"Pursue Your Passion. While it may seem scary to be pursuing such an unconventional major, there are so many more job opportunities than people realize. You may be discouraged by others from pursuing dance. However, if you love what you do, it will always be the right decision."
Class of 2018
My career roadmap has been defined since the beginning.
When I was 5 years old, I watched the movie Ice Princess for the first time and decided that I wanted to become a figure skater.
When I was about 7 years-old, my skating coach suggested I take ballet to improve my skating technique.
After signing up for dance classes at a studio, I realized that I enjoyed dancing much more than I enjoyed figure skating. When I was 9 years-old, I joined a performance team at my dance studio and decided that I wanted to be a dance teacher when I grew up.
When I was 12 years old, I began to dance competitively and was introduced to many more dance opportunities than just teaching.
The summer before my sophomore year, I auditioned to be a company member of a traveling dance convention (LA Dance Magic). This allowed me to pick up new dance and leadership skills. I also learned more about performing arts colleges during my time as a company member.
I transferred to AOC my junior year and actually started out as a business major. After one semester, it was confirmed that dance was what I wanted to do with my life.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Dance teacher for preschool - sixth grade students
Teaching assistant for middle school dancers and summer dance camp
Member of a competitive dance company at my studio
Attended a week-long dance intensive that provided on-camera experiences, as well as mock auditions and lectures from working professionals
Company member for LA Dance Magic from 2015-2018 which provided experience and insight on what happens behind the scenes at dance competitions and conventions.
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Substitute dance teacher over the summer break
Dancing in the Blackbox and Concert shows at AMDA
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I am currently an undergraduate at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). AMDA is not like a regular college or university. I take between 12 and 15 classes a semester. During the semester, all of my time is spent in class, in rehearsal, or commuting to and from school. For most people this seems exhausting and stressful, but there is nothing I would rather do than dance with my friends 24/7. After college, I would love to perform on a cruise line and in television and film. Once my performing years are behind me, I will place my focus on teaching dance.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Pursue Your Passion. While it may seem scary to be pursuing such an unconventional major, there are so many more job opportunities than people realize. You may be discouraged by others from pursuing dance. However, unlike some majors, you get to actively work on your craft, make connections, and learn new skills from the very beginning. If you love what you do, it will always be the right decision.
Advice #2: Research. Research. Research. Because dance is not a STEM major, most high schools do not discuss the work and educational opportunities available to you. It is important to do research on your own to see what opportunities are available and discover things you may want to do in the future. Dance is so much more than how good you are. It is also about staying educated and up to date on what is happening in the industry.
Advice #3: Have Fun! Do not forget why you chose to pursue dance. It will get stressful at times. Some days you may feel like quitting. In moments like these, it is important to remember why you started down this path in the first place. Take a deep breath and push through the hard times to get to the best times.