How do you fit into the dance world? For some of us, the answer’s obvious. But more often, it takes years of experimenting before we find the sweet spot where our passions and talents collide. This month’s cover girl, Celia Rowlson-Hall, has discovered a place in the dance field that might be all her own. After being told as a student that she lacked professional potential, she’s used her gangly movement quality to her advantage—first as a Bessie-award winning dancer and now as a filmmaker/choreographer/performer for music videos, TV shows, fashion labels and her own whimsical short films. By embracing her inner goofball and fearlessly taking on a giant range of opportunities, she’s created a DIY career with remarkable success.
Many dancers figure out their ideal path during college, that crucial time of self-discovery. Unfortunately, that can sometimes mean their original higher ed plans no longer serve their new dreams. We spoke to a handful of students who changed course midway through to find out how they knew it was time to transfer schools—and how the decision to start over shaped their careers.
Right: “In cabaret the woman is a vehicle to display the costume. That presents an idea about feminism I find really interesting.” —Rosie Herrera, whose latest dance theater work was inspired by her days as a showgirl. Photos by Moris Moreno.
Whether you have a particular goal in mind or are still searching, this issue also offers a detailed scholarship guide to help you get to where you want to be. We list more than 200 opportunities for both students and professionals. Look carefully to find the ones that match up with your ambitions.
Even when you find your fit, you’ll need to keep adapting as you—and the dance world—change over time. Even an artist as established as William Forsythe continues to reinvent himself. As we report in “The Latest,” he’s shocked many in the dance world by announcing that he will leave his renowned company behind to join the faculty of University of Southern California’s new dance program. His move may be unexpected, but it just proves that there is no one right way to find success in the dance field.
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On August 20, pop goddess Lizzo tweeted, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded which responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall tagging the singer in submissions.
Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use #LizzoBalletChallenge so we know what you're up to.)
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
New York City–based choreographer and director Jennifer Weber once worked on a project with a strict social media policy: " 'Hire no one with less than 10K, period'—and that was a few years ago," she says. "Ten thousand is a very small number now, especially on Instagram."
The commercial dance world is in a period of transition, where social media handles and follower counts are increasingly requested by casting directors, but rarely offered by dancers up front. "I can see it starting to show up on resumés, though, alongside a dancer's height and hair color," predicts Weber.