I'm very blessed to have the opportunity to major in dance at BSU. It's awesome that I get to study something I'm passionate about while working towards earning my degree. However, I can't deny that a certain stigma comes along with being a dance major. I have received a variety of responses from people when I tell that what I'm studying. While these people probably had good intentions in these conversations, here are some of the things that as a dance major I am sick of hearing...
"Wait- that's a real major?"
This one gets me every time. I once heard of a girl at UMass Amherst that majored in cheese. CHEESE. And you think dance isn't a real major? Did you think every person with a career in dance went to college just for fun? Have you never heard of Julliard? Have you never watched Glee? Yes, dance is a real major. I am getting a bachelor of arts in dance. I promise it's a thing.
"That must be so easy- your classes are just dancing"
Wrong. So very wrong. On top of technique classes every day, I am expected to take a full course load of core curriculum ("general education classes") including not one, but two math courses, English, science (yet again two!), history, seminars, and cultural classes. Then there are those non-dancing dance classes where you I have to study anatomy, history, music, and choreography and apply it all to dance. Science and Theory of Dance (kind of like a dance science class) was probably the hardest course I've taken- and I was expected to take it my first semester of freshman year. Being a dance major is a constant state of being sore from all the hours you put in in the studio and having 3,000 homework assignments due the next day. Did I mention I have rehearsal till 10pm tonight?
"You must be really good"
I can't say I hate this assumption, but I've found there is no good way to respond to this. If I say, "yes- I'm amazing", I will come across as incredibly cocky but if I say, "no, I'm really not that great", I'll come across as unconfident and probably not good enough to be going to school for dance. I could probably say, "yea kinda", but then people will ask me to "do something cool" and will be unimpressed when they discover they can't do a backflip. The last thing I want to say about this statement is that yes, I am a well trained dancer but I am no where near professional...BUT THAT'S WHY I'M GOING TO SCHOOL! You don't enter college as a biology major and can all of a sudden cure cancer, so please don't be surprised when I can't go 32 fouettés en pointe.
"What's your backup plan?"
Why don't you go ask the Pre-Med major that one. Seriously- having a degree in "pre-medicine" isn't going to get you very far if you don't get into medical school, or decide you don't want to go once you graduate. Yet I'm the one who needs a backup plan?? Yes, going into a career in dance is taking a risk, but then again how many majors guarantee you a job right after graduation? Zero. At the end of the day, it's better to go to school for something you are truly passionate about and work your butt off to make ends meet and live out your dreams and your purpose in life rather than play it safe and major in something totally boring just because someone thinks you won't make it. I would also like to point out that I have two minors (secondary education and musical theatre performance) which will prepare me to choreograph for shows and teach in the MA public school system (I'm in a program in which I will be going for my teaching license). There are plenty of ways to make yourself employable with a degree in dance; you just have to work for them.
"Why can't you go out?"
We've arrived at the annual Thursday night question. While yes, dance majors like to have fun like everyone else, it's much more difficult to get through an 8am ballet class hungover (or even just incredibly tired) than it is to sit in a history class. It is also irresponsible to not be in your best condition to dance if you have a rehearsal or performance the next day. Dance majors also can't afford to get sick- most likely because they have to get on stage or teach choreography multiple times a week so one night out can through of their sleep schedules and weaken their immune systems. Long story short... there's not a lot of room for play when you're a dance major. While these principles can be applied to any program of study, dance is a little more time consuming and physically demanding than everything else so it's responsibility times ten.
Being a dance major is one of the best opportunities I've ever had, but it is a demanding four (probably more) years of my life that I'm giving up to study my art form. If you're considering majoring in dance or are just curious as to what it's like, feel free to comment on this post or contact me via social media (see CONTACT above)! It's stressful, tiring, and comes with a lot of baggage, but at the end of the day I wouldn't major in anything else.
Advanced Ballet at BSU
Hello there, my name is Becca and I am a 22 year old dance teacher from Massachusetts.
News & Events
9/18 Follow my new Instagram just for my dance things!
12/23 I was one of NDEO's Guest Bloggers this year! Read "Teaching is a Vocation. Not a Fallback" on their Behind the Curtain Blog!
9/27 I will be presenting my research at the National Dance Education Organization National Conference next week! See my research project by clicking the button below!
4/15 While working on PMA's production of The Addams Family, I got to combine my two favorite styles of dance (ballet and musical theatre) for "The Moon and Me"! Watch my talented students dance by clicking the button below!
2/20 I am choreographing PMA Theatre Guild's Production of The Addams Family! Come see these amazing high school students perform at Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen, MA April 13 & 14! Tickets available at the door.
2/20 I am stage managing BSU's Dance Kaleidoscope this year! Show dates are March 29-31 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. Come see this student choreography showcase!
11/5 I will once again be dancing in a BSUDC concert! Tickets to WinterDance are now available!
8/24 NDEO's National Honor Society for Dance Arts has published one of my articles in their newsletter! Read an updated version of "Audition Advice" here:
5/16 Interested in learning about movement concepts? Visit Becca's new Educational Dance website!
5/8 BSU Dance Company's Dance Kaleidoscope 2017 is now on Youtube! You can watch my performances by visiting the VIDEOS page!
4/23 I recently performed for the residents of Allerton House in Hingham, MA! You can watch part of my performance here!
Amesbury Children's Theatre presents...James and the Giant Peach Jr, featuring choreography by me! Click for tickets!
2/8 My piece "Barefoot" is now available to watch online! Click to watch!
2/5 Happy to say I have been cast in BSU Dance Company's Spring concert Dance Kaleidoscope! I will be dancing in 3 faculty choreographed pieces, including excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty in which I will be dancing the role of Lilac Fairy! Show dates are March 31-April 1 at Bridgewater State University.
Click the button for more info!
1/15 Ballet with Becca is now on Facebook! Click to visit the page, and be sure to like it while you're there!
1/14 I am happy to say I will be attending artEmotion's summer intensive in June! I will be dancing in the one week artEmotion Adult Program. If anyone would like to join or audition for any other artEmotion program, visit their website!
12/13 My photo gallery has been recreated! Click to see the new page, including photos from WinterDance 2016!