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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Jun 21, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Dance - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.

Assistant Professors: Bible, Brueck Morris.

In addition to the full-time faculty, two distinguished dance educators with extensive professional experience teach classes on a part-time basis.


The Dance Program (housed administratively in the Department of Music) offers a major in the Bachelor of Arts degree. The B.A. in Dance offers students extensive training to develop and refine techniques in various idioms of dance. Students develop their abilities through a wide range of courses combining practical and theoretical skills that emphasize critical thought and independence. The department encourages collaboration across disciplines and provides opportunities to explore innovative areas in dance history, theory, dance & technology, choreography, pedagogy, anatomy and physiology, and production.  We highlight performance opportunities with world renowned guest-artists, maintain currency in the dance community at large, and graduate informed members of the dance community. Class sizes are small and offer each student individual attention from dance faculty.

Career Opportunities 

Dance provides many career opportunities from performing in a major professional dance company to becoming a choreographer, from teaching privately or in a college setting, to performing in musical theater on Broadway; from music videos to film. Dance also provides career opportunities as a dance historian, librarian, dance critic, or in physical fitness, dance therapy, and kinesiology.


Participation in the dance program is by audition only. An audition schedule and application form can be found at When considerable geographical distance prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the program, submit a VHS videocassette containing ballet center classroom work and one variation with a photo in first arabesque, a head shot, and a resume. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of individual talent and potential, and are renewable annually if performance and academic standards are maintained. Auditions will consist of a ballet technique class, a modern or jazz technique class, and an interview with the director.

Scholarship Opportunities

In addition to a generous array of academic scholarships and awards based on financial need, the Department of Music annually awards nearly $260,000 in talent scholarships to students in music and dance who show exceptional talent as performers and composers. Department of Music scholarships are awarded on the basis of achievement and potential in music and dance performance (by audition) and composition (portfolio).

For more information on dance scholarships, prospective students are invited to contact Assistant Professor Shawn Bible at (616) 331-3487, or by email at

Ada Council for the Arts Rebecca Vogelsang Memorial Scholarship
The Rebecca Vogelsang Scholarship is awarded to one entering Freshman Dance Major at Grand Valley State University. The Ada Arts Council sponsors the Rebecca Vogelsang Scholarship in honor of Rebecca Vogelsang. One of the passions Rebecca shared with her friends, family, and community, was her love for dance. In remembrance of Rebecca, this scholarship supports the continued education in dance for one student per year. Rebecca, a dancer herself, understood the imperative nature of keeping dance active in your career as a student.

  1. Be a prospective first year entering freshman at Grand Valley State University.
  2. Be a resident of the State of Michigan.
  3. Candidates must be accepted by Grand Valley State University for enrollment and recipients must be of full-time status seeking a degree in Dance, or one of the many visual arts program offered through Art and Design.
  4. Although not a requirement, preference shall be given to candidates who are residents of Ada Township, Cascade Township, Grand Rapids Township or Vergennes Township.

Demonstration of financial need is not required, although should the top candidates have equal academic qualifications, financial need may be considered the deciding factor. Candidates who wish financial need to be considered must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Scholarship Funding
This scholarship will be funded annually. The first award for academic year 2008-2009, which shall be divided evenly as specified herein will be $1,000.00. In subsequent years award amounts may vary. If, in the future, an endowed fund at GVSU is established, beginning one year after the endowment reaches the required threshold for activation; a portion of the endowment will be used for awards each subsequent year if qualified candidates apply. The award portion will be distributed as determined by the endowment spending policy established by the University. Remaining income or growth of the fund will be reinvested in the principal to hedge against inflation and to meet future scholarship needs.
Scholarship Specifications

  1. Scholarships will be awarded annually provided there are candidates that meet the criteria. A minimum of two scholarships will be awarded annually for one student in each of the two academic areas: 1) Dance, and 2) Art and Design.
  2. Award amounts and numbers will be determined by annual gifts received or, should this scholarship become endowed, the University’s endowment spend-rate in effect from year to year.
  3. Scholarship awards are not renewable.

Application Procedure
Candidates for this scholarship must complete an application available from the Grand Valley State University Dance Department, or Art and Design Departments. Included as part of the application, the candidates must demonstrate their experience and participation in the arts. For example, Art and Design candidates would present a portfolio of work, outline art camps, classes, exhibitions or awards. Candidates for Dance scholarship would list their experience in performance, classes, and any awards. For either Art and Design or Dance Scholarships, participation in events that are open to public audiences shall be considered. All of these activities demonstrate passion and background for the candidate’s chosen area of study.
The recipients will be chosen by the Dance Department, and the Art and Design Department in collaboration with the Financial Aid Office of Grand Valley State University.
Recipients will be recognized at the annual Scholarship Celebration Dinner. Initiating donors will be honored at the annual scholarship recognition events.

  1. Upon accepting the award, each recipient is encouraged to acknowledge his/her appreciation of the scholarship by communicating with president of the Ada Arts Council, their designate or appointed contact person for the scholarship.
  2. In accepting the award, each recipient, acknowledging the generosity of the donor, is encouraged to make contributions to this scholarship if he/she is financially able after graduation. This commitment will remain in effect during the lifetime of the recipient(s).

Shawn T Bible – Assistant Professor of Dance,
Due Date:
Application for Scholarship must be submitted by March 31st of the year prior to entering Grand Valley State University as a Dance Major.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts in Dance 

Dance Minor