It's no secret that affording college is a challenge for many students. And for dancers, there are added complications, like the relative lack of merit scholarships that take artistic talent into consideration and the improbability of a stable salary to pay off loans post-graduation. But no matter your budget, a smart approach to the application process can help you focus less on money and more on your training.

According to Drexel University performing arts department head Miriam Giguere, figuring out the kind of financial assistance a school offers is just as important as navigating what kind of dance program you want. Here's how to incorporate finances into your decision-making process:

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Dancers & Companies

You know Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo as the men who parody your favorite ballet variations—and make it look good. But there's more to the iconic troupe than meets the eye.

A new documentary, Rebels on Pointe, goes behind the scenes of the company, and it's full of juicy tidbits about what it's like to be a Trock. These were some of our favorite moments:

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Celebs Who Love Dance

You know that feeling when you think you know everything about your favorite choreographer, but then a random celeb completely blows your mind with a juicy and hilarious fun fact about them? Same.

What are we talking about? It all started last week at the Wall Street Journal Innovators Awards, where actress Reese Witherspoon and choreographer Ryan Heffington were honored for their achievements. Witherspoon gave a heartfelt speech about roles for strong women in Hollywood, and Heffington (in true Heffington fashion), did this in lieu of a speech:

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Dancers & Companies
PC Emma Kauldhar

We know Michaela DePrince's inspiring story of going from war-torn Sierra Leone to international ballet star. But now she's giving us even more insight into her life as a dancer with Dutch National Ballet with a new vlog series that covers everything from her recent injury to her globetrotting lifestyle. Here's why we're loving it:

1. She's #goals for any dancer dealing with an injury.

This summer, DePrince ruptured her achilles tendon. But instead of letting the injury get her down, DePrince has used the opportunity to take on new projects (like starting this vlog!) and has devoted herself to her rehab.

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Dancers & Companies

Part of the reason we chose international ballet star Diana Vishneva as one of our Dance Magazine Awardees this year is because she's always been an innovator. Before it was normal for ballet dancers to travel the world guesting for numerous companies, Vishneva, who began at the Mariinsky Ballet and later became a principal at American Ballet Theatre, was doing it. Today, she's opened a new chapter of her career by departing ABT and devoting more time to her CONTEXT Festival in Russia. But she's still innovating, commissioning her first original work for the festival this year and creating programming aimed at developing contemporary choreographers in Russia. We caught up with her to hear how the 2017 festival is shaping up:

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Dancers & Companies
PC Elena Fetisova

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.

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Dancers & Companies

Mary Cochran, longtime Paul Taylor dancer and beloved teacher, passed away this week in her 50s.

Cochran began her professional dance career with Alwin Nikolais in 1981, and several years later joined the Taylor Company. There, she originated countless memorable roles such as the "Rum and Coca-Cola" woman in Company B and the Daughter in Speaking in Tongues.

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Rant & Rave
Ratmansky at MCB. PC Daniel Azoulay

And if that statement rubs you the wrong way—particularly coming from a highly acclaimed white male choreographer—you're not alone.

On Sunday, American Ballet Theatre artist in residence and international ballet choreographer Alexei Ratmansky posted this on his Facebook page:

Obviously, there's a lot to unpack here. And many of the comments did the unpacking for us:

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