It doesn’t seem like it now, but spring is right around the corner. And once college applications are in, it might not feel like a big deal to let your academic performance slip. After all, the hard part’s over, right?
Think again. “Most, if not all, colleges and universities require submission of and consider final grades,” says Donna Mattiello, director of academics at Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, CT. Here are three reasons to continue to shine during your final semester of high school, even when you’re feeling the effects of senioritis.
Focus Forward (But Not Too Far Forward)
Dancers are known for their strong work ethic and desire to succeed. But after the mental, emotional and financial strain of SATs, college applications, essay writing and auditions, try reinvigorating your focus rather than letting yourself drift into daydreams of freshman year. “Do you have an end-of-year performance to look forward to?” asks Mary Lisa Burns, dean of dance at New World School of the Arts College in Miami, FL. If not, consider organizing one yourself, as a celebration of your friendships and growth throughout high school.
“Graduating high school seniors deserve to enjoy the time they have left in school,” Mattiello says. “But make sure to always get your schoolwork done before socializing.” These skills, she adds, will carry over to college and benefit you during your undergraduate career.
Academics Are Always Important
High school students planning to study dance in college need to stay focused on two levels: artistic and academic. “It’s tempting to think of academics as running in the background,” Mattiello says. “But your career could be on the line if the school rescinds its offer due to bad grades.” She suggests thinking about academic success as an important element of a performance career.
If you take advanced placement classes, or other classes that can be transferred for college credit, declining grades can jeopardize your ability to use the credits as a head start on your undergrad requirements. “At the New World School of the Arts High School, classes can count for both high school and college,” Burns says. “So it’s vital to keep those grades up!”
First Impressions Matter
If the college you’re planning to attend notices a significant decline in your final-semester grades, there are various ways it can respond. “The school might send a letter
requesting the student to provide an explanation, and the letter could become part of the student’s permanent academic record,” Mattiello says. “Admissions might also notify appropriate faculty so that the student is carefully watched as an incoming freshman. And, it is possible that admission might be revoked.” Your first few weeks of college should be fun and exploratory, not full of worry that the dance department faculty already knows your name from your records.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.