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):
Performance/Richmond Ballet
Program description

VCU’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a four-year degree concentration within the B.F.A. specifically designed for Richmond Ballet trainees. This unique program bridges trainee experience with the Richmond Ballet professional company and rigorous pre-professional training with a focus in modern/contemporary dance. During the first two years, students receive VCU credit for their work at the Richmond Ballet while taking general education courses, dance history and improvisation at VCU. Students then complete the degree with two years at VCU, taking courses in modern/contemporary dance, ballet, composition, dance science, teaching methods and more. There are many opportunities to perform throughout the four years. This B.F.A. program is designed for disciplined students who are interested in attaining versatility in both ballet and modern/contemporary dance while exploring creative, historical and global perspectives of the field.

A very small number of students in this degree program are offered the opportunity to join Richmond Ballet II after their first two years. Students are encouraged to discuss professional and academic plans with their advisers should this occur.

Career opportunities

The BFA Richmond Ballet Trainee concentration at VCU Dance and Choreography is specifically designed to prepare students for a professional ballet career and a variety of options within the field. Many alumni are actively dancing in professional companies, including but not limited to Company E, the Richmond Ballet II, Fort Wayne Ballet, and Gin Dance Company. Alumni have started their own dance companies as choreographers and directors. Some alumni have embraced arts administration, serving in directorial, managerial, or operations roles at well-known organizations. Many alumni are actively teaching dance and fitness in a variety of educational and studio settings.

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.