I am so excited to have just found out I got into my dream college for next year! I don’t want to be a professional dancer, but dance is the biggest part of my life right now and I’m not ready to stop just because I don’t plan on making it my career. What do you suggest for ways to keep dancing throughout college without being a dance major?
First and most importantly, congratulations on your college acceptance! That’s super exciting, and we hope you’re pumped. And fortunately, there are so many ways to continue being an active dancer without dreaming of going pro. Here are a few options to look into as you start immersing yourself in your soon-to-be college campus (and home for the next four years!)…
Dance company: Your university’s dance company will probably be most like what you’re used to at your home studio. Many companies utilize all dance styles, and while they may perform at your sports teams’ halftime shows, the focus of the dance company is usually on the end-of-semester showcase (like a recital).
Dance team: If you’ve ever tuned in to ESPN 2 and caught the UDA or NDA national championships, you know what we’re talking about. College dance teams—though they come at all different levels and intensities—typically perform at basketball and football games, and sometimes compete. Dance teams are usually precision-based, so it’s about working with a team and being amazing together, instead of trying to shine in a solo spotlight. Be prepared for jazz (think tons of fouettés and technical tricks), kickline (sky-high kicks in a straight line), hip hop, and pom (super-fast choreography using pom-poms). Stamina is a must!
Dance classes for credit: If your school offers a dance or theater major or minor, it’s likely there are dance classes in the curriculum that you can take for credit. Check with your advisor about your options—usually you’ll have a core curriculum to start with (certain classes you’re required to take, like math, science, and general education), then see if you can squeeze in a dance class. These classes will meet 1–3 times per week and will be like any other academic class, with a syllabus and plan for the semester based around certain lessons or genres.
Recreational dance classes at the campus fitness center: Before you give Zumba the side-eye, try it out! The classes are super popular for a reason: They’re high-energy, low-stress, and tons of fun. Check your university’s fitness center schedule to see if they have Zumba, yoga, Pilates, or barre classes available.
Local studios: Don’t be afraid to venture beyond campus to get your dance fix. Look into local studios or companies that may offer public drop-in classes. This is an especially viable option if you’re in a big city.
Cheers to your next four years. Have a blast!