Nicci Arentsen: Dance in College
Hey everyone! Hope the transition back into school is going smoothly. As I am now a senior in high school and college applications are right around the corner, I decided to dedicate this next blog to how you can bring your passion for dance into college. There are multiple routes you can follow and all are different and unique in their own way. At the end of the day, pick what you feel your heart is leaning towards the most and what makes you feel confident in your future.
One route would be to apply to the specific college through the major of dance. Most dance majors are primarily ballet and modern but there are a few that also incorporate jazz into their curriculum, if you are not willing to give up all the technique from your studio dancing yet. In addition to majoring in dance, you can double major, or have a minor in another category so you always have a fall back. Now, you may be like me and have those loved ones in your life who do not always believe in a future career in dance. You can make them happy by enrolling in a minor or double major to always have a plan B in your future. :)
Another option would be to apply to as many colleges that you want to attend. Once you have narrowed down your options, you could audition for their dance team! I would recommend following their social media accounts to stay up to date, learn their audition dates, and read all of their guidelines so you show up prepared. Every dance team is different so make sure to read about which one seems to fit you the best. Some dance teams perform at football games, basketball games, soccer games, some baseball games, special events, or service events. Also, most dance teams compete in the spring and some even train all year to compete at nationals in Florida against most dance teams in the US. It takes a lot of time commitment to join a dance team in college with crazy practice schedules. Be willing to give up most of your winter break to dedicate to practices for nationals if you join a team that competes on that level. In the end, it also seems extremely rewarding giving you a close group of friends and experiences of a lifetime.
Community College & Dancing Outside of School
A path you may also take once you graduate high school would be to stay local if you are lucky and live by the city or move out to LA to start your professional dance career right away. If jumping into your career all at once is an intimidating thought, maybe think of enrolling into a community college to get your general education accomplished and/or audition for a program at a studio that leads dancers into the industry. For example, at the Brea Space they have a program for pre-professional dancers to train called “The Launch” or with Mather Dance Company, “Bridge into the Industry”. These programs help give a pathway for dancers striving to make a career out of dance and to give them a little more knowledge before they jump all into the Los Angeles world. The classes that they give their students are more dance classes in a variety of styles, mock auditions, acting, and singing.