David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences

Internships and Experiential Learning


Our students regularly receive experiential learning opportunities through working with guest artists, traveling to showcase their work and take classes at national conferences like the American College Dance Association Conference (ACDA) and the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), and through summer internships. Read more below.


Madison Bryan – American Dance Festival

Madison Bryan interned with the American Dance Festival as an Arts Administrative Assistant in the fall of 2015. Her responsibilities included managing and updating the database, sending targeted mailings to top dance programs, and creating orientation packets for students attending the Winter Intensive Program.

How did you get this internship?
“At ACDA in the spring of my senior year (2015), the conference held an ADF scholarship audition. If I hadn’t gone to ACDA that spring I may not have ever heard of ADF, enrolled in the 6 week summer intensive, or interned there in the fall.”
Any advice to students on how to go about getting an internship like yours?
“Don’t be afraid to ask for it! When I was a student at ADF in the summer I asked the Director of Arts Administration about her job and Arts Administration in general. I asked if she was looking for an intern and she was, so I applied and got it. Another piece of advice is to ask your professors for help. They will certainly help guide you in the right direction.”

Danielle Criss – Urban Bush Women

Danielle Criss interned with Urban Bush Women in New York City as an archival intern after graduating in 2016.  She learned the behind the scenes operations of running an organization with over 30 years of dance legacy and the importance of documenting and archiving artist’s work for future use.

How did you get this internship?
“After participating in their Summer Dance Intensives I maintained a relationship with the organization and was able to continue working with them after I graduated and moved to NYC.”
Any advice to students on how to go about getting an internship like yours?
“Know exactly what you’re going after, and go get it. Seek mentors or organizations that highlight your values and core goals. If you have the opportunity to plant that seed with them early, do so! Organizations seek to work with individuals they know of or know that they correspond with their values. DO YOUR OWN PERSONAL RESEARCH. There are so many things out there that everyone doesn’t know about. So go find them. I wouldn’t be a New York City performing artist if I didn’t foster a relationship early with the company. If you want something, YOU HAVE TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION TO GET IT, NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THAT FOR YOU!”

Student Choreography Opportunities

Watch the videos below to learn more about three of our student choreographers for the 2017 Spring Dance Concert!


American College Dance Association Conference (ACDA)

High Point University students have the opportunity to attend this conference each spring. Students perform their choreography and present their research, take classes with professors, artists, and various professional dancers from around the country, and connect with other universities in the dance community.


Performing “Summer Nocturnes” choreographed by student Nicole Drinkwater, 2017.

Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)

Theatre and dance students have the opportunity to attend this conference each spring. Each year, the Southeastern Theatre Conference invites theatre lovers of all kinds — actors, singers, dancers, designers, technicians, stage managers, directors, playwrights, teachers, students, professionals, academicians, etc. — to gather together in celebration of the art of theatre. The SETC Convention brings over 4,000 members of our theatre community together for three and a half days of workshops, keynotes, performance festivals, auditions, college recruiting, job interviews, and more. There are classes, workshops, and coaching sessions in a wide variety of topics such as musical theatre coaching with current broadway stars, learning about arts management careers, how to launch a film/tv career, and preparing for dance auditions.


Guest Artists

Lindsay Shepherd

Same Shirt, Different Day was originally set on seven High Point University students over a five day period. The work explores the contrast between social conformity and one’s expression of individuality. The work expresses the power of vulnerability and human interaction, playing with the idea of a future society where people had no sense of connection to one another; where people had lost their awareness of themselves in relation to the world around them and lived in a society of monotony and uniformity. The work was also inspired by the music and how the addition of tap as a percussion element would blend with the strings and wind instruments.



Lindsay Shepherd is originally from Fairfax, VA. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2003 with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance, concentration in Jazz. Since then she has continued her professional dance career with Joel Hall Dancers II jazz company, Holland America Cruise Lines, Winifred Haun & Dancers modern company, the Cartier Collective (formerly Especially Tap Chicago), and is currently an ensemble member of Be The Groove, a rhythmic performance ensemble. Her choreography has been showcased in Dance Chicago’s “Best of New Dances”, and was the American College Dance Festival Association National Gala winner in 2003. She recently choreographed a new percussive dance work on Be The Groove, and was commissioned by Chicago tap dance collective Audible Odyssey as a featured artist for their 2015 choreographer showcase. Lindsay enjoys fusing her jazz and modern dance background with tap dance and body percussion.

Sayward Grindley

Variance was set over five rehearsals with guest artist Sayward Grindley. The piece is a collaboration between the choreographer and the dancers. What began with a name game to get to know each other and creating gestures from each of their names, turned into movement phrases and variations which evolved and built upon each other to create the work. Just as in life, every small decision affected what was created and what happened next. The movement went through many changes during the process, and the dancers did as well. They were changed by the process and changed by each other, and each one played a significant role in the overall creation.



Sayward Grindley is a dance educator, teaching artist, arts administrator and choreographer with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography from Jacksonville University – White Oak, where she studied under world renowned artists such as Alonzo King, Michael Klien, Mario Zambrano, Ana Sanchez-Colberg, and Juri Nael. Sayward holds a Dual BFA in Dance Performance and Dance Education from East Carolina University, where she also received the Mavis Ray Ballet scholarship and graduated with the Rosalind Roulston Award for Outstanding Achievements and Contributions to the School of Theatre and Dance. She has been a rehearsal director for Rodger Belman. She is also currently an Adjunct Dance Faculty Member teaching ballet at Meredith College and was previously on faculty at Appalachian State University for four years, teaching ballet, modern dance, and lecture courses. She is very passionate about creating engaging, educational and meaningful community dance opportunities.

Shannon Bramham

Damages was set by guest artist Shannon Bramham over a four day period in November of 2014 on High Point University students Rachel Abel, Madison Bryan, Zoey Chittick, Danielle Criss, Ashton Kirby, and Peyton Senning. They were selected to present this dance at the American College Dance Association Conference in March of 2015. The work deals with themes surrounding isolationism and conformity.






Shannon Bramham is currently performing and teaching around the world with Koresh Dance Company, which she has been a member of since 2008. She is a 2007 graduate from East Carolina University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Throughout her career she has performed works by Ronen Koresh, Ohad Naharin, Paul Selwyn Norton, Melissa Rector, Rodger Belman, and Nick Pupillo. She has also had the opportunity to teach and choreograph which are both huge passions of hers. Her work has been showcased at The International Ballet Competition, Regional Dance America, Wright State University, High Point University, and We Are Artists.

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