Rachel Papo for Pointe

Got a Competition Coming Up? Use These Tips From 3 Pros

Whether you've just started on the circuit or you're already the proud owner of several medals, dance competitions can be nerve-wracking. How can you make the most of the experience? Three former comp kids who've gone on to find major success in their careers shared their top tips.


Ryan Steele, Broadway performer:

Photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Ryan Steele

"I didn't realize that I wasn't just competing for a scholarship or a title, I was auditioning for future jobs. Some of my strongest professional relationships were built at conventions and competitions. Not just with the teachers, but with peers as well. Those relationships will stick with you. Make them count!"

Lia Cirio, Boston Ballet principal dancer:

Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy Boston Ballet

"Don't compare yourself to your fellow dancers. Focus on you and the goal you wish to accomplish."

Jaclyn Walsh, Keigwin + Company dancer:

Matthew Murphy, courtesy Jaclyn Walsh

"Onstage, there are so many other variables aside from bodies in space: the lighting, spike marks and live music. The experience I built while competing made me more prepared to tackle these as a professional."

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Dancers at work in USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's facilities. Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Meet 5 Recent USC Kaufman Grads Making Waves in the Dance Industry

Since welcoming its first freshman BFA class in 2015, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has made a name for itself. The Los Angeles dance program is known for creating versatile artists in a collaborative, innovative training environment, and its alumni are already making bold professional leaps.

Dance Magazine caught up with five recent grads to see where they've landed and how USC Kaufman and its career services department prepared them for their future in the dance industry.

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July 2021