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Austin Sora performing on the mainstage at Marymount Manhattan College (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy Sora)

4 College Alums on How Their Dance Degrees Have Helped Them During COVID-19

In a year that couldn't possibly get any more bonkers (we wouldn't be surprised, though), the world needs smart, resourceful, and creative people more than ever before. And who does that description remind us of? That's right...dancers. It may seem like jobs for dancers are scarce these days, but in reality, there are plenty of opportunities out there for dancers willing to think outside of the box. A college degree in dance can help you do just that—expand your career possibilities and develop your potential—even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Dance Spirit spoke to four alumni of Marymount Manhattan College, a liberal arts school in NYC with one of the most prestigious dance programs in the country, to explore all the ways their MMC dance degrees have helped them navigate the dance world, both before and during the pandemic.

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Photo by Perla Diaz, courtesy Olivia Wong

Commercial Queen Olivia Wong Talks Hula Hooping, Dream Journaling, and Her Love for Parris Goebel

With a combination of hard-hitting fierceness and feminine sass, L.A.-based commercial dancer Olivia Wong makes even the most intricate choreography look like second nature. Originally from New Orleans, LA, Wong moved to the West Coast to pursue a career in dance, and has since performed with J Balvin at Lollapalooza Music Festival and Becky G at the Latin American Music Awards, in addition to being a featured dancer in Justin Bieber's "That's What Love Is" visual album video. This spring, she graduated with a BFA in commercial dance and a concentration in acting from Hussian College, formerly the Studio School Los Angeles.

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Because the importance of nutrition is even greater for college dancers. (Getty Images/Wavebreakmedia)

The Dancer's Guide to Healthy Eating in College

Dining hall cheese burgers, dorm room snacking, and late-night pizza: Finding food that's good for you can be even harder than finding your classes on the first day of freshman year.

And for college dancers, the importance of nutrition is even greater. Food is our fuel for dancing, and we need lots of it. To help you fuel up—the right way—Dance Spirit spoke with one professor and one dance student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, about how to manage healthy eating in college.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

Dear Katie: How Can I Break Out of the Ballet Mold?

In our "Dear Katie" series, former Miami City Ballet and NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

Though I've trained mostly in ballet so far, I want to make sure I explore other parts of the dance world. Recently I've been taking classes in African styles and trying salsa dance—but I can't let go of my ballet posture and release my weight into the floor. How can I break free of those ballet habits?

Catie

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This is a TikTok challenge you should try at home. (Getty Images/Cameron Prins)

This TikTok Balance Challenge is Perfect for Tight Spaces

It's been months since many of us have had the luxury of leaping across a big studio with a grande allegro or traveling with a lovely waltz. However, this latest TikTok challenge lets you practice your balance with minimal space.

This balance challenge set to a remix of Charlie Puth's "Betty Boop" is ideal for your dorm or at-home studio. Think you can take the challenge? Check out our picks down below and let us know your favorite TikTok challenge in the comments!

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