Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Dance and Choreography

School of the Arts

 
Program description

The mission of the Department of Dance and Choreography is to create an environment where the student experiences the demands and challenges of the professional dancer/choreographer. In a community setting where communication, mutual respect and self-motivation are encouraged, classes provide students with disciplined training that will maximize their potential to become dancers of technical excellence, choreographers with original and powerful voices and thinkers with high academic standards.

Students are trained to be performers, choreographers and teachers in this curriculum, which emphasizes modern dance and offers dance courses in modern, improvisation, composition, choreography, music, and dance forms and dance history, as well as ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, contact improvisation, dance science, anatomy for dancers, video/choreography and teaching methods for dance. Additionally, the program provides a variety of experiences in performance, choreography and production. These offerings enable students to develop as savvy, expressive artists with professional training in dance technique, knowledge of dance philosophies and a foundation in history, enabling them to function as independent and creative artists in the field of dance. VCU Dance is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Career opportunities

The BFA program at VCU Dance and Choreography is specifically designed to prepare students for a variety of options within the field. Alumni have started their own dance companies as choreographers; screened their videodances at national and international film festivals; and developed collaborative partnerships with other artists. Many alumni are actively dancing in professional companies, including but not limited to Urban Bush Women, Helen Simoneau Danse, Company E, the Broadway cast of The Lion King, John Jasperse Company, Kate Weare Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Diavolo, Shen Wei Dance Arts, commercial dance opportunities, cruise ships, and many more. Some alumni have embraced arts administration, serving in directorial, managerial, or operations roles at well-known organizations, such as The American Dance Festival at Duke University, or Mark Morris Dance Group. Many alumni are actively teaching in performing arts high schools, privately-owned dance studios, pre-professional training schools, recreational programs, yoga and Pilates studios, and dance departments across the country. Additional career paths in dance-related fields include stage management, lighting design for dance, theater management, costume design for dance, grant writing, bodywork and massage, dance technology, dance sciences and physical therapy, and more growing opportunities within hybridized industries. 

Change of major requirements

Students who meet the following qualifications are encouraged to submit an application to: http://arts.vcu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/current-vcu-student/

Talent and potential as an artist in the field of dance; Prior training and the ability to demonstrate knowledge of modern dance and/or classical ballet techniques; Ability to demonstrate musicality and dynamic range; A healthy, physically conditioned body that is injury free and Openness to new ideas and the ability to engage in creative problem solving.

An audition is required.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Arts Administrator: Development Associate, Marketing Associate, Box Office Associate
  • Grant writer
  • Professional Choreographer
  • Professional Dancer
  • Rehearsal Assistant
  • Screendance: Director, Videographer, Editor
  • Stage Manager, Theater Manager, and Lighting Designer
  • Teacher: Dance, Yoga, Pilates, Physical Fitness
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Art Manager
  • College or Conservatory Instructor
  • Dance/Movement Therapist
  • Nonprofit Director
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Dance and Choreography
Building/room location:
VCU Dance Center
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1711
Email:
steppll@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Consider applying for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through the VCU Career Services and Handshake.
  • Create a draft resume and have it reviewed by VCU Career Services during drop-ins.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation with the da Vinci Center.
  • Submit choreography for the Salon and for adjudication in VCU Dance NOW every year.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects and volunteer for Junior projects.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Meet with a faculty member to discuss your personal and professional interests.
  • Take a service-learning class or volunteer to address a social issue (Hands on Greater Richmond).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for the New Leaders Retreat or Alternative Spring Break.
  • During your 2nd and 3rd years: volunteer to dance in the Fall and Spring Commencements; share news and learn about opportunities in Friday Workshop class; present research at the Student Research Forum in the Spring.
  • Volunteer to be a Dance Student Representative.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Research Study Abroad options specific to the Dance Department and meet with your Academic Advisor to review and determine options (esp. regarding Dance credits and how they will apply). 
  • Register for West African Dance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Ballroom, Tap, or Jazz.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Apply for VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grants to support your creative work every year.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects and volunteer for Junior projects.   
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs every year to develop your interests.
  • Through the diverse guests, alumni, and students you have engaged with thus far, observe and make note of the many shapes dance careers can take, and reflect on what excites you most.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Start planning and conducting research to prepare for your Senior Project Proposals.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Study abroad in the spring in opportunities in Paris, London, Jerusalem, Ghana, and more.  
  • Enroll in African American Presence in Dance and/or Dance and World Cultures and courses.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Seek research opportunities to refine goals and learn the discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Apply for internships in the field of dance.   
  • Through Dance Career electives, deepen your skill set in particular areas of interest: Video Choreography, Sound Design for Dance, Children’s Pedagogy, Lighting Design for Dance, and Business of Dance.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs to make connections and further develop your interests.
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Consider how identity impacts art-making and career-building.
  • Continue to engage in research, workshops, or skill-building opportunities that will deepen and further your unique journey in the field of dance.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goals by applying for internships, fellowships, and scholarship opportunities.
  • Submit work to the Richmond Dance Festival and other choreographic festivals nationally.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Prepare headshots, a video reel, and a finalized resume for auditions and applications.
  • Build a personal website containing your artistic statement, resume, biography, video reel/samples, and photos in the Senior Project class.
  • Build a teaching portfolio. 
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Dance and Choreography

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
No concentration | Performance/Richmond Ballet
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Consider applying for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through the VCU Career Services and Handshake.
  • Create a draft resume and have it reviewed by VCU Career Services during drop-ins.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation with the da Vinci Center.
  • Submit choreography for the Salon and for adjudication in VCU Dance NOW every year.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects and volunteer for Junior projects.
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Meet with a faculty member to discuss your personal and professional interests.
  • Take a service-learning class or volunteer to address a social issue (Hands on Greater Richmond).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for the New Leaders Retreat or Alternative Spring Break.
  • During your 2nd and 3rd years: volunteer to dance in the Fall and Spring Commencements; share news and learn about opportunities in Friday Workshop class; present research at the Student Research Forum in the Spring.
  • Volunteer to be a Dance Student Representative.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Research Study Abroad options specific to the Dance Department and meet with your Academic Advisor to review and determine options (esp. regarding Dance credits and how they will apply). 
  • Register for West African Dance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Ballroom, Tap, or Jazz.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Apply for VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grants to support your creative work every year.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects and volunteer for Junior projects.   
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs every year to develop your interests.
  • Through the diverse guests, alumni, and students you have engaged with thus far, observe and make note of the many shapes dance careers can take, and reflect on what excites you most.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Start planning and conducting research to prepare for your Senior Project Proposals.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Study abroad in the spring in opportunities in Paris, London, Jerusalem, Ghana, and more.  
  • Enroll in African American Presence in Dance and/or Dance and World Cultures and courses.
  • Seek research opportunities to refine goals and learn the discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Apply for internships in the field of dance.   
  • Through Dance Career electives, deepen your skill set in particular areas of interest: Video Choreography, Sound Design for Dance, Children’s Pedagogy, Lighting Design for Dance, and Business of Dance.
  • Audition for Fall and Spring Senior projects. 
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs to make connections and further develop your interests.
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Consider how identity impacts art-making and career-building.
  • Continue to engage in research, workshops, or skill-building opportunities that will deepen and further your unique journey in the field of dance.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goals by applying for internships, fellowships, and scholarship opportunities.
  • Submit work to the Richmond Dance Festival and other choreographic festivals nationally.
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Prepare headshots, a video reel, and a finalized resume for auditions and applications.
  • Build a personal website containing your artistic statement, resume, biography, video reel/samples, and photos in the Senior Project class.
  • Build a teaching portfolio.