It’s time to choose a path
By Julie Friedrich, Associate Director for College and Career Programs
Upon graduation from high school, dancers are often forced to choose between going to college and pursuing a job at the professional level. A career in dance is short and often begins at a young age, some choose to put college on hold and wait until after their career is over to begin a college education. But, in today’s world, there are many viable options for dancers wanting to become professional performers. More and more dancers are choosing to educate themselves first while still dancing, and then make the leap into the professional world after completing their BFA or BA. In the end, each dancer must choose the best path to meet their own goals and satisfy their own welfare. There are so many pros and cons to consider on this subject. Our goal is to equip students and parents with information so that they can choose the path that best suits them as an individual and embrace the opportunities that come their way.
The Pro Argument for Attending College
It is imperative to understand why a dance degree at the BFA or BA level is of great benefit. An undergraduate degree, or even a graduate degree if one so chooses, is extremely beneficial to have in today’s workforce, whether or not you choose to perform professionally. To teach in all academic and university settings; to educate, choreograph, direct, the list goes on and on, you will be required to show that you have a degree.
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but a very large majority of working artists do have a college education in their art field. In reality, it is very rare for students graduating from high school to go immediately into a company. In the ballet world this happens occasionally, and in the contemporary world this rarely ever occurs at all. I’ve seen it happen, but after over ten years of teaching, I can count those students who have successfully made that transition on one hand.Continue reading “Preprofessional Dancers… Job or College?”