The Dance MFA program at University of the Arts aims to rethink inherited practices and consider an inclusive global future for the field. The program extends the context of learning from the studio, theater and classroom to the international festival environment as a space for learning.

Internationally Situated. 

Each summer, the program departs from a traditional educational format by proposing instead the manifestation of temporary schools that create and enliven experimental pedagogies. Through international residencies, workshops, and symposia, the UArts MFA fosters critical conversations about the meanings, purposes, and potentialities of dance and performance in contemporary society. 

MFA 2019 Montpellier

Summer 2020 Residencies will be held in France, including Paris, Orléans, and Montpellier.

Immersed in the dynamic relationships created by the performances of artists from around the world, students consider and develop practices, pedagogies and research models that value experimentation and continuously question the role of dance within and beyond the festival, exhibition and theater environments. UArts’ Dance MFA program fosters new communities and networks of exchange for knowledge production and artistic practice within dance.

Theorizing and Practicing Knowledge Production in Relation to Citizenship and Art-Making.

This mentor-based program expands from a leadership faculty supported by an international group of scholars, artists, curators, writers and community members located throughout the United States and abroad. Experts from across the fields of dance, live and visual arts and social justice gather to work within the MFA curricular platforms. These affiliated artists and guest lecturers represent an intentionally diverse array of approaches to theorizing and practicing knowledge production in relation to citizenship and art-making.

Offering Distinct Cohorts

For both emerging & mid-career artists


Philadelphia Residency Cohort

MFA Dance
(For emerging artists)

60 credits, 15 months, low-res format.

Designed for young artists with a strong interest in expanding their practice and research in an experimental and uninterrupted way. Applicants should hold 3-5 years of experience beyond an undergraduate degree in dance.

Fall & Spring Terms in Philly

Philadelphia residency students complete intensive fall and spring terms at UArts, in the center of Philadelphia. Faculty, mentors and visiting artists support students as they develop practices, pedagogies and modes of research within the context of Philadelphia and beyond.

 

Low-Residency Cohort

MFA Dance                                   
(For emerging artists) 

60 credits, 15 months, low-res format.

Designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals who want to question their own work and re-evaluate their career trajectories. Applicants typically hold 8-10 years or more of experience as creative practitioners in their field.

Fall and Spring Terms in Your Context
Coursework is completed through self- directed research of situated pedagogical practices. Each student is supported by mentors and their fellow peers, as well as the use of distance-learning tools to facilitate the delivery of coursework

OR Explore our Flex Track

For artists in need of more flexibility
On a case by case basis, a third Flex Track which extends the duration of study from 15 to 26 months may be available to qualified candidates. Contact dance@uarts.edu to learn more. 

With Post-MFA Support.

Once students graduate from the program, the Post-MFA cohort emerges as a resource to develop new formations for exchange that may include study groups, practice residencies, fellowships and research platforms.

The artistic and curricular leadership group includes Ric Allsopp, Donna Faye Burchfield, and Thomas F. DeFrantz. Collaborating artists and scholars include Lauren Bakst, Douglas Becker, Casey Brown, DD Dorvillier, Be Heintzman Hope, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Iréne Hultman, HeJin Jang, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Niall Jones, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Dixon Li, Jimena Paz, Jillian Peña, Pol Pi, Ben Pranger, VK Preston, Ogemdi Ude, Arkadi Zaides, and Jesse Zaritt. Curricular research topics fuel the selection of faculty, mentors, advisors and resident artists/scholars each year, who form an ongoing community of exchange for all Dance graduate students.

Leadership Team

Donna Faye Burchfield Headshot
Donna Faye Burchfield

Ric Allsopp
Ric Allsopp

Dance (MFA)
Thomas DeFrantz
Thomas DeFrantz

Dance (MFA)

Faculty, Mentors & Guest Artists

Lauren Bakst headshot
Lauren Bakst

Dance
Douglas Becker headshot
Douglas Becker

Dance
DD Dorvillier Headshot
DD Dorvillier

Dance (MFA)
Ishmael Houston Jones headshot
Ishmael Houston-Jones

Dance
Iréne Hultman headshot
Iréne Hultman

Dance (MFA)
Niall Jones Headshot
Niall Jones

Dance
Jaamil Kosoko headshot
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

Dance (MFA)
Jimena Paz headshot
Jimena Paz

Dance
Jillian Pena
Jillian Peña

Dance
Pol Pi headshot, photo by Valérie Archeno
Pol Pi

Dance (MFA)
Ben Pranger headshot
Ben Pranger

Dance (MFA)
VK Preston headshot
VK Preston

Dance (MFA)
Arkadi Zaides headshot
Arkadi Zaides

Dance (MFA)
Jesse Zarritt headshot
Jesse Zaritt

Dance
Shayla-Vie Jenkins headshot
Shayla-Vie Jenkins

Dance
Be Heintzman Hope
Be Heintzman Hope

Dance (MFA)

Low Residency Cohort | 2019-20

Shannon Alvis headshot
Shannon Alvis

Dance (MFA)
Kristen Clotfelter headshot
Kristin Clotfelter

Dance (MFA)
Abby Crain headshot
Abby Crain

Dance (MFA)
Jacquelyn Elder headshot
Jacquelyn Elder

Dance (MFA)
Brittany Engel-Adams headshot
Brittany Engel-Adams

Dance (MFA)
Gary W. Jeter II headshot
Gary W. Jeter II

Dance (MFA)
Rika Okamoto headshot
Rika Okamoto

Dance (MFA)
Carolyn Pampalone Rabbers headshot
Carolyn Pampalone Rabbers

Dance (MFA)
Michael Sheridan headshot
Michael Sheridan

Dance (MFA)
Mari Andrea Travis headshot
Mari Andrea Travis

Dance (MFA)

Year Residency Cohort | 2019-20

Blakeney Bullock headshot
Blakeney Bullock

Dance (MFA)
Alice Nardi headshot
Alice Nardi

Dance (MFA)
Umeshi Rajeedra
Umeshi Rajeendra

Dance (MFA)

Flex Residency Cohort | 2018-20

Jon Baldwin of UArts
Jon Baldwin

Dance (MFA)
Gordon Salaam of UArts
Jhelan Gordon-Salaam

Dance (MFA)
Nitsan Margaliot
Nitsan Margaliot

Dance (MFA)

Flex Residency Cohort | 2019-21

Cameron Childs
Cameron Childs

Dance (MFA)
Sabrina Rahman
Sabrina Rahman

Dance (MFA)
Melvin Sutton
Melvin Sutton

Dance (MFA)

June 17th - 21st 2019

 

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Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris
Paris, France


Guest Curator: Rizvana Bradley, Yale University

Keynote Speaker: Trinh T. Minh-ha

Featuring:
Rebecca Schneider
Bouchra Ouizguen
Gerard & Kelly
Wilmer Wilson
Julia Phillips 
Pierre Godard and Liz Santoro
Melissa Blanco Borelli
Books on the Move

The 2019 Dancing Politics, Moving Performance II: Movement Environments and Performative Encounters, will be the second annual Study Cycle Symposium curated and directed by Rizvana Bradley (Yale University) for The University of the Arts, Philadelphia’s MFA in Dance program. This year's symposium will be held at Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) the week of June 17th through June 21st, 2019, featuring dynamic conversations between artists, scholars, curators, movement practitioners, and students.

Through talks and curated screenings, participants will think collectively about dance at the crossroads of emerging performance cultures and practices;  the relationship between dance, theory, and aesthetics with respect to the neocolonial present, as well as the fractured ecologies and environments engineered by global capitalism.  

Conversations with artists and scholars working in transmedial contexts will explore the relationships between the expanding practices of dance alongside the general movement of people and their encounters with and across geographic borders.

Both rigorous and intensive, our approach relies on situational pedagogies and the gathering of relational communities. The program moves against conventional thinking about academic learning environments utilizing the University of the Arts School of Dance’s long standing relationships to and connections with world recognized artists, scholars and cultural institutions. With the challenge to examine the role of dance and dance making in the community at large, the Study Group component of the program is built on the assumption that new practices are still in the making, and that the students will work alongside faculty mentors & community partners to create new methodologies.

Below are sample, curricular overviews. Please visit the course catalogue website for complete course descriptions and requirements.


Philadelphia Residency Cohort
60 credits, 15 months, low-res format.

Designed for young artists with a strong interest in expanding their practice and research in an experimental and uninterrupted way. Applicants should hold 3-5 years of experience beyond an undergraduate degree in dance.

Fall & Spring Terms in Philly

Philadelphia residency students complete intensive fall and spring terms at UArts, in the center of Philadelphia. Faculty, mentors and visiting artists support students as they develop practices, pedagogies and modes of research within the context of Philadelphia and beyond.

Low-Residency Cohort
60 credits, 15 months, low-res format.

Designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals who want to question their own work and re-evaluate their career trajectories. Applicants typically hold 8-10 years or more of experience as creative practitioners in their field.

Fall and Spring Terms in Your Context
Coursework is completed through self- directed research of situated pedagogical practices. Each student is supported by mentors and their fellow peers, as well as the use of distance-learning tools to facilitate the delivery of coursework

OR Explore our Flex Track

For artists in need of more flexibility
On a case by case basis, a third Flex Track which extends the duration of study from 15 to 26 months may be available to qualified candidates. Contact dance@uarts.edu to learn more. 

Who Should Apply

The cohorts of the MFA in Dance are designed with specific creative practitioners in mind:

The Philadelphia Residency Cohort is designed for highly motivated emerging artists with a strong interest in expanding their knowledge and experience in an uninterrupted way. Applicants should have 3-5 years of experience beyond undergraduate study.

The Low-Residency Cohort is designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals who want to question their own work and re-evaluate their career trajectories. Applicants should have a minimum of 8-10 years of professional experience.

The Flex Track option is available to qualified applicants who seek a completion path with more flexibility by extending their study over a longer duration. Please email us at dance@uarts.edu to learn more.

Application Deadline

The MFA in Dance application deadline is January 15, 2020, for the 2020/21 academic year. 

How to Apply

To apply, the following materials are required:

  • A Completed Online Application Form
  • Application Fee of $60 (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
  • Undergraduate Degree in Dance or Equivalent Experience 
    • Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required. Transcripts should be issued directly by the Registrar's Office at the college(s) attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, The University of the Arts, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to gradcredentials@uarts.edu. For transcripts from outside the United States, please refer to the instructions provided below for international students.
    • In exceptional circumstances, exemplary professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an undergraduate degree. Applicants are advised to contact the MFA Program Associate, Jillian Peña, at dance@uarts.edu in advance of making an application. 
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form, or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professionals in your field familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, collaborator or a peer.
  • Statement of Intent & Resume
    • Your Statement of Intent and your Resume are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. Statements should be a minimum of one- to two-pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? Your resume should highlight all of your professional accomplishments including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
    • Tuition Fellowship essays - students who wish to be considered for Tuition Fellowship awards must also submit an additional essay that further describes their professional goals and how a fellowship will facilitate attaining them. This essay should be included within the same document as your statement of intent, and uploaded online when you complete the online application.
  • Portfolio
    • Applicants are required to submit a portfolio via SlideRoom ($10 fee applies) of recent choreographic and/or performative works from the past 5 years. Complete instructions and format guidelines are available on our SlideRoom portal page. 
  • Personal Interview
    • After the application has been processed, applicants may be contacted for a personal interview conducted by the leadership team and faculty. 

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit:

  • Official Transcripts
    • All transcripts from outside the United States must be in English and must be official. The Office of Admissions may request that international students obtain a transcript evaluation from a third-party credential evaluation service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) in cases where further information is required to assess international credentials. 
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • Students must demonstrate English language proficiency to engage in advanced studio, lecture and seminar coursework. International students whose native language is not English should submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. A minimum TOEFL score of 79, IELTS score of 6.0, or Duolingo English Test score of 48 is required for admission. 

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but who do not yet meet the English proficiency requirement may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.

In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview. A waiver may be considered for those applicants who enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the U.S. and successfully completed two semesters of college-level English, not taken in conjunction with ESL study, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those classes.

I20/F-1 International Student Visa Information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by the University of the Arts International Student Programs Office, regarding visa counseling and all materials required to create an I-20 in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, director, International Student Programs, with any questions regarding your I20 or F-1 visa.

SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS

Travel Assistance Grant

All MFA Dance students are eligible for a $500 travel assistance grant awarded each summer, for a maximum of two summers (total award not to exceed $1,000) to help defray the costs of travel.

Tuition Fellowships

Tuition Fellowships are competitive awards that range in amount. Awards are based both on the applicant's creative merit and demonstrated financial need. All MFA Dance applicants are eligible (both low-res and year-res cohorts). Interested students must submit an additional essay that further describes their professional goals and how a fellowship will facilitate attaining them. This essay should be included within the statement of intent document uploaded online when you complete the online application. US based students must also submit a FAFSA.

Life Experience Scholarships (for low-residency students only)

Mid-career artists who hold 8-10 or more years of experience who are successful in their application for admission to the low-residency cohort are eligible for Life Experience Scholarships. Life Experience Scholarships are generous awards applied to the tuition costs of the program. No additional application is required; students are considered for the Life Experience Scholarship at time of admission.

Post-MFA Support                                                                                                                                              

Once students graduate from the program, the Post-MFA cohort emerges as a resource to develop new formations for exchange that may include study groups, practice residencies, fellowships and research platforms.

FINANCIAL AID

All applicants are reviewed for merit-based awards during the admissions process. In addition, most US citizens and permanent residents qualify for federal, need-based financial aid. You will need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be evaluated for eligibility. Once you are admitted and we have received your FAFSA, you will receive a financial aid notification letter. For full details please visit fafsa.ed.gov or contact the Office of Student Financial Services at UArts. 


TUITION & FEES 

Graduate Tuition & Fees

 

 

 

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