The Dance Program uses graduate student assistantships as the sole form of financial aid for graduate students. Most students receive one assistantship per semester.

The Graduate Program in Dance awards three types of graduate assistantships:

Graduate Part-Time Instructors

Graduate Part-Time Instructors (GPTIs) are given full responsibility for an undergraduate class. These positions allow graduate students to teach non-majors dance technique courses (ballet, contemporary, jazz, Transnational Fusion, Hip-hop, etc.) and to teach our Dance and Pop Culture lecture course. Each GPTI will be responsible for syllabus creation, lesson planning, class presentation, taking attendance, grading and providing office hours. GPTIs of Dance and Pop Culture will also supervise a teaching assistant. Many of our dance technique courses will have a lecture portion covering various aspects of dance, including a general historical survey, introduction to choreography, and viewing films and videos. A mid-term, final and dance critique are required and some courses require written assignments. The Director of Graduate Studies for Dance serves as GPTI Coordinator and is available to support and advise. GPTIs will be also assigned a faculty mentor who will observe classes and offer feedback.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants (TAs) serve as class assistants under the guidance of an instructor (a faculty member or another graduate student) who assists and encourages the TA to develop excellence in teaching. TAs are not placed in overall charge of courses. Selection of TAs is based on teaching experience, previous experience (including coursework) in history and the contemporary arts, the ability to guide recitations and grade written work. TAs must attend all lectures, hold office hours and grade student work.

Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistants (GAs) serve in roles that assist the functioning of the department’s production season. These positions, such as the Dance Events Coordinator, Assistant Technical Director and Video Archivist, provide professional training for graduate students while delivering an essential service to the department.


Please note: graduate students may also obtain employment in the department as House Managers, Technical Production and Costume Shop employees. These positions are paid hourly and do not have the additional compensations (tuition credits and health insurance stipend) that come with graduate assistantships.

Teaching assistantships (TAs and GPTIs) are awarded to highly qualified graduate students with prior teaching experience in dance, coaching, choreography and appropriate warm-up/incremental training techniques. In addition, knowledge of a dance genre's history and context is important at the collegiate level. Top candidates will additionally possess excellent public speaking skills, strong professional decorum, emotional intelligence and organizational skills. The Teaching Application must be submitted by all applicants who desire to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Students who do not qualify for a teaching assistantship their first year may increase their proficiency and reapply in future years.

Students with dance administration or production experience will be considered for Graduate Assistant assistantships. No application is required for these positions. All applicants are encouraged to submit a Curriculum Vitae/Resume which shows your dance administration and/or production experience.

Graduate student assistantships are classified by average weekly work load for the position, and range from 6-10 hours/week. Each academic year the Graduate School publishes the GPTI Salary Spreadsheet which standardizes compensation. There are three parts to the compensation package:

  • A salary that is paid by direct deposit on the last working day of each month from August through May.
  • Tuition waivers, based on the percentage of the appointment (usually 3-5 credits per semester). Tuition waivers appear as credits on the student bill.  
  • Students whose assistantships are for 8 hours/week or more and choose the University’s Gold Comprehensive Insurance Plan receive a stipend that covers approximately 90% of the cost. 

Samples of graduate student assistantships compensation for the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • GPTI for dance technique course: 8 hours/week, salary of $5,266/semester, 4 tuition credits/semester, health insurance stipend
  • GPTI for Dance and Pop Culture lecture course: 10 hours/week, salary of $6,582/semester, 5 tuition credits/semester, health insurance stipend
  • Teaching Assistant: 6 hours/week, salary of $3,417/semester, 3 tuition credits/semester, no health insurance stipend
  • Graduate Assistant: 8 hours/week, salary of $4,556/semester, 4 tuition credits/semester, health insurance stipend

The Teaching Application is due December 1, along with the application for the program.

If you are interested in applying for a teaching assistantship, please follow the instructions in the What to Submit section below and upload your application to the online application.

Qualified applicants will be invited to audition in person by teaching one of our regularly scheduled non-majors classes. The Teaching Application instructs you to indicate what techniques you are comfortable instructing, and we will make every effort to place you in a class that is a good match. If you are invited to audition, this will extend your time on campus by an extra day. Your audition class will be scheduled for Thursday, January 23, 2020. In scheduling the on-campus audition, we make every effort to respect your time and expense; applicants who are invited for teaching auditions will normally be finished with the audition process on Friday evening.

Students are notified at the time of admission if they have been awarded an assistantship and are asked to accept or decline admission by April 15, 2020. Students who have been admitted without an assistantship will be notified April 15-17 if an assistantship becomes available, and are asked to accept or decline admission by April 20, 2020.

For questions contact Patricia Paige at 303-492-7356.

You will submit your Teaching Application in the Additional Materials section of the online application. In that section you will be asked two questions:

  • Are you applying for a teaching assistantship?
  • Are you applying to teach Hip-Hop?

Selecting "yes" for either question will open below it a section that will allow you to upload your materials. For each appropriate question, please upload a single document that contains your answers.

The Teaching Application must be completed by everyone who desires a teaching assistantship.

The Hip-hop/Street/Urban Dance Instruction Materials must be completed by everyone who desires to teach Hip-hop.


Please answer the questions below and upload them as one document.

  1. Name, address, email and phone number as listed on your application
  2. List, in order of preference, the class(es) you are able and willing to teach. For example:

  • African Diasporic forms

  • Latino/Folklorico Diasporic forms

  • Transnational Fusion/Dances of the Arab, Persian and Turkish world

  • beginning modern

  • intermediate/advanced modern

  • classical/popular Indian dance

  • beginning ballet

  • beginning ballet with experience

  • low intermediate ballet

  • Polynesian traditional forms

  • beginning jazz

  • beginning jazz with experience

  • intermediate jazz

  • Hip-hop

  • aerial dance

  • tap

  • improvisation

  • social/partner dance

  • ballroom

  • martial arts and other globalized movement techniques

If you have expertise in a form not listed here, please include it in your list. Note that you will only be able to audition in one class and that all of the classes listed are not offered every semester.

  1. Please list your teaching experience. For each entry include when, where, what and who, as follows: 8/98-12/99 Dancers ‘R Us Studio, Anytown USA ballet for kids through adults. Please indicate the experience which will enable you to teach the basics of a dance genre's history and context, anatomical and alignment principals, improvisation applications and composition practices, which, in addition to technique, are included in the content of our courses.
  2. Please address the following questions in a brief essay (1-2 pages): 
    • Briefly discuss the influences (specific dance technique or movement training, for example) that have informed your approach to teaching.What do you consider your primary responsibilities as a dance teacher?
    • What do you expect your students to learn/experience in your class?
    • What are your strengths and idiosyncrasies as a teacher?
    • What aspects of your teaching would you like to improve?
    • What experiences or trainings have you acquired in supporting participants whom may have various levels of physical, medical, cognitive or emotional impact to their functioning?
  3. Please ensure that your general letters of recommendation for our graduate program include at least two observation-based reviews of your teaching qualifications and experiences.


Please help us better understand your experience in Hip-hop/Street dance and culture by uploading a document answering these additional questions: 

  1. What street dance styles have you mastered or currently study (please list)? For example:

  • Popping

  • Boogaloo

  • House

  • Krump

  • Campbell Locking

  • Breaking

  • Jooking

  • Jitting

  • Vogue

  • Waackin

  • Footwork

  • Hyphie

  • Lite Feet

  • Loft

  • Robot

  • Turfin

  • Bone Break

  • Hip-hop (studio)

  • Hip-hop (party dance)

  • Dime Stop

  • Webo

  • Go-go

  • Wu-tang

  • Tutting

  • Liquid

  • Phaze

  • Micro

  • Transnational/Tribal

Please list other styles you may be interested in such as fusion or creation of your own style/technique etc.

  1. Which pioneers of Street dance have you studied with?
  2. Is there any pioneer of Street dance you would like to study with?
  3. Have you cross-trained in any other dance forms that source the African Movement and Cultural Diaspora as a contextualizing influence?
  4. Our program focuses on Street Dance History, Hip-Hop proper (party dances) and House technique in order to promote knowledge (5th Element), foundation, musicality and freestyle and Transnational Electronica. Are you willing to study the fundamentals of Street dance in order to further develop your skillset in whatever style you currently study? Yes/ No (if no please explain)
  5. Briefly describe your goals or what you hope to get out of this program.