DanceWorks Spring 2017

BA in Dance

Stretch the boundaries of your performance


DanceWorks Fall 2016 

In the Dance Bachelor of Arts program at the Corcoran School, we train students to tell their own stories through movement. If you are ready to grow as a dancer and as an artist, to be mentored by internationally acclaimed instructors, and to cultivate your artistic voice, the Corcoran is for you.

We are dedicated to educating choreographers of the future through our global, interdisciplinary community located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Working with internationally known guest artists through classes and workshops, our students establish professional connections to a variety of geographies and heritages with countless performative opportunities both in and out of the studio.

Our program prepares you for a professional career in the multifaceted field of dance as artists, entrepreneurs, managers or dance specialists. While we focus on the contemporary modern style of dance rather than classical modern, our courses are allied with the body of knowledge found in somatic theories. Modern technique classes are offered at four levels, and students take additional classes in dance history, production, and career strategies.

If you’re looking for a dance program that emphasizes art and creative problem solving, where you’ll engage with diverse peers and innovative faculty, there is no better place than at the Corcoran School.

Our Facilities


If you’re interested in the development of a technically trained body, the processes involved in the creative activity of making dances, and building a strong theoretical base for understanding movement our programs are for you. In addition, courses in theatrical crafts such as lighting and costuming are required to reinforce the concepts behind presenting dances in the theatrical environment.

The major program includes 39 credit hours. Students in the dance major program are encouraged to consider also double-majoring in another field at the university.

Dance Major Courses

Students who minor in dance have equal opportunities to study dance technique, the creative processes of dance, dance theory and the history of dance. The same expectations of performance, creative activity and theatrical support to the performances of the Dance Degree Programs hold true for students with a minor.

Dance Minor Courses

In addition to meeting the general requirements stated under University Regulations, candidates for graduation with Special Honors in Theatre must have a grade-point average of 3.4 in the major and complete TRDA 4599: Honors Thesis with a grade of A. They must consult with a faculty advisor at the beginning of the second semester of the junior year to determine eligibility, area of study, and the director of the research or creative project. Honors Thesis applications are due April 15 for the next academic year.

Application Process

To apply for a Dance program you must complete GW’s online application and submit all required materials.

Apply to the Dance Program

Financial Aid

There are many opportunities for students in the program to find financial aid, including scholarships and Federal Work Study awards, determined through the Office of Financial Aid.

Theatre & Dance offers competitive tuition scholarships, as part of the Corcoran Scholars program. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate first-year applicants.

Within our program area, scholarships are awarded in the areas of dance, acting and design/technical production, based upon information on the application, support materials and the audition/interview process held on the university campus.

Recipients must demonstrate talent and determination with intentions of pursuing further training and experience while at the university in dance, theatre or theatrical design to be considered for one of these highly competitive scholarships.

Scholarships are renewable for up to ten consecutive semesters, assuming continuous full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress. Recipients are not required to re-audition for the scholarship each year, but must either major or minor in their area of expertise within the program and are required to register each semester for course work in the area for which the scholarship is awarded. Recipients participate each semester in dance, acting, or design technical production activities sponsored or sanctioned by the program. Corcoran Scholars in acting and dance are required to audition each semester for all program productions. 

For complete scholarship requirements and information on how to apply and audition, please visit our Corcoran Scholars website.

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally-funded work program for students to earn wages during college while working for nonprofits, educational institutions, government and community service employers.

At GW, FWS is administered by the Career Center and the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). Students must meet eligibility requirements, and apply and accept their financial aid package - including the FWS Award - each year through the OSFA.

GW FWS students can apply and interview for these positions in Theatre & Dance:

  • Costume Shop Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to, costume construction and alteration, as well as maintenance of the Theatre & Dance costume stock. Knowledge of basic sewing skills is preferred, but on-the-job training will be provided.

  • Main Office Assistant: General office work. Duties include, but are not limited to: updating files, copying, faxing, typing, answering phones, responding to emails, etc. Students will need to learn basic information about the academic program and related productions in order to answer questions from prospective students, etc. The candidate should have good communication skills, be computer literate, organized, punctual, and friendly!

  • Promotions Office Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to postering and publicizing MainStage shows, returning phone calls and emails, and working in the box-office during MainStage productions. The candidate should have good communication skills, the ability to work unsupervised, and be computer literate. Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop is a plus, but not required. The student must be available to work evenings of MainStage performances.

  • Scene Shop Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to, scenic construction, painting, props construction, and installation and setup of scenery. Some experience with carpentry and set construction preferred. The work is physical in nature, and the applicant must be willing to get dirty.

These positions are available in the Fall, and last through the academic year. FWS students are considered student temporary employees and are required to present appropriate identification and paperwork prior to commencing employment. Once hired, students receive an hourly wage and biweekly paychecks.

Program Information & Main Contacts

You can contact us by phone at 202-994-8072, fax at 202-994-9403 or email at [email protected]. You can find us at

Building XX
814 20th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20052

Program Head
Jodi I Kanter
[email protected]

Program Administrator
Keri Schultz Kent
[email protected]

Full Time Faculty

Mary Buckley
Associate Professor of Dance

Dana Tai Soon Burgess
Professor of Dance

Maida Withers
Professor of Dance

For a full list of Dance Faculty, including adjunct professors, see the Faculty page


Requirements for BA in Dance

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Production design
3 credits from the following:
Basics of Production Design
Dance technique
15 credits from the following:
Beginning Modern/Postmodern Dance
Beginning/Intermediate Modern/Postmodern Dance
Intermediate Modern/Postmodern Dance I
Intermediate Modern/Postmodern Dance II
Intermediate/Advanced Modern/Postmodern Dance I
Intermediate/Advanced Modern/Postmodern Dance II
Advanced Modern/Postmodern Dance I
Advanced Modern/Postmodern Dance II
Creative process, performance, and theory
17 credits from the following:
Movement Improvisation/Performance
Trends in Performance
Career Strategies for the Dance Artist
Dance Composition I
Dance Composition II
Choreography and Performance
Elective credits in theatre and dance
4 credits from the following:
Dean's Seminar
Understanding the Dance
Beginning Ballet
Beginning/Intermediate Ballet
Intermediate Ballet
African Dance
World Dance
Dance History
Dance History
Dance Styles I
Dance Styles II
Global Dance History
Theatre Practicum
Embodied Kinesis for Dance
Introduction to Lighting
Personal Aesthetics II: The Environment
Selected Topics
Selected Topics
Independent Study
Honors Thesis