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College and Company: Together?


Guest gabby dances in the rain

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Guest gabby dances in the rain

i really want to dance in a professional ballet company.. but at the same time i really want to go to college and get a degree. is it possible that i can dance AND go to college at the same time.... you know like do college part time or in my free time and take as long as it needs to to finish my college all the while be dancing??

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Yes, it is possible, but not easy. Once you are in a company the hours and the intensity of the work make it pretty hard. But, if you take a course at a time, and maybe double up on lay offs between seasons, it's possible.

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i do this right now, I go to school through online distance learning and it definitely takes determined time management skills on your part. It isn't easy. But it can be done ...

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There are some companies now who have arrangements with a college or university for the dancers to take courses. This is a very good thing, and I think it will become more prevalent before too long.

 

cheer, can you tell us a bit about your schedule in the company and where you fit in the online courses?

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A couple of companies are also going to more afternoon based company class and rehearsals, a 2-8 schedule. That would make it easy to take a couple of classes.

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My dd dances for a company that offers college courses during the season. The professors come to the studio - in the early morning :) before class. Usually one class per semester. However, they are just general classes - not something specifically for a set major.

 

She is actually thinking of taking some online classes this year. She knows other dancers who do - but, as Ms. Leigh says - one at a time! It's really difficult with the company schedule.

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In my youngest DD's company many of the dancers attend college. They have to take either very early morning classes before company class or evening classes during the season or take on-line classes. It got really hairy during Nutcracker for my DD. She talked with the prof since she was close to the elimination of the course from missing classes for performances. The prof allowed her to makeup classes by attending on other nights, etc. Also, luckily the prof was a ballet lover and enjoyed atteding the ballets during the season to see one of her students perform. She is taking classes during the summer at the more intensive/shorter courses. It will take a while to get enough credits for a degree this way, but it can be done. Some of the older dancers are only a few classes from a bachelor's degree. Her company does not have a particular college that works with the dancers which would be easier. So the company members attend whichever college that is most convenient to them. My DD is in the local community college at the moment but already is in contact with the college she is planning to end with to make sure credits will transfer OK. With on-line classes a possibility now, it is easier to meet the demands of a dance career while taking classes.

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For my usual schedule, I'm dancing from 9 to about 4 and take another class at 7pm. During my breaks I do my readings and whatever assignments I can get done without too much distraction and will finish whatever other assignments I have when I get home and before I go to bed. My classes do not have scheduled "lecture times" so that really helps. I am able to do whatever assignments whenever I can. There are usually scheduled days throughout the week that have assignments due so until those postings are due I am able to do that while on my breaks or after the dancing day. Like I said, it is a LOT of time management skills, but just taking one class and really creating a good schedule can allow it to not be too stressful and still allow time for a social life :)

When we're touring however is a different story. My laptop is always traveling with me because usually I have assignments due while I'm there and either have to pray for internet at our hotels, do them early before I leave, or communicate with my class professor and let her know my situation. I always tell my professors at the beginning of the semester about my situation and schedules so they are usually willing to accommodate, especially if I show good work at the beginning before it gets hectic :)

Good luck! Any more questions feel free to ask!

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I know a small number of people trying to do this while dancing as apprentices in a professional company. It's hard to devote 100% of thier time to the company (sometimes needs to leave early or take a certain day off), but the AD is someone who values education, and is accomodating. Leads to a degree of utter exhaustion though.

 

I knew a dancer in New York who was attending medical school while making appearances with a very good company, too. I have NO CLUE how she managed it. Amazing.

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i really want to dance in a professional ballet company.. but at the same time i really want to go to college and get a degree. is it possible that i can dance AND go to college at the same time.... you know like do college part time or in my free time and take as long as it needs to to finish my college all the while be dancing??

 

 

Hello Gabby~

 

I don't know if you visited this thread yet, but there is the forum/site of Higher Education General Discussion. One of the topics there is online classes...A lot of recent posts there may expand your knowledge. The thread there also offers some colleges and universities that have online programs. Iposted how my daughter handles it...perhaps it will help you. My answer was a bit long and it seems rather redundant to retype it...much luck to you :D NSMH

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  • 2 months later...
Guest kat789

I know of 2 companies that offer a college program while in the company:

ABT- Long Island University

Alvin Ailey- Fordham University, NYC

 

Anyone know of any more?

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North Carolina Dance Theater has a formal certificate program with UNC Charlotte. Unfortunately it's several miles from the university to the studio which makes it somewhat inconvenient.

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I have been told of a neat program that Atlanta Ballet has arranged with a nursing school. But, I don't have the details.

 

I'm going to move this to the Career Forum, where it actually belongs. I think there is an old thread on this topic too. If I can find it, I'll link the two together. :)

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