By Lily Cooper
Professional Writing Major, College of Fine Arts and Production
When you think of a dancer’s next steps after high school graduation, a lot of people may think that the obvious choice is to go to either New York or Los Angeles to audition and join a company. It’s what all the television shows dictate when any character who’s interested in the arts graduates. However, what about going to college and getting a degree?
There seems to be a rumor that goes around that it’s not worth a dancer’s time or money to get a degree. While it is not guaranteed you will have a successful dance career if you do get one, there are many advantages to taking the extra time to receive one. For a dancer, it can provide them with a diverse education, new techniques and multiple skills to be used in the dance world.
Here are a few positive things that dancers receive when they choose to go to college:
Depending on what university you attend, dancers can constantly be surrounded by many networking opportunities. A professor may bring in a guest speaker from the industry or a guest choreographer may be invited to set new work on the college dance company. All of these types of experiences can make all the difference to propelling your career after you graduate.
Who you meet today at college, may help you get a job later in life. Many choreographers like to meet dancers through the workshops and intensives at universities which gives each student a chance to expand their network.
2. The Ins and Outs of a Company
You can always take a dance class or two, but there is nothing like a structured curriculum that teaches dancers how to go into the professional business and what to expect. Being in a professional rehearsal environment every day for four years will be beneficial for their future. By showing up on time, retaining material, generating material and collaborating with others, the dancers are being taught what it is truly like to truly be a part of a company.
Companies are also looking for more versatile dancers who have an understanding of the history, discipline and art of dancing. The act of getting a degree shows you took the time to work on learning and training to be the best dancer you can be.
3. A Versatile Education
College dance programs teach more than just dance. They show their students how to present their work, edit their videos, how to handle basics of stage sound and lighting, social media practices, press releases, grant writing and other business practices that will help a dancer in the industry.
Having a variety of skills and talents will benefit dancers and give them multiple abilities to offer companies.
4. An Awareness of Self-Care
College dance programs help students with more than just their dance techniques. It offers a progressive and biomechanically sound approach to learning dance that encourages dancers to develop a self-care regimen.
Attending these consistent classes allows the dancer to focus on their practice and be held accountable. It’s much more effective to receive criticism and learn how to improve your skills than jumping straight to auditions.
If you want to learn more about Grand Canyon University’s arts program within the College of Fine Arts and Production, check out our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.