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8 Tips for College-Bound Dancers
Attention, high school dancers: The School at Steps in New York City hosted a "College Day" sponsored by Dance Magazine last weekend, offering advice directly from faculty members of college dance programs. For those of you who weren't able to make it, we gathered the best tips from each panelist:
1. Pay attention to new, untraditional forms of applying, such as Goucher's video app: In addition to a written sample, you can submit a video, a major plus for the very visual art form of dance. —Goucher College's Rick Sutherland
2. Don't wait until your senior year to start looking. Sophomores should begin researching now. —Barnard College's Katie Glasner
3. Ask to watch a class when visiting colleges so you know what level of dancer they're expecting at their admission audition. —Marymount Manhattan College's Nancy Lushington
4. Don't let tuition immediately rule out a school. Wait until you get your entire financial aid package before making the decision. (Ed note: Also check out the scholarship guide in our August issue of Dance Magazine for even more options.) —Juilliard's Katie Friis
5. Attend special days that schools host for high school students, where you can find the information that's geared to answer your questions. For example, you can sign up now for Montclair's Dance Day on Friday, November 21. —Montclair State University's Kim Whittman
6. For students not able attend a college day in person, several panelists suggested tweeting directly at schools with questions. Juilliard, for example, takes questions @juilliardschool with the hashtag #juilliardsteps.
7. Go see a school's performances—or search for footage online. The Tisch department of dance now livestreams many of their shows, so dancers from all around the country can see the dancers and type of work being performed. —NYU Tisch School of the Art's Cherylyn Lavagnino
8. While many schools are moving away from mandatory standardized tests, several panelists noted that the tests are still necessary for scholarship applications.
Want more advice? For an inside scoop on 615 colleges and universities with dance programs, check out Dance Magazine's College Guide. You can also find out which schools should be added to your wishlist by entering your personal criteria into our search feature.
New York City Ballet is celebrating the Jerome Robbins Centennial with twenty (20!) ballets. The great American choreographer died in 1998, so very few of today's dancers have actually worked with him. There are plenty of stories about how demanding (at times brutally so) he could be in rehearsal. But Peter Boal has written about Robbins in a more balanced, loving way. In this post he writes about how Robbins' crystal clear imagery helped him approach a role with clarity and purpose.
Who says you need fancy equipment to make a festival-worthy dance film? Right now, two New York City–based dance film festivals are calling for aspiring filmmakers to show their stuff—and you don't need anything more cumbersome than a smartphone to get in on the action.
Here's everything you need to know about how to submit:
On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba tours the U.S. this spring with the resolute Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso a the helm. Named a National Hero of Labor in Cuba, Alonso, 97, has weathered strained international relations and devastating fiscal challenges to have BNC emerge as a world-class dance company. Her dancers are some of ballet's best. On offer this time are Alonso's Giselle and Don Quixote. The profoundly Cuban company performs in Chicago May 18–20, Tampa May 23, Washington, D.C., May 29–June 3 and Saratoga, New York June 6–8.
We all know that the general population's knowledge of ballet is sometimes...a bit skewed. (See: people touching their fingertips to the top of their head, and Kendall Jenner hopping around at the barre.)
Would your average Joe know how to do ballet's most basic step: a plié? Or, more to the point, even know what it is?
SELF decided to find out.
When Lisset Santander bourréed onstage as Myrtha in BalletMet's Giselle this past February, her consummate portrayal of the Queen of the Wilis was marked by steely grace and litheness. The former Cuban National Ballet dancer had defected to the U.S. at 21, and after two years with the Ohio company, she's now closer to the dance career she says she always wanted: one of limitless possibilities.
For 17 years, James Samson has been the model Paul Taylor dancer. There is something fundamentally decent about his stage persona. He's a tall dancer—six feet—but never imposes himself. He's muscular, but gentle. And when he moves, it is his humanity that shines through, even more than his technique.
But all dancing careers come to an end, and James Samson's is no exception; now 43, he'll be retiring in August, after a final performance at the Teatro Romano in Verona, where he'll be dancing in Cloven Kingdom, Piazzolla Caldera and Promethean Fire.
The wait for Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of Petipa's Harlequinade is almost over! But if you can't wait until American Ballet Theatre officially debuts the ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 6, we've got you covered. ABT brought the Harlequinade characters to life (and to the Alder Mansion in Yonkers, NY) in a short film by Ezra Hurwitz, and it's a guaranteed to make you laugh.
When an anonymous letter accused former New York City Ballet leader Peter Martins of sexual harassment last year, it felt like what had long been an open secret—the prevalence of harassment in the dance world—was finally coming to the surface. But the momentum of the #MeToo movement, at least in dance, has since died down.
Martins has retired, though an investigation did not corroborate any of the claims against him. He and former American Ballet Theatre star Marcelo Gomes, who suddenly resigned in December, were the only cases to make national headlines in the U.S. We've barely scratched the surface of the dance world's harassment problem.
Many choreographers have been defeated by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. However, one dancemaker whose stridency, rhythmic daring and sheer inventiveness could possibly match Stravinsky's is Wayne McGregor. For his first commission from American Ballet Theatre, McGregor has taken on this earth-cracking music in AFTERITE, to premiere at ABT's Spring Gala. Also on the May 21 gala program are excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky's restaging of the comic ballet Harlequinade, the full version of which will premiere next month, and a pièce d'occasion by tapper Michelle Dorrance. May 21–26. abt.org.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)