National Choreography Intensive

Regional Dance America presents the 59th National Choreography Intensive

to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for choreographers to explore the craft of choreography and for dancers to study in a variety of dance styles and with diverse choreographers.


The RDA National Choreography Intensive (NCI) is a multifaceted program, providing dancers, emerging choreographers, and seasoned choreographers the unparalleled opportunity to work, study, and create under the guidance of nationally recognized professionals in the fields of dance and music. The 59th NCI will take place at Sam Houston State University’s state-of-the-art Gaertner Performing Arts Center.


Tracing its roots back to 1961, the NCI has been guided by luminaries from the professional dance world. For dancers, daily master classes enrich training in many genres of dance while afternoon work with new choreographers provides depth and understanding for nightly performances. For choreographers, daily exploration of choreography concepts with NCI’s Directors of Choreography and Music followed by daily choreography sessions filled with dancers, space, and time enables choreographers to hone their craft and develop their choreographic voice.


Train with NCI’s world class faculty in a focused and inspired environment. Experience the 2020 National Choreography Intensive July 19 – 29 at Sam Houston State University!

2020 Session Dates

Arrival Day
July 19, 2020 — Check-in & Audition Class

The NCI officially begins with an audition/placement class at 4:00pm.

Showcase Day
July 28, 2020 — Choreography Showcase & Farewell Banquet

The final choreography showing will begin at 3:00pm and is open to everyone! Tickets are $10 per guest. Dinner follows and is an additional $30 per guest.

Departure Day
July 29, 2020

In order to accommodate everyone’s travel schedules, please arrange your departure travel in the morning or early afternoon.

RDA has as its top priority the health and well-being of all National Choreography Intensive participants and staff members. We have been actively monitoring a variety of sources for the latest updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as working with Sam Houston State University. At this time, our plans are moving forward for the NCI this summer. We will keep you apprised of updates.

Calling all Choreographers: Join us as a creator at the 2020 NCI!

RDA Dancers: Are you ready for an amazing experience?

NON-RDA Dancers: Are you eager to attend the 2020 NCI?

Dancers must be at least 13 years of age and studying dance at an intermediate to advanced level.


RDA dancers: Your membership in RDA makes you automatically eligible for the NCI! REGISTER today – deadline is June 15, 2020. Select scholarships are available at each Regional Festival, so we encourage you to attend the NCI scholarship audition class.


NON-RDA dancers: Since you are not a member of RDA, there are a few things we need to know about you. Please APPLY by March 31, 2020 to join us at this year’s NCI.

Dancer Attendee Track
Experience daily master classes, work with a new choreographer each afternoon, and perform new pieces of choreography each evening!
Learn more about being a Dancer at NCI.
  Dancer/Choreographer Attendee Track
Delve into choreography workshops and create new works in addition to participating in NCI as a dancer! Space is limited so register early to get a spot.
Learn more about being a Dancer/Choreographer at NCI.

Dress code for Dancers: Pink tights and a solid color leotard for ballet classes (females) and black tights with solid color t-shirt (males). For other dance genres and afternoon choreography sessions, black tights, leggings, or shorts are also acceptable. Socks may be permissible, left up to the discretion of the teacher or choreographer. For evening showings, choreographers may ask for a certain color of leotard, tights, or socks. Please bring options! While packing for the NCI, be sure to include ballet slippers, jazz shoes, pointe shoes, and black socks along with an assortment of colored leotards, skirts, etc.

Experience daily choreography workshops with NCI’s world-class Directors of Choreography and Music to gain choreographic skills, perspective, and crucial insights. Create new works to be presented in evening showcases with constructive feedback given in a supportive setting. Explore, create, and grow in NCI’s innovative and nurturing working environment.


APPLY to be a Choreographer at NCI by submitting the online application by the March deadline:

Regular registration: Deadline March 15, 2020 (includes a $75 non-refundable application fee)
Late registration: March 31, 2020 (includes a $100 non-refundable application fee)

Applications will be reviewed and choreographers will be notified on a rolling basis. All choreographers are chosen by the Director of Choreography.

Emerging Choreographer Track
For choreographers at least 16 years of age or older who are looking to experiment with choreography and music choices and develop their unique choreographic voice. Emerging Choreographers receive space, time, and dancers to set new pieces of choreography each day.
Learn more about being an Emerging Choreographer at NCI.
  Project Tier Choreographer Track
For more established choreographers who wish to advance their craft and refine their voice in an innovative, collaborative environment. Project Tier choreographers receive space, time, and dancers to created a single, more fully-developed work during the NCI.
Learn more about being a Project Tier Choreographer at NCI.

Notes for Choreographers: Please bring notebooks, pencils, and an iPod, iPad, or laptop for storing daily music selections. Also bring with you a storage device (USB Zip drive, SD card, or CF card) at least 8GB, for storing video footage from all showings. Please make sure your name is on your devices. We will transfer music selections to you each day for your assignments, as well as provide you with all video footage of your pieces.

At this time, we have suspended our online payment options for the NCI. We will monitor the the COVID-19 situation as it continues to evolve and hope to schedule payment activity in the months of May and June.

RDA Member Tuition Meals Housing Total
Dancer $1,000 $200 $550 $1,750
Dancer/Choreo $1,100 $200 $550 $1,850
Emerging Choreo $1,100 $200 $750 $2,050
Project Tier Choreo $1,100 $200 $750 $2,050


NON-RDA Member Tuition Meals Housing Total
Dancer $1,200 $200 $550 $1,950
Dancer/Choreo $1,300 $200 $550 $2,050
Emerging Choreo $1,300 $200 $750 $2,250
Project Tier Choreo $1,300 $200 $750 $2,250

A $50 registration fee is charged in addition to the prices listed here.


Observer Pass* $50 per day
*All RDA Directors are welcome to observe NCI classes and performers free of charge.

Additional (Optional) Fees
On the last day of NCI, the dancers and choreographers will present a choreography showing at 3:00pm. It is open to family, friends, teachers, and the public, and tickets are $10 per guest.


Immediately following the conclusion of the show, dancers and choreographers are invited to enjoy a farewell banquet. Guests are welcome at a price of $30 per guest.


We must provide a final count for dinner by the start of the NCI, so please include the number of guests who will attend the final showing and dinner on your dancer’s registration. Please inform your dancer of guests attending so we may include you.

Optional Transportation Fees

Ground transportation to and from George Bush Intercontinental Airport …………$80 ($40 one-way)


Additional Night’s Stay on July 18…………$40*


*If NCI participant cannot arrive by 2:00pm on July 19, they may fly in on July 18 and pay an additional charge of $40.00 to stay overnight on the night of the 18th before the NCI officially begins.

The daily schedule at NCI is rigorous, demanding, and wondrously innovative. Dancers challenge themselves with new technique in class and fresh choreography challenges as they build new works to perform each evening. Choreographers learn to look at their work from a different perspective, experiment, and reach for new limits. Working through the challenges each day brings, everyone grows, bonds, and excels in their own way.

*Schedules subject to change.

Dancer Sample Schedule
July 19
4:30pm – 6:30pm Audition Class
6:30pm – 7:30pm Dinner
July 20 – 27
7:30 – 8:30am Breakfast
8:30 – 9:55am Technique Class
10:00 – 11:25am Technique Class
11:30am – 12:15pm Technique Class
12:15 – 1:15pm Lunch
1:15 – 2:55pm Choreography Session 1
3:00 – 4:40pm Choreography Session 2
4:45 – 6:30pm Choreography Session 3
6:30 – 7:30pm Dinner
7:30 – 8:30pm Informal Nightly Choreography Showing in Theatre
July 28
7:30 – 8:30am Breakfast
8:30 – 9:55am Technique Class
10:00 – 11:25am Technique Class
11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch
12:30 – 2:30pm Theatre Tech Rehearsal or In-Studio Rehearsal
3:00 – 4:30pm Final Choreography Showcase in Theatre
5:00 – 7:00pm Banquet Dinner
Choreographer Sample Schedule
July 19
4:30 – 6:30pm Observe Audition Class
6:30 – 7:30pm Dinner
July 20 – 27
7:30 – 8:30am Breakfast
9:00am – 12:15pm Choreography Workshop
12:15 – 1:15pm Lunch
1:15 – 2:55pm Choreography Session 1
3:00 – 4:40pm Choreography Session 2
4:45 – 6:30pm Choreography Session 3
6:30 – 7:30pm Dinner
7:30 – 8:30pm Informal Nightly Choreography Showing in Theatre
8:45 – 9:15pm Choreography Showing Debrief
July 28
7:30 – 8:30am Breakfast
9:00 – 11:25am Final Choreography Workshop
11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch
12:30 – 2:30pm Theatre Tech Rehearsal or In-Studio Rehearsal
3:00 – 4:30pm Final Choreography Showcase in Theatre
5:00 – 7:00pm Banquet Dinner
7:30 – 8:30pm Receive All NCI Performance Video Footage

Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) was founded in 1879 and is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in the State of Texas. It is located approximately 50 minutes north of downtown Houston, in Huntsville, Texas. SHSU offers over 80 bachelor’s degree programs, more than 50 master’s degree programs, and six doctoral programs, including nationally-recognized programs in Business, Fine Arts, Education, Mathematics and Criminal Justice.

Photo: Gary Taylor Photography

Gaertner Performing Arts Center
Opened in fall 2010, the Gaertner Performing Arts Center is a showcase for artistic talent and creative works, serving the community and the region. It serves as a world-class academic facility for students in The College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication at SHSU. All of the National Choreography Intensive classes, workshops, and choreography showcases will take place in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Photo: Gary Taylor Photography

Hotel Information

Hotel information will be published shortly.


Emergency On-site Phone Number
Erika Davis (833) 732-3262



These guidelines are designed to provide an atmosphere that allows maximum benefit from the National Choreography Intensive.


  • All students are expected to be well-behaved, courteous, and honest and to abide by these rules and the Laws of the State the NCI is being held in, and federal law regarding intoxicants, narcotics and drugs. Failure to do so will result in a loss of privileges, notification to parents and/or immediate dismissal with forfeiture of all fees. In addition, if any laws are broken, the appropriate authorities will be contacted.
  • All individuals are expected to respect the direction of the directors and the chaperones of the Intensive.
  • No smoking, chewing gum or use of bad language is allowed in or near the NCI studios.
  • Students are not to touch the belongings of another student without that student’s permission.
  • Burning of candles is not permitted at any time in any room.
  • No student may leave the dormitory or the NCI studios by himself or herself and must check in with a chaperone both prior to leaving and immediately upon return.
  • Students are expected to attend all assigned classes and rehearsals.
  • Students are not to enter another student’s room without permission.
  • Students must abide by the curfew that is set.
  • Students who cause excessive difficulties or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of themselves or others will be dismissed from the program immediately with forfeiture of all fees.
  • Any student who is dismissed for misconduct and sent home shall be prohibited from attending all future NCI programs.

Additional information:
Family members and friends are welcome to visit with dancers during their daily midday break. If a dancer intends to leave campus with a family member or friend, a parent must provide written permission to Erika Davis in advance.


Observer passes may be purchased by family or friends for $50 per day to watch classes and attend meals with the NCI attendees throughout the conference.



Arrival by Plane: Please make all airline reservations into and out of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). All flights to NCI should be booked to land at IAH before 2:00pm on Sunday, July 19th. If you cannot arrive by 2:00pm on July 19, you may fly in on July 18 and pay an additional charge of $40.00 to stay overnight on the night of the 18th. NCI officially begins with an orientation and audition class at 4:00pm on Sunday, July 19th.


NOTE: If you are flying as an unaccompanied minor, you must notify RDA before you travel so we can plan for your arrival and departure.

Arrival by Car: Please arrive to the Piney Woods Hall at Sam Houston State University by mid-afternoon on July 19th to check into your room and get settled before NCI begins at 4:00pm on Sunday the 19th.

Daily Travel: RDA will provide any necessary transportation throughout the NCI.