VCUarts Dance encourages students to investigate a wide variety of international and summer study opportunities.
Dance majors regularly attend prestigious summer programs such as the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Hubbard Street Dance, Philadanco, and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute.
Opportunities for international study (summer, or semester abroad) vary year by year. Faculty have led study abroad programs in Costa Rica, Bulgaria, and Italy. Students have spent semesters abroad in London via the Trinity/Laban Conservatoire in Music and Dance; in Jerusalem, Israel through Hebrew University; and in Paris via the University of South Florida Dance Program’s study abroad program. The department regularly communicates to students regarding international study opportunities, and works closely with the VCU Office of Global Education to facilitate students’ participation in international programs.
Dubbed the “world’s greatest dance festival” by the New York Post, The American Dance Festival runs each summer during June and July presenting the finest of major and emerging modern dance companies and hosting a modern dance school attended by some 330 students who converge to share the modern dance tradition of collaboration and creative exploration. The staff, faculty and students who make up the School are a diverse and eclectic group ranging from students seeking an early artistic experience to those with an eye on the professional world.
Bates Dance Festival: Lewiston, Maine
The Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work. The Festival offers a supportive atmosphere aimed at fostering a creative exchange of ideas, encouraging exploration of new ground and providing opportunities to experience a wide spectrum of dance/movement disciplines. Artists, students and audiences share their knowledge and inspiration through workshops, jams, discussions, informal showings and performances.
Hallmarks of the professional School at Jacob’s Pillow include physical and intellectual rigor, individualized instruction, cultural exchanges, dance history connections, extraordinary contacts, and an atmosphere of collegiality. The Festival provides opportunities to see a wide range of technical accomplishments, choreographic innovations, world traditions, and classics of the dance canon. This environment of riches is critical to artistic development and pivotal to career decision-making.
The Merce Cunningham Studio continues to be the source of Cunningham dance technique at the professional level, providing dancers with an ongoing experience in learning to see, understand, and explore movement. The faculty has expanded to include past and present members of Merce Cunningham Dance Company and other qualified teachers. The diverse student body includes American and international dancers, drawn together by common interest in Merce Cunningham’s groundbreaking ideas about dance.
(“SLI”) is our annual 10day intensive that serves as the foundation for all of UBW’s community engagement activities. SLI builds the global network of community arts practitioners, and what Zollar calls “front line social justice workers,” by connecting dance professionals and community-based artists in a learning experience that leverages the arts as a vehicle for social activism and civic engagement. SLI was begun in 1997 and formalized as an annual UBW program in 2004. It has been held in New Orleans each year since 2009.
Richmond Ballet Summer Intensive: Richmond, Virginia
The School of Richmond Ballet offers dance training from beginner to professional levels. The internationally recognized faculty is committed to providing an environment where students can learn and have fun in the process. Class offerings include ballet, jazz, modern, character dance, adult stretch and more. The summer program features a variety of courses taught by the Richmond Ballet school staff and VCUarts Dance faculty.
Consult the Schedule of Classes for the current listing of classes and class descriptions.
“I feel very well-rounded, like I can do anything asked at an audition.”
– VCU/RB Alumna