Dance Student Handbook

Welcome to the School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) at Simon Fraser University, and welcome to the dance area. This handbook contains practical and helpful information about the SCA and information specific to the Dance area. If you still have questions after reading this handbook, please consult with any of the full time Dance faculty or Barbara Ringham, the SCA's Undergraduate Advisor.

The SCA Dance Area provides the unique opportunity to study, create, and perform dance within a collaborative, interdisciplinary School. The program features a variety of courses that include dance technique and composition, choreography, repertory/performance, and the history and aesthetics of dance. These are enriched by other courses on improvisation, somatic approaches to body conditioning, and dance/movement analysis. Our students are challenged in their studio and lecture courses to be versatile and articulate, to interact with new technology, and to understand that the collaborative process is crucial to their development as contemporary artists. Students are also encouraged to engage with dance as an art form that is historically linked to a range of other art forms. We believe in a versatile approach to training and, to this end, offer technique courses in modern and contemporary dance and ballet. Additionally, courses in experimental anatomy and body conditioning introduce students to the fundamental principles of movement. Our studio courses complement and are enriched by a wider set of lecture courses in aesthetics, history, and critical theory offered by other areas in the School: Film, Music, Theatre Performance, Theatre Production & Design, Visual Art, and Art, Performance & Cinema Studies.

I – General Information

Dance is one of six disciplinary areas in the School for the Contemporary Arts. Each area has its own Area Coordinator. The School has a Chair and an Associate Chair, academic advisers, and staff that administer the programs from the SCA Main Office at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.  

SFU Woodward’s / SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

The School for the Contemporary Arts is located at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in the redeveloped Woodward’s complex on Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver (149 West Hastings Street).

SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts' stunning cultural facilities include various teaching studios, a multimedia centre, a sound stage, the large, flexible Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre presentation space, the "black box" style Studio T and Studio D, a multimedia presentation space in the lobby area, and the Audain Gallery.

Lecture Rooms are spread across the SFU’s three campuses: at Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver, in Burnaby at the main campus, and the campus in Surrey.

Computing Accounts and SFU Email

Students are strongly advised to set up their computing accounts as soon as possible after registration in order to access e-mail, computing labs, individual storage, and web space on the University’s computing network. External email addresses do not work with SFU computerized course lists. For more information, see SFU IT Services.  

Orientation Week

During the first week of classes, there is a general meeting of Dance students and faculty. This meeting welcomes new students, transfer students, and returning students. Faculty and guest sessional instructors are introduced and information about the dance program, upcoming dance productions, and scheduled guests is presented.

Additionally, placement classes are held during the first week for students registered in all of the contemporary technique groups. Students will be observed by all contemporary technique Dance faculty and at week’s end they will be assigned to an appropriate level.

The Dance Area Coordinator acts as the liaison between students and faculty and co-ordinates general administration within the area. This is a rotating position. All faculty – full as well as part-time – are available for tutorials and consultations throughout the semester. If a student has personal concerns, his / her / their first port of call is the course instructor. If these concerns are not resolved, then that student may approach the area co-coordinator. If the student’s concerns are still not adequately addressed, the next step is to make an appointment to see the SCA's Associate Director.

Academic Advising

Students should meet at least once a year with a SCA academic advisor to ensure that courses are taken in the appropriate sequence and that program and degree requirements are being met. First year students should contact Dean Lastoria, the SCA's New Students Advisor, at; all other students should meet with Barbara Ringham, the SCA's Undergraduate Advisor – book an appointment here: It is important that course selections are made according to student’s year of study in order to satisfy course prerequisites and to avoid scheduling difficulties. Academic advising hours are posted outside the general office. The student is advised to bring a copy of their transcript to the meeting. Please visit the SCA's Advising & Enrolment page for more information.

II – Dance Area Faculty

Henry Daniel (Professor) – MA, City University, London. PhD

Bristol Henry Daniel (Professor) MA, City University, London, UK. Ph.D., Bristol University, Bristol, UK. Henry attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in New York as a dance major student. He performed as an actor with Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop, as a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre Workshop, and was a soloist with the José Limón Dance Company of New York. He danced and choreographed at State Theatres in Freiburg, Münster and München in Germany and was Artistic Director of Henry Daniel and Dancers in Germany and the UK. He taught as a dance, theatre and performance lecturer at City University London (The Laban Centre), the University of Hull (UC Scarborough), University of Plymouth (Exmouth) and the University of Southampton (KAC Winchester). He is Artistic Director of Full Performing Bodies, a vehicle for his primary research in Dance, Performance Studies and New Technologies. Henry teaches both studio and lecture/seminar courses on the undergraduate programs in the School, the MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the MA in Comparative Media Arts.

Marla Eist (Associate Professor) – BA, American University, DC., MFA

New York University, NYU. Performer and Choreographer- Eist studied at Washington School of Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Program, and with Larry Rhodes, Maggie Black, Majorie Mussman, Cindi Green and Zvi Gotheiner, among others in NYC. She performed with DC Contemporary Dance Theatre (Washington, DC), The Green Room (New York City), Sybil Dance Company (Philadelphia). Marla was awarded a full fellowship and received her MFA in dance from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Her choreography has been presented nationally and internationally. Her teaching is heavily influenced by somatic practices, functional anatomy and injury prevention. Teaches ballet, contemporary technique, movement fundamentals, repertory, and composition. repertory, and composition.

Judith Garay (Associate Professor) – London School for Contemporary Dance

A graduate of the London School for Contemporary Dance, Professor Garay has also been a Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York. She is Artistic Director of Dancers Dancing, a Vancouver based contemporary dance repertory company. With Dancers Dancing she choreographs, commissions new works, remounts existing choreography and tours regularly. Her international career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher has taken her throughout Europe and North America. She has danced the works of numerous choreographers, choreographed more than forty dances and taught at universities, colleges, professional schools, festivals and professional companies. At SFU, she teaches contemporary dance technique, composition, and repertory and has engaged students as part of the Dance Area’s Apprentice Program to understudy with her company Dancers Dancing.

Rob Kitsos (Professor) – BA, Theatre/Dance, Bard College, MFA, University of Washington

Performing artist, choreographer, dancer, and musician, Rob has been a full time faculty member at the University of Washington (1998-2002) as well as a Senior lecturer at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (2002-2004). He has studied mime at Ecole Jacques Lacoq in Paris, been a member of over fifteen dance companies- created over 100 works and has performed in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States in dance styles from ballet and modern to hip-hop. He has composed and performed his own sound scores for choreography and experiments with digital video production and photography. He currently teaches contemporary technique, composition, dance aesthetics, interdisciplinary collaboration and repertory.

Cheryl Prophet (Senior Lecturer) – BFA York University, Canada

Cheryl is a dance educator and choreographer. She is also a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies (CMA) and Certified in the Level 1 Franklin Method. She has an extensive background in experiential anatomy, Pilates, Yoga and various somatic practices. She trained in ballet, contemporary dance and voice work in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and New York City. Formerly from Montreal, she performed and toured nationally and internationally with Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Fortier Danse Creation and Fondation Jean-Pierre Perrault. She was also active in the independent dance scene in Montreal and Vancouver as a dancer and choreographer. She teaches contemporary dance technique courses, improvisation and dance composition, interdisciplinary studio in composition and collaboration, movement fundamentals, repertory and movement analysis. She has taught extensively at various institutions including eight years in the dance department at Université du Québec a Montréal and internationally at the 2009 Guangdong International Dance Festival in China. She was an advisor and faculty member for the 2010 Vancouver-based Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International program. She has presented at numerous conferences nationally and as a consultant for media. Cheryl’s choreography has been presented nationally and internationally.

Ron Sterling (Head Accompanist)

Ron has been accompanying African, Modern, Contemporary and even Ballet dance classes for almost 30 years. He has performed across Canada and throughout North America and the world for even longer then that. In the past 15 years Ron has been teaching hand drumming and has also been facilitating corporate and community rhythm events. His life revolves around his family and exploring all things rhythmic. Life is Rhythm is Life.

Sessional Instructors

Part-time dance instructors (sessionals) vary semester to semester. Past instructors have included Megan Walker-Straight, Emmalena Fredrickson, Edmond Kilpatrick, Antonio Somera, Kim Sato, Megan Andrews, Gurpreet Sian, Delina Law, and others.

III – Program Options

To graduate with a Major (BFA or BFA Honours) or an Extended Minor degree in Dance, a student must complete all Major or Minor Dance area requirements, all Writing, Quantitative and Breadth (WQB) requirements, and meet all SFU degree requirements. Please refer to the SFU Academic Calendar for details. NOTE: Dance Majors can use other SCA area courses towards their WQB Breadth Humanities requirements.

If you have any questions about course requirements and the Major and Minor degrees in Dance, please book an advising appointment. First year students should contact Dean Lastoria, the SCA's New Students Advisor, at; all other students should meet with Barbara Ringham, the SCA's Undergraduate Advisor – book an appointment here:

National Ballet School Teacher Training Program

The SCA offers a joint degree/diploma program with the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program (TTP). This five-year program allows students to initiate their studies at either SFU or the National Ballet School (NBS). To obtain a BFA degree and a NBS Teacher Training Diploma, students must spend their first three years at SFU and then transfer to the NBS for the remaining two years. Students who transfer to SFU after three years of study at NBS and who complete two more years of training at SFU receive a Bachelor of Arts degree and an NBS Teacher Training Diploma. Students interested in pursuing this program are advised to declare their intention during the first year of study at SFU as there are specific requirements that must be adhered to. Before entering the NBS portion of the joint five-year program, students must have successfully completed the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exam or the Cecchetti Elementary Examination. Please note that these exams are not offered at SFU. Students will also be expected to audition for the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program.

Major (Honors)

An Honours Major is a more comprehensive, demanding program that is ideal for our most committed, highest achieving students. To apply for program entry, students must complete the same lower and upper division requirements as the regular Major program, and have a minimum 3.5 grade point average (GPA) in CA courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. To complete the program, 132 course units are required, including all of the regular Major courses, while maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA in upper-division CA courses. For more information, see the SFU Academic Calendar.

Master of Fine Arts Program (MFA)

The School for the Contemporary Arts offers a unique, interdisciplinary Master of Fine Arts program. It is dedicated to fostering creativity through interdisciplinary exploration, studio training, and the integration of new technologies in the fine and performing arts. The program offers advanced professional training for artists in dance, film, theatre, and visual art. Admission is highly competitive. Substantial training in at least one art discipline, evidence of an active art practice, and a clear interest in interdisciplinary experimentation and the interrelationships among the arts is expected for entry. For the MFA application, students are required to submit a portfolio of work, letters of reference, and an artist statement. Applicants may also be asked to audition. For more information, see the SCA's MFA program page.  

CA 306/406: Internship in Contemporary Arts I & II

CA 306/406 is intended for advanced students to gain hands-on learning experience with an arts organization. This can include artist run centres, film festivals, media arts or performance venues, galleries, museums, and arts publications. The student’s time in the internship should total approximately 80-120 work hours, to be carried out over the course of a semester. Projects can involve apprenticeships, research, writing, organizing events, curating exhibitions and programs, public relations, media production, archiving, and related activities. This course can be repeated for credit.

Apprenticeships through CA 306/406 can provide talented senior dance students with opportunities to work with professional choreographers in the local community. This kind of pre-professional dance experience is excellent preparation for students intending to pursue a career in performance.

Guidelines for CA 306/406

Students must be upper division, third or fourth year students, and, depending on the internship, have completed either:

  • CA 326-3 – Repertory I or 327-3 Repertory II


  • CA 425-5 – Intensive Studies in Performance

Apprenticeships may also be done for credit under the Directed Studies course number CA 400/401 (1-9). Refer to the SFU Academic Calendar for information about this course. On average, the number of credits received for a Directed Studies course is determined by the amount of time students spend in class and outside of class on assignments. For example, a 3-credit course requires approximately 9-12 hours total per week, a 4-credit course approximately 12-16 hours per week, and a 5-credit course about 15-20 hours per week. This number is multiplied by the 13-week semester. Select the appropriate Directed Studies course number according to the scope of the apprenticeship project.  

Directed Studies

Directed Studies courses are designed for the upper division student who has shown outstanding initiative as well as creative and organizational skill, who wants to undertake an independent course of study that cannot be accommodated by regular course offerings in the SCA Dance curriculum. The dance area does not accept training programs for Directed Studies courses, however.

A Directed Studies course may involve studio work (CA 400) or academic research (CA 401), and range between 1 credit and 9 credits. All Directed Studies projects must be approved before registering, both by the supervising dance faculty member, and by the Dance Area Coordinator. Because of the occasional high demand for Directed Studies projects, not all proposals can be accepted.

The following course numbers are used for Directed Studies courses:

  • CA 400 (1-9) Directed Studies (Studio)
  • CA 401 (1-9) Directed Studies (History / Theory)

Prerequisite: 60 units plus a minimum standing of completion of second year in any of the programs offered in the School for the Contemporary Arts, and prior approval.*

A Studio Directed Studies project (CA 400) is designed to be the culmination of previous study in dance composition. Students are advised to complete CA 324 (New Dance Composition) before applying for a Directed Studies project in choreography. Directed Studies projects may be presented as informal showings in the studio during the semester. The focus of Directed Studies projects is primarily the process of creation/development as opposed to the production and presentation of a public performance.

A History / Theory Directed Studies project (CA 401) may include research papers, journals, or other academic research related to dance.

Each student is in charge of writing a Directed Studies project proposal and approaching a full-time dance faculty member for their supervision 6-8 weeks BEFORE the start of the semester (April 1st for the Fall semester and November 1st for the Spring semester).

* To apply for a Directed Studies course, please see a full time faculty member for the application process.

IV – Counseling Services

SFU offers counseling for students who need support while transitioning into university life – or for any other personal challenge or difficulty. For more information about SFU's counseling services, please see: Student Services Heath & Counseling.

SFU Heath and Counseling

Vancouver Clinic
Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday (closed for lunch: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm)
Phone: 778.782.5200
Location: SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Room 300 (lower level at the base of the escalator)

Burnaby Clinic
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday
Phone: 778.782.4615
Location: SFU Burnaby, Maggie Benston Centre, Room 0101 (bottom floor)

Surrey Clinic
Hours: Counselling available by appointment.
Phone: 778.782.5200
Location: SFU Surrey, Mezzanine, Room 2534

Student Support Program

My SSP (Student Support Program) is a two year pilot initiative paid for by SFU and the SFSS that offers 24/7 immediate counseling support via phone or chat, as well as an option to make booked, ongoing counseling appointments with the same counselor. There is no cost for SFU students to access counseling support for My SSP, and it is available for all SFU undergraduate and graduate students.

If a student is interested in booking ongoing, in-person appointments with a My SSP counselor, they need to phone the My SSP main number (available through the app or they can call directly: 1.844.451.9700), and request an in-person appointment. They can also request their preferred location for in-person counseling (eg. if they live in North Van, they could request a counselor in North Van – however, the more flexible they are with location, the faster they will likely get in for an appointment). Students can also request counseling in a specific language for either the immediate support option or the ongoing counseling option. Find out more about My SSP HERE, and you can download the MY SSP app from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

V – Studio Bookings

Students registered in courses in the SCA may book additional studio time to work on projects. Here are some guidelines for using the SCA studio spaces:

  1. All bookings must be made through SCA Undergraduate Program Assistant. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  2. Students may book a space up to 2 weeks in advance and across 2 weeks at a time.
  3. Students need to be aware of the needs of other students and not overbook the spaces. For example, consider 3-5 hours of time a week. If you are in need of more time, you may be required to get faculty permission. Remember: space will be limited during production weeks.
  4. If your space is not claimed within ½ hour of your booked start time, then another student can use the space.
  5. In order to avoid confusion, please enter the time that you have booked into a day planner or organizer. It's your responsibility to track and remember your bookings.
  6. Please coordinate your schedule with the other students involved in your project or rehearsal BEFORE booking your time.
Please see the Book a Space & Get a Locker page of the SCA's site for more detailed guidelines and instructions.

Studio Maintenance and Security

It is a student’s responsibility to clean up the studio before they vacate it. Please return chairs and tables to their appropriate positions, remove or return props to storage, and remove all extraneous materials, like water bottles, paper, handouts, clothes, etc. Under no circumstances must food be taken into the studios. Clothes left in the hall or studio will be placed in the lost and found bin in the studio area. Please lock all windows and doors when you leave. For any problems regarding the studios, please contact the SCA Main Office. For after hours help, please call Security.


There is special flooring in all the studios. Some have hardwood floors or synthetic "Marley floors." Street shoes must never be worn in the studios. Floors should not be taped without consulting faculty, and chairs, tables, and other large set-ups or prop pieces should not be used on the floors without faculty permission. Under no circumstances should cleaning fluids be used on the floors: the constituent chemicals can be harmful. We cannot stress how important it is for students to act in a responsible way concerning the studio floors. The floors are extremely expensive to fix, and repairs will cause a disruption in classes and rehearsal times.

VI – Campus Resources and Services

Dance Student Union and Simon Fraser Student Society

The Dance Student Union (DSU) is made up of SCA dance students, organized through the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS). The DSU acts as the liaison between students and dance faculty and advocates on behalf of the dance students. The DSU also organizes dance classes and workshops and various extracurricular dance events, including the year-end Grad show that is organized, choreographed, and performed entirely by SCA dance students. Sign up to the e-mailing list right away and get involved! DSU positions include Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, and Class representatives. Students are encouraged to attend DSU meetings, which are held weekly or bi-weekly. Find out more at the DSU Website and follow the DSU on Facebook and Instagram.

Financial Assistance and Awards

As a student, you are eligible to apply for financial aid though a variety of financial assistance programs, including entrance or continuing scholarships, bursaries, awards, and loans. There are specific bursaries for SCA students, such as the Gloria Garett Carlton Bursary in Dance, Murray Far Award in Performing Arts, and the Adeline May Clark Award. Scholarships recognize outstanding academic achievements and bursaries are awarded based on financial need (for students who have an approved major in Dance, Theatre, or Music). Students may be nominated by dance faculty for university awards to acknowledge outstanding artistic achievement and/or contributions to the community. Government student loans are awarded based on financial need by the student’s province of residence. Emergency loans are also available from Simon Fraser University to students in short-term financial crisis.

For more information about financial assistance and awards, please see the Financial Aid and Awards site, or visit Room 3200 in the Maggie Benston Centre at SFU Burnaby (P: 604.294.8600 | E:

Other Burnaby Campus Amenities

SFU Gallery – 3004, Academic Quadrangle | P: (778) 782-4266 | E:

The Peak – 2901, Maggie Benston Centre | P: (778) 782-4560 | Contacts

Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) – 2270, Maggie Benston Centre | P: (778) 782-5843 | E:

Simon Fraser Public Interest Group (SFPIRG) – Transportation Centre 326 | P: (778) 782-4360 | E:

Women’s Centre – 3014, Transportation Centre | P: (778) 782-3670 | E:

Out on Campus – 314-N, Transportation Centre | P: (778) 782-5933 | E:

CJSF 90.1 Radio – 216, Transportation Centre | P: (778) 782-3727 | Contacts

Crisis Support & Intervention – Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) 1250 Maggie Benston Centre P: 778.782.3112 | E: | 24/7 BC Hotline: 1-800-784-2433

SFU BookstoreLocations and Contact

SFU Libraries

SFU has several library locations: the W.A.C. Bennett Library at SFU Burnaby, which is SFU's main library and has the largest collection, the Belzberg Library at Harbour Centre (part of SFU Vancouver), and the Fraser Library at SFU Surrey. The W.A.C. Bennett Library also has a Special Collections and Rare Books division and an extensive Media collection, some of which can be accessed online. The library also operates the Student Learning Commons (SLC), which provides help with academic writing, learning, and study strategies, and the Research Commons (RC), which helps all members of the University with their research activities, in particular graduate students.

Recreation and Athletics

SFU students receive free membership to Recreation services. Activate your Recreation Membership in three simple steps: check your membership eligibility, complete a Liability Waiver, and use your ID card to access facilities/services. Recreation Membership includes access to these amenities at SFU Burnaby:

For more information and for locations of services and times of operation, go HERE. SFU also offers recreation services for Vancouver and Surrey, as well.

Campus Security

SFU Safety & Risk Services provides security and first-aid assistance at all SFU facilities.


Safety & Risk Services Quicklinks

SFU Campus Safe Walk Program

The Safe Walk Program was developed by Safety & Risk Services as a free safety initiative for moving around SFU facilities at night. Either a Security Officer or a Campus Security Student Patroller will provide a Safe Walk escort. Any member of the university community who wishes to have an escort when walking across the campus at night may call 24 hours a day and request a Safe Walk at 778-782-7991 or by using any one of the direct dial telephones located at on-campus Safe Walk stations. When requesting a Safe Walk, always give the dispatcher your exact location and desired destination. After making the request for a Safe Walk, wait for the escort inside a building if possible. The escort will meet you at the specified location. You can request a Safe Walk to anywhere on SFU property. For SFU Surrey, you can also be escorted to nearby bus stops. For SFU Vancouver, Safe Walk is offered over a 2 block radius from campus buildings, to the next bus stop, or between buildings until 10:30pm. Note: Andrew Curtis, the SCA Resource Specialist at 611 Alexander, can provide a "Safe Walk taxi-voucher" from the SCA visual arts studios at 611 Alexander. Find out more about SFU's Safe Walk Program HERE.

VII – Productions

All SCA productions and events have special prices for student tickets and SFU alumni tickets: Students $7 | SFU Alumni $7 | Seniors $10 | SFU Faculty & Staff $10 | General $15. The SCA also offers a Series Membership pass, which is an excellent, cost-smart way to attend all of the major events produced and programmed by the SCA throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. The pass also includes access to select events produced and programmed by our partners SFU Woodward's. Find out more about the SCA Series Membership HERE. Please make sure to see as many productions you can across all areas of the school – it’s a valuable part of your education and a great way to be an active, engaged member of the SCA community!

Main Stage Dance Productions

Some of our repertory concert performances take place in the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. The Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre is an intimate, state-of-the-art performance venue with a flexible seating arrangement that can accommodate a variety of stage configurations. Others performances take place in the "black box" Studio T and Studio D and in the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre.  

Fall Repertory Dance Concert (CA 326/327)

This performance takes place during the Fall semester, around late November. Choreography is created by the dance faculty and guest artists and performed by students registered in the repertory courses. The event may also include performances by dance faculty and guests artists.

Student Dance Concert

This event is choreographed and performed by students, with lighting and special technical support from the SCA. The choreography for this production is selected through an adjudication process.

Repertory (CA 425)

This performance takes place during the Spring semester, around mid to late March. The choreography is created for the students registered in the FPA 425 Intensive Studies in Dance course, and may include existing repertory and/or new works created by dance faculty and guest artists, including the Iris Garland Guest Artist.

Informal Dance Shows

Two or three informal dance shows take place during the Fall and Spring semesters that feature choreography created exclusively by students. These shows are organized by dance students under the guidance of a Dance faculty member and are presented in Studio D. The work may be completed or "in process" projects. Critique is not officially given after these performances, but choreographers and performers are welcome to approach Dance faculty to receive feedback. These productions are organized through the Dance Student Union.

Other SCA Related Presentations

SCA visual art students present several exhibitions every year, including final undergraduate and graduate exhibitions at SFU Galleries' Audain Gallery. As well as having its own excellent exhibition programing, the Audain Gallery also presents exhibitions and projects in conjunction with the SCA's Audain Visual Artist in Residence program. The SCA visual arts studios at 611 Alexander is also the home of the Bartlett Space, which is an alternative venue for student presentations. 611 Alexander is also the venue for the 611 Talks series of free talks by visual artists. We highly recommend that you take advantage of these talks and exhibitions.

Black Box is the student-run theatre performance group that operates every Spring semester. Black Box has a skit format with an interdisciplinary focus, incorporating work from all SCA students. Ideas are generated at a “pitch-night” and then refined and put together in two weeks. These very popular shows run bi-weekly and are free. Black Box shows are usually presented in Studio T.

We also recommend that you take advantage of the professional performances presented regularly in Vancouver. Check the bulletin boards for posters and flyers with information – including discount rates for students. Some events to look out for are: the Vancouver International Dance Festival, 12 Minutes Max, the Dancing on the Edge Festival, the Chutzpah! Festival, and the Ballet BC season.

VIII – Dancer Health

Injuries: Ice Packs and Basic First Aid Supplies

Dance injuries are a constant concern for dancers, whether the injury is major or minor, acute or chronic. As a student of dance, it is likely that you will have a dance injury at some point. It is up to you to take care of your injuries. If your injury demands immediate medical attention, contact Security at 778.782.6649, or if necessary call 911.

Do not continue dancing. Apply ice to the injury immediately. Ice packs are available outside the 4th floor dance studios but you are also encouraged to bring your own reusable ice packs. Rest the injury and immediately put pressure on the area to reduce swelling. Wrap the injury in a tensor bandage and ice for "20 minutes on, 10 minutes off" for 24-48 hours. Elevate the injury higher than your heart, which will reduce swelling as the blood flows away from the injury, and continue to ice the injured area. Attention is also required for injuries such as shin splints and tendinitis. An anti-inflammatory medication or aspirin may be helpful to further reduce swelling. If the injury is chronic (develops and recurs over time), notify your teacher before class begins.

It is important to frequently monitor your injury and take all necessary steps and precautions in order to heal effectively. An injury can be a result of fatigue, poor technique, or stress – or a combination of all three. It is your responsibility to monitor your body as you practice and perform. A proper warm up and cool down will assist in preventing injury, so will proper technique and alignment. If the injury persists, it is recommended that you seek medical attention, and that you follow completely the care prescribed by your health care professional.

Basic Medical Insurance

As per the University's policy, it is a student’s responsibility to ensure that they are covered by BC's MSP (Medical Services Plan of British Columbia). If you qualify for premium assistance (low-income subsidies) from MSP, you will be insured for a portion of your “chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry for a combined annual limit of 10 visits each calendar year.” If you do not qualify for premium assistance, you will need to pay for these services. For more information, please see the MSP website.

Extended Medical Insurance

Dancers are at a greater risk for injury and accidents than other arts students. It is highly advisable for students to also be covered under an extended medical plan that is able to cover a portion of the cost of treatments that are often required for dance injuries (i.e. physiotherapy) as well as for any emergency medical assistance (i.e. ambulance). Many students will be covered under their parent or family plans (if under 25 years of age and enrolled in full-time studies). However, it is advisable to confirm your coverage upon enrollment in the SCA Dance Program.

There are a number of private insurance companies available for students who do not have extended medical coverage. For more information about options for Extended Medical and Dental insurance, see:         

Most banks and credit unions can also refer you to a reputable insurance company.

As each student’s circumstances are different and unique, it is important to consult with a professional insurance company when deciding the type of coverage that you should apply for. It should also be noted that there are special policies for out-of-province and out-of-country claims, including for students who have moved to BC from another province/country for their period of study.

SFU Health & Counseling and Career & Work Services

SFU Student Services offers student support for Health & Counseling and Career & Work with both online and in-person services and resources.

SFU's Health & Counseling services provides support for medical and mental health. Students can book appointments to See a Doctor and to See a Counsellor. They also offer other areas of Support, such as 'drop in' and 'referral' programs, hold Events and Workshops, and provide various online and downloadable Resources. 24/7 counselling support is also available via SFU's app-based Student Support Program (My SSP).

In-person services are available at SFU's three campuses:

Vancouver Clinic
Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday (closed for lunch: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm)
Phone: 778.782.5200
Location: SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Room 300 (lower level at the base of the escalator)

Burnaby Clinic
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday
Phone: 778.782.4615
Location: SFU Burnaby, Maggie Benston Centre, Room 0101 (bottom floor)

Surrey Clinic
Hours: Counselling available by appointment.
Phone: 778.782.5200
Location: SFU Surrey, Mezzanine, Room 2534

SFU also provides support via the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office as well as for suicide prevention, overdose prevention and response, students in distress, and other critical incidents.

In case of emergencies, call 911.  

SFU's Career & Work services can provide help with career exploration, work search strategies, resume, CV, and cover letter writing, interview tips and mock (practice) interviews, advice about LinkedIn and online presence, networking, graduate or professional school application, and more. Book an appointment at 778.782.3106 or by email at SFU's Career & Work services locations include: Room 0300 in the Maggie Benston Centre at SFU Burnaby, room 2560 at SFU Surrey, and on the Main Level of SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre behind Registrar and Info Services.

Physiotherapy and Chiropractor Services around the Lower Mainland

Dr. Robert J. Cannon (Chiropractor)
74 – 8415 Cumberland Place, Burnaby, BC
P: 604-515-8036

Anderson Performance Clinic at the Scotiabank Dance Centre
Health and conditioning programs include physiotherapy, performance psychology, IMS/neuro-functional acupuncture, and massage therapy (RMT).
Level 5 – Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street, Vancouver
Book online or call 604.828.2606 |

Lynn Valley Orthopaedic & Sports Physiotherapy Clinic
206 – 1200 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver
Book online or call 604.983.8514 |

Lougheed Station Health and Wellness
Suite I – 12435 North Rd, Coquitlam, BC
Call 604.936.4600 |

Yvon Beaudoin – Registered Massage Therapist
Suite 208 – 4603 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC
Book online or call 604.432.1448 |

Oakridge Physiotherapy Centre
6317 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Call 604.321.3251 |

IX – Grade Guidlines for the SCA

These grade scales may vary from course to course. Course-specific grade scales will be provided class by class in the first week of classes.

A+   |   4.33   |   95-100%   |   Outstanding

Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques, with a very high degree of skill and strong elements of originality and an outstanding ability to communicate. Deep levels of research and valuable contribution to critique.

A   |   4.0   |   95-100%   |   Excellent
A-   |   3.67   |   85-89%   |   Excellent

A very high level of understanding of concepts and/or techniques, with a high degree of skill and elements of originality and an ability to communicate. Strong indications of research.

B+   |   3.33   |   80-84%   |   Very Good

Strong levels of knowledge of concepts and techniques, together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course. Some indication of research.

B   |   3.0   |   75-79%   |   Good

A satisfactory level knowledge of the subject matter. A moderate degree of originality and independence of thought. A good ability to organize and analyze ideas and an ability to communicate clearly and fluently. Some indication of research.

B-   |   2.67   |   70-74%   |   Above Average
C+   |   65-69%   |   2.33   |   Above Average

Above average level of knowledge of concepts and techniques, together with some skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course. A minimum indication or research and contribution to critique.

C   |   2.0   |   60-64%   |   Satisfactory

An average grasp of the subject matter. Demonstrates general understanding of assignment. Some ability to organize and analyze ideas, and ability to communicate adequately. No indication of risk or substantial research.

C-   |   1.67   |   55-59%   |   Marginal

Below average grasp of the subject matter. Minimum ability to communicate ideas and or organize assigned material.

D   |   1.0   |   50-54%   |   Unsatisfactory

Minimum knowledge of concepts and techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course. Rudimentary knowledge of the subject matter. Some evidence that organizational and analytic skills have been developed, but with significant weaknesses in the ability to communicate. No indication of research.

F   |   0   |   >50%   |   Fail

An inadequate knowledge of the subject matter. Failure to complete the required work. Inability to organize and analyze ideas and an inability to communicate.

N   |   0   |   Incomplete

Some or all of the course work is incomplete. Instructor does not expect student to ever complete the work.

DE   |   N/A   |   Deferred

Some of the course work is not yet complete—for valid (documented) reasons (e.g.,medical). Instructor and student have determined a mutually agreeable time line for completion of work.

GN   |   N/A   |   Grade Not Available

Grades not available due to circumstances beyond instructor/TA control.

AE   |   N/A   |   Compassionate Pass

Student has done at least 50% of the coursework, and would pass the course if he/she completed the remainder, but has a compelling reason why they cannot actually complete the work (e.g., medical, family crisis/death, etc.).

X – Dance Student Union


President (could be 2 people)

Call and run weekly DSU meetings. Set up events, such as pizza party, workshops, and fundraisers. Delegate tasks to other DSU members. Work with faculty-head staff member (changes yearly) to communicate between students and staff. Manage mail list on, forwarding important notifications to students and alumni.


Attend weekly DSU meetings. Bring DSU minutes to Simon Fraser Student Sociery (SFSS) office and manage DSU’s financial account there, including trust funds (similar to savings) and core funds (disbursed each semester).


Attend weekly DSU meetings. Record minutes and send them out to all DSU members.

Forum Representative

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Attend monthly SFSS Forum meetings and report information back to DSU. Bring up any questions/concerns to the SFSS.


FCAT Representative

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Attend monthly Faculty of Communication, Arts and Technology (FCAT) meetings and report information back to DSU. Bring up any questions/concerns to FCAT.

First Aid Representative

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Monitor first aid kits in the studios and keep them stocked, along with other items, such as ice packs, foam rollers, hand sanitizers, and vinegar solution bottles. Bring students’ concerns about studio cleanliness to DSU’s attention, and work on keeping studios maximally clean.

Informal Coordinator

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Work with a faculty member (changes yearly) to set up informals (at least twice per semester) and mainstage (Spring) shows. Communicate show information to stage manager, choreographers, and performers, and address any of their questions/concerns.

Class Representatives (1st years, intermediate, advanced, grad class)

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Make announcements to class and bring any student questions/concerns to DSU’s attention.

Event Coordinator

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Organize events such as pizza parties. Book studio space for workshops and other events.

Bake Sale Coordinator

Attend weekly DSU meetings. Organize bakers and bake sale dates. Bring money to Treasurer. Run nor nominate people to run sales; bring a float. Also sell bottled water.

XI – SFU Calendar

Fall Term (September-December 2020)

September 7 – Labour Day: All classes canceled and offices closed
September 8 – SFU Welcome Day
September 9 – Classes start
October 8-9 – Convocation
October 12 – Thanksgiving Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
November 11 – Remembrance Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
December 8 – Last day of classes
December 9-20 – Exams

Spring Term (January-April 2021)

January 1 – New Year’s Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
January 4 – Welcome Day
January 5 – Classes start
February 15 – Family Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
February 16-21 – Reading Break: Classes cancelled
April 2 & 5 – Good Friday and Easter Monday: All classes cancelled and offices closed
April 12 – Last day of classes
April 14-25 – Exams

Summer Term (May-August 2021)

May 7 – Welcome Day
May 10 – Classes start for summer term
May 24 – Victoria Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
June 8-11 – Convocation
July 1 – Canada Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
August 2 – BC Day: All classes cancelled and offices closed
August 9 – Last day of classes for summer term
August 11-20 – Exam period for summer term

XII – Curriculum

The SCA offers three different Dance bachelor of fine arts (BFA) program options:

The SCA also offers an Extended Minor in Dance.

Each program option has different requirements. Follow the above links for more information or see the SFU Academic Calendar.

As most SCA Dance students pursue a BFA with a Major in Dance, the complete program requirements from the SFU Academic Calendar are presented here:

Admission Requirements

Program and course admission is contingent upon University admission. Contact Student Services for admission procedures, requirements and deadlines. Entry to all programs and to many courses is by audition, interview or application. Contact the school’s office for information on procedures and deadlines or visit our website.

Although the University operates on a trimester system, most CA courses are planned in a two term (fall and spring) sequence. Consequently, students enter in the fall term (September) and are advised to contact the school in the preceding January for program entry and requirements information.

Entry to CA 122 Contemporary Dance I is by audition/interview usually in early spring. Contact the school to make an appointment.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing

Unassigned or general elective (type 2 and 3, respectively) transfer credit awarded for courses completed at other recognized post-secondary institutions will not automatically entitle students to advanced standing in the school’s programs. Advanced standing is generally given on an individual basis as a result of an audition or interview.

About the School’s Course Offerings

Students are encouraged to take advantage of interdisciplinary offerings within the school. As many programs depend on a continuing sequence of courses completed in order, students should plan carefully to gain the maximum benefit and efficiency from their study.

Note that not all courses are offered every term and several are offered on a rotational basis, i.e. every third or fourth term. An advisor is available to help plan study programs.

Students are reminded that the school is an interdisciplinary fine and performing arts department, and are strongly advised to acquaint themselves with the many disciplinary courses that are available.

Special Topics Courses

The subject matter (and prerequisites) of special or selected topics courses vary by term.

Prior Approval Prerequisite

Where a prerequisite is or includes ‘prior approval,’ approval must be obtained before enrolling in the course. Contact the school for further information.

Program Requirements

Entry to first year Dance courses required for the major is by audition and interview. Contact the school prior to attendance at the university to request information about audition details and dates.

Students complete 120 units, as specified below.

Academic Continuance Policy

Policy: All students who successfully complete the acceptance process within the School for the Contemporary Arts are offered the status of “Major” in a specific area of study entering the first year. In order to remain a major, all students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA in CA courses of 2.67. Students that fall below the 2.67 will have a limited time to bring the average up before losing their status as a major.

Process: All SCA student GPA levels will be evaluated at the end of each academic year, normally at the end of the Spring semester. A student who falls below the required cumulative GPA in CA courses of 2.67 will be notified of their probation status as a major with a limited time to adjust their CA GPA. Students will need to meet with the Area Coordinator and Advisor and plan their academic career for either re-establishing the Major or pursuing an FCAT BA with a double minor program. If the student does not bring the cumulative GPA in CA courses to 2.67 in the allotted time, he/she will be dropped from the major. If the student is in first or second year of study within the major and falls below the required cumulative GPA in CA courses of 2.67, the student will have two semesters to bring up their average to 2.67. If the student is in third year of their major, they will have one semester to bring their average to 2.67. Students who lose their status as a major in the SCA will have the option of pursuing the extended minor as part of the double minor BA option in FCAT, or via other options in the university. In extraordinary circumstances, the area coordinator and director of the school will review academic continuance policy cases.

Lower Division Requirements

Students complete a minimum of 45 units including:

Three core courses below:

plus one additional CA history course outside their major*

and all of

and three additional units in lower division CA courses outside of dance from below

* See advisor for course options.

Upper Division Requirements

Students complete a minimum of 34 units including all of

and 14 units selected from the following**

and nine upper division CA units including one upper division history or theory course.

* May be completed more than once for credit.

** Other dance related courses may be substituted with permission of the school.

Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements

Students admitted to Simon Fraser University beginning in the fall 2006 term must meet writing, quantitative and breadth requirements as part of any degree program they may undertake. See Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements for university-wide information.

A grade of C- or better is required to earn W, Q or B credit

W – Writing Requirement

6 Units. Must include at least one upper division course, taken at SFU within the student’s major subject.

Q – Quantitative Requirement

6 Units. Q courses may be lower or upper division courses.

B – Breadth Requirement

18 Units for Designated Breadth and 6 Units for Additional Breadth.

Designated Breadth Units must be outside the student’s major subject, and may be lower or upper division courses. Including: 6 Units in Social Sciences (B-Soc), 6 Units in Humanities (B-Hum), and 6 Units in Sciences (B-Sci).

Additional Breadth Units must be from outside the student’s major subject (may or may not be B-designated courses, and will likely help fulfill individual degree program requirements). Students choosing to complete a joint major, joint honours, double major, two extended minors, an extended minor and a minor, or two minors may satisfy the breadth requirements (designated or not designated) with courses completed in either one or both program areas.

NOTE: Dance Majors can use other SCA area courses towards their WQB Breadth Humanities requirements.

Residency Requirements and Transfer Credit

  • At least half of the program's total units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.
  • At least two thirds of the program's total upper division units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.

Elective Courses

In addition to the courses listed above, students should consult an academic advisor to plan the remaining required elective courses.


If you have any questions about course requirements and the Major and Minor degrees in Dance, please book an advising appointment. First year students should contact Dean Lastoria, the SCA's New Students Advisor, at; all other students should meet with Barbara Ringham, the SCA's Undergraduate Advisor – book an appointment here: