What does a dance major/English lit major do after graduation? After all, those two majors — a BFA and a humanities, liberal arts BA — hardly lend themselves to employment, right? WRONG.
This summer is shaping up to be quite a busy one. Besides my ongoing French independent study (which, yes, takes between two and three hours a day), I’m also preparing for two other short-term summer jobs. Also, I’m interviewing for another.
Also, I’m sorting through the mass of items I accumulated at Butler over the course of four years. This is what comes from never moving out completely, then suddenly transporting all of it home at once:
This was just the first load... Multiply by four, then square. That's how much stuff I am sorting/donating/etcing.
But back to the important things, those things your parents will ask you when you tell them you want to major in Dance Performance and English Literature… What kinds of jobs can you get?
This summer I:
- am interviewing for a position as a substitute teacher at a local ballet studio. Teaching is always an option, even for those still in school, especially if you have taken pedagogy classes.
- am dancing in the Southern Illinois Music Festival’s productions of The Firebird and Petrouchka.
- am teaching movement classes at the Indianapolis Children’s Choir day camp.
Then in July it’s off to Tulsa to start with Tulsa Ballet II — time to return to the real world after four years of college. I suppose it will be a bit like my time as a trainee at the Richmond Ballet… but I guess I’ll find out when I get there. For now, I’m plenty busy writing pages of French, learning Firebird choreography off of Youtube, and developing the class plan for the ICC kids.
And those are the various odd jobs I’m doing this summer by virtue of my BFA/BA degrees! (Well, these are mostly from my BFA, but I like to flatter myself into thinking the BA helps me communicate clearly, an essential part of any job.) (Except, you know, these posts tend to be extremely rambling, so perhaps I’m not presenting myself to my best advantage. Oh well.)
Oh my goodness, this past weekend’s performances of Coppélia were completely overwhelming — in the best of ways. Putting the experience into words is so difficult. Of course things didn’t go perfectly. The last night, when I finally got all the fouetté turns at the end of the ballet, I almost ate it on the pull in. It’s never perfect.
But while I am not satisfied with the performances (if I were satisfied, I don’t think I would be trying to produce art), I am overjoyed and overwhelmed and (though sad it is over) still riding on an incredible high. It might not be perfect, but oh my goodness, it’s so much fun.
Seniors on the ladder!
Class on Monday was painful for sure! When the adrenaline from performing was gone, the fatigue/soreness it masked definitely remained. The life of a dancer… We are busy preparing for dance finals. Academic classes are winding down too in a flurry of projects and tests and papers. This is the last final season I will have at Butler.
Somehow everything seems less real for a few days after we leave the theater. I’m getting ready for finals, of course, but part of me is still on that stage, smiling or crying or clenching my fists or falling in love or prancing around, full of mischief. Dancing Swanhilda was a tremendous blessing, and I know I will miss it so much. The only remedy? On to the next performance!
I know I’m dancing in the Spotlight gala at Clowes and then in Carbondale for the Southern Illinois Music Festival… and then who knows what adventures wait for me in Tulsa? It’s scary and exciting, and I feel much more prepared to meet that challenge after the whirlwind that was Coppélia.
Participating in BSI, I am for the first time surrounded by a concentrated group of students on track to do graduate school. Lately the pet topic has been the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, a test of which I was only vaguely aware a few weeks ago.
It’s odd, since I want to dance after I graduate from college. If I go back to graduate school — which I would love to do, to study English literature — it will be who know how many years in the future. Maybe dancing won’t work out. (It must, it must!) Maybe I won’t want to go back to the academic world after having left it for five years? ten? twenty? Maybe I will be too poor to afford the schooling, or I will have a family or otherwise not want to move. I just don’t know.
I thought moving to college as a first-year student was a big deal. Turns out, the real world outside the classroom is much more uncertain. I’m going to take the new GRE. I’ll try to muddle through the terrifying GRE English Subject test in April. I’ll audition my behind off and hope to get into a company. And I’ll just exhale and let life take me on a ride.
Did I mention, my family is at the beach right now? I'm wishing myself back to this pool, currently located in Florida. (Well, always located in Florida -- currently and in the past.) Summer....
In the end, that’s all one can do, really. I’ll try my best and see what happens. And perhaps review my early British authors, since I think that’s my weakest point. (Except for poetry.) After BSI, I’ve totally got postcolonial Anglo-Celtic authors covered. And American literature from 1850-1855 should be good as well. I never realized just how vast the “canon” (can we even use that term anymore without a skeptical smile?) of English literature is.
Anyone want to hire a shorter female ballerina?