Dancing in college was the best decision I made for my college career. I gained some of the most memorable experiences that shaped me into the person I am today and I will forever be grateful for them.
The decision to dance in college was tricky, but I am happy I stuck with it and I hope I can encourage those reading this to stick with it as well!
The experience will be different for everybody. I had ups and I had numerous downs. However, my passion for dance and the tremendous support I had is what motivated me to stick with what I wanted to pursue.
If you are a current college dancer or soon-to-be college dancer… here is my advice to you.
1. Be Yourself
You are going to meet so many people from literally over the world in college. Be you. Be confident in yourself and the talents that YOU bring. People will appreciate you, I can promise you that. I can also promise you that some people may not appreciate you, and that’s OK. Grow from it. Some people simply are not meant to be in your life. Don’t force anything upon yourself. Whether you’re being yourself in a new friend group or being yourself when you’re at an audition… be YOU 100%. Don’t hide who you are. You exist to be a light in the world so, SHINE!
2. Create Healthy Relationships
Create Healthy Relationships with your Professors and Dance Faculty- Every college/university program is different. Luckily, I went to a smaller university so part of the experience was having those one-on-one’s with faculty and professors, mentorships, or office hours. I thrived in this atmosphere. If it weren’t for the relationships and conversations I built with the faculty, I would not be where I am today. I have a completely new mindset and thought process about what I want to do in dance, I have made valuable connections, and I’ve gotten sound advice in times when I needed to hear it most. Having these relationships made the challenging times easy during my years in undergrad. I had people I can rely on for support and for help when I needed it. I would be very lost if I did not have them to count on.
3. Be Open to Trying New Things
It is EASY to get stuck in your comfort zone, especially when it comes to dancing. Absorb ALL that you can when you set foot into the dance building at your University. Say “yes” to all the opportunities that are given to you… even if they make your schedule super busy for a short period of time. I absolutely loved working with guest artists, performing at local events, trying new classes, or teaching at various places throughout my 3.5 years as a dance major. They were such wholesome experiences to push my mindset and my body out of my personal comfort zone and further refine my craft & technique. I took away many opinions and styles that have truly shaped me into a well-rounded dancer.
4. Find Balance
You want to enjoy your college experience still! Dancing in college will keep you busy. If you have been training since young, you are already used to saying “I can’t, I have rehearsal.” Sadly, that saying never entirely goes away. The beautiful thing about college is that you are in control. You can make those choices where you are willing to dedicate extra time to dancing or you don’t. Choose whatever you think will give you the best all-around experience as a dancer in college and as a student in college! Make time to join some clubs, hang out with friends, or even get an on-campus job as I did! Extracurriculars kept me on my toes (and were sometimes overwhelming), but, I would have regretted it if I did not participate.
5. It’s OK to say “No”
Saying “no” can be the hardest thing to say and let alone, decide while dancing in college. I am the person who always wants to say YES and will stretch my schedule thin to accommodate people or other activities. College gave me the freedom to do whatever I want when I want… a blessing and a curse at the same time! Going to college gives you the chance to mature and make decisions for yourself. You ultimately decide how you want to spend your time. You don’t have to feel pressured to do things when you know it will bombard your schedule. Remember, you are still a student and you have to keep your grades up. AND, you are also a human being. You shouldn’t run down your body and your mind so extensively. Know when to say no and rest assured that it is OK.
To my college dancers/dance majors or minors or to my soon-to-be’s… like any dance, take college one step at a time. Get ready for adjustments and be open to change!
Follow me or send me a message… I would love to connect and help you with your next chapter in life and your decision about dancing in college!
Sending love and light,
2 responses to “Dancing in College: Advice From a Former College Dancer”
[…] she was always a text or call away. Mom helped me get through the roller-coaster of college and dancing in college. With that, I am forever […]
[…] in college, I started having more mentors. Most of them were my college professors. I was always around them. […]