Everything You Need to Know About Declaring a Dance Major
Thinking about declaring a dance major? We had professors discuss all the factors you should consider before submitting that major-declaration form.
Think seriously about:
General Education Requirements
"Be aware of the general education requirements at your institution, and think about consistently working on those in conjunction with your dance work. Look for courses you're excited about taking, rather than feeling like you have to get them over with."
—Annie Kloppenberg, associate professor of theater and dance at Colby College in Waterville, ME
Your Faculty Adviser
"Your advising situation is super-important to your success as a dance major. Make time to meet frequently so your adviser can get to know you and your goals."
—Tauna Hunter, dance director and associate professor of dance at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA
Self-care and Time Management as You Balance Academics and Rehearsals
"Many dance departments have an entry-level course to learn about nutrition, sleep habits, and how to manage your time at school. If your college doesn't offer such a course, seek out resources from student counseling, student health services, and the academic resource center to build the skills you need as a busy dance major." —TH
Focus Within the Major
"You should decide on your path within the major by sophomore spring, so you can successfully graduate on time. Hopefully there's an exploratory time of 18 months
to 2 years before then, when you
investigate paths available within the department." —TH
If You Want to Double-Major
"If the second major requires a lot of courses that don't overlap with dance and you declare late in the game, that can be challenging. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with declaring a second major early and starting to follow those paths. If you realize it's the wrong path for you, there's time to change." —AK
"If it's a priority for you to study abroad, talk to your adviser sooner rather than later. Look at the language requirements for the abroad programs, as well as what your home university requires. Think strategically about which courses you'll take abroad to count toward your major and/or move you toward graduation." —AK
Don't need to worry about it yet:
"The work you do in the major evolves and develops toward the thesis. Students make a lot of changes from freshman to senior year in their personal and artistic development." —TH
"It's perfectly acceptable to major in dance even if you don't think you're going to pursue it as a career. The college major serves a broader purpose: It's a framework for learning and shaping your future citizenship and engagement in the world. The more important question to ask yourself is, 'Am I going to be deeply engaged in the majority of these courses?' "
A version of this story appeared in the March 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Major Requirements."
Get in, losers. We're going to Broadway.
OK, not losers, actually—more like the bajillion die-hard fans of Tina Fey's 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, who've been wearing pink every Wednesday since a musical adaptation of the film was first teased back in 2013.
Now their world is like a cake filled with rainbows and smiles, because Mean Girls the musical, which had a trial run in Washington, DC, last fall, is set to open at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre April 8. And in a very grool twist, it turns out the show—with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw and a book by Fey herself—is delightfully dancey.
What do you get when a hoard of dancers collaborate to the catchy tune of "Love Somebody," by the band Frenship? The most epic dance party ever, of course! Said dance party was produced by the talented Michael Riccio, who's performed in feature films, including "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "Shrek Forever After."
Today in Ballet Dancers Are Actual Superheroes news:
You've no doubt heard that the fabulous Alicia Vikander is playing Lara Croft in the newest iteration of Tomb Raider, which hits movie theaters this Friday. But while her training for the high-octane action role was crazy tough, she says, studying at the Royal Swedish Ballet School was far tougher.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Are you a high school senior who's been accepted to a four-year accredited college or university program? Congrats! Within the 2017-2018 season, have you competed in events run by at least two of the organizations in the above graphic? Double congrats, because the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions, or ADCC for short, wants to give you $1,000 (!!) towards college tuition.
From dancing in music videos (including Katy Perry's "Swish Swish") to performing on reality TV shows (including "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice"), 17-year-old Amanda LaCount is already conquering the commercial scene. If you've ever seen her dance, you understand why: She's a hard-hitting phenom with major stage presence. But in an industry where not having the "right" look can jeopardize your career, Amanda's also blazed her own path by accepting her beautiful curvy body the way it is.
Amanda's never let body-shamers discourage her from going after her dreams. She hopes that by breaking the "dancers are skinny" stereotype, she'll give others the courage to highlight their own unique features rather than hiding them or changing them to fit repressive industry standards. She's even started a campaign, #breakingthestereotype, to inspire artists of all shapes, colors, and sizes to dance for themselves.
We caught up with this dancing maverick to get her advice on cultivating body confidence in a world that's obsessed with the "perfect" body.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
All the dancers in my level auditioned for a prestigious summer intensive—but I'm the only one who got in. Now everything is incredibly awkward at the studio. I'm really excited about the program, but I don't want to make my friends feel bad. What can I do?
Can't get enough of the dance party T. Swift throws herself in her "Delicate" music video? Take a look at the two making-of clips Taylor just shared on her Instagram, showing her practicing the vid's charmingly awkward choreography.