The main step to formally establishing any organization is to register with Yale. For undergraduate groups, this mean registering with the Yale College Dean’s Office at http://yalecollege.yale.edu/content/student-organizations, a process which will require submitting a description and a brief constitution for the organization, designating a president, treasurer, and three other signees, and establishing a bank account for the organization. (NOTE: Even if the word “Yale” is in your group’s name it cannot appear in the name of the account.) Graduate student organizations can register at http://fs3.formsite.com/yalegraduateschool/form130499866/index.html. For both undergraduate and graduate groups, all registrations must be renewed annually by the end of October.
The Alliance for Dance at Yale encompasses all registered dance groups, so please let us know if you plan on starting one. That way we can help you get access to ADAY rehearsal space, add your group’s information to this website, and generally help out.
For undergraduate groups, the two main sources of university funding are the Undergraduate Organizations Committee (UOC) and the Creative and Performing Arts Award (formerly known as the Sudler fund).
Registered organizations can go to the UOC funding page to apply for funding at any of four funding deadlines over the course of each semester. Groups may collect up to $600 a semester if they present receipts for valid expenses such as printing, costumes, office supplies, guest travel, and food. Student travel, theater rental, and guest artist payment will not be covered.
The Creative and Performing Arts Award (CPA) is designed to support free on-campus performances by undergraduates. Students apply for funding by submitting performance proposals through their residential college master’s office, whcih may provide up to $1000 to cover accepted performance costs of a dance recital (CPA funding will not pay for wages, food, travel, guest artists, or equipment). CPA Award funded shows may not charge for tickets. The application deadline for Fall 2014 is Monday, September 8 at 4 PM, while notifications of awards will be made on Monday, September 22. To learn more about funding guidelines and how to apply, go here.
Getting Rehearsal Space
All member groups of the Alliance for Dance at Yale are welcome to apply for weekly ADAY rehearsal time in 5th floor studios of the Payne Whitney Gym (D, E/F, & Main Exercise Room), the studio at 60 Sachem St., and the 3rd floor studio of the Broadway Rehearsal Lofts. Requests must be made at the beginning of the semester to the ADAY Facilities Coordinators, and time will be given based on availability and perceived need (Ex: Groups too large to rehearse in the smaller residential college studios will be given preference in the time distribution). The current schedule of ADAY rehearsals as well as rehearsal schedules for some of the college dance studios can be found on the beta version of the ADAY calendar.
A variety of other dance spaces are also available, though many of them limit access based on residential college affiliation. They are listed here, in approximate order from largest to smallest, with descriptions and information on how to access them. In order to minimize injury, use of the studios with unsprung floors is limited to only “low impact” dance groups like ballroom dance.
Branford Dance Studio–A small former squash court that has been converted into a dance studio, the Branford space is dimly lit and lacks sprung flooring and even its own power outlet for speakers. Only Branford affiliates can access the schedule and make reservations on the Branford College website.
Davenport Dance Studio–A medium sized room with mirrors on one wall, the Davenport studio doubles as a basketball court and lacks a sprung floor. The studio often functions on a first-come, first-served basis although the college website requests that individuals not utilize it as a dance space.
Morse/Stiles Dance Studio–The largest of the residential college studios, this long, rectangular space features a sprung floor, barres, a high ceiling, and mirrors on two sides. Since only reservation-holders can gain swipe access, this space may only be used after completing this form that must be dropped off to the Ezra Stiles Master’s Office. To reserve it on behalf of a group, you must be a Morse or Stiles student. Please note that groups can only reserve only up to 3 hours/week. Contact Marc Levenson, Ezra Stiles Operations Manager for questions regarding reservations.
Jonathan Edwards Dance Studio–The JE studio is small and rectangular with a sprung wooden floor, barres, and a mirror on one side. JE students and affiliates who apply may be issued a studio key through the Master’s Office. Reservations can be made on their reservation site or direct contact with the Master’s Secretary Gygi Jennings, although it often runs on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Silliman Dance Studio–A medium sized rectangular studio with mirrors on one long side, the Silliman studio has a sprung wooden floor, a built in speaker system with iPod hookup, and a high echo-y ceiling. Reservations (up to five hours a week, with no more than two hours back-to-back) are made through the Silliman dance studio coordinators, who should theoretically unlock the room at the time of the reservation (though this is often not the case). To reserve or check the reservation schedule, contact the Silliman Studio Coordinators. Only groups with at least one Silliman student may make reservations.
Trumbull Dance Studio–The Trumbull studio is a small rectangular studio equipped with mirrors, barres a sprung wooden floor, and a boombox. It can be accessed by Trumbull students who apply for a key through the Trumbull Master’s Office. Keyholders may make weekly standing reservations (up to three hours a week) through the office and write in reservation on the schedule that is posted on the door. To reserve, please fill out their Commons form here.
York Street Ballroom–A large dance space in the 220 York St. building, this room has a sprung wooden floor but no mirrors. Reservations can be made by Theater Studies majors through the department.
While these formally designated dance studios are certainly the best rehearsal space options on campus, dance groups pressed for space have been known to use nontraditional spaces like the Berkeley Multipurpose Room and the Engineering Student Center Lounge to meet their rehearsal space needs.
Putting on a Performance
Before you can put up any dance performance, there are a lot of logistical items that need to be addressed. You’ll need to book a space, make sure you meet all the theatrical guidelines, get technical help, handle ticketing and publicity, all of this on top of your normal dance rehearsals, so make you start the planning early.
Getting a Space
There are a lot of things to consider when deciding where to perform––size of stage, cost, lighting, seating, availability, etc. This page discusses the major venues, but it’s important to note that these aren’t the only options. For a complete list of on-campus performances spaces, go to http://up.yalecollege.yale.edu/performance-rehearsal-venues. The Harkness Ballroom at the Yale School of Medicine, Sudler Hall in WLH, the Saybrook Underbrook, and Dwight Hall Common Room are all of particular interest because they have been used to host dance shows in years past.
Application for the OBT, College, and Co-op Theaters is now integrated into the CPA application process. The CPA application also serves as the venue application. The CPA application, along with additional information about the CPA awards may be found here: http://creativeandperformingarts.commons.yale.edu/. Beginning in January 2014, groups not applying for a CPA award may use a centralized application for the Off Broadway, College, and Co-op Theaters. That application my be found here: http://up.yalecollege.yale.edu/performance-rehearsal-venues. For either application, students may apply in September for projects proposed in the Fall semester, or that will be produced prior to Spring Break. Students may apply in January for projects produced at any time during the Spring semester. Students may apply in April for projects produced prior to Fall Break the following year. The one exception is that all Co-op bookings are made in the Fall. After each application cycle, remaining time slots, if any, are awarded on a rolling basis.
A nice blackbox that can seat up to around 130, this theater features a sprung floor cover in black marley and is generally seen as the most desirable campus venue for a dance performance. It has extensive lighting options, a small backstage, and costs $200 to rent. For time slots in the last 3 weeks of each semester, dance groups proposing to share a week long slot are given priority over solo proposals. Theater users must set up and take down their own drapes and lights. The theater is popular, so the application process can be very competitive, particularly for time at the end of each semester. If you have questions about OBT or the OBT application process, contact Justin DeLand at Undergraduate Production.
A reasonably sized on-campus theater, Crescent has a sprung floor, backstage dressing rooms, flexible seating, and a high-quality light and sound system. Theater users are responsible for hanging their own lights and cannot use extensive sets. Crescent can seat up to 130 with a restricted stage space and seating on three sides, but seats a smaller audience if front-only seating and wider stage are desired. Productions are required to supply a refundable $200 deposit and abide by the college’s quiet hours. For more details, contact Alexa Martindale at the Morse Master’s Office.
A spacious off-campus theater on Audubon Street, this theater has professional technicians, stadium seating, and an extensive backstage. It must be booked many months in advance and is prohibitively expensive for most campus groups, as an hour of teched theater time is approximately $150, meaning that rehearsing and putting up a full-length production usually costs upwards of $2500. For information on the theater, contact the Educational Center for the Arts.
The Mainstage Theater at Co-op High School seats approximately 300 patrons, including some balcony seating. The stage has a sprung floor. The stage is 40′ deep from the proscenium to the back wall and 32′-3″ from the proscenium to the cyc, when hung. The proscenium opening is 40’wide. A standard light plot consisting of ETC equipment is installed, and LX plot and section drawings are available. The Co-op High School Theater is primarily suitable for dance but only available a few weekends each year. Applications for these slots can be emailed to Kathryn Krier at Undergraduate Production.
Which space you use will dictate to what extent you have to worry about things like lighting design and operating a sound board. At OBT or Crescent you will need to recruit a lighting designer, either an undergraduate or a student from the School of Drama–try contacting the Yale Drama Coalition, the Dramat, or leaders of other dance groups for recommendations if you don’t know anyone personally. Depending upon the complexity of your sound cues, you may also need to find a sound technician to help with your show. Your group will also be responsible for hanging and striking your own light plot, so make sure as many members of your cast as possible attend the Boot Camp workshop sessions offered by Undergraduate Production at the beginning of each semester. (UP workshop calendar here: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/up) Without proper safety training, you will be barred from hanging lights. At ECA there are professional techs who will handle all the light and sound for you unless you specify at the time of contract that you would like to bring in outside technicians
While many dance groups handle ticketing through a devoted gmail account, the Yale Drama Coalition offers free ticketing services to those who register their performances through the YDC site. This site will track your reservation numbers for you, issue waitlist spots, and help you send show reminders to ticketholders.
All student dance groups have a lot of opportunities for free online publicity. You can upload fliers to Yale Station and submit announcements to the Yale Daily News. If you’re hosting any public dance events, contact ADAY and we will post them to our website dance feed. If you want to publicize a show you can also post about your performance on the Yale Drama Coalition website. If you want to publish your own website for free on the Yale server, simply apply for on Yale Academic Commons or various other media listed on Yale ITS Website and Publishing Services page. You can get help in this process from the Yale Webmaster.
If you’re looking to post fliers around campus and don’t want to print in a computer cluster or on your own printer, there are a number of businesses where you can have the printing done. Allegra Print & Imaging (1060 Chapel St.) is a popular option because it issues 25% discount cards to registered student organizations. TYCO Printing & Copying (262 Elm St.) and Docuprint & Imaging (27 Whitney Ave.) also provide printing services. Yale Printing & Publishing Services may also be of help–not only do they do printing and copying but they can also help with graphic design work.
Still have questions? Contact us.
The Undergraduate Organizations Council of the YCC provides a multitude of information in regards to organization registration, policies, and funding.
The Yale Drama Coalition’s “Learn” page has a lot of information relevant for those trying to put on a performance.
The Undergraduate Production website has information about performance and rehearsal venues, vendors, safety regulations, and resources.