Day 40 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Dancers with Diplomas
In our current world not every dancers leaves home to finish high school in a dance academy or graduates from high school and auditions straight-away to join a ballet company. Some actually put their careers on hold and choose to attend college. True, many still seek out apprenticeships in ballet companies but a growing number of dancers go to college and earn Bachelors degrees in Fine Arts.
Part of the draw is the chance to study dance history, kinesiology (mechanics of movement of the human body), and other interests such as early childhood education in addition to being able to dance every day in a milder pressure-cooker than when dancers step into a ballet company and need to compete from day one. College gives dancers a chance to experiment with different dance forms as well as time to perfect their skills. And, because dancers’ careers are often brief, it also provides alternative future career possibilities. (Had Marta been a real person and had that opportunity to go to college I doubt she’d have taken it. School was always a struggle for her. She felt she had no talent beyond dancing which ends up creating a difficult situation for her in her stories once she is no longer able to dance. Of course, that gives me more writing possibilities as well.)
Not every college or university had such a degree available, but those that do are giving dancers additional options, new ideas about their life’s work and helping create well-rounded adults who can function outside the world of ballet if need be.