Point Park students have been hired after performing in New York City. Photo by Katie Gling, Courtesy Point Park
College faculty want to help you build a bridge to the working world. So it should be no surprise that they sometimes invite in artists who could potentially hire you someday. "At NYU Tisch, opening night is typically open to alumni, many of whom are working choreographers, and we invite artistic directors to the final night of the run—each one gets a press kit with the graduating dancers' bios, and we host a reception afterward," says Seán Curran, chair of that dance program. "We're not agents, but with a little help, many of our students make their own chances."
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, Courtesy DKC/O&M
The connections dancers make in college are no joke. For recent alum Gabrielle Hamilton, working with guest choreographer John Heginbotham at Point Park University put her on the fast track to Broadway—not in an ensemble role, but as the lead dancer in one of this season's hottest tickets: Daniel Fish's arresting reboot of Oklahoma!
We caught up with Hamilton about starring in the show's dream ballet and her delightfully bizarre pre-show ritual.
One of the most definitive parts of the college selection process is deciding whether to pursue a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of fine arts degree. Each has its advantages—the BFA usually provides more performance opportunities and studio time, while the BA allows students to explore the academic side of dance as well as other liberal arts subjects. But it can be hard to know which will best prepare you for an undetermined future and provide you with the college experience you crave. Doing your research—and remembering that this is just one of many factors to consider when choosing a school—can help.
Point Park University students. Photo by Katie Ging, Courtesy Point Park
"Consider where you want to grow and where you want to go," says Point Park University dance department chair Rubén Graciani. "Do you want to make a go for it in the dance world? Do you want your experience to be more physical or more academic?"