The Dance Program uses graduate student assistantships as the sole form of financial aid for graduate students. Most students receive one assistantship per semester. For this reason, applicants should not apply unless they have some form of teaching experience. However, college teaching experience is not required.

Appointment Types & Duties

The Graduate Program in Dance awards four types of graduate assistantships: Graduate Part-Time Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants and Graduate Assistants.

Graduate Part-Time Instructors (GPTIs) are given full responsibility for an undergraduate class. These positions allow graduate students to teach non-major dance technique courses and a Dance in Popular Culture and Media lecture course. Each GPTI will be responsible for syllabus creation, lesson planning, class presentation, taking attendance, grading, and providing office hours. GPTIs of Dance in Popular Culture and Media will also supervise a TA. 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 (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. 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.

Research Assistants (RAs) assist a professor with a research project. 

Graduate Assistants (GAs) 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. We will review the resume or Curriculum Vita submitted as part of the application to determine if applicants have skills that would qualify them for a research, production or administrative graduate assistantship.


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 administration or production experience will be considered for Graduate Assistant assistantships. No application is required for these positions, but all applicants are encouraged to submit a Curriculum Vitae/Resume which shows your 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 across the university.

Beginning the 2021-2022 academic year, the Graduate Program in Dance has equalized our assistantship offerings. Supported MFA students will receive a 25% assistantship each semester for their three years in the program (six semesters). Students will work an average of 10 hours/week. Assignments will vary by semester and will offer a variety of teaching and professional experiences, personalized to each student's goals.

There are four parts to the compensation package:

  • A salary of $6,780 per semester that is paid by direct deposit on the last working day of each month from August through May.
  • A tuition waiver of 5 tuition credits per semester. Tuition waivers appear as credits on the student bill.  
  • Student fees are covered by the university.
  • Students who choose the University’s Gold Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) receive an insurance stipend each semester that covers approximately 91% of the cost of health insurance. 

Teaching Application 

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

For the Teaching Application we ask you to submit a combination of written and video materials. Finalists for teaching assistantships will be invited to audition in person during the on campus audition.

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. 

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

  1. Are you applying for a teaching assistantship?
  2. 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.

What to Submit

  • The Teaching Application must be completed by all applicants.
  • The Hip-hop/Street/Urban Dance Instruction Materials must be completed by everyone who desires to teach Hip-hop.
  • Submit your Digital Teaching Sample in the Digital Portfolio section of the online application. Please label the file with your name and “Teaching Sample”.

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 & other globalized movement techniques

The list above are intended to demonstrate that we embrace a wide range of forms. If you have expertise in a form not listed here 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. List your teaching experience. For each entry include when, where, what and who, as follows: 1/5/2015-1/15/2017, Dancers ‘R Us Studio, Anytown USA, ballet for kids through adults.
    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. 
  2. 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. Ensure that your letters of recommendation include 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. Which 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.

  1. Please submit a video of yourself teaching a class (either by a video conference platform or in person).
  2. We are open to considering materials that are older than one year since many dance organizations have not been able to gather in person.
  3. If you do not have a video of your teaching, we invite you to take 15 minutes using your phone camera to film a tutorial instructing us on your favorite popular or personal dance movement. This need not be formal. Please imagine us on the other side of the camera, excited for what you have to teach us.
  4. If your access to technology impacts your ability to send the suggested video. We cordially invite you to contact us for alternative measures of consideration.