College Dance Essentials – All You Need to Know About Dancing in College

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Dear High School Dance Senior,

As high school comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about the future and check things off of your college-prep to-do list. That means submitting those college applications, writing those scholarship essays, and dreaming about your super cute future dorm room. And, if you’re anything like me, keeping dance in my life after high school was at the top of my priority list.

Here’s all you need to know about dancing in college, and what you can do now to prepare for a successful college career!

What are the ways you can keep dancing in college?

There are so many ways to continue your love for dancing beyond high school. These include – but are definitely not limited to – majoring in dance, being a member of a collegiate dance team, or getting involved in a dance club on campus.

Not only is continuing to dance a great way to release stress and stay in shape, but it helps promote time management – especially in those first few months of classes – and connects you to so many people along the way.

Why Dance in College?

This is a question that I feel that I am always answering as a dance major. Truly, for me, the answer is simple.

Dance has always been the thing that keeps me grounded, especially when I juggle so many other things as a college student. As a dance major, I’m exposed to a wide variety of topics that prepare me for a role in the professional dance world – which includes classes like dance kinesiology, dance history, dance production, global dance classes, choreography, and even seminars that connect you to dance department alumni who have professional gigs out in the real world. Additionally, I get unparalleled technical dance training in a collaborative and supportive setting. It’s the best of both worlds!

Being a member of a collegiate dance team expands on all that you’ve learned in high school and pushes you to the next level in all aspects of life. Not only do you gain all of those life skills – as I’ve talked about – but you can expect to gain experience in public relations, community engagement, and even get the chance to compete on an exceptional level.

Dancing in college has so much more to offer than just getting to dance every day. I’m so thankful for all of the experiences that I’ve had pursuing this passion. So, when I go home and my family and friends ask me why I’m choosing dance in college, I have a long list of reasons why it’s shaped me and my future.

Have You Done Your Research?

This is easily one of the most important items on this checklist!

Fall is the best time to scope out college dance opportunities, and it’s never too early to make a plan for this upcoming year. Do your research! If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in dance, look up schools that offer programs that you’re interested in. Explore what they like to focus on and if that aligns with your dance dreams and goals. Are you interested in a B.A. or a B.F.A.? Look up the differences between these programs so that you can choose a program that will cater to your needs!

College dance team on your mind? Check out teams that you’re interested in on social media and give them a follow to stay up to date on the prep clinics that they offer and information about their audition schedule. Keep up to date on the culture of the team – does it reflect with you’re looking for in college? Do they compete, if that’s what you’re interested in?

Ask questions! Introduce yourself! Discover what you’re looking for in each dance opportunity and do your research to find out if it’s truly a match for you.

Are Auditions and Applications on Your Calendar?

Time flies your senior year of high school, and while it can seem daunting to schedule in auditions into your busy life, these are essential and incredibly informational. Most auditions for dance programs take part in the fall or in the early spring, so keep your eye out for dates of these auditions. Auditions usually can take a day or more to complete. You can expect to participate in a number of different technique classes with faculty from the dance program, as well as improvisation classes, writing prompts, interviews and solo performances – sometimes for scholarships into these programs. It all varies depending on the school you’re interested in, so get connected with the department office so you can prepare physically and mentally for these audition days. I found that these auditions were the most informative part of my college search, and once I walked through the doors, I knew if I could imagine myself dancing there, or not.

Finally, keep your eye on audition weekends for college dance teams! Most of these happen in the late spring and can take up to three days to complete, depending on the program. Determine if the program you’re interested in requires a preliminary video audition, or a resumé, and get those items ready sooner rather than later. Take the time leading up to these auditions to work on your technique and audition requirements.

What’s so important to remember – however – is that auditions do not define you and that you will find a way to fulfill your passion for dance in college! There’s always a chance to dance for those that have it in their heart.

In Conclusion…

What I love most about dancing in college is the numerous opportunities and capacities to do what I love, and I can assure you that there is a place for you wherever your heart leads you. I’m so thankful that I took the leap and chose to continue my greatest passion in life.

Be yourself, follow your dreams, and have a great senior year!

– UDA Brooke

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