ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Two-Year Certificate Program (Two-Year) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, (NASD) the program is for students seeking a career in dance and provides rigorous studies at the pre-professional level. 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 two consecutive years of full-time study, including participation in the Summer Intensive between Year 1 and Year 2 of the program. International students click here for information regarding the F-1 visa process and key deadlines.

Students enter the Two-Year Certificate Program 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 Two-Year students are required to enroll in the following classes:
  • Core Power: A cross training class designed to build strength and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Conditioning: A flexibility and mobility course dedicated to stretching, recovery, and overall well-being.
  • Performance Workshop: Designed to prepare students for performance Martha Graham and, occasional other modern dance repertory. Students learn 1-2 works or excerpts in preparation for presentation during the Fall and Spring Showcases.
  • Ballet: Training focuses on individual student abilities, and is structured to enhance and support the study of the 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: Dancers experience the innovative exercises that Graham developed in her early years and study the continuing change in the language she created. Graham films and phrases from repertory support study.

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 – Year 1. 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.
  • Anatomy: Spring Semester – Year 1. 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.
  • Dance History: Fall Semester – Year 2. 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.
  • Music I: Fall Semester – Year 2. 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.
  • Music II: Spring Semester – Year 2. An in-de