A student from Ballet Academy East asked us recently, Can I dance and go to college? It was an urgent question: Her high school graduation was coming and her parents wanted her to get a degree. She’s not alone. For many pre-professional students, the road splits in senior year. It seems like a dance career lies down one path and college another.
But you don’t need to shelve your ballet dreams for a college degree. College can round out your training and expose you to more challenging choreography. Take a look at Pointe’s “Higher Ed Guide,” which features nearly 100 programs. Research the ones that interest you—who teaches there, how much ballet is required, where their alumni dance. You’ll find plenty of options. And read “On-Campus Companies” to learn about exciting dance opportunities even if you don’t major in dance.
If you decide to plunge right into professional life, you may discover talent only takes you part of the way. As our cover dancer, American Ballet Theatre’s Joseph Gorak, learned, success in ballet requires persistence and a willingness to go beyond what’s comfortable. Trying and trying some more finally worked for contemporary powerhouse Drew Jacoby, who auditioned several times before she joined Nederlands Dans Theater. We followed her for a day in “Living the Nederlands Dream” to find out how it feels when it all comes true.
And you are never done taking chances. In “A New Side of Carlos Acosta,” the superstar explains why—and how—he’s staging his first ballet, Don Quixote, and what it’s like to work on it with his colleagues at The Royal Ballet.
So when you look down the road, remember it will split and split again. Choose the path that asks more of you—it’ll take you where you belong.
In This Issue...
Teresa Reichlen on working on her BA:
“A dancer’s career is short. It’s always in the back of my mind that I can’t dance forever. But college is also an outlet, something to engage me and keep me grounded outside of ballet.”
Drew Jacoby on dancing at Nederlands Dans Theater:
“To do something different vocabulary-wise, that’s what I always wanted—to be able to experience as many things as possible.”