At Your Fingertips
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.
What if there was a way to get your dancing in front of the likes of Desmond Richardson, d. Sabela grimes and Vincent Paterson all at once? Just in case you needed another excuse to break out your best moves this week, the Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival is back, and Richardson, grimes and Paterson are among this year's judges.
Dancers and non-dancers alike are invited to submit short dance films to the international online festival, with one caveat: The dancing has to take place in a public space.
The dancers file into an audition room. They are given a number and asked to wait for registration to finish before the audition starts. At the end of the room, behind a table and a computer (and probably a number of mobile devices), there I sit, doing audio tests and updating the audition schedule as the room fills up with candidates. The dancers, more nervous than they need to be, see me, typing, perhaps teasing my colleagues, almost certainly with a coffee cup at my side.
When we're talking about the history of black dancers in ballet, three names typically pop up: Raven Wilkinson at Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Janet Collins at New York's Metropolitan Opera and Arthur Mitchell at New York City Ballet.
But in the 1930s through 50s, there was a largely overlooked hot spot for black ballet dancers: Philadelphia. What was going on in that city that made it such an incubator? To answer that question, we caught up with Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet founder (and frequent Dance Magazine contributor) Theresa Ruth Howard, who yesterday released her latest project, a video series called And Still They Rose: The Legacy of Black Philadelphians in Ballet.
Janie Taylor didn't know if she'd ever return to the stage. But that's exactly where the former New York City Ballet principal has found herself: Nearly three years after retiring, she is performing again, as a member of L.A. Dance Project.
Taylor officially debuted with the company at its December 2016 gala in Los Angeles, then performed in Boston, via live stream from Marfa, Texas, and at New York's Joyce Theater before heading off on tour dates in France, Singapore, Dubai and beyond.
"She is wildly interesting to watch—and not conventional," says LADP artistic director Benjamin Millepied. "There are films of Suzanne Farrell dancing, where you feel like the music is coming out of her body," he says. "I think Janie has that same kind of quality."
Last night was not your average Thursday at Bay Ridge Ballet in Brooklyn, New York. Studio owner and teacher Patty Foster Grado—a former Parsons Dance Company dancer—was teaching a boys class, when with only five minutes left, she heard commotion in the waiting area and someone yelled, "There's a lady giving birth in the bathroom!"
Where can you watch Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Coppélia and Le Corsaire all in one place? Hint: It also has extra-buttery popcorn.
Yep, it's your local movie theater. Starting this weekend, theaters across the country will be showing Bolshoi Ballet productions of classical and contemporary story ballets.
When commercial dancer Danielle Peazer took on an ambassadorial role with Reebok in early 2016, she didn't realize the gig would also lead to a career shift. But while traveling with and teaching workshops for the brand, the idea for DDM (Danielle's Dance Method) Collective started to take shape.