DCA: Gallatin’s Dance Club for Everyone

Looking to join a dance club that puts more emphasis on process, collaboration, and experimentation rather than individual dance experience and style? Then, read ahead!

With over 400 student clubs, choosing a club to be part of can be tough. Especially as a first year student where you just want to try everything. Events like Club Fest at the beginning of each semester makes navigating club life much easier. NYUEngage, a platform that maintains a directory of all (yes, ALL!) university clubs, does that too. Yet even with all this, finding your club or niche remains overwhelming and tedious. But, I am here to make it simple and inspire you with my absolute favorite club: the Dancers/Choreographers Alliance, also known as DCA. 

Having danced before coming to college, I knew I wanted to continue it with my studies somehow. Competitive dance clubs were a little much for me in terms of time commitment and my own inexperience. Other dance clubs were too limiting in dance style. I needed something in between where dance level and style didn’t matter and I was free to explore. So, I found DCA in Spring 2019, fell in love with it and have been there ever since. Now, I want you to fall in love with one of the most unique dance clubs at NYU.

University-wide vs. school-specific clubs

Before I start, I want to highlight the difference between all-university clubs and school clubs, as it will make it easier to understand how DCA operates. 

All-University clubs are your traditional student life club, which the University officially sponsors. Club leaders, memberships, and budgets are all managed under it through NYUEngage. And, funding comes from the University. Club Fest, which takes place at the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester, is a great way to explore clubs across the University.

School clubs are student organizations that are affiliated with a particular school and whose principle mission relates to the students of that school. Their funding comes from the school or college. Their advisor comes from the school or college too. And, the school or college governs them. School-specific club fests take place separately to not conflict with the bigger Club Fest. 

DCA is a school club hosted in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. The purpose relates to Gallatin in that there is an emphasis on experimental and interdisciplinary works. Hence, funding comes from Gallatin. And, DCA boasts their own Faculty Advisor providing guidance to choreographers wanting to flesh out their ideas. In general, closer relationship with club life leaders entail a quick solution to problems. In contrast, traditional student clubs make it harder to foster personal relationships with the staff or get answers in time. Just because there are more of them. 

For your information, NO, you do not need to be a student of the specific school to join the club. It is just hosted in it remaining open to everyone. I am in Stern and still a member of this Gallatin club. You can be in CAS and be a member of a Stern club. Opportunities are limitless. You can find more Gallatin clubs here. And more school specific clubs here.

So, what is DCA?

The Dancers/Choreographers Alliance (DCA) is an interdisciplinary-minded, student-organized dance company within Gallatin. Which offers the opportunity to dance and choreograph for members in Gallatin and throughout the NYU community. Students come together and create dance works for their biannual showcases in December and May. Three words define the community: process, artistry, and community. In fact, if you want to be part of the club, you will have to internalize this motto.

DCA offers all students the opportunity to dance regardless of their background, technical level, and experience. Additionally, DCA provides student choreographers with the opportunity to create their work with fellow student dancers. They give them the space to experiment with the choreographic process, create without judgment, and explore their passions through movement. Overall, DCA provides a welcoming environment for students to explore and deepen their creative side without any risk. Isn’t that amazing?

DCA Fall '19 Photoshoot. Dancers in front oof statue at Battery Park.

What members have to say

“I joined DCA as a freshman and it was the best experience I made throughout my time at NYU. DCA gave me an artistic community, a creative outlet, and a dance home – something that I was really worried I would never find again after high school. Being a leader in DCA has taught me so much, but most importantly that you never should have to wait for the “right” opportunity to experiment creatively – when you’re in DCA any moment and setting could be the one that sparks an entire performance” – Sylvia, Gallatin ’21 (DCA Co-President 2019-21)

“DCA was one of the first communities that I joined during my freshman year at NYU, and it truly introduced me to some of the closest friends that I have. The community allowed me and encouraged me to be free and flexible with my movement and choreography. I’ve choreographed two pieces so far and I hope to choreograph more during my senior year!” – Avital, Gallatin ’22 (Co-President 2021-22)

“DCA helped me find a really awesome community at NYU! I love it because at DCA we really encourage creativity and individuality in dance, any kind of movement you want to explore, you can try it here. Being part of the company and e-board helped me stay connected to dance and meet amazing people!” – Aleah, Gallatin ’23 (Multimedia Chair 2020-21)

Obviously, there are many dance clubs at NYU each with their own quirks that make them unique. If you are looking to dance at NYU, you are bound to find a dance club that fits you given the options. DCA fit me because I wanted to explore what it was like to choreograph and collaborate with people willing to experiment. Consequently, I have choreographed four pieces already! And am well on my way to do more. The community aspect has also been the absolute best. Events such as a potluck or an outing to a dance show allow members to get to know each other better. Truly, I don’t where I would be if it weren’t for this club. 

It has been the perfect way to complement my business education and venture into my creative side. I leave you with a general parting piece of advice as an incoming freshman: be ready to experiment and test out all that interests you. NYU makes it super easy, so what’s stopping you?