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Dance Therapy
Is going to college for dance worth it?
By graceful94 Comments: 46, member since Fri Jan 30, 2009
On Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:46 AM

I really love ballet and All I want to do is dance. I want to focus my life on ballet in college, but my dad wants me to go to a more "educational" based college. I am torn bcause I dont want to stop dance, but I do not want to let my dad down.

9 Replies to Is going to college for dance worth it?

re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:51 AM
I actually have a friend who compromised, and majored in Education and minored in Dance. She is now married, and she and her husband run a quite successful dance studio.

There's ways to do both.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By DarkIvymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 6601, member since Mon Feb 04, 2002
On Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:01 PM
^Like T said, there's definitely a way to do both. I know people hate to hear it but, you can always dance outside of a regular job and do a local company sort of set up, take classes, etc. Just because you have a regular job doesn't mean you can't dance.

Dance jobs are somewhat limited, and not all pay that well. Plus, if you get injured or something else, it's REALLY nice to have a fall back plan.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By DancingDiva736member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3589, member since Wed Oct 17, 2007
On Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:03 PM
It really depends on what you ultimately want to do with your life. Obviously if you want to be a professional dancer, odds are it won't last forever, so you have to think about your life once your career as a dancer has ended. Will you have any other background to fall on once you can no longer do 8 pirouettes in pointe shoes? Are you interested in possibly owning your own studio? If thats something you are interested in for the long term, then you may want to think about studying something along the lines of business as well so that you have a good idea of how to run the studio. You can double major, dance and something else, or you can do a major and a minor. You can also just say "dad, this is what I have decided I want to do with my life and I would appreciate your support".

It is ultimately up to you to decide. You won't ever be a professional performer forever so you will want to have an idea of what to do with life after that, but there is nothing saying you can't decide that at a later date.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3639, member since Wed Jan 15, 2003
On Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:06 PM
Well, I think it's important to figure out what you want out of your dance career.

Do you want to teach? Do you want to perform?

If you want to teach - college is a great option. Like T said, you can have your dance classes, plus education or business management classes and be able to own a studio for yourself. If that's what you want - that's an awesome direction.

If you want to perform, I would not suggest a dance program in college. Depending on where you go, it's probably not the best direction. If you want to perform, you have to pick a pretty darn good dance program. However, on the whole, a dance degree can actually do more to hinder you at auditions (from what I've seen..). If you just want to perform, and nothing else - I'd suggest looking into dance companies that probably have better reputations and better opportunities. But, this is my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

So figure out what kind of dance career you want, and also be honest with your own abilities.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By Armwarmermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3108, member since Fri May 20, 2005
On Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:52 AM
Keep dancing for sure! That's how I felt when I graduated, except I didn't have pressure to do something more from anybody specific, I just felt like it was unfair of me to go to school for something I love (which is CRAZY!)

Do what you want to do. Just think about your future. Will you teach dance with this degree? Will you become a choreographer? If you won't do anything but dance for other people, you might not need to get a degree, you might just want to try to get into a dance company.

Ash
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Tue Jun 02, 2009 01:01 PM
How does having a degree in dance hinder someone at an audition? I can understand that it might not help someone if they are auditioning with better dancers who don't have degrees but I don't get how seeing on a piece of paper that someone has a degree in dace can be held against them.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3639, member since Wed Jan 15, 2003
On Tue Jun 02, 2009 01:10 PM
How does having a degree in dance hinder someone at an audition?


Because there's a stigma attached to going to college for dance. There are a LOT of crappy programs out there that spit out crappy self-inflated, wanna-be artistic dancers.

However, keep in mind I'm pretty biased :P. I did a semester of dance at University, and it was one of the worst things I've experienced in the dance world.

Of course, it depends on the audition that you're going for, so know your audience.
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By CorsaireCutie Comments: 194, member since Thu Aug 26, 2004
On Fri Jun 05, 2009 02:01 PM
Having a dance degree does not hinder you at an audition. The reason many professional ballet dancers don't have a degree is because the career length of a professional dancer isn't the longest one out there. Consequently, most people try auditions straight out of high school to optimize their prime dancing years. While yes, there are plenty of crappy colleges out there that offer awful dance programs, I'm pretty sure any reputable company knows the difference and would never think less of someone for having a college degree. There are many colleges out there now that do great programs with traineeships at companies even so dancers can do academics while still dancing and then if a professional opportunity comes up they take a leave and see where it can go! It all really depends on what you want to do!
re: Is going to college for dance worth it?
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18126, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Fri Jun 05, 2009 06:43 PM
From my own experience, I'd recommend having a backup plan. If you study dance exclusively (like I did) and then, say, get injured to the point where you have to stop (like I did), what next? There's teaching, sure, but most dance teachers I know have other jobs because teaching dance doesn't pay much overall. So your dad does have a point there; he's just thinking about your ability to support yourself no matter what.

So after I got sidelined, I went back to school and got my massage therapy certification. I also teach dance and have started to take classed myself again, and so I haven't given up on keeping dance in my life in one way or another. I don't regret majoring in dance and I still plan to make use of my dance training. There isn't a dance company in my area and I've been toying with the idea of starting one myself, down the road. But because there's been so much time when I either couldn't physically take class or couldn't afford to, a professional contract is out of the question for me now. If I could go back and do things over, I'd have done massage school first and college after. Then I'd have had a way to support myself through school, and a better possibility of passing an audition.

So I'd say either choose a trade and do that schooling first, or double major with something else.

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