College can be a huge adjustment, and halfway through your first year, you may be feeling unsure: Am I making the right decision? Am I really fitting in? Is this the right school for me? While those anxieties may lessen or go away completely after a semester—or after a particularly great class—switching schools is an option. Here are some of the elements to consider before transferring.


Don't Worry About Sharing Your Fears

If you're having doubts, let a teacher, student affairs advisor or department head know. “It's our obligation as mentors to support our students," says Rhonda Miller, director of Pace University's BFA Commercial Dance program. “Sometimes they're afraid when they come talk to me, but it's important to ask questions and get the guidance you need." Talking to your current advisors can help you figure out what exactly you're missing—be it mentorship or specific classes.

Do Your Research Before Committing to Something New

Take time to pinpoint what it is, exactly, that's not working for you and thoroughly research other dance departments. For example, did you enroll at a conservatory, only to realize you want more academic classes? Look into liberal arts schools or universities with strong dance programs. It's also important to pay attention to each program's requirements. A great location, or star faculty members, isn't necessarily going to improve your college experience. “At UCLA, our main components are choreography, history, theory and arts activism," says Hayley Safonov, the student affairs officer of the World Arts and Cultures/Dance program at University of California, Los Angeles. “Some students think, 'OK, I'm going to dance in L.A. and get experience in the industry'—but that's not what we offer." Don't jump too fast, or you might find yourself at another school that's a bad fit.

Assess the Financial Ramifications

At many conservatories, dance students follow a specific progression of courses over the four years. “Pace freshmen take acting, ballet, lighting and sound, theater dance, tap and jazz—so even though a transfer student might academically be a sophomore, she'll likely still need to play catch-up," Miller says. “It's one of the reasons I don't accept any transfers past their sophomore year." Many general education credits might transfer, and a few classes may be reciprocal among colleges, but completing extra required courses can be a financial burden. “It's something that dancers and their families have to think about," Miller notes. Some dancers might be discouraged by taking an extra year or semester to graduate. But for those seeking an entirely new college experience, taking the full course load could help build confidence and familiarity with the department.

I've Transferred—Now What?

In addition to working closely with advisors, admissions and financial aid officers and faculty members, check out transfer student groups on campus. “I transferred as a sophomore from Santa Monica College to UC Santa Cruz," says Hayley Safonov, the student affairs officer of the World Arts and Cultures/Dance program at University of California, Los Angeles. “I was new to the campus but I wasn't experiencing college for

the first time. Finding a transfer group helped me make friends."

Latest Posts


Nathan Sayers

From "Dance Moms" to Complexions: Ballerina Kaeli Ware's Unconventional Path to Success

Take one look at Kaeli Ware's Instagram page and you'll be captivated. The elegant, impossibly long-limbed ballet dancer has over 110 thousand followers hooked on her every polished move. But the 19-year-old phenom isn't just a social media sensation. Having already conquered the competition scene and the world of dance reality TV, Ware recently joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet as a trainee. These days, she splits her time between NYC and Philadelphia, PA, where she continues to beef up her classical training at The Rock School for Dance Education.

She's not a traditional bunhead, and she's not a run-of-the-mill social influencer, either. Instead, Ware is creating her own hybrid career path—and it's taking her to impressive places.

Keep Reading
(Fox Media LLC. Cr: Eddy Chen)

"So You Think You Can Dance" Is Back This Summer

Dancers, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief—our beloved "So You Think You Can Dance" has just been renewed for a sensational 17th season.

Keep Reading
Raffaele Morra of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in The Dying Swan (Roberto Ricci, courtesy Les Ballets Trockadero)

Why More and More Men Are Dancing on Pointe

Like many professional dancers, New York City Ballet's Gilbert Bolden III is totally used to sharing pics and vids of his dancing on social media. But in the fall of 2018, the corps de ballet member hesitated before posting one particular clip. "I was extremely nervous the first time I posted a video of me dancing on pointe," he remembers. "It felt like a big step—almost like coming out. But not a single person was shady or unwelcoming!"

Once pretty much limited to women, pointe shoes are now being donned by more and more male-identifying dancers—for reasons as diverse as the dancers themselves. If you, too, are a pointe-curious guy, allow Bolden and other amazing male dancers to point(e) you in the right direction.

Keep Reading
contest
Enter the Cover Model Search