You likely have a number of questions regarding the Dance degree programs at Grand Canyon University. The following FAQs should answer many of your questions. Your admissions representative is here to help with any additional questions you may have.
Who should I contact with questions about the Dance Education Program?
Susannah Kéita is the Director of Dance and a full-time faculty member in the Dance Education Program. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-639-6295. She reports to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production, Claude Pensis, who may be reached at 602-639-6971 or email@example.com
Is GCU Dance Line affiliated with the Dance Education Program? Are auditions for the Dance Education Program and the GCU Dance Line at the same time?
There is no affiliation. The Dance Education Program is housed in the College of Fine Arts and Production while GCU Dance Line is associated with the Events and Athletics departments. Auditions occur separately.
For more information about GCU Dance Line (under GCU Athletics), please visit the LOPES website under Fan Zone. www.gculopes.com For information about GCU Cheer and Dance, contact Jacque Genung-Koch at Jacque:firstname.lastname@example.org or Emily Stephens: email@example.com.
May non-dance education majors enroll in dance courses?
Yes. Each semester, there are non-major courses offered. Generally, DAN 120: Introduction to Modern is offered in the fall, while DAN 100: Introduction to Ballet, DAN 101: Introduction to Jazz and DAN 112 Introduction to Tap are offered in the spring.
Do I have to audition to become a Dance Education major?
Everyone majoring in Dance Education must audition for the program in addition to being accepted to Grand Canyon University.
Do I have to audition to become a Dance Education minor?
Students interested in a dance minor do not have to audition for the program. Students interested in enrolling for dance technique courses do not have to audition either. To enroll in 100 level dance technique courses, new students may simply contact their admissions representatives and current students may contact their academic counselors.
How do I sign up for an audition?
Students may register for an audition on the GCU website at this link: www.gcu.edu/auditions. The audition dates for prospective students in 2013-2014 are October 19, November 2, January 11, February 22, March 1, April 5, May 9 and June 13.
What is the audition process like?
A brief list of requirements will be available on the audition link. Students are encouraged to bring the following items: a dance resume, headshot, application form and liability waiver. Incoming dance education majors will register for an audition date online. They will receive an email verification of their date and the time of the group audition. Morning auditions are scheduled at 10am in the Saguaro Hall Dance Studios. A 2 p.m. afternoon audition will be added if registration exceeds 20 students. The audition will take approximately 2 hours and will consist of combinations in modern, ballet, jazz and contemporary styles. Following the class portion, students will perform solos they have prepared one at a time. Transfer students are required to perform their original choreography. A question and answer period will follow with faculty and current dance education majors.
May I visit with my high school dance program or dance studio?
Yes. GCU Dance Invitationals are held throughout the year. During your visit, students will have the opportunity to take classes with GCU Dance faculty, meet current dance majors and take a campus tour. Students can also take advantage of auditioning for program acceptance and scholarship consideration. Teachers and directors may register on the GCU website at this link: www.gcu.edu/danceinvitationals. There are six dates to choose from, which will be available on a first come, first serve basis. GCU will reimburse for up to $150 for travel expenses.
Are there dance performance scholarships?
Incoming freshmen and transfer students will be eligible for dance performance scholarships upon auditioning for the program. Scholarship awards must pass through the College of Fine Arts and Production and the Office of Financial Aid. Students will not be told how much their award is until they receive an official letter and contract from GCU, in roughly 3 weeks. This letter should be signed and returned to the Director of Dance, using the address provided.
If I have been awarded a Dance Performance Scholarship, is it subject to any special conditions? Do I have to audition to keep it?
Yes, there are special conditions; however it is renewable each year as long as these conditions are met. You will be expected to maintain high standards as a dancer and student. In addition to limits put in place by GCU, Dance Performance Scholarships are subject to the following conditions:
1. Be a declared Dance Education major.
2. Complete 30 hours of Dance Department service per semester (must be documented).
3. Perform, as cast, in the Dance Ensemble (Faculty members select students to perform in one or more dances in the Fall and Spring Dance Concerts).
4. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average annually.
5. GCU scholarships are allowed to be combined up to the following limits:
-President’s Scholars in campus housing may receive up to $16,500.
-All other scholars in campus housing may receive up to $14,000.
-All other scholars living off campus may receive up to $11,500.
What types of dance will I study?
Modern, Ballet and Jazz Dance Technique are required for three semesters each. Each faculty member has his or her own particular style, but there are many commonalities between courses. At the introductory or beginning level, you will focus on alignment, memorization and vocabulary building with exposure to foundational styles (modern dance via Graham, Horton, Limon, Dunham, etc.). At the intermediate level, the focus expands to movement quality and expressive range as you build upon technical proficiency. At the advanced level, students are expected to demonstrate an integration of skills and concepts developed during previous studies that result in mastery of the technique.
For more information about the scope of our curriculum, please view the B.A. in Dance Education program of study at www.gcu.edu/danceeducation.
What else will I study besides dance technique?
There are courses in Somatics, Pilates, Kinesiology, Improvisation, Choreography, History, Technology for Educators, Diverse Learners, Methods and Assessment for Elementary and Secondary Schools, Theatrical Dance Production and, finally, Student Teaching. Please view the B.A. in Dance Education program of study at www.gcu.edu/danceeducation.
What is the transition to a college dance program like?
Your dance performance and training experiences are unique. They depend on where you have studied, which forms and styles, with whom and for how long. Generally, dancers may train in a private dance studio, a dance conservatory (such as the school of a professional ballet company), a high school dance program or a community arts organization. No matter where you have trained, you are more likely to make a successful transition from your previous dance training environment when you keep an open mind about dance. Talk to current students in the dance program for a real-life perspective.
Our program at GCU provides students with a fine arts education with the primary value of authenticity of expression. Faculty members minimize competition between students in the interest of allowing each individual to discover and articulate a personal statement through the art of dance. We are a Dance Education program and we strive to model best teaching practices in our classrooms. Sometimes traditional in approach and sometimes innovative, all of our instructors employ student-centered strategies to lift up learning.
Who can I turn to for support?
Talk to your instructors first when you experience an issue. Each full-time faculty member holds regular office hours and part-time faculty are available by appointment. You can email, call or talk to them in person. Do not be afraid to advocate for your own needs.
SDEO, the Student Dance Education Organization, is a student-led organization that sponsors many exciting events on campus and in the community. Involvement with SDEO will help you build a sense of camaraderie and trust among your peers. Also, upperclassmen serve as mentors for new students.
For information on tutoring and other academic support, refer to the Dance Education Student Handbook. Further resources include:
What is Dance Ensemble? Do I need to register each semester? What if I am not cast in the Ethington Dance Ensemble?
Dance Ensemble includes DAN180, DAN130AB, DAN280AB, DAN380AB and DAN480. DAN180: Elementary Dance Tour carries no (0) credit hours. All other Dance Ensemble courses earn 0.5 credit hours. It is a graduation requirement to register for Dance Ensemble each semester. The Ethington Dance Ensemble is a faculty-led organization that functions as a professional dance company within the dance department.
Freshman should register for DAN130AB (A in the fall and B in the spring), Sophomores for DAN280AB (A in the fall and B in the spring), Juniors for DAN380AB (A in the fall and B in the spring) and Seniors DAN480 (fall only). During the first week of every semester, students audition for faculty work in the Winter and Spring Dance Concerts and for the Elementary Dance Tour. Interviews for Stage Management positions are also held.
Once casting is decided, you do NOT need to dis-enroll and re-enroll for another course. You will simply attend the Dance Ensemble rehearsal(s) into which you are cast. Since there are 25 Dance Ensemble members cast to perform in the Winter and Spring concerts and a maximum of 15 cast in the Elementary Dance Tour, many students will need to fulfill their Dance Ensemble credit through participation as understudies and stage production crew. There are no insignificant roles--please remember that the behind-the-scenes skills you will learn through these endeavors are extremely important for you as future directors of your own K-12 dance programs.
What other opportunities will I have to perform?
Student Spotlight Dance Concerts are held in November and March, providing opportunities to choreograph and perform dances. Pay close attention to announcements on upcoming Student Choreography Adjudications by email, bulletin board posts, etc. In addition, informal productions such as Tell Your Story and Arts Jam are held throughout the year. You may also audition for Musical Theatre productions in the Theatre Program.
If I am a transfer student, how do I know which coursework will transfer?
For transfer students from the Maricopa Community Colleges, the GCU Dance Education Program has an official Transfer Guide. Students transferring from other colleges and universities are advised to meet with the Director of Dance and their academic advisor for assistance. The MCC Articulation Agreement should serve as a valuable resource.
What are the dance facilities like at GCU?
Our new dance studios are located in Saguaro Hall, on the northeast end of campus. They feature sprung floors with marley covering and advanced equipment.
Who are the faculty members in the Dance Education Program?
Our faculty team is an accomplished group of educators, dancers, choreographers and company directors. Faculty profiles are available on the GCU website through the Faculty Directory.
Are there opportunities to train and work with guest artists?
Guest artists representing many genres of dance are invited to teach, perform and set choreography for our department. A short list of previous guests includes Sarah Zehnder, Brook Hughes Melton, Tammy Dyke, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Keith Williams, Jessica Gaynor, Kim Goss, Fara Tolno, Janaea Rose Lyn and Sean Dahlberg.
If I have concerns about tuition or registration where should I turn?
If you are a new student, contact your enrollment counselor. Walk-in appointments are available, but it is usually best to contact your counselor by phone or email and speak with them directly.