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HC Dance Company Guidelines


Hunter College Dance Company Guidelines

The Hunter College Dance Company, established in 1963, is open to all interested students and remains grounded in the performance of student works. Our goal of maintaining a high caliber of artistic work in a humanistic and supportive environment demands a great deal of energy and commitment on the part of the dancers, choreographers, faculty and staff.

The following guidelines are designed to support the rigorous process of rehearsing, choreographing, performing, advising, and producing performances. They are intended to encourage each member of the Hunter College Dance Company—in all aspects of the process—to reach toward personal goals, experience artistic growth, and contribute to the community as a whole.

Company Participation:

All dancers, choreographers, advisers, and support staff are expected to demonstrate respectful, professional behavior throughout the process. This includes appropriate physical preparation for rehearsal and performance; promptness; silencing of cell phones during rehearsals and showings; and notifying dancers, choreographers, and advisers of changes of plan (lateness, absence, or cancellation).

Professionalism means taking responsibility for the quality of one's own work and doing one's part in creating a positive and effective work environment. 

  • In dance, it includes: punctuality, dependability, responsibility and communication - a professional dancer communicates when s/he may be five minutes late, and it rarely happens.
  • A professional dancer completes the project, participates in classes, rehearsals, showings, meetings and performances with full effort, dresses in a manner respectful to and appropriate to the situation and asks questions if uncertain what appropriate garb might be, is fully prepared -beginning each rehearsal warmed up, ready to dance and with previously learned material reviewed, and takes care of one's personal problems outside of the dance/work environment.
  • Cordial, polite and respectful behavior goes in both directions between teacher/student, rehearsal director/dancer, classmates, etc....
  • Keeping the general goals of the process and/or institution in mind.

Choreographers, dancers, and choreographic mentors are required to attend the orientation session at the beginning of each semester.  Company members must inform a faculty member if they will be absent.

All Company Members are to stay and participate in each SHOWING for the ENTIRE TIME.

Choreographer Responsibilities:

  • Choreographers must select a faculty mentor by the first showing of the semester and establish a weekly working session with them.
  • Choreographers are ultimately responsible for disseminating ALL information regarding schedules, expectations, dance company guidelines and procedures to their dancers.
  • Choreographers are responsible for the representation of their dance to the company as a whole in showings, rehearsals, and performances.
  • Choreographers must inform mentors of any changes to rehearsal schedules or other circumstances of the dance.
  • First generation choreographers MUST have a minimum of 2 dancers in their work.
  • Second generation choreographers may present duets, trios, etc…Please discuss your intentions with your mentor.
  • All dances MUST NOT exceed 7 minutes in length.
  • Choreographers must discuss technical needs/props etc, with their mentors and the Production Manager by mid/ semester.
  • NOTE: Returning Choreographers (2nd Gens) must participate in fall showings if they wish for their work to be considered for adjudication in the spring. If they wish to choreograph for only the spring, their work will be included  in the May show. It is stronlgy recommended that all 2nd generation students register for a 3CR Independent Study Course.

Faculty Mentor Responsibilities:

●  The faculty mentor must be available to meet with student choreographer at least once a week.

●  The faculty mentor serves as a support person for the entire dance. This includes the work of the choreographer (goals & process), dancers, and other collaborators in the creative process.

●  The faculty mentor is responsible for representing the dance to the faculty when discussing production circumstances. This includes communicating logistical details that may affect program order (e.g., casting, costumes and props, music, etc.) as well as fairly representing what s/he has seen of the choreographic and rehearsal process.

●  The faculty adviser is responsible for ensuring that dancers are enrolled in technique classes or approving any exceptions.

Performer Responsibilities:

●  All dancers who are performing must be enrolled in a technique class (Contemporary, Ballet, W. African, Hip-Hop) and continue attending the class throughout the semester. If attendance is not kept up, the dancer will not be permitted to join the company for the following semester.

●  Dancers CANNOT miss more than the allotted number of absence/late/observations in each class (before grades fall) or they will be removed from their dances. This includes auditing students.

●  Fall graduating seniors may not perform in the spring semester. For Rep, they must have an understudy.

●  Dancers cannot drop out of a dance after the 2nd week of October in the fall or after the end of February in the spring. Doing so makes a dancer ineligible to perform OR choreograph in any works for the following semester.

●  Dancers are permitted to perform in 5 works only including repertory pieces. New members of the company who have not completed crew hours may only perform in 2 dances. 

●  All students who audition for Repertory Projects must be enrolled in Tech 3 or have already taken Tech 3 and be available for all rehearsals scheduled for the semester (including (a) rehearsals outside normally scheduled time; and (b) rehearsals during spring semester for pieces choreographed in the fall). Guest artists will clear rehearsal schedules with the Dance Program Director at the beginning of a project and as revisions occur throughout.

●  Attendance and professional presentation of work at all scheduled showings is mandatory. [In case of an emergency, dancers must contact the choreographer who, prior to the showing, must notify faculty of the absence of a dancer. Mentors must notify the Dance Program Director if they will be absent.]

●  If there are any concerns on the part of performers for the welfare of the individuals involved in the creative process, or the creative process itself, s/he should bring them to the mentor promptly.

●  All performers are strongly encouraged to attend Company Class on performance nights.

General Company Notes

• All Cast Members are required to be at run-through on their performance nights. If they are not present, they will not be able to participate the following semester.

[In case of an academic conflict or emergency, Company Members must speak with a faculty member before the day of run-through to discuss options.]

• All Company Members are required to strike after the final performance of a concert.

[Company Members who fail to fulfill this requirement will be responsible for extra crew hours to be arranged with the Technical Director.]

• The Dance Program staff will post dates for all showings, general tech-times, dress rehearsals, performances, strikes, and Company meetings both in hard copy and on the Dance Program website at least 2 weeks in advance. Schedule changes will be announced as they occur.

Advisory Council:

A Hunter College Dance Company Advisory Council, consisting of faculty members and student representatives, will convene to address issues of responsibility as stated in these guidelines. Dancers, choreographers, and faculty must contact a member of the Review Board (Student Advisory Council member or Director of Program) to request a meeting if policies listed above have not been followed. The Advisory Council will also address: communication problems (among dancers, choreographers, faculty advisers, technical advisers, or support staff); questions concerning the existing policies; suggestions for improvement of the program or process; other issues thought pertinent for review by any member of the Hunter College Dance Company.

General Dance Program Information:

• Office hours are Monday-Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.

• Students whose lockers are inside a studio vestibule may not be able to retrieve belongings after 6 pm if studios are locked for the evening.

• Each studio is equipped with ice packs. If there are none on the shelf, please notify the office.

• Emergency phones are located in each studio. If a situation needs immediate attention, pick up the phone and give security your location. Security will respond immediately. 

General Rules for Use of the Dance Studios:

• No shoes, food, drink (other than water), or people unrelated to the choreographic process permitted in the dance studios.

• Rehearsal space must be requested via email Space will be given in the following order: (1) student choreographers (7 am-10 pm, 7 days a week); (2) students currently enrolled in a dance course (during office hours only); (3) faculty (6 pm-10 pm, M-F or 7 am-10 pm, Sat/Sun); (4) alumni (6 pm-10 pm, M-F or 7 am-10 pm, Sat/Sun). Please see “How to Request Space” form posted on the bulletin board outside the middle studio.

• After 5 pm, studio gates must be locked (and windows closed) if another choreographer is not immediately entering.

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