Today, we tackle that last question head-on. Here at NJDTE, dancers are not only given the technical skills they need to succeed on stage, but also the guidance and confidence to choose the higher education path that is right for them. Double majors are on the rise across the country, as more and more high school seniors seek to combine, rather than choose between, their passions. Dancers are no exception. In fact, most Bachelor of Fine Arts programs now offer dual degrees or minors in nearly any field you can think of: business, the sciences, visual art, communications, English, history, and more. Versatility and collaboration are keys to success in any field, and dancers who graduate with a second degree are poised to make an impact as professionals both on and off the stage.
If you have found yourself wondering how you could possibly “do it all” in college, three recent NJDTE alumni -- Abigail Frasco, Gabrielle Garruppo & Nicole Killmer -- are here to share how they're making it happen:
Gabrielle Garruppo is a senior at The George Washington University. After completing her study at NJDTE, she went on to pursue a double degree in college. At the end of her time at GW, she will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and a Bachelors of Arts in dance.
*Check out her post on the blog about what inspired her to pursue this course of study!
For whom is a double major the right choice?
What has been your most difficult moment on this track, and how did you overcome it?
“I knew I wanted to study abroad, and I had to make sure I was able to work around that. What I ended up doing was taking most of my general requirement classes in my freshman and sophomore years, because they were easier to get into, and taking my biology classes my junior and senior years, with dance classes spread more evenly throughout. When I went abroad to London, I took strictly biology classes, and I ended up coming back with over half of my biology degree completed. I'm not necessarily going to have an easy second semester of my senior year, like most other students will, but I will be graduating with two Bachelors degrees, which makes it worth it.” –G.G.
“Michigan is a fun, social school. There is something going on every night! So you have know when to stay in and rest or study. Just know that sometimes you may not be able to keep up with other students because your days are very different from theirs. That being said, Saturday football games are always a must! – A.F.
How jam-packed is your schedule?
“My schedule is pretty packed, but it's nothing that isn't feasible. I have my classes during the day Monday through Friday, and the lab I am a TA for is on Mondays during the day. I had rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday nights for the piece I choreographed for the department's show, and I would use my Tuesday and Thursday evenings to do work. Throughout my week I would have some rehearsals for the student organization I am involved in, which were often on Sundays this semester, and the rest of my time on the weekends I used to relax, go out with my friends, and finish up any work that I had. While I kept myself busy, I was in a rhythm from week to week, making my semester less stressful. And yes, I still get sleep!” –G.G.
“NJDTE helped me learn the importance of time management and how to stay successful while busy. During my time at the Ensemble I was taking Tuesday and Thursday night ballet classes, along with the rehearsals and classes taught all day Saturdays and Sundays. My rehearsal schedule is lighter here, and since I was able to do well in high school under a full schedule, it is easier for me to do the same thing here in college. Also, NJDTE taught me the significance of dedication to your work, as well as to always do what you love to do. NJDTE was an incredibly inspiring experience for me, and I honestly don't think I would be a double major if I didn't dedicate my time the Ensemble.” –G.G.
What do you want to know about navigating the relationship between the arts and college? Comment down below, and we will be sure to offer up an abundance of resources.