Four Ways to Keep Your Dance Life Alive After College Graduation
So you’ve decided not to pursue a traditional professional dance path, but you still want to keep dancing after college. After all, dance is much more than just a hobby—you can’t imagine your life without it. Here’s how to find the right postgrad dance opportunity for you.
Start Social Dancing
Social dance is the noncompetitive version of ballroom dance. It involves many of the same styles, but without the pressure of judging. Georgia Grace Schrubbe, owner of the Holy City Salsa Dance Studio City in Charleston, SC, says many of her students who trained in other styles growing up got into dance genres like salsa and bachata after graduating.
The freestyle and partner aspects of these dances challenge your creativity and improve your musicality. Plus, you’ll have the chance to meet people in new dance circles.
Susan Trinh (front, left) dancing with Concept Artists (Joseph Lee, courtesy Susan Trinh)
Join an Adult Dance Team
For anyone looking to stay onstage after graduation, adult dance teams offer performance opportunities, as well as chances to teach workshops and choreograph. Joining a team is also a great way to meet other recent grads who share your love of dance.
To find the right group, We The Females member Susan Trinh recommends checking out classes taught by team members before auditioning. “It’s a great way to get to know their style and learn what being part of the team would be like,” she says. Ask questions about how often the team rehearses, and what the commitment level is like.
Anastacia Clarke leading a 305 Fitness class at the Nike flagship store in NYC (Laura Fuchs, courtesy Anastacia Clarke)
Become a Fitness Instructor
If you thrive in front of a room full of people, consider becoming a dance fitness instructor. And no, we’re not talking about your mom’s Jazzercise class. Check out studios like AKT, Dance Body, and 305 Fitness, which offer high-intensity dance cardio workouts set to your favorite pop and hip-hop music.
You’ll probably find that leading these classes challenges you as much as high-level dance classes did, says long-time 305 Fitness instructor Anastacia Clarke. “You have to memorize 40-plus dances and learn how to queue them while leading a class. It’s a lot of information and you really have to stay focused,” she says.
Create Your Own Approach
If you can’t find the exact opportunity you’re looking for, you can create your own. For example, Boston-based dancer Branden Seng says he loves making concept videos because it allows him to use his imagination to tell people what’s on his mind.
Concept videos are only one way to express yourself. If finding your own way in the dance world seems scary, reach out to college contacts for advice on how to break out on your own. Ask about forming the dance troupe of your dreams, applying for artistic grants, or renting studio space. There are tons of resources available for dancers looking to do their own thing.