BACHELOR OF ARTS | MINOR
Stretch the boundaries of your performance
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. The strength of the program is the intimate relationship and mentorship by the dance faculty.
We are dedicated to educating dancers and choreographers of the future through our global, interdisciplinary community located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Working with national and internationally known guest artists through classes and rehearsals, 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 artist, entrepreneur, manager or dance specialist. We focus on modern, postmodern and contemporary dance techniques, emphasizing experimentation through creative process, and 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.
GW’s Dance program trains students to tell their own stories through movement. Our program is designed to make it easy for students to double minor which affords exciting cross discipline studies and provides well-rounded graduates the tools to achieve their goals. Our graduates are prepared for a variety of professional careers including performer, director, set designer, production assistant or teachers.
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, our minor program is for you. With an emphasis on technique, our curriculum simultaneously develops the physical strength of our dancers while building their confidence as choreographers. We focus on modern, postmodern and contemporary dance techniques, emphasizing experimentation through creative process, and our courses are allied with the body of knowledge found in somatic theories. Through our global, interdisciplinary community located in the heart of Washington, D.C., we work with national and internationally known guest artists through classes and rehearsals. You will establish professional connections to a variety of geographies and heritages with countless performative opportunities both in and out of the studio.
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 18 credits, including a 3-credit required course and 15 credits in elective courses.
With an emphasis on technique, our curriculum simultaneously develops the physical strength of our dancers while building their confidence as choreographers. Through classes in technique, choreography and theory, students gain a strong foundation for understanding movement. In addition, required coursework in lighting and costuming expands production skills within the broader context of the theatrical environment.
You will also study somatic theories, improvisation, composition, performance art and dance history, work with guest artists from around the world and engage with professional organizations through internships.
The culmination of the program of study is a thesis project that showcases students' creativity, allowing them to demonstrate their skills in all areas of performance and production. From choreography to costume and audio design and more, the thesis is an opportunity for our dancers to exhibit their experience in all components of a dance performance.
Whether you are a major or minor, our students prepare for a variety of professional careers including performer, director, set designer, production assistant or teachers.
All GW students are invited to take dance, music and theatre classes and audition for music ensembles, plays and performances. Check out dates and more information about auditions.
Born and raised in the coastal town of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Berkley Lane (B.A. ‘20) has always admired the ocean and all of its systems. As a dancer, she is inspired by the environment as she gravitates towards movement styles that are free-flowing and grounded, with large sweeping movements that use her entire body at once. Throughout Berkley’s time at GW, she has choreographed dances inspired by how water molecules move together, how trees grow slowly in a large forest and how waves interact with one another and with other organisms in the ocean.
Berkley's senior thesis Moving Through the Bloom combines her passion for both Environmental Science and Dance as she explores research on the Chesapeake Bay and its dead zones. Her work was part of the 2020 NEXT Exhibition; see more here.
Hana Springer, double major in Dance and International Affairs, was one of a pair of students that traveled to Taiwan. The trip included participation in an international arts festival, rehearsals with world-famous choreographers and sharing tips and Ta-a noodles with fellow dancers from around the globe.
“Dancing in Taiwan showed me firsthand how art can be a tool for uniting people, no matter who they are or where they come from. We all are more connected than we often realize, and dancing is a powerful way to express those connections.”
The Corcoran’s NEXT is an annual, year-end celebration of art, performance, and scholarship. In 2021, Dance B.A. students like Julia Chodyla explored their practice’s deep and important connections. Julia demonstrated her connections to the forces of nature around her. The definition of “rouse” is “to bring out of sleep” or “to awaken.” Accordingly, Julia describes her experience performing “Rouse” as a physical, mental, and emotional “awakening.”
Still image shown: Julia Chodyla performing “Rouse” in Tallahassee, Florida
Professor Dana Tai Soon Burgess’s dance company performed for a socially distanced audience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event featured multiple pieces inspired by artist John Singer Sargent. Burgess is the first choreographer in residence at the National Portrait Gallery.
DANCE FILM SHORTS
Artistic Director, Maida Withers and New Media/Film Makers, Guest Artists, Robin Bell and Ludovic Jolivet join with GW dance faculty and choreography students to create dance on camera shorts to broadcast to the public online. Projects for this inaugural season, feature film shorts by Faculty Choreographers Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Giselle Ruzany, along with Student Choreographers Katherine Auerswald, Jillian Canning, Julia Chodyla, Chloe Davis, Hannah Jacobson, Alison Janega, Kinaya Mceady, and Madelyn Sell. Dancers, who are also filming themselves dancing “on location,” collaborate remotely with choreographers from national and international locations in the creation of the dance film shorts.
814 20th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-8072 | Fax: 202-994-9403
Professor of Production Design
Special Assistant for Productions & Performances
Faculty Advisor, Undergraduate
Assistant Professor of Production Management & Technology