What is it like to go to college for dance?

When I tell people what my major is, I often get, “So what do you want to do after college?”

My response, “That’s the golden question.”

Of course, I go on to inform the inquirer with a more detailed answer: highlighting my likes and dislikes and how that might theoretically guide me to focus on one area more than another, in the big scope of the dance world. But let’s not talk about that for now. I’m a junior after all.

“But what does being a “dance major” mean? Do you just dance all day?” you ask.

I am at a conservatory college, which for an undergraduate student like me, means earning a B.F.A or bust. There are no minors and no double majors, so I have no “back-up”. And yes, I pretty much dance all day. Academics each semester typically consist of one dance related academic and one liberal arts (history/literature based) class. I write a few essays each semester, tests come and go, and grades are mostly a reflection of attendance and attitude.

Which leads me to discuss college life. I don’t live a typical “college” existence of cramming or partying. I spend more time at the barre then the bar. My weekends are spent lying in bed resting, cross-training, working off campus, or rehearsing extra projects. Boston Conservatory is also a very intimate atmosphere. My junior class has 26 people in it and the dance division in total is around 140. Professors here play a careful balance of mentor and extended family member.

Most of my workload comes from the physical and mental stress of living, breathing, and dancing in the same bubble. Stress also comes from the unknown and an uncertainty that stems from going into a field that is not “stable.” Every moment counts because there is always only so much time; to train, to audition, to learn, to develop a skill, to practice, to perform. Most difficult for me, the choice to become an artist forces you to look inside yourself and claim your own individuality as something that is worth being seen.

The one thing that comforts me in all this, is that there are no rules. After I graduate from college, I’ll see where life takes me. I want to be dancing now because I’m young. However, the dance world is massive and holds so many opportunities. Maybe I’ll be in an administrative role one day or teach, choreograph, photograph dance, be a critic, write grants for a non-profit, go into movement therapy, represent artists as a talent agent, own a studio of my own, work as a company manager, or go back to school for something else! Maybe I won’t. What I do know is when I “dance all day”, I’m doing much more than that. I’m learning how to become the best at something that doesn’t have a limit to its perfection.

So this is my real answer, “ I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out.”

-Christina Morrison

Christina Morrison is the current Marketing Intern for Urbanity Dance. She is working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Christina is excited to be developing her knowledge of the dance world in a new way.

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