ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Teacher Training Program (TTP) is a one-year, full-time, certificate program for advanced and professional-level students interested in a career in dance education. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, the program addresses teaching approaches and methodology in the fall semester and teaching practices and applications in the spring semester. Coursework includes training in the Martha Graham Technique, ballet, contemporary, and cross training, as well as academic coursework in acting, anatomy, music, dance history, repertory, and composition. Students must commit to one year of full-time study, including participation in the Winter Intensive, which accounts for the last three weeks of the Fall Semester. International students click here for information regarding the F-1 visa process and key deadlines.
Students enter the TTP at the beginning of the Fall (September) semester and are placed in technique classes appropriate to their level after careful evaluation by the Program Directors during orientation week. They receive formal midterm and final evaluations at the middle and end of each semester, respectively.
In addition to Graham Technique, all TTP students students are required to enroll in the following classes:
- CorePower: A cross training class designed to supplement dance technique by building strength and cardiovascular endurance.
- Conditioning: A flexibility and mobility course dedicated to stretching, recovery, and overall well-being.
- Performance Workshop: Designed to provide students with performance experience, the class is primarily dedicated to an in-depth study of Martha Graham repertory, but may occasionally draw from other Martha Graham Dance Company non-Graham repertory. Students learn 1-2 works or excerpts in preparation for a formal presentation during the Fall Showing and Spring Showcases at the Martha Graham School.
- Ballet: Training focuses on individual student abilities, and classes are structured to enhance and support the study of the Martha Graham Technique.
- Contemporary: Classes build upon Graham Technique and encourage dancers to explore the connections between this classic approach and post-modern styles.
- Graham Works: An exploration of Martha Graham’s line of action in the development of her technique. Dancers experience the innovative exercises that Graham developed in her early years, and study the continuing change and growth of the language she was introducing through examining films and learning phrases from repertory that reflect her creative process.
NOTE: Graham Technique level assignment serves as the guideline for placement in other technique classes.
Students are also required to enroll in the following academic courses:
- Acting Seminar: Spring Semester. Prepares dancers to act in any given situation on stage using their bodies and voices. The course introduces Stanislavsky’s technique for script analysis, “The Personal Work of an Actor on Himself,” and progresses to using emotions and imagination to create different situations on stage. Dance use “imaginary objects” to expand their focus while working on their crafts on stage. Meets on a special three-week seminar schedule in mid-spring.
- Anatomy. Spring Semester. The foundation of the course is an exploration of the basic anatomy (structure) and kinesiology (movement) of the dancer-athlete. Students learn the basic structure of musculoskeletal tissues (bone, muscle, cartilage, etc.), their functions and interdependence, and their various roles in power, strength, movement, and stability. The class then explores the major joints of the body; their movements and the muscles that cross them to design stretches for each muscle as well as exercises to strengthen them. Classes use lecture, palpation, movement, and a live model to access auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning methods. Meets Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00pm.
- Dance History: Fall Semester. Focuses on the major themes in the life and work of Martha Graham using video and film, critical writings and reviews, and oral histories. Analysis is based upon close reading of movement and choreographic themes in the context of social and cultural developments. Meets Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm.
- Music I: Fall Semester. Introduces dancers to the principles of rhythmic accompaniment and notation with an emphasis on the applications in Martha Graham Technique classes. Students learn the fundamentals of music theory, rhythm, accents, syncopation, and notation. Meets Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00pm.
- Music II: Spring Semester. An in-depth look at the musical trends in 20th-century music through the lens of Martha Graham’s work with various composers. Students consider the socio-cultural context of different Graham masterworks while expanding the personal and professional backgrounds of the composers with whom she famously partnered. Meets Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm.
- Pedagogy I: Fall Semester. Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:30pm.
- Pedagogy II: Spring Semester. Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:30pm.
Transfer credits may be accepted for Music I, Anatomy, and Acting upon review of a college/university or comparable post-secondary professional studio school transcript, which students submit as part of the registration procedure in August, prior to the start of the Year 1 Fall Semester.
The Martha Graham School Winter Intensive is a requirement for all full-time students enrolled in the Fall Semester. TTP students are required to take three weeks of Martha Graham Technique during the Intensive.
Additionally, TTP students are required to take Repertory and Composition during the Intensive:
- Beginner/Intermediate or Advanced Repertory: Dedicated to the study of Graham’s classic choreography, the course offers students a deeper understanding of Graham’s expressive style as well as practice in valuable performance techniques.
- Beginner/Intermediate or Advanced Composition: This exploration of dance-making guides students in creating movement phrases, discovering their own artistic voice, and developing a personal ‘toolbox’ of choreographic techniques.
Transfer credits may be accepted for Composition upon review of a college/university or comparable post-secondary professional studio school transcript, which students submit as part of the registration procedure in August, prior to the start of the Year 1 Fall Semester, indicating at least three semesters of Composition or equivalent studies.
Students may additionally elect into the following courses (click here for tuition and fees):
- Intermediate or Advanced Ballet: Training focuses on individual student abilities, and classes are structured to enhance and support the study of the Martha Graham Technique.
- Intermediate or Advanced Contemporary: Classes build upon Graham Technique and encourage dancers to explore the connections between this classic approach and post-modern styles.
OUTLINE OF REQUIRED ACADEMIC COURSES
The following table outlines the required academic courses in sequence for the Teacher Training Program:
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
Winter Intensive – Repertory
Winter Intensive – Composition
HOW TO APPLY
All prospective TTP students are required to submit an online application and either an online audition or attend in-person auditions in June.
To apply, visit Admissions and Auditions and complete “Step 1: Application”. Applicants are required to submit the following:
- Completed Application Form
- Dance résumé
- Recent photograph of applicant in first arabesque on leg of choice (en relevé or flat). Applicants must include sign in photo reading “Martha Graham School Application” and the date.
- 500-word personal statement explaining desire to study at the Martha Graham School
- One letter of recommendation
Materials should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A $50 Applicant Fee is required of all applicants.
After “Step 1: Application”, proceed to “Step 2: Audition”. TTP applicants may elect to submit an online audition or register to attend the annual Program Auditions held in June.
Once “Step 1: Application” and “Step 2: Audition” are finalized, the Teacher Training Program application procedure is complete. Decisions are made on rolling admissions from January – July; prospective students are notified within two weeks of receipt of completed application.
TUITION AND AID
For information regarding program tuition and financial aid, click here.
PHOTOS: Lauriane Nabet, Maria Tofini, Virginie Mécène; Jaylan Craig; Misha Culver. By Melissa Sherwood