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An undergrad student at Ohio University's School of Dance. Photo by Riley Perone, courtesy of Ohio University

If you're spending some of your time pondering life post-quarantine, you may have entertained the possibility of returning to school. The landscape of graduate studies in dance is pretty diverse, from MFA to MA programs and concentrations like dance education, performance studies and arts administration. Now, there's another option: studying the budding field of community dance.

Ohio University's School of Dance is taking on the challenge and has developed an MA in community dance—the first of its kind in the United States. Dance Magazine spoke with associate professor Tresa Randall, between remote classes, to learn more about the program and the pathways it will prepare dancers for.

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Courtesy of Wroth

The effects of COVID-19 on college dancers might have been devastating. Performances were canceled, seniors trying to savor every last moment together were left without a graduation ceremony, students were encouraged to go home, and at each moment, a question has sounded: How can a student learn how to become a better performer when they are not allowed to perform?

Here at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, the ballet department rallied quickly and adapted its programming, choosing to see this hiatus as an opportunity to encourage reflection and self-improvement.

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Zoey Anderson. Photo by Vanessa Rae Merrill, courtesy of Anderson

The decision to go to college is often difficult for aspiring professional dancers to make, but for Zoey Anderson, attending Marymount Manhattan College made all the difference in achieving her goals. Aside from the great education that she says honed her technique and refined her artistry, Anderson was able to meet MMC Dance Department chair, Katie Langan, who was instrumental in helping her book her first post-college job with Parsons Dance.

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