Editor's Letter: Start Thinking Ahead

(Photo by Nathan Sayers)

Injuries always come at the most inconvenient time. Our cover guy, Derek Dunn, was on the fast track towards a promotion when he faced a double whammy: two back-to-back foot injuries that kept him out of commission for six months. Being unable to dance made him question everything, and forced him to explore life outside the ballet world. Find out more about this prodigious Houston Ballet demi-soloist in our cover story.

For me, a stress fracture sparked my motivation to start college part-time. For one thing, I had a lot of time to kill during my recovery. But being off my feet also made me realize how brief and delicate our dance careers are—and like many of today’s working dancers, I wanted to be prepared. Now, it’s easier than ever to balance college and career. In “Juggling Two Worlds,” we look at how three professionals are making it work, whether through night classes, online courses or an accelerated degree program created especially for dancers.

Of course, more and more dancers are opting to go to college first, before pursuing their performance careers. If you’re a year or two away from applying to schools, turn to “Summer on Campus” to learn about how going to a college summer intensive may help give you an edge. Not only do they give prospective students a chance to check out the dance department and dorms, they may give them a leg up when it’s time to audition. And be sure to read “Beyond the BFA” if you’re interested in learning more about nonperformance dance degrees. In it, we look at the different academic options dancers have, such as dance science or pedagogy, and how to keep up your performance chops when choosing this route.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our annual “Higher Ed Guide” in the back of this issue. It’s specially curated just for bunheads, and includes important scholarship information, too. And if you need more in-depth coverage, the Dance Magazine College Guide (available at dancemagazine.com/collegeguide) is an excellent resource. It’s never too soon to start thinking ahead!

Amy Brandt, Editor in Chief

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This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

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You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

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