my budget! Check out my guide on How to Save Whilst Travelling.
Application for Millennium Dance Complex
Having read all the information and watched lots of videos, I was eager to apply.
I started to dance as a child and had continued dancing alongside my studies. Performing in some amateur shows at local dance studios in London. So I had quite a lot of dance training although informal. But mainly in classical styles of Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary.
My Hip Hop dance experience was very minimal! Also, I was 29yrs, which I appreciate is still young but in the dance world, I was very nearly “over the hill”.
With no time to waste I filled in the online application about a year before I wanted to train.
The application process is fairly straightforward. Just takes some time to plan out your answers. Give yourself plenty of time to apply. In addition to the online form, you also need to submit a headshot, dance photo, essay on why you want to join the program, and a recommendation letter.
I was lucky to have a headshot from the company I worked for.
But basically, it is just a relaxed photo showing clearly your head, face, and shoulders. It needs to be clear of any distractions like a cluttered background, drink in hand etc! But also should be a nice, relaxed photo of you. Not like your passport picture that makes us all look like convicts! Keep it light and professional.
A dance photo is probably easier. Just pick a photo from one of your performances or competitions. If you only have videos, just take a snapshot from the video. That can look really effective if you capture a shot with some movement.
Just take some time with the essay and personal statement to think about your answer. Start with a brief introduction about yourself and your dance experience.
Think about what you want to receive from the program. Why you would be a positive addition. And your future dance goals. Millennium Dance Complex recommends half to a full page.
I was quite worried about the recommendation letter as I had never trained formally. All the classes I did were on the side and all amateur performances.
Luckily I worked for a performing arts company and the Head of Dance was a good friend of mine. We bonded immediately over our shared love of ballet and King Charles Spaniels! So she wrote me a short letter referencing my strong work ethic and passion for dance.
Don’t worry about this letter saying you are the next best dancer since Maddie Ziegler.
It simply needs to state your commitment to training in dance and your willingness to keep going even after a tough class.
Some of the classes at Millennium Dance Complex are really tough! You will be training with professional dancers in the commercial industry. So you want to be fully committed to becoming the best dancer you can be. That means showing up to classes. Challenging yourself with harder levels. And being open to new styles of dance.
The Certificate Program at Millennium Dance Complex is basically unlimited classes for the period you have chosen. You also get a private class with your favourite teacher each month.
As well as weekly chats with the LA Dance Advisor to put together your schedule.
They will discuss any worries or concerns you may have. And give general advice on how to reach your dance goals.
You do also get access to the rehearsal studios when they are not in use. Which is amazing! I used these a lot especially early in the mornings when they are quieter. Perfect for practicing a routine, dance technique, or filming videos of your dance.
Your schedule will include 12 classes per week but you are able to add as many classes as you like. I would recommend always taking at least one day off a week so you can rest and let your body recover.
After the first month, you are free to choose your own schedule. In my first week, I was put in a lot of Advanced Hip Hop classes of which I am a complete beginner! So I chose to stick a lot of the foundation hip hop classes in my schedule with just a few challenging classes per week.
I love contemporary dance so incorporated lots of those classes into my schedule.
I liked to start the day with the daily ballet classes. But you really can pick and choose.
A lot of my friends preferred the commercial hip hop classes and getting up late! So they would do a lot of classes from midday until evening in these more urban styles.
The schedule is super flexible which I really like.
There are so many classes to choose from in a range of levels, all day, 7 days a week. So you are never stuck for choice!
Now before I went to Millennium Dance Complex, everybody told me, “LA is all about Commercial Dance.” I thought, Perfect! I love commercial-style dance. But my interpretation of Commercial was very different!
My background is Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary, more classical/broadway styles. Think of the dance film, Centre Stage.
LA is all about Hip Hop, Urban, Commercial styles. Think of the dance film, Save the Last Dance. Something I was very unfamiliar with (like Julia Stiles in that film!) And so for me, I felt completely out of my depth to begin with.
Even the Ballet, Contemporary, and Jazz classes had an urban feel to them. More grounded and less classical.
I literally felt like I had never danced before. It was a really tough start.
In the end, it was an amazing learning experience for me to become accustomed to this new style of dance. Plus my dance ability improved dramatically.
There are also loads of beginner technique classes to help you with this style of dance. Check out Jason’s Grooves classes and Kayla’s Groov3 workouts. They will really help you master the foundation of these styles of dance.
Classes at Millenium Dance Complex include: Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, Heels, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, House, Popping, Waacking, Tap, Voice etc.
If you want to get a feel for the sorts of classes offered at Millennium Dance Complex, check out the online dance platform, Steezy.
This is a really great online platform for dance classes. It covers most of the classes you get at Millennium.
Personally, I would recommend training through Steezy first if you are not familiar with the commercial scene. You will get used to picking up routines quickly and can gain a good foundation in this style before setting foot in class.
The Certificate Program at Millennium Dance Complex is priced per month starting at $1900 for 2 months of training. You can also extend when you are there for $975 per extra month.
When you look at the costs of training in dance, this is really good value, and you are supported on your dance journey.
Of course, you could just pay for unlimited classes at the studio. However, you would not receive the same level of support or the bonuses of private classes. Which can be really expensive!
Just ensure you factor in the prices of your accommodation, visa, flights, and food as well.
I used to prepare a bowl of overnight oats and take it with me each day to have a healthy, cheap lunch. Rather than buying fast food from the nearby outlets.
To summarise, I would highly recommend the Certificate Program at Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. It is a great place to meet like-minded dancers and really grow your dance skills.
You will train with professionals and be treated like a professional so be prepared to be challenged mentally, physically, and emotionally. Well, I certainly was!
With a range of styles and levels to choose from, you really can create a schedule that fits with your personal dance goals.
If I went back, I would look to stay in a shared house or Air Bnb in some of the neighbouring areas.
Places like Sherman Oaks, Studio City, and Toluca Lake. These felt like safe places to live and you can get a bus or walk to the studios.
As an older dancer, I prefer to have my own space and freedom to do what I like. Also, the quiet to be able to have early nights and get up early!
Millennium Dance Complex is a great place to experience life as a professional dancer. Improve your dance skills dramatically. And make great connections with teachers and dancers.
Hope you enjoyed my Review of the Millennium Dance Complex Certificate Program. I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.
Have you been to Millennium Dance Complex? What did you think? Where would you recommend staying in LA?
If you have any questions about the program or living in LA, just let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
As always my friends, happy dancing 🙂
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