Student Guidelines and Department Policies
Welcome to the Department of Dance
The Department of Dance has a long and proud history of
developing dancers and we are pleased that you have chosen to
become part of the legacy. We are here to help you realize your
goals and dreams. Doing so involves creating a partnership between
you and the dance faculty, staff, students and alumni.
The faculty and staff will support your academic and artistic
development. Academic achievement and artistic progress takes full
commitment from us and from you.
It is the expectation of the faculty that you share
responsibility for your development through class participation,
timely completion of assignments, artistic contribution to the
creative process and assigned roles for production along with other
requirements as stated in course syllabi. Participation in
additional opportunities when offered by the department will
greatly expand your artistic growth.
The dance field is highly competitive. In order to be
successful, you need to nurture and exploit your unique talents,
personality and your potential contribution to the art-form. It
will be your responsibility to plan, set goals, research career
opportunities and develop personal strategies that will factor into
your future. During your time in the dance department, we advise
you to take advantage of all possible opportunities that may
enhance your artistic growth and maturity.
Department Policies and Student Responsibilities
Evaluation and Self-Assessment
The Annual Student Review is an initiative planned by the dance
faculty to assist you in clarifying your goals and taking more
control for your own development. Throughout the academic year, the
faculty will carefully observe and evaluate all studio coursework
and development, including Ballet, Modern and Jazz. The first phase
of annual evaluation includes your assessment in the following
areas: Technique, Physicality, Quality, and Approach to Training.
In addition, statements regarding your short- and long-term goals
should assist you while building your future career. You will
receive department assessment documents with further detail. During
the spring semester, the faculty will meet with each student
individually to review progress including information provided in
All sophomores will also complete the Sophomore Review. This
review is designed to investigate your fulfillment of departmental
and University expectations. It is a procedure intended to help you
articulate your career plans as related to your performance within
educational study and training.
Department and Performance Expectations
The Department of Dance expects the highest standard of conduct
regarding responsible and professional behavior at all times. All
students in the dance program must view themselves as public
representatives to the community at-large, knowing that all members
are accountable for their actions and activities. The possession
and/or use of alcohol, illegal drugs and weapons are prohibited in
dance studios, dressing rooms, or locker rooms, theatre, whenever
representing Butler Ballet or Butler Chamber Dance, International
Study Programs, the Department of Dance and Butler University as a
whole. At the discretion of the dance faculty, grades may be
lowered and Butler Ballet/Butler Chamber Dance membership,
performance opportunities and standing within the department may be
terminated should such activities be discovered.
Class and Rehearsal Etiquette
The Department of Dance functions as a community working toward
a common goal. Respectful attitude, attentive and alert
participation, timely arrivals and personal responsibility toward
achievement is expected of all. Behavioral expectations include
being respectful toward all faculty, staff, and musicians; being
supportive of colleagues; keeping studios neat and clean and
conveying a professional approach to all classes and rehearsals.
The faculty expects all students to display kindness and foster the
morale of the department.
All cellular phones, iPods, and any other electronic
devices must be turned off during all dance classes and
The dance faculty carefully deliberates the casting for each
performance. The decisions are made by the faculty as a whole. Each
dancer is expected to complete their commitment to the Butler
Ballet and Butler Chamber Dance in the roles they are assigned.
Each role of every performance is equally as important as the
next. The combination of the whole builds the production. The
faculty looks forward to each dancer's artistic contribution to the
Butler Ballet and Butler Chamber Dance.
Production Week, Studio Dress Rehearsals
Butler Ballet and Butler Chamber Dance dancers are
- Dance to the best of potential in both rehearsal and
- Display artistic commitment to the role and to the
- Be a faithful interpreter of the choreography.
- Attend all rehearsals and arrive on time, be warmed up and
ready to dance.
- Adhere to the mandatory participation policies for Studio Dress
and Production Week rehearsals (see description below).
- Display the proper work attitude at all times.
- Give proper care and attention to costumes.
- Give proper attention to warming up before all rehearsals and
- Display proper backstage and dressing room etiquette at all
- Participate in required strike/load-in teams (see description
- Display proper weight control and appropriate personal
Studio Dress/Production Week:
All dancers are required to participate fully in all Studio
Dress and Production Week rehearsals. Requests for any off-campus
engagements will NOT be approved. Absences may result in
failure of the course.
A separate schedule for Studio Dress and Production week will be
posted and distributed for each Butler Ballet and Butler Chamber
The Department of Dance will provide a letter for each dancer
requesting excused absence from any academic course which may
conflict with production week schedules. It may be imperative to
attend your academic class in which case you must forward course
and conflict information to the chair of the dance department prior
to the scheduled rehearsal.
In case of an injury, illness or emergency, contact your
choreographer or the chair of the dance department as soon as
possible. Rehearsal and performance arrangements will be resolved
A requirement of Butler Ballet is participation in production
load-in and strike; this applies to all Butler Ballet performances.
Strike Teams will be established per production requirements.
Students will assist with moving props, costumes and set pieces
from Lilly Hall to Clowes Memorial Hall (CMH) or to the Schrott
Center for the Arts (SCA), installing and removing the dance floor
on stage, hanging and removing lighting equipment and scenery, and
dismantling sound equipment among other duties. As CMH and SCA are
union halls, all the above strike assignments will be supervised by
the staff at CMH and the SCA; faculty members will also be assigned
to supervise portions of the strike team activities.
Attendance will be taken at all load-in and strike events,
sign-in and out is required. Failure to participate will affect
your Butler Ballet final grade and may result in failure of the
Costume Care: When you are in costume, no
sitting, lying or resting on chairs, couches or floors, no eating
or no drinking. Each dancer is responsible for locating all costume
parts and for checking proper condition. Costumes should be hung
properly. Head dresses and hair must be secured. Shoes should be
broken in; pointe shoes must not make noise. Further costume
regulations will be established by the Butler Ballet costumer, Ms.
Posters: Prior to performance time, posters
will need to be distributed to all buildings and dorms on campus.
It is also helpful if you can put posters in your place of work if
Students are expected to attend all classes and rehearsals
Monday through Saturday. Under close supervision, special
consideration will be made regarding illness, injury and
emergencies. Because of the daily schedule of classes, absences
cannot be made up.
Students are expected to complete final exams for all
studio/practical courses to receive a final grade. Final exams in
ballet, modern and jazz are juried while courses such as pointe and
pas de deux, among others, are graded by the professor of the
course. Final exams are closed classes.
Ballet Technique Classes: Three (3) unexcused
absences will result in lowering the final grade by 1/2 letter
(.500). With each additional set of 2 absences, the final grade
will continue to be lowered by 1/2 letter. Attendance rosters will
be cross-checked by the faculty regularly. All other classes have
an attendance policy that must be strictly adhered to; check the
syllabus of each class for further information. An official note
from the attending physician or therapist must verify absences due
to injury or illness. Follow-up communication is imperative
allowing proper faculty assessment. A phone call or message does
not constitute an excused absence. Please speak directly
with your professor of the class(es) for which you did not attend
to allow for clear understanding of the status of your absence.
All Dance Classes: Each professor will
provide a copy of his or her course syllabus (either hard copy or
electronically). It is your responsibility to review each
course syllabus and note the individual attendance and grading
Ballet Technique Grades: Each faculty
member will be submitting one or two letter grades at the end of
each semester, depending on individual teaching circumstances. One
grade will reflect your work throughout the semester and the second
grade will reflect your performance of the final examination. The
first grade will be for improvement, class work, attitude in class,
etc. Only faculty members who have actually taught students in
class will submit this grade. A second grade will be given by each
ballet faculty member for achievement on the basis of performance
at the exam. This grade will be submitted by all ballet faculty.
The grades will then be averaged. Any penalty resulting from
excessive unexcused absences (as indicated above) will be assessed
at that point. The difference will constitute the final grade.
All students are evaluated daily in each studio course.
Appointments may be made with the dance faculty for further
individual evaluation. The final grade serves as an
evaluation of student progress.
Please note the following policies:
- Dance classes/rehearsals will not be dismissed early prior to
- Failure to participate in load-in and strike events will affect
your final Butler Ballet grade.
- Only graduating Seniors will be given permission to be absent
from classes/rehearsals in order to attend scheduled auditions,
however permission MUST first be requested from the department
chair and all faculty involved . Requests must be presented
no later than two weeks prior to the requested absence.
- Absence from studio dress, production week or dress rehearsals
will not be approved.
- If a student misses a performance or the above stated
rehearsals due to an audition, failure of the course may be the
Ballet Technique Classes:
- Monday and Friday
- Ladies: Black leotard and pink tights are
required. Pink tights must be worn inside the black leotard. A
sheer ballet skirt is optional. Hair must be in a bun, pulled back,
and secure at all times. Pink ballet slippers; pointe shoes at the
discretion of the professor.
- Men: Full black tights and white or black
fitted T-shirts are required. Black or white ballet shoes.
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
- Ladies: Leotards and tights, all solid color,
or unitards; all tights must be full or may be cut at the ankle;
sheer ballet skirts (if desired); hair in a bun, pulled back, and
secure at all times. Pink ballet slippers; pointe shoes at the
discretion of the professor.
- Men:Black, white or gray tights; tights may be
full, cut at the ankle or just below the knee; leotards or fitted
T-shirts, unitards, all solid colors are acceptable. Black or white
Climate Control/Physical Need Clothing
If needed due to cool temperatures or physical injury, dancers
may wear leg warmers and sweaters if fitted and giving a tidy
appearance. If other garments should be necessary, speak with the
professor teaching class.
Character skirts for women and character shoes are required for
Other Techniques and Theory Classes
All classes have dress codes; your professors will tell you what
Shorts of any kind are not acceptable attire for class or for
Butler Ballet/Butler Chamber Dance rehearsals; this includes all
warm-up classes in the theatre. Bold neon colors, multi-colored
dance wear, hats, T-shirts with writing or messages, sweatpants,
sweatshirts; leg warmers covering the feet; tights that are cut the
length of shorts; garments tied around the waist; fashion
headbands; necklaces, bracelets, watches, dangling earrings.
All of the above are NOT permitted in any class or Butler
Ballet, Butler Chamber Dance rehearsals.
NOTE: At the
discretion of the professor, a student(s) may be asked to leave
class or rehearsal due to improper attire. If so the
student(s) will receive an unexcused absence for the class or
The faculty's interest and priority is to see each student reach
the height of his or her potential. It is each student's
responsibility to fulfill their potential. The faculty expects each
student to address issues of health on a daily basis, including
nutrition, rest, time and stress management, and maintenance of
mental and physical well-being.
St. Vincent Sports Medicine has offered to send a trainer twice
a week to consult with dancers who are experiencing problems due to
injuries. Anna Owsley, MS, ATC, is our contact and will visit the
department on specified days. Ms. Owsley is a certified Pilates
instructor and has worked extensively with dancers. Specific
appointment times will be set and students will need to sign up for
an appointment time in order to be seen by Ms. Owsley.
In case of an emergency, contact a faculty member or the
department chair immediately; they will in turn contact the Butler
University Police Department (ext. 9396) and/or the Health Center
(ext. 9385) depending on the injury.
Department Health Policy
In consultation with University officials, the dance faculty
reserves the right to stop a student's participation in class,
rehearsal and/or performance due to issues regarding health or
injury. The faculty will request an evaluation, directed by
University officials, to determine the student's health or injury
status. Each case will be reviewed individually and conditions
allowing the student to return to class, rehearsal and/or
performance will be determined by the University and discussed with
JCA Performance Attendance Requirements
As an essential component of a full and varied educational
experience in the arts, undergraduate JCA majors and secondary
majors are expected to attend arts events in their discipline and
related areas throughout their tenure at Butler. For JCA students
there are three different types of event attendance
- BCR - the Butler Cultural Requirement.
All Butler students (regardless of major) are required to attend 8
cultural events prior to graduation (Eight Before you
Graduate). These events are identified by the BCR symbol and
the student must have their ID scanned upon entrance to the event
and upon exiting the event in order for these events to be
counted. These events may also count towards the event
requirement of the major.
- The JCA Indy Metro Requirement. All JCA
students entering Fall 2012 or later, are required to attend 8
Metro Indy events prior to graduation. The approved list of
events will be identified each semester. Students in the JC
110 course will receive credit for the events planned as part of
the JC 110 curriculum. The requirement is defined as 2 Art, 2
Dance, 2 Music, and 2 Theatre Indy Metro events prior to
- Departmental Event Attendance
Requirement. Each department will define the number
and distribution of required events for each year level.
For Dance majors the requirement is as follows:
- All undergraduate students must complete DA 190, DA 290, DA 390
and DA 490 ("Event Attendance"), a non-credit, P/F course,
each spring term through verified attendance at approved
performances. This non-credit course is exempt from the four-course
Pass/Fail limit. The number and distribution of performance
requirements for the dance majors are:
- New Students/Freshmen - 10 per year (BCR and Indy Metro events
will count toward the 10)
- Sophomore - 8 per year (BCR and Indy Metro events will count
toward the 8)
- Junior/Senior- 6 per year (BCR and Indy Metro events will count
toward the 6)
New Students/Freshmen dance majors and secondary dance
majors will attend 10 events; (these may include BCR and Indy Metro
events). Annual distribution includes two to three in theatre,
three to four in music and the remainder in dance, art museum
visits, art exhibitions and/or arts-related lectures. Pass/Fail
Sophomore dance majors and secondary dance majors will attend
eight (8) events per year;( these may include BCR and Indy Metro
events), two to three per discipline in theatre, music, dance, art
museum visits, art exhibitions and/or arts-related lectures.
Pass/Fail credit. Prerequisite: DA190
Junior dance majors and secondary dance majors will attend six (6)
events per year; (these may include BCR and Indy metro events), two
per discipline but not including performances in the field of
dance. The disciplines include theatre, music, art museum visits,
art exhibitions and arts-related lectures. Pass/Fail credit.
Senior dance majors and secondary dance majors will attend six (6)
performances per year, (these may include BCR and Indy metro
events) two per discipline but not including performances in the
field of dance. The disciplines include theatre, music, art museum
visits, art exhibitions and arts-related lectures. Pass/Fail
credit. Prerequisite: DA390
Dance majors will not receive credit for
performances in which they participate as performer, choreographer,
or technical crew. There are no performance attendance requirements