Editor's Letter: College--or a career?

Published in the October/November 2009 issue.

Does it have to be one or the other? More and more dancers are realizing that they don’t need to make a choice—a BFA or BA program can open new doors to a world of dance opportunities. As Pointe intern and Mercyhurst College student Michelle Conroy says, “College made me realize that training in ballet is more than just taking class. Studying dance in an academic framework forces you to learn the history of ballet, scientific approaches to technique and helps you gain a greater sense of discipline.” 


So what’s it really like to be in a collegiate program? Amy Brandt—our advice columnist—interviewed six ballet dancers currently in college. Read about their insights and plans in “The Turning Point” on page 33. Then turn to our “Higher Ed Guide” on page 62 to find out about a host of ballet-centered programs you may want to explore. (Want more detailed information? Order Dance Magazine’s College Guide for $29.95—the new edition is available at www.dancemagazine.com.) Dancing full time and wonder if you also could be pursuing a degree? Lots of dancers are, like New York City Ballet soloist Tiler Peck (see “Show and Tell” on
page 18) and the professionals in the sidebar at right.


Torn between opting for a BFA or jumping right into auditioning? Senior editor Jenny Stahl, an NYU Tisch graduate, says, “Do both!’’ Either way, becoming an artist remains every dancer’s cherished goal. Our cover subject, American Ballet Theatre’s Hee Seo, has made it her passionate quest. Read about her journey from the corps to center stage in “Stepping into the Spotlight” on page 26. And, of course, when you are onstage, you want to look your loveliest. Visit our garden of tutus in “Floral Fantasy” on page 36 for the season’s prettiest looks.


As you think about your options, you’ll realize, as Pointe intern and Bates College student Ebbe Sweet says, that “Your ballet background gives you a unique edge.” On stage, in school, in life, dance beautifully into a future of your own making.