How Do Dancers Choose Which College to Attend?


Quick Answer

There is no one way that dancers choose which college to attend. However, there are some criteria to consider, such as whether a particular college has a solid humanities core, including writing and technology, a steady faculty, a variety of degree types and the presence of established guest artists as visiting professors or lecturers.

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How Do Dancers Choose Which College to Attend?
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Full Answer

Writing and technology skills are central to life beyond the stage as a professional dancer or dance instructor. Writing is essential to a dancer for critical, historical or ethnographic purposes as well as applying for grants. Technical proficiency, such as knowing how to use computers and other technology to virtually promote one's work, cut music, build a website or make posters, is equally essential.

A dance program should have a solid core faculty of full dance professors and visiting guest artists who conduct master classes and intensives. For a student dancer, technique is paramount, and exposure to a revolving door of primary teachers may prove detrimental to a dancer's pre-professional development. Also, part-time and adjunct professors cannot sign off on independent study or serve as consistent mentors. The advantage of guests artists is the guidance they can provide, not to mention the networking opportunities they represent.

Students who wish to teach dance later on in a public school system, work in arts administration or start a dance business may require a degree other than a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Some conservatories only offer a BFA in dance. Attending a school that offers other options allows dance students to map out the most suitable academic career path.

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