Training
Brent Smith. Courtesy Butler University

Can't choose between college and a professional ballet career? It's possible to have both! (Four artistic directors told us so.)

But this path comes with extra challenges. The university you choose can make all the difference. So how do you find the right program?

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Juilliard student Diamond Ancion. Photo by Todd Rosenberg, courtesy Juilliard

In the ballet world, the phrase "going to college" is sometimes regarded as the musings of a dancer who's not really serious about their craft. Although schools like Juilliard and Bennington College have made degrees acceptable for modern dancers for decades, the competitive ballet world (which often follows a philosophy of "the younger the better") tends to discourage higher education.

But some ballet students just don't feel physically or emotionally ready to join a professional company at age 18, and others simply don't want to miss out on the college experience. So they choose to pursue an undergraduate dance degree to continue their ballet training in an academic atmosphere.

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