University of Houston dance students outdoors in 2019. Photo courtesy of UH

Since March, hundreds of dance majors have been using platforms like Zoom to continue their educations, dancing from the safety of their homes as coronavirus has swept the nation. What many educators initially hoped would be a temporary setback—a few weeks of online learning before a triumphant return to in-person classes—has turned out to be a new way of life, with distance learning essential well into the summer.

As department heads look toward the fall term, the decision of how and when to return to dancing together is at the forefront of their minds. Here, three dance department heads share how they're approaching the decision.

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Radetsky in Dutch National Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son.

Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky is one of eight artists named by the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU as 2015 Fall Fellows. The artists—each of varying disciplines—will pursue projects related to the creation and study of ballet. Radetsky plans to write a work of fiction set in the ballet world.

Having recently retired from dancing with ABT and currently starring in the new television series "Flesh and Bone" (premiering November 8 on Starz), he is looking toward his next step. “No clear path has unfurled in front of me, so I’m trying a bunch of different things out. I did a little acting, teaching and a little choreographing, but I’ve always loved writing,” says Radetsky, who has written for Dance Magazine.

Though he hasn’t finalized his plans for the book, dance will definitely play an important role. “I see it as a kind of love letter to dance. I’m not sure if it will turn into a novel or a book of shorter stories with dance as the common denominator, but ideally I’d like to open a little window into our world and translate some of my own experiences into fiction and show why I’ve devoted my life to the artform,” he explains.

CBA will provide him with workspace at NYU and a $3,000 monthly stipend for the four months devoted to the project. “The Center is really putting faith in me, but I think that’s part of what they are all about—taking risks and coming at ballet from different angles,” says Radetsky.

Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy of Radetsky © Balanchine Trust.

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