Photo: Julie Artacho | Dancer: Isabelle Sue Pilette

Since 1981, the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal has been training professional dancers who have gone on to earn national and international recognition. Recognized for its leading-edge, rigorous training, the School offers a 3-year college level education based on the mastery of contemporary dance techniques, the development of artistic and intellectual knowledge and versatility of performance. 


The professional training offered at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal is intended to help students:

  • Master the techniques of contemporary dance;
  • Increase their artistic and intellectual knowledge;
  • Develop performance versatility; and
  • Become professional dancers in contemporary dance.


The School offers a full-time three-year Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC 561.BB) in collaboration with cégep du Vieux Montréal and approved by the ministère de l’Éducation et de l'enseignement supérieur. Specific training is provided by the School while general training (French, Philosophy, English, Physical Education and complementary courses) is offered by the cégep du Vieux Montréal. Students can also take these courses in English due to an agreement between Cégep du Vieux Montréal and Dawson College. 

The School also offers an Attestation d’études collégiales program (AEC NRC.05) which is composed of only the specific dance courses. Only international students are eligible. 

Spaces are very limited in these programs with twenty spaces available in all. 

In addition to being talented and in excellent physical condition, students must demonstrate creativity, motivation, discipline and passion for their art. The program is very intense and demanding and therefore requires exceptional drive and motivation. Training to become a professional dancer requires a serious commitment throughout the duration of the studies, demanding day, evening and some weekends availability.

A Day in the Life of a Dance Student

The morning typically consists of classes in anatomy, dance related fitness training and contemporary dance techniques. These are generally followed by classes in performance, improvisation, creative research and partnering work. The schedule may also include classes in music, dance history, contemporary art history or career management as well as basic academic classes.

Afternoons are generally devoted to interpretation classes. By learning choreographic excerpts and participating in the creation of new dance works, students learn the skills required by the professional milieu. They also become familiar with the entire process of creating dance intended for public performance. These classes also enable students to broaden their knowledge of the contemporary dance repertoire and to experiment with solo performance pieces.

Over the duration of the program, students will take part in the creation of five different shows and participate in a total of some 30 performances. Our faculty of exemplary teachers all have an extensive professional background. In addition, a highly qualified production team supports all student productions.


  Specific training General training
1st Year
  • Art History
  • Contemporary Dance Technique I & II
  • Creative Research I & II
  • Rythmic Approaches
  • Interpretation I & II
  • Dance & Society I
  • Composition Elements I
  • Anatomy for dance I and II
  • Introduction to College English
  • Literary Genres
  • Knowledge and World Views
  • Human Beings
  • Physical Education (2)
2nd Year
  • Contemporary Dance Technique III & IV
  • Interpretation III & IV
  •  Dance & Society II
  • Partner Work
  • Composition Elements II
  • Anatomy for dance III & IV
  • Literary Themes
  • Applied Themes in English
  • Applied Ethics
  • French I
  • Physical Education (1)
3rd Year
  • Contemporary Dance Technique V & VI
  • Interpretation V & VI
  • Creative Research III
  • Career Management
  • French II
  • Complementary Courses (2)

Summer School

Every year, throughout the three-year program, all students must enrol in the École de danse contemporaine’s Summer School and pay the corresponding registration fees. Summer School is an invaluable way for students to learn new approaches to dance in an enriching, stimulating environment. Given the demands and intensity of the full time program, the Summer School is also designed to maintain the students’ physical form throughout summer.


Photo: Luc Lavergne | Dancers: Frédérique Rodier, Vicky S. Mérette



  • What are the employment prospects? Do your graduates find work?

    The program is intended to help students acquire the skills that are sought in the job market. The School offers training that meets the strict standards of the major contemporary dance companies. Students have numerous occasions to build relationships with potential employers and prepare for their entrance into the professional milieu. On an international level, our graduates perform on stages in the United States, Europe.

  • Do you work with a particular company ?

    In Quebec, there are approximately 40 choreographers and dance companies that require qualified graduates from the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal: O Vertigo, Cas public, Fortier Danse-Création, Compagnie Marie Chouinard and Flak are just a few examples. The School also works with several independent and upcoming choreographers.

  • Do you offer scholarships?

    No scholarship program is offered by the School for the moment. Students enrolled in the professional program (DEC and AEC) are eligible for loans and grants provided by the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports in Quebec. To learn more, visit

  • Would I be a student of the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal or of Cégep du Vieux Montréal?

    Students in the DEC program attend both the École and Cégep du Vieux Montréal; therefore, they must meet the requirements of both facilities in terms of registration, tuition fee payments, and so on. Those in the AEC program are only students of the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal.

  • Can students be admitted in the winter session?

    No. Admissions only take place in the fall.

  • Is the École de danse contemporaine a bilingual school? Can I take my courses in English?

    The professional training courses (performance, technical classes, etc.) are given in French. However, as a result of an agreement signed between Cégep du Vieux Montréal and Dawson College, students who wish to do so can take the general courses in English.

  • What is the difference between the DEC and the AEC?

    There is no difference between the two programs in terms of dance training. The AEC program is offered to students from abroad.

  • I’ve already completed my DEC and/or university courses. Am I eligible for professional training? Can I take the program without having to re-do all of the courses?

    If you pass the audition, you will be admitted to the program and credit will be given for general courses (French, philosophy, etc.) that have already been completed. All students must pass the standard French exam and take the art history course.


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