The days of having to choose between college and a ballet career are over. Not only do many dancers join top troupes after earning a degree (see Pennsylvania Ballet principal Lauren Fadeley, Complexions powerhouse Christina Dooling, ABT’s Sarah Smith), but many ballet companies and schools have also teamed up with universities to make it easier for their dancers to earn credits and perform at the same time. The latest is Fort Wayne Ballet, which just announced a new collaboration with the University of Saint Francis.
It sometimes seems like modern dancers have it easy. There are dozens of great college dance programs that can lead to successful contemporary careers. But for aspiring bunheads, the options are narrower, and the competition is tough. Indiana University at Bloomington's ballet department only takes about 10-20 dancers each year.