Online college programs work around your dance schedule.
Interested in earning a college degree, but don’t want to put your career on hold? With the advent of online college programs, you can take courses towards—and even earn—a bachelor’s degree while performing professionally. During Boston Ballet’s season, Kathryn McDonald, who is pursuing a health science degree from Northeastern University, fits one online class at a time into her demanding schedule. “The hardest part is keeping up with the work,” she says. “You have to be very proactive and make sure you understand the material.” But she’s already seeing some of the benefits of earning a degree: “It opens up your eyes to a different world.” Here are three state universities with strong online offerings. —Courtney Escoyne
McDonald in Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker. Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy Boston Ballet.
Washington State University Global Campus
Degrees offered: 9 online bachelor’s programs, with the option to minor
Declaring a major: Students declare upon enrollment, but can switch while completing general education requirements.
In-person interaction: Some majors require internships/work experience. Also, the school’s ASWSU-Global Student Government organizes events for students to socialize with their peers face-to-face.
Course structure: Most classes follow a traditional semester system. There are no set log-in times for lectures since they are prerecorded. Assignment submissions are due weekly or monthly, and quizzes and exams are completed online within a set time period. WSU recommends allowing eight hours per week, per class for coursework.
Resources: An academic advisor, one-on-one online tutoring, flexible “office hours” with professors and virtual mentors (upperclassmen and alumni).
Cost: Tuition is similar to in-state costs at WSU, though residents receive a slight discount. Financial aid is available.
Open SUNY (State University of New York)
Degrees offered: 54 online bachelor’s programs
Declaring a major: Students apply to one SUNY campus, as each has specific degree offerings. However, many programs allow students to take several classes before declaring.
In-person interaction: Differs across campuses and degree programs, though many are fully available online. Some courses involve on-campus labs and meetings.
Course structure: Many are self-paced within a traditional semester system. Others involve scheduled online web conferences or select in-person work. Assignments are due throughout the semester, often weekly. On average, SUNY recommends dedicating at least three hours per credit for coursework each week.
Resources: An academic advisor, technical support, library access and other traditional student services. Certain courses also guarantee a go-to contact (“concierge”) for each student and online tutoring.
Cost: Tuition matches traditional rates at each SUNY school. Some campuses require technology or distance-learning fees. Financial aid is available.
University of Florida Online
Degrees offered: 14 online bachelor’s programs
Declaring a major: Students may enroll undecided, but are encouraged to declare quickly to complete early prerequisites for a degree track.
In-person interaction: Some science majors require students to attend local lab hours.
Course structure: Classes follow the traditional semester system. All relevant learning materials are accessible from the beginning of the course. Exams and projects have set deadlines.
Resources: An academic advisor, Smartthinking (a free tutorial service) and 24-hour technical support. Professors and TAs are available via Skype, email or telephone.
Cost: In-state students pay 75 percent of the on-campus tuition rate. Out-of-state costs vary by program. Financial aid is available.
"I don't cook for just one or two people," says James Whiteside, stirring a pot on his stove. "My mom taught me to cook and she had five kids. So when I do cook, I go in!"
Aside from breakfast (usually bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin), the American Ballet Theatre principal rarely cooks for himself during ABT's seasons. He prefers to "forage" for his lunch and go out or order in for dinner, saving the real cooking for when he has friends or colleagues to feed. "I like to have a lot of people tell me my food is delicious," he quips.
We're not sure what we did to deserve the livestream generosity the dance world is giving us these days, but this weekend, it's getting even better.
PC Joe Toreno
L.A. Dance Project, Benjamin Milliepied's trendsetting contemporary troupe, has been in residence at The Chinati Foundation for the past few days. This weekend, they're showing us what they've come up with—for three days straight.
To create great work, choreographers need the freedom to tackle difficult subjects and push physical limits. But when your instruments are human beings, is there a limit to how far you should go? Five choreographers open up about where they draw the line.
Restaurants have always been a great source of survival gigs for dancers. But today's top chefs aren't just looking for waiters to carry dishes to the table. They're hiring choreographers to give the staff dance-like skills and compose a sort of choreography for the dining room.
Leslie Scott, artistic director of dance theater company BODYART, is one of those choreographers. After working in more typical food industry jobs for 10 years, she's been tapped by top restaurants in both New York City and Los Angeles to lead workshops that finesse servers' non-verbal communication and navigation of tight spaces.
Back in 2002, dancer and choreographer Jonah Bokaer founded an art space in Brooklyn called Chez Bushwick. As Manhattan and Brooklyn were quickly becoming unaffordable, and many studio spaces were closing, Bokaer seized upon "creative placemaking"—the idea that the arts can play an integral role in community-building—before it became a buzzword. "We have been sustaining and maintaining one of the most affordable dance studios in New York State since the very beginning of my career," he says.
Fifteen years later, the challenges for choreographers in expensive urban centers continue unabated, and Bokaer has found his original mission magnified. While Chez Bushwick remains a haven for the next generation, there is also a growing number of young dancemakers who have been inspired to create their own residencies, communities and, ultimately, opportunities.
The New York City premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's sugary sweet story ballet, Whipped Cream, made for one of the most exciting spring galas at American Ballet Theatre yet. While we're usually in awe of the gowns the dancers sport on the red carpet beforehand, this time around, it was all about Whipped Cream's colorful and over-the-top costumes by Mark Ryden—and, okay, a few major dress moments, too. Ahead, check out what went on behind-the-scenes.