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, prospective students can expect a variety of experiential learning opportunities in performance, choreography, and production. These opportunities 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.
Finally, a concentration within the BFA is specifically designed and offered for Richmond Ballet trainees. This concentration is intended 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 art. This unique program bridges trainee experience with the Richmond Ballet professional company and rigorous pre-professional training with a focus in modern/contemporary dance. A very small number of students in this degree program are offered the opportunity to join Richmond Ballet II after their first two years.
VCU Dance is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.
The Dance and Choreography degree is specifically designed to prepare students for a variety of options within the art. 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.
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.
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.
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