So You Think You Want to Transfer?
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."
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
Turnout—a combination of rotational flexibility and the strength to properly hold that rotation—is the foundation of ballet. But it's also a source of frustration for many dancers. After all, not everyone (actually, hardly anyone) is born with 180-degree rotation. “When I first started dancing, my hip flexors were strong, but I was forcing my turnout without using the right muscles," remembers Amanda Cobb, a former dancer with The Washington Ballet.
The good news is that it's possible to both improve your turnout and to dance beautifully with less-than-perfect rotation. But there's a lot of misinformation out there about how turnout works and why it's important. To help separate fact from fiction, DS asked the experts to disprove six turnout myths.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)
DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.