After navigating Nationals online and attending summer intensives via Zoom, many students are now diving into their first all-virtual college-application season. Enter Dancewave Through College and Beyond's college fair, which is going digital for a two-weekend event October 16–18 and 23–25, open to dancers ages 14–18.
"We're trying to simulate an in-person college-fair experience as much as possible," says Leigh Lotocki, one of DTCB's head organizers. One way DTCB plans to do this is through virtual college "booths." Schools will each have their own breakout Zoom room and profile on DTCB's event website, allowing attendees to access information from dozens of college dance programs at once. The fair will also feature live workshops and panels designed to help students navigate the college audition process during the pandemic and start planning for their careers in the dance industry. Diane Jacobowitz, executive and artistic director of Dancewave, says: "This is a big moment in students' lives, and being confused is OK. The discussions at DTCB will give attendees the chance to hear from many different points of view and see what their options are, which is comforting in a time like this."
Dancers at DTCB's 2019 college audition (Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave)
DTCB's college audition is also going virtual. High school seniors will film themselves dancing DTCB-preset modern and ballet combinations, which they can then upload to an audition portal. This year, dancers are also invited to submit a third video of themselves performing a dance style of their choice. "Not everyone has experience in what we consider the Western canon of ballet and modern," Lotocki says. "We wanted to give students the opportunity to showcase their talents no matter what their background is." Dozens of college dance programs are set to participate in the virtual audition, including AMDA College of the Performing Arts, University of the Arts, and Dean College.
Jacobowitz hopes DTCB will provide support and peace of mind for college-bound dancers during this uncertain time."People are finding all kinds of resourceful ways to continue to study dance. The world of dance is not going away, so a dance education is still such an important thing," Jacobowitz says.
To learn more, visit dtcb.dancewave.org. The deadline to register is September 30.