Well, after three semesters of full-time coursework, the first graduating class of the NYU/ABT program has said its goodbyes. Frankly, it's a bit surreal that we won't all be returning to class in January. I don't think it's entirely set in for most of us.
NYU hosted a gradation party for us in early December, but the formal graduation won't be held until May at Radio City Music Hall. NYU waits to do one giant graduation ceremony in the spring at Yankee Stadium, and smaller ceremonies for those receiving higher degrees from specific schools. But since we've already dispersed at this point, it's unlikely that all 20 of us will come together as an entire group one more time -- even for graduation.
At this point, some of us have landed new jobs (company schools, adjunct positions at colleges/universities, teaching positions at private schools). Some of us are still seeking jobs. It's to be expected, but it will be interesting to see what kind of jobs the graduates of this program will get - both now and the future classes. In the meantime, the second graduating class in the NYU/ABT program will soon be entering their second semester, and a whole new batch of students will begin in the fall.
Strangely, this last blog post has been the most difficult one for me to write. Wistful and sappy aren't really things that I do ... but what does one say when something comes to an end? I guess I'll say this:
- The faculty and staff at NYU were certainly telling the truth when they told us to look around at our peers during orientation and understand that we were going to get to know our classmates very well. They would become our friends, sounding boards, and professional network after graduation. It turns out some of us are already asking who is available as a guest teacher during the summer or if anyone is available to substitute teach in the future.
- After spending several hours together almost every day in all of the same classes, there is most certainly a special bond among our group - not just as friends, but knowing that we all had the same shared experience of working hard to become better dance instructors while learning from two prestigious institutions.
- And for me personally, writing weekly and documenting the hints and tips I've learned from my instructors has actually helped me better synthesize the entire experience and I'm thankful for the opportunity from Dance Teacher magazine to share my posts. It's been a pleasure ... thank you for reading!
Hannah Guruianu is a master's degree candidate in dance education at New York University. She is a freelance writer and editor, flamenco student, and someday hopes to own her own studio. Before returning to school, she was the features editor at the newspaper in Binghamton, New York, and taught ballet classes at a local studio and community college.