popular

5 College Dance Programs You May Not Have Heard of—and What Makes Them Unique

University of Hartford. Photo by John Long, courtesy of Hartford

Today's college-bound dancers face a dizzying array of choices. How can you as a teacher help your students make the best decision? To narrow down options, it helps to reflect on their personal strengths and interests. Would they benefit from an emphasis on teaching? Do they have a desire to explore how dance can cross over into other topics? Hope for an opportunity to study abroad? Perhaps a dancer isn't ready financially (or in terms of maturity) to commit to a four-year program, but what if their circumstances change?

Every dancer is different, and when they find the right college dance program, it can feel as if it were designed especially for them. Here, for example, are five that cater to specific groups of students. They all provide intense technical training intended to produce well-rounded, employable dancers—and each offers a unique focus you may not have known existed.


Santa Fe Community College. Photo by Ani Collier, courtesy of SFCC

The Seamless Transfer

Santa Fe College

Gainesville, Florida

AA in dance

Many four-year institutions will ask a two-year transfer student to go backward—that is, to repeat coursework. But according to fine arts chair Alora Haynes, that's not the case with SFC graduates who transfer to the nearby University of Florida's four-year BFA. The two schools—which are both located in Gainesville—even share faculty. "We've been working together for so long that our students are highly sought-after," says Haynes.

Dickinson College students. Photo by Pierce Bounds, courtesy of Dickinson

Dancer As Activist

Dickinson College

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

BA in dance

Under the leadership of renowned New York–based dance artist Sarah Skaggs, Dickinson College pairs dance with social activism. Dickinson dancers have taught movement workshops for senior citizens with dementia and worked with local hip-hop groups to offer after-school classes in the community. Skaggs encourages her students to create choreography that is engaged with contemporary issues. "We attract students who want a tool set—students who are asking, 'How do I get engaged? What do I do?'" she says.

Ballet-centric BFA

University of Hartford

West Hartford, Connecticut

BFA in ballet pedagogy

In addition to its performance-focused BFA, The Hartt School Dance Division at the University of Hartford offers a rare ballet pedagogy BFA program. For that degree, students take seven semesters of pedagogical theory, complete internships and study movement analysis, music theory, anatomy and kinesiology, dance administration and human development in order to prepare for a career in dance education, whether at the studio, professional or university level.

Tulane University. Photo by Melisa Cardona, courtesy of Tulane

Multitalented MFA

Tulane University

New Orleans

MFA in interdisciplinary dance performance

The Newcomb Dance Program's three-year interdisciplinary MFA allows students to complete research in other disciplines, like gender and sexuality or Africana studies. With courses like Choreography and Media and Text and Movement Studies, the graduate program requires students to coordinate about a half of their three-year credits with other university departments.

Kennesaw State. Photo by Robert Pack, courtesy of Kennesaw State

International Exposure

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

BA in dance

Kennesaw State's BA curriculum includes the option to enroll in a two-week study-abroad program with Israel's Batsheva Dance Company. Dance majors get to study company repertory, including Gaga, the ooey-gooey improvisational dance form introduced by Ohad Naharin.

Thinkstock

Q: My studio is growing quickly. I'd like to bring in someone to take over the majority of teaching and manage the curriculum and performance teams, while I run the business side. What's the best way to do this?

Keep reading... Show less
Your Studio
Thinkstock

Most dancers are taught from a young age that no matter what happens onstage, the show must go on! Costume rips? Don't stop dancing. Forget the choreography? Don't stop dancing. Fall down? Get back up, but for the love of all things holy, don't stop dancing!

Anna White, teacher and studio director at Melinda Leigh Performing Arts Center in Mobile, Alabama, breaks down how she conveys this message to her students.

Keep reading... Show less
Videos

This month's winner is a lyrical piece to "Wounded Animal" by Mary Lambert, performed at the Turn It Up Dance Challenge. Before setting the movement, Ashley Zelano, choreographer and artistic director at the Fierce Dance Academy in New Castle, Delaware, took a cautious approach with the 11 teenage dancers. The song describes the despair felt in a relationship where one party can't fully commit. But she understood that her teenage students might not relate to what inspires her as an adult.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers & Role Models
Photo by Nathalie Van Empel, courtesy of BYU CFAC

It's been a good month for choreographer and teacher Nick Palmquist. While he's been on DT's radar for quite some time, he burst onto the social-media scene in late November when the biggest professional ballet stars in the country participated in the #nickpalmquistchallenge. Prompted by Palmquist's choreography, stars from Marcelo Gomes to Stella Abrera were digging into the sultry stylized movement of the Steps on Broadway commercial jazz teacher, and sharing it on social media. He now has 38.4K followers and counting.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Keren Kraizer, courtesy of Assaf

As a child—with no formal dance training—Roy Assaf knew the transformative power of an audience. Starting from the age of 5, he would prepare dances for family gatherings. "I remember that all the guests would form a circle around me," he says, "and I would execute what I had prepared for that event." Now, as one of the most exciting and wholly original choreographic voices today, Assaf has harnessed that ability to transfix onlookers by creating straight-from-the-gut, highly physical dances that intimate complex inner narratives. The bodies in his Israel-based company weave, rebound, change direction, pant heavily and always move with purpose.

His newest work premiered December 6–10 in New York City. This time, instead of choreographing on his core company of a handful of dancers, he created a work on all 24 of the Juilliard third-year dancers.

Keep reading... Show less
Thinkstock

Q: I'm looking to hire new instructors. How can I create a competitive job listing?

A: We've found the best way to attract qualified applicants for teaching positions at our studio is to be as specific as possible with our expectations, while communicating what makes our studio a great place to work.

Here's an example of a job description we've used when seeking teachers:

Lead Dance Instructor: Tap/Jazz/Contemporary; Choreography for Dance Teams.

Kathy Blake Dance Studios is seeking new instructors to join our faculty. Our performing arts school, located in the Souhegan Valley of New Hampshire, has an emphasis on excellence and love for the art of dance, with a student base aged 2 to adult. We pride ourselves on paying our teachers well, offering a professionally managed front office and fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration among our staff.

We have an immediate opening for a dance instructor whose specialty is teaching intermediate to advanced tap, jazz and/or contemporary, as well as choreographing for competitive dance teams. We are seeking a creative, forward-thinking teacher who brings out the best in dancers. Schedule of 5 to 10-plus classes a week, based on availability. Position begins in August (or sooner, based on teacher availability). The school year runs from September through June. Pay is competitive and commensurate with experience and credentials.

Interested instructors: Please e-mail or reply to this ad with a current resumé and phone number, as well as what you love about teaching and what matters most to you in working for a dance studio.

Can't teach on our regular schedule? Please let us know if you'd like to be considered for our guest-artist master-class events.

Kathy Blake (Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire) and Suzanne Blake Gerety co-founded DanceStudioOwner.com.

popular
Thinkstock

These four holiday dance videos are the break you need from the madness of the season. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll be recharged enough to dive back into another night of Nutcracker performances. (Yikes—hang in there guys!) Check 'em out, and share your favorite funny holiday dance videos with us on our Facebook page.

XOXO

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored