Choreography Intensive

Urbanity's  choreography intensive is designed for emerging and established choreographers, ages 17 & up, who want to dig into their craft and explore their artistic voice. Urbanity's Choreography Intensive is  a highly curated cohort of no more than 10 diverse artists for a week-long intensive with Urbanity Dance artists, and Boston area choreographers. Choreographers learn different approaches and perspectives in choreography, gain feedback on your own work, undergo creative challenges, and grow as an artist and dance creator. 

Students will explore questions such as:

  • What is your unique artistic voice? How do you define your current aesthetic?

  • What types of creative influences would you like to add to your tool kit?

  • What does it mean to choreograph for the community?

  • What role does sound or music have in your work?

  • What dream collaborators would you like on your team? How do you bring your dream team to fruition?

  • Your work can be your weapon. What does art and activism mean for your work?

  • What opportunities are available for you to continue developing your work? What are your next steps, next goals?

  • How do you prepare for administrative and logistic challenges?

  • How do you identify and apply for grants, residencies, and performance opportunities.

  • How will you continue to nurture your creative spirit after this program?

Students take daily choreographic composition classes and dive into their own work, using dancers from the Urbanity community, and create a piece to be showcased at the end of the program. Students are offered personalized mentorship and feedback throughout this process. In addition to developing their choreography, students gain insight into administrative skills necessary for any choreographer, including applying for funding, advocating for their work, marketing, and gathering their creative dream team. 

Another benefit for students is access of up to 10 hours of free studio space at our Urbanity Balance or UDHQ locations before, during, and/or after the program to workshop their ideas ($225-750 value, per studio size).


August 12th-16th , 2019


Urbanity Balance Studio
111 West Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118


Choreographers ages 17+ who want to define their aesthetic and take their craft to the next level. Ideal for college graduates, college students, dance educators, artists of diverse mediums, or anyone who wants to step outside their comfort zone and dive into dancemaking.

Program Tuition

$650 (may be broken into installments, need-based financial assistance available)

Sample Schedule

Choreographers Lab Schedule.jpg


Alexander Davis is a graduate of Keene State College where he received a BA in English: Writing, and a BA in Theatre and Dance: Choreography and Performance. Alex has worked, performed and presented with organizations across Boston including Ryan Landry's Gold Dust Orphans, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Children's Chorus, World Music/CRASHarts and Improv Asylum/Laugh Boston. Alex is currently a company member with Urbanity Dance, where he is also the director of the their Summer Choreographer Intensive Program. As a choreographer and fiber artist Alex has received grant and residency support from The Studios at Mass MoCA, The Boston Foundation, Urbanity Dance, and The Theatre Offensive. Alex and collaborator Joy Davis (The Davis Sisters) were recently awarded a 2018 Schoenberg (Boston) Fellowship Residency at The Yard to develop and perform a new work in September. Most recently, Alex assisted choreographer Monica Bill Barnes on Greta Gerwig's new film adaptation of Little Women, set for release in December 2019. Alex is a passionate arts administrator, a published memoirist, a college professor, an exhibited fiber artist, a sexual consent educator, and an okay comedian. @AlexanderDavisDance

Betsi Graves, founder and director of Urbanity Dance, is originally from Kansas and Orlando, Florida, and moved to Boston in 2000.  Her dance training includes studies in ballet, jazz, and modern dance under the direction of Gaymarie Tomlinson and later, performing with Southern Ballet Theatre, now Orlando Ballet.  At the age of 17, she was selected by Mia Michaels to tour across the U.S. on full scholarship with LA Undergound.  She taught ballet, modern, and jazz at Harvard University, Boston College, Regis College, and Boston Ballet (2002-2012).  Graves is an alumna of Jacob’s Pillow Choreographer’s Lab (2006), Green Street Studios Emerging Artists Program (2008), and holds a BA in English from Boston College.  She performed professionally as a modern dancer for Karen Murphy's Limón-based Falling Flight Project (2008-2010) and as a street performer for Theatre Mama and Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza (2008).  As a choreographer, Ms. Graves has garnered grant support from Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Boston and Boston Dance Alliance. Recent commissions include works for A Far Cry, UMass, Regis College, Plymouth State, Boston Ballet School, Touch Performance Art, and a diverse array of corporate/commercial clients.  In the last three years, Graves' choreography for Urbanity has been presented at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Mass MOCA, Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, and venues across New England, New York, Virginia, Texas, and Florida. She believes in the power of dance to engage and inspire individuals and community. She currently leads Dance With Parkinson's classes, training under David Leventhal (Mark Morris Dance Group). In 2012, Graves founded the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, which hosts 35 contemporary dance companies from around the world. She is honored to be a leader within Boston's rising cultural landscape, thrilled to be a part of the global community elevating this art form, and grateful to all supporters who have touched Urbanity over the years.

Guest faculty may include Boston choreographic veterans Marcus Schulkind and Lorraine Chapman, as well as improvisation and composition explorer, Jacob Regan.

Application Process

There is no live audition for the choreographer's lab, only written application with links to your choreographic work online to determine acceptance. Application should be filled out on this form and submitted with a $25 application fee. 

Deadline: Rolling admission until May 30th. 

The $25 application fee may either by submitted via PayPal by clicking on the button below, or by mailing a $25 check (payable to Urbanity Dance) and mailed to: Urbanity Dance, Attn: Choreographer's Lab 2018, 1180 Washington Street #100, Boston MA 02118. 



E-mail or call (617) 572-3727