Kate's Note: School Rules!

August 17, 2011

These days dancers of all ages and styles know that after a long day of working your body out physically, it can feel so good to mentally engage in a college course. Beyond earning that coveted BFA, finding passions outside of dance­—perhaps you’re a lover of French literature or even a trigonometry buff—will foster what’s most important, your personal growth.

This September, in Dance Spirit’s annual Higher Education issue, we’re celebrating the smarties!
Cover girl Amber Jackson at NYCDA

Our cover girl, Amber Jackson (a 2008 National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance), is currently a senior at the LINES BFA program in San Francisco, CA. Adjusting to college life wasn’t easy for Amber, but now she’s thrilled about what she has accomplished academically and artistically. “I’m learning to dance from the inside out,” she says. Turn to “Caught in Amber” (p. 66) for the details.

Although Amber chose to attend a four-year BFA program right out of high school, some of the other dancers in this issue found college after starting to dance as professionals.

Megan Fairchild, principal with New York City Ballet, is now also a math major at Fordham University. She’s enrolled in school simply because she loves it. “I’m not thinking about the end result,” she says. “Going to school gives me perspective… I’m not so obsessed with ballet.” Read more about Megan and other pros going to school in “Making School Work” (p. 70).

We shot this
Kate (right) lending Amber a hand at her DS photo shoot
month’s fashion feature (p. 58) on campus at SUNY Purchase with students modeling beautiful back-to-school basics. (SUNY Purchase graduates have gone on to perform and choreograph for companies around the world.)

And there’s so much more! Harry Shum Jr. is on p. 78 (we love him!); on p. 86 pro dancers divulge their most embarrassing onstage moments (everyone makes mistakes!); and we highlight exciting companies filled with former comp kids on p. 82.

Finally, don’t miss our annual Higher Ed listing (p. 100). In it, you’ll find more than 100 programs that will inspire you to step away from the barre and into a college class that interests you!


Kate Lydon


Photos top to bottom: Amber Jackson at NYCDA, Photo by Propix/Courtesy New York City Dance Alliance; Kate (right) lends Amber a hand at her
DS photo shoot, Photo by Erin Baiano