Gaining Professional Experience in College - Web Exclusive

Published in the October/November 2011 issue.

Many dancers feel that going to college is a waste of precious dancing years. But did you know that college can actually offer students a sneak peek inside company life? A number of higher education programs offer their dance majors opportunities to perform with visiting or nearby companies. For instance, Kristin Young was asked to perform as a guest artist with the Tulsa Ballet last spring as part of the University of Oklahoma’s apprentice program. “I learned many things from watching the professional dancers while taking company class, from always pushing yourself in class, to stories of how Twyla Tharp wanted her movement to feel while we we're dancing,” says Young, now a dancer with Nashville Ballet II. Young emphasized how the most significant thing that she learned during her time with the Tulsa Ballet was how devoted each dancer was on a daily basis. “It matters each and every day how hard you work in rehearsal, how easy you are to work with, and how your attitude reflects to the director and ballet mistress.”