Every fall, as the halls of academia fill with eager freshmen, a new batch of dancers will discover that dance in college bears little resemblance to what they knew at their home studios. It can be a disheartening experience. That’s why it helps to have a professor like Judy Rice as an advocate. With one perfectly pointed foot in the University of Michigan dance department and the other planted in the dance convention circuit, she understands exactly what competition dancers face in a university setting. In “Dance Ambassador,” DT editor Kristin Schwab tells the story of how Rice turned personal disappointment into an unexpected career path.
As a studio director, you are in a unique position to prepare dancers for their next steps after high school graduation. In “A Collegiate Affair,” Virginia Commonwealth University interim dance department chair Lea Marshall recommends taking students to a college dance fair and shares tips on how to make the most of the experience.
The DT Higher Ed Guide is a quick reference for your college-bound dancers, and you’ll also want to stock your studio library with the annual Dance Magazine College Guide. Along with descriptions of the most prominent dance programs and a handy comparison chart to make sense of all the choices, the College Guide is full of advice from the dancer’s perspective. One of my favorite parts of the new edition is a list of the top-10 questions every college-bound dancer should be asking. Get your copy at dancemagazine.com/college.
And don’t send your dancers to college without some basic knowledge of the famous artists who’ve created dance history. Each month DT editor Rachel Rizzuto delivers a concise lesson plan to share as a handout or post on your studio bulletin board. This month she presents the father of theatrical jazz dance, Jack Cole—highlights of his career, the dancers he influenced and how to identify his movement vocabulary when seen today.
Whether or not you work with college-bound dancers, we are confident you’ll find something in this issue that speaks to you. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see in the magazine. You can connect with us on Facebook or write to me at [email protected].
Photo by Matthew Murphy