Cunningham Technique® Teacher Training Program

July 22-August 2, 2024


Workshop Description

Our Teacher Training Program is a two-week intensive workshop designed to ready participants to become educators of Cunningham Technique. The workshop daily sessions are taught by former Merce Cunningham Dance Company members as well as other master teachers of the Technique. This program is designed for small cohorts of no more than ten individuals to create an intimate environment and a personalized experience, focused on in-depth discussion and teaching practice.

The workshop comprises a complete review and analysis of each Technique class exercise, and other relevant and related classes such as Cunningham Technique Basic Principles, Modifying Classes for Different Student Levels, Placement and Body Awareness, Communication Tools when Working with a Live Accompanist, A Basic History of Cunningham’s Choreographic Work and Using Repertory as Inspiration for Class Material.

Several days of the program will include participation in the Merce Cunningham Trust’s regularly scheduled open classes, followed by group discussions reflecting on the class from the lens of both a student and an educator. During the last week, individuals have the opportunity to practice teaching a 45-minute warm-up class to their peers using the skills that they have gained in the prior week. The final component of the course will involve each participant teaching a full 90-minute class to a group of students in front of a small panel of Cunningham Technique teachers. This class will be arranged at a later date, either in place of one of the Trust’s regularly scheduled classes, or it may be recorded and sent to the panel digitally for review.

A Teacher Training Committee consisting of three former company members and educators will review each application and accept participants based on the outlined qualifications and available openings in the program. 

 Upon completion of this workshop and after the final 90-minute class has been submitted and approved, the Merce Cunningham Trust will recognize individuals as authorized teachers of Cunningham Technique. In the event that the review panel feels that a participant is not prepared for authorization, the Program Director will work directly with the individual to give additional support and resources and a second opportunity to teach a class will be offered. Our goal is to authorize each and every applicant. 

 The Merce Cunningham Trust is committed to a diverse and inclusive community and encourages applicants from all backgrounds to apply.


 Application Requirements

Strong applicants must meet several of the following criteria:

• Prior training in Cunningham Technique at a major university or institution with a former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member or other master teacher of the technique

• Minimum of 100 documented classes taken with the Merce Cunningham Trust or Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation

• Participation in multiple MCT Fellowship workshops

• Receipt of a Stipend Award(s) for participation in MCT Fellowship workshops

• Performing in one or more Trust Educational Licensing projects

• Performing in one or more Trust Professional Licensing projects

• Participant in a short-format Teacher Training program offered at Westbeth under the Cunningham Dance Foundation

• Current teacher of a Cunningham-based Technique at an educational or professional institution

• Current teacher of Cunningham Technique interested in refreshing and honing your skills as part of professional development


The Teacher Training Application form requires the following:

• Narrative biography (200-300 words)

• Statement of Interest (300-400 words)

• A viewable link to a headshot and dance photo

• One Letter of Recommendation

• Sample Teaching video if currently teaching a Cunningham-based Technique submitted as a viewable link on Vimeo or YouTube (not as a downloadable file).


The hours for this workshop are typically Mon-Fri 9:30AM- 4PM.

A detailed description of the curriculum and workshop activities is available here.

To fill out the Teacher Training Program application, click on this link.

The cost of this program is $1200. A limited number of positions will be available with a reduced tuition rate. Requests can be made on the program application form.