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When it comes to college, you've got countless options. University or conservatory? BA or BFA? East Coast or West? But there's one potentially game-changing option you probably haven't considered yet: U.S. or international?

The perks of going global are hard to ignore. For one, international programs are often significantly cheaper than domestic ones. "The tuition for schools in Europe tends to be less than half that of U.S. programs," says Nicola Conraths Lange, director of comparative arts and a dance faculty member at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. What's more, many programs offer a BA, a BFA, or an approximate equivalent in three years rather than four, which not only cuts tuition costs but also gets you into the professional dance world one year sooner.

And international programs will expose you to entirely new cultures, choreographers, and methods of training. "Our classes focus more on becoming thinking, creative movers than on perfecting technique," says Carlene Raibley, an American in her third and final year at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS). Erica Badgeley, who joined a postgraduate student company at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD), had a similar experience. "As opposed to the typical U.S. focus on vertical alignment, we learned to be three-dimensional movers, almost like amoebas," she says.

Many dancers forgo the international option because navigating the ins and outs of the application process seems intimidating. And it can be complicated—but it's worth the effort. Here's a breakdown of the process.

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Your Body

Whether you’re slicking it into a tight ponytail or stabbing it with bobby pins to secure the perfect bun, your hair is constantly being put under stress. But that doesn’t mean it has to look like a broom! Read on to find out how to keep your locks healthy and beautiful.

How often should I get my hair trimmed to prevent split ends?

Ideally you should visit the salon every six to eight weeks, but if that’s not possible, go every three to four months.

Is dyeing your hair bad for you?

Dyeing or highlighting will put more stress on your locks. If you’re going to change your hair color, use gentle shampoos designed specifically for color-treated hair.

How often should I wash my hair?

Every other day. You may feel like washing it more often because you’re sweating and using product, but rinse with water and apply a small amount of conditioner on the ends instead.

Can I brush my hair when it’s wet?

Wet hair is more prone to breakage. Use a wide-tooth comb when your hair is wet and brush when it’s dry. With tough tangles, start from the bottom and work your way up.

What’s the best way to get the product (hello, helmet head!) out of my hair after a performance? 

Before washing your hair, gently brush it out, starting at the ends. Sometimes regular shampoo doesn’t do the job, so use a clarifying shampoo once a week to ensure you’re getting rid of all the product.

BALLERINA BALDNESS, or traction alopecia, is hair loss caused by a constant pulling of your hair (like always having it yanked into a bun). You can prevent this by switching up your hairstyles and where you put your pins and clips. If you start to see extreme bald spots or hair loss, visit a dermatologist.

FACT: According to a recent study at the University of New England in Australia, dancing the tango can boost your happiness. Researchers found that the exercise, music and close-contact partnering of the tango can help beat depression and significantly reduce stress.

DID YOU KNOW? Bananas can be as effective as sports drinks during a tough rehearsal. A new study at Appalachian State University found that cyclists who ate bananas during an intense workout performed as well as those who drank sports drinks. But bananas also have antioxidants and are loaded with fiber, potassium and vitamin B6. So the next time you’re heading to class, skip the sports drink and reach for a banana.

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