If your training to be a dancer, you might feel pressured into thinking that dance college is the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, colleges help to prepare you for the industry yes, and for you they might be the route to take, but they are certainly not the be all and end all. Personally, I don’t think you need to go to dance college to make it in the industry. At the end of the day, if you have a talent, you have a talent. If they like you, they like you. If you put the work in, learn and grow as much as you possibly can and apply this with a positive open mind, you will make it. Simple.
In my head, college was never my thing. I remember fighting the battle in my head thinking it was the end of the world years ago because it was made out like that was the ONLY route to take. How wrong was I… Now as an outsider, I realise how grateful I am for not attending college… Starting with the simple fact that I don’t want to be moulded into something I’m not. Individuality is beautiful. That’s what makes you, you. Having your own character is way more raw and exciting than being the same as everyone else. Being confident and unique but at the same time humble and grateful will get you further than you’ll ever realise – in my opinion. You see a lot of colleges go for a certain ‘look’. You don’t have to be the most incredible dancer, if you have a certain body type and a beautiful face, you might just make it (it’s sad I know and is one of the only industries where they can actually get away with this) and yep, you might have a tad more of an advantage than the next person. But who are you to know? It’s never the best dancers in the industry that make it, it’s the dancers with the best attitude and mindset. Colleges might LOVE you, but industry leaders might not because of the attitude that MIGHT come with it. Not from college directly, but from the environment you’re around when you surround yourself with negative set backs years and years in a row. This is not my experience by the way… This is the experience of nearly every single dancer I have ever spoken to in my life who has gone down this route. It’s sad ya know…
In my opinion, no matter where you’re training, you should be encouraged and supported every single day. That doesn’t mean sing your praises every moment – that gets you nowhere. I mean hit the home truths with valuable feedback that you can take away with in a positive light. WE LEARN BEST WHEN HAVING FUN. That is a fact of life.
I can tell you now that there is not ONE teacher-qualification that says the teachers need to be assholes. Not one. But the shit thing is, there are a lot of them, not because they’re horrible people deep down, but it’s the insecurities that come from being around such a toxic environment sometimes. This might not be what you want to hear, but I’ve literally heard it all time and time again. I feel like there’s nothing anyone can tell me anymore which would surprise me. But I’m passionate and I don’t want you guys to go down the route my close friend did who say they’ve ‘lost themselves’ or ‘they wish they never went’ or ‘they felt like a failure every day’ or they ‘had a severe eating disorder so I couldn’t handle it’.
Who wants to feel like their not good enough? Who gets a kick out of competing with their best friends on a daily basis? Not me. Unfortunately, I know plenty of places that will make you feel like that. Eventually you’ll just burn out and end up feeling completely deflated and demotivated. Not cool.
Too be honest, if you have a passion about something, keep working your a** off. Find a teacher who not only believes in you, but who is knowledgable, works with your way of learning and you feel is truly helping you. If you stay positive, work super hard, train train and train, stay motivated, listen, YOU WILL MAKE IT. Whether you have been to dance college or not – there is no pattern that shows the most successful dancers went to college. I could name heaps that didn’t.
It’s not going to be easy whichever route you take, but I promise it’ll be worth it. If you make it in the industry through college then that’s amazing regardless, but if you get there without, did we not just save you heaps of tears and mental health issues. Something I’m also extremely passionate about (incase you couldn’t tell already!).
It’s the same as any job. If you wan’t to succeed in something, mindset is EVERYTHING, qualifications and skills come second. I am definitely NOT saying saying college is a bad thing at all although it might seem like this, and if your planning to go, then PLEASE go for it, it might be the perfect thing for you! But for me personally, I knew it wasn’t for me from the get go and I want to shed light on those who are worried it’s ‘too late’ or they don’t feel good enough because they didn’t go to dance college?
So make sure you reaaallyy think about it before you make the decision to go to dance college or university. If you have a goal just stay positive, keep your mind right, keep grafting and you will get there, trust me. College or not, YOU GOT DISSS!

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