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FSU in NYC introduces students to the professional dance world as working members of the community. FSU in NYC is structured academic, workshop/lab and internship program that gives students a chance to try out the city and realistically assess how they might fit into the field. A fully credited program, FSU in NYC is a supportive safe way to learn and study while figuring out how to negotiate the city, making it possible to face the future with confidence.

FSU in NYC is a Fall semester, mentored system of classes and events that immerse the students in the NYC dance world, enabling them to use the city as an arts’ resource, and allow them to begin serious networking for the future. Students have classes for full academic credit that include: The core course, “NYC as Arts and Resource,” for 6-credits, which includes both 3-credit scholarly seminar and a 3-credit experiential complementary event; practical 3-credit, 10-hour per week Internships; a 3-credit weekly workshop/lab with warm-up technique class, followed by a practical workshop that culminates in two dance performances; we attend a minimum of three performances per week. In addition, students independently take dance classes and workshops in dance studios of choice; we go on tours and to museums. In working at the best arts organizations in the city, connections are made that extend beyond the single semester. We excel in the quality and diversity of class experiences and opportunities to meet and talk with well-known figures in dance world, including scholars, performers, choreographers, critics, filmmakers, producers/presenters. Guest in 2015 included: Monica Bill Barnes, Bill T. Jones, Ana “Rockafella” Garcia, “Storyboard P,” Noemie LaFrance, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, Okwui Okpokwasili, Doug Elkins, Jorge “PopMster Fabel” Pabon. Joining the FSU students are New York University and University of Florida students, and, we share some classes and panel-collaborations with dance students from the New School for Social Research.

  • FSU in NYC is an important innovation in dance education, featured in National Endowment for the Arts and DanceUSA publication, Dance from the Campus to the Real World.
  • The program brings visibility and respect to SOD/FSU nationally through its internship program (more requests than students), through studio classes, and FSU students’ visibility as highly motivated and interested group who attend multiple events and interact with leaders in the field.
  • MFA and mature BFA seniors can study with studio teachers of choice, and attend choreographic workshops, as well as research at the finest libraries.
  • Internships with professional arts and producing organizations are conduits that transition students into the professional arena.

FSU Dance in NYC Brochure

FSU In NYC Application 2016



General structure:

A one-semester program, FSU in NYC is tailored to be a gateway to the dance world. Everything dovetails together – classes, experiential activities, performances, and internships – to provide meaningful information about how to analyze the workings of the “dance ecosystem” and think about how to best fit in. FSU in NYC is open to seniors and graduate students, and welcomes students from other arts disciplines and other universities. Students learn the reality of arts administration (rather than theory), working in the trenches of arts administration; they learn practical business skills and fund raising strategies how they are used by a company or in an organization. This has been especially beneficial for those who elect to remain or return to New York City. Post-graduation, 77% of program alumni remain active in the arts community, working as administrators, performers, teachers while continuing to perform and make art; 68of FSU in NYC alumni from the last four years return to the city to live and work.


Required 10-hour per week internships are program highlights. Students are placed with well-known dance organizations and companies that give hands-on, real experience and networking opportunities. Past internship placements include (see full listing here): The Joyce Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The New York Times, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dance Magazine, Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor Dance Company, New York Live Arts, Movement Research, New York Public Library/Dance Division, LaMama, Broadway Cares/Dancers Responding to AIDS, Harness Center for Dance Injuries, Urban Bush Women, Kyle Abraham.In.Motion, Kine Spirit Gyrotonics, among many others. Internships are arranged in consultation with the student and host organization.


Anchoring the program is a 6-credit course, “New York City as Arts and Resource” taught by Dr. Sommer. This seminar deals with how dance relates to the city, and, how the city becomes a partner in all the dance and art making – both historically and in the present day: 3 credits are scholarly seminars; 3 credits are experiential events (guests, tours, rehearsal visits) chosen to underscore what is learned in the classroom. Whether a dance is made or produced in NYC or any other city, the surrounding context shapes it – the neighborhood and audience, the money and the presenters, the theaters or specific sites. Learning how to analyze and understand this system is a useful survival skill in any dance environment.

Workshop/Lab and Technique Classes:

The 3-credit weekly composition lab is led by professional New York choreographers, crafted to allow students to be involved in their creative processes, to do their own production on a small budget and develop the marketing strategies for themselves. The budget and spaces reflect the reality of young artists breaking into the professional world. Two public site-specific student performances are presented each semester. Past locations have included The High Line, A.R.T. New York/South Oxford Space, Arts@Renaissance, Fraunces’ Tavern and Niagara Bar. Students have also performed in other productions in the city and whenever possible, this is encouraged.

Sample units of academic seminar, NYC as Arts & Resource (from Syllabus, 2015)

Survival as NYC Urban Dancer Seminar: “Urban” or “street” styles enjoy worldwide popularity. Quintessentially American, vital and newly legitimate, these forms are subjects of scholarly research and university dance classes. Guests Ana “Rockafella” Garcia and Storyboard P. discuss life as professional urban dancers who also work in the commercial world. “Rok,” premiere B-girl, producer of the book We B Girlz, performer, choreographer and leader in the Hip Hop scene. “Storyboard P” is an extraordinary freestyler, flow-n-dubstep, 2015 Bessies “Emerging Choreographer” Award, Apple Watch commercial, and has been written about in major publications.

Experiential: Abigail Levine, site-specific choreographer, danced/studied in Cuba, is an editor for Critical Correspondence, travels with Hemispheric Project/NYU, and performed in Marina Abromovic’s show at Museum of Modern Art. Levine will discuss performances existing at the edges of dance, theater and art installation, museum dances, and dancing in the streets, and subway durational-performance.

Current Dance AdministrationSeminar: Today’s dance company, even a pickup company, exist project-to-project and are only as strong as the administrative infrastructure. Guest Robert Dorf, arts administrator, focuses on issues of running a company and the challenges facing mid-sized, small, and start-up companies and 501 (c) 3 not-for-profits. He connects this information to internship experiences and queries students on how they might apply these to their company and work in the future. How does the administrative structure of a dance organization vary, constrain, and support its artistic activities?

Experiential: Panel and Q&A with recent FSU/SOD and FSU in NYC graduates who work in the field with imortant arts organizations, while also continuing to dance and perform. They offer practical perspectives on the scene, and how they made it successfully in the city.

Sample unit of Workshop/Composition Lab

Part I: Brief discussion on what you observed and researched about High Line as potential performace site. Based on previously explored techniques, formulate a system for site exploration, utilizing tactics that focus on architecture, topography, history, cultural systems, and traffic patterns and tourists, to pull images and meaning from its components.

Part II: Workshop warm up (movement/technique).

Part III: Go to High Line with site-specific choreographer, Abigail Levine to explore and use In-class exercises for creating site-movement; considerations in developing public works, including techniques for finding hidden meaning in a space and finding methods to amplify it physically.

Costs of FSU in NYC*

  • $3,600 plus FSU Fees (includes $400 deposit paid to CAPD by April 31st)
  • $315 one-time performance tickets fee
  • Studio classes: free to $20/class; class cards $12-$14
  • $450-$800/month rent (room shares)
  • $116 MTA Metro/buscard
  • Food – variable, dependent on your habits

*FSU undergraduates and all non-FSU students (FL residents) pay the above fees.  For FSU graduate students, regular tuition covers the cost of the coursework (check tuition costs for current in-state and out-of-state rates on fsu.edu website). If you are not a resident of Florida, out-of-state tuition may apply.


“Participating in the FSU in NYC program was one of the most valuable stepping stones in my artistic journey.…”

(Kit McDaniel, 2009)

“Any dance program that focuses exclusively on the creation and development of artistic work without exposure and immersion into the producing realities of the current field is remiss. Technique and craft alone are not enough”

(Lauren Slone, 2012)

“My internship was a direct outlet to the start of my professional and artistic career….It was the perfect platform that bridged classroom and community, with the benefit of sampling the “realness” of New York City under the safety net of the program before making the next move. I wouldn’t trade that for any textbook”

(Kit McDaniel, 2009)

“The network of FSU colleagues interning at other institutions, and the classes, provided views of alternate structural dynamics at dance companies, theaters, studios, etc. …FSU in NYC is heavily focused on developing perspectives of, and ways to, frame dance.”

(Melissa Croushorn, 2009)

“Between lecture classes and guests who are the renowned dance-makers of our time, the internships, and the freedom to take class and see shows, the FSU NYC program allowed me to discover my own cogs and wheels and how they fit into the machine of the New York City performance world.”

(Andrew Chapman, 2009)

“The FSU in NYC program was pivotal in my transition from student to professional dancer, as it is truly an insider’s guide to living and thriving artistically”

(Maggie Cloud, 2009)

“FSU in NYC has given me the confidence to have a sustainable dance career ”

(Cristina Ramos, 2013)

“I learned how to respond quicker, think faster, and be concise; I had to learn how to turn garbage into gold using what little I had AND have the moxy and the organization to keep on making art outside of school (I am happy to say I have successful). These are lessons no amount of academic training can teach you.”

(Hans Rasch, 2013)

“FSU in NYC threw me into the deep end with the big kids, which eliminated a few years and layers of “traditional” professional growth…”

(Melissa Croushorn, 2009)

“Graduating students will be able to contribute to any artistic ecosystem in the US by learning how to thrive in the largest and most complex environment as we do in FSU in NYC.”

(Lauren Slone, 2012)

“This is an incredibly useful program that deals with the realities of the dance world.”

(Hanaah Frechette, 2010)


FSU in NYC is Directed by Sally R. Sommer, Ph.D. For more information email (ssommer@fsu.edu), (sallyrsommer@gmail.com).