The JMU School of Theatre and Dance offers BA degrees in Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Dance, and minors in Theatre and Dance, providing hands-on training within a broader university experience.
Students in JMU’s B.A. in Dance develop their abilities as performers, choreographers, movement instructors and community-engaged artists. The intensive curriculum prepares dancers to create, perform, produce, analyze, and teach the art of dance (PreK-12 licensure available). At the same time, the flexibility of the program allows students to pursue many interests, including the ability to minor or double major in additional subjects.
The course of study includes:
Contemporary, Ballet and Jazz technique
Improvisation and composition
Dance production and management
Anatomy and somatic studies
Pedagogy and community engagement
International performance and study abroad opportunities
Three unique levels of dance ensembles:
Contemporary Dance Ensemble
Virginia Repertory Dance Company
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and the School of Theatre and Dance (STAD) have scholarships available for incoming students as well as continuing students in the programs. James Madison University also has scholarships that are offered directly by the admissions office.
The School of Theatre and Dance will be offering a number of scholarship opportunities for incoming students, including the "Excellence in the Arts" award. Additional awards include merit scholarships from the School of Theatre and Dance and guaranteed
admission to the Wayland Living Learning Community. Criteria for determining scholarship recipients include:
1. Talent and ability
2. Academic promise
4. Application essay
5. Letter of recommendation
In order to qualify for a merit scholarship from the School of Theatre and Dance, you must attend a virtual audition day in addition to submitting your application through Slideroom. Most awards are renewable for multiple years. You should attend one of the November or January virtual audition days to be considered for priority merit scholarship.
The above materials are the same that are submitted for the audition/interview in the Slideroom application for the Theatre, Musical Theatre, and/or Dance majors. Submitting these materials and participating in a virtual audition day automatically puts prospective students in scholarship consideration for departmental scholarships.
BRIA JARHLING '11 received her AFAA Group Fitness Instructor and Zumba instructor certifications after leaving JMU. She teaches fitness classes at Valley Fitness of Middletown, MD in addition to tap at Project C Studios of Westminster, MD and at the Mid-Maryland Performing Arts Center. Bria has performed with DC-based company DanceAntonini and with DanceWorx.
KATE FOLSOM '11 has been performing with UpRooted Dance and working as an independent choreographer in D.C. She is currently the Programs Associate at Dance/USA, a non-profit national service organization for professional dance, in Washington DC. She previously served as the Programming/Annual Conference Intern and interim Executive Administrator at Dance/USA. Kate has recently been House Managing at Dance Place, Washington DC, as well as serving as their Technical Theatre Intern within the past year.
SARAH BURKE '10 moved to New York City and began work as an administrative assistant and teacher for Cora Dance, founded and directed by JMU alumnus Shannon Hummel. She has performed in the company's full evening work Prey and with Isabel Gotzkownsky's Share 3 Project and is working as an independent artist and teaching full time in NYC.
NICOLE FIORELLA '10 dances with Dogwood Dance Project and has started an apprentice ensemble of high school students within the company. Nicole lives in Chesapeake, Virginia where she works as a social media intern at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center. Nicole is a certified Zumba instructor, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer working for One Life Fitness, and a dance teacher and choreographer at the Academy of Classical and Contemporary Dance where she works with their competition team, Fusion.
KATIE HOUFF '10 is a freelance stage manager in NYC. She is the Executive Assistant of D-Squared Dance Theatre (NYC) and served as the Assistant Production Stage Manager of the American Dance Festival ('12).
ZILDA DECKER '09 currently works as lead dance instructor at Energy Dance Studio located at Kinetic Kids Gym in Harrisonburg, VA. There she teaches several dance techniques to children ages 2 and up
ASHLEY TUCKER KISAMORE '09 earned a MA in teaching degree from James Madison University in 2010 and is currently teaching fourth grade in Ruckersville, VA. She is a founding member of Virginia's Dogwood Dance Project, and is teaching ballet, modern, and jazz classes at Brushwood's School of Dance in Gordonsville.
JESS BURGESS '07 is co-artistic director & founder of rva dance collective in Richmond, VA. Jess currently teaches advanced and intermediate modern technique classes, improvisation and choreography at The Dance Company (Mechanicsville, VA) and works at Virginia Commonwealth University for University Relations as a web account manager. She is also the Production Coordinator for Dogtown Dance Theatre
SARA CART '06 taught at Ferrum College as an adjunct dance professor and danced with Danah Bella Danceworks in Radford. She was a member of the Charleston Dance Project, and is now the co-director of the CDP, where she teaches during the week and directs company class and rehearsals.
All major programs in the School of Theatre and Dance require an audition or portfolio review: