Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

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
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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • 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 for your Freshman class.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals, and events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website for programs, events, and resources
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists
  • 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
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
  • 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
  • Make appointments with your faculty to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • 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.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA). 
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • 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). 
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Register for West African Dance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Ballroom, Tap, or Jazz.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and have it reviewed by VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and events throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • 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
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs every year to develop your interests.
  • Consider which faculty members you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendations.
  • 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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to do your Junior Audit (review all planned courses for the next 3 semesters to ensure timely graduation).    
  • Start planning and conducting research to prepare for your Senior Project Proposals.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Participate in the Minds In Motion Independent Study to assist Richmond area 4th grade teachers in your 3rd and 4th years. 
  • Collaborate with other VCUarts majors and apply for a VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grant.
  • Volunteer to be a Dance Student Representative for your Junior class.
  • Create a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • 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.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
GET REAL 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 your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about steps after graduation.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs to make connections and further develop your interests.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • 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
  • Share news and learn about opportunities in Friday Workshop class; present research at the Student Research Forum in the Spring. 
  • Teach in Richmond-area dance schools to get teaching experience. 
  • Volunteer to be a Dance Student Representative for your Senior class.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and role as an artist citizen.   
  • 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
  • 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
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • 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
2018-2019

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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • 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 for your Freshman class.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals, and events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists
  • 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.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • 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
  • Make appointments with your faculty to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • 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.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA). 
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break
  • 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). 
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Register for West African Dance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Ballroom, Tap, or Jazz.
  • Create a draft of your resume and have it reviewed by VCU Career Services
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and events throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • 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.   
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs every year to develop your interests.
  • Consider which faculty members you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendations.
  • 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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to do your Junior Audit (review all planned courses for the next 3 semesters to ensure timely graduation).    
  • Start planning and conducting research to prepare for your Senior Project Proposals.
  • 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.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • 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 your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about steps after graduation.
  • Consider applying for and attending summer programs to make connections and further develop your interests.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • 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.
  • Share news and learn about opportunities in Friday Workshop class; present research at the Student Research Forum in the Spring. 
  • Teach in Richmond-area dance schools to get teaching experience. 
  • Volunteer to be a Dance Student Representative for your Senior class.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and role as an artist citizen.   
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • 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.