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What do you need to know or do to be successful in a graduate program in dance or dance education?

After you’ve selected a program, applied, and been accepted - the work has just begun! Here is some advice from NDEO graduate student members on how to be successful in your graduate studies:

“Being a graduate student means playing multiple roles and taking responsibility for others and yourself. Managing your limited time and infinite stress is another “course” you must pass during your study. - Yi An, University of North Carolina Greensboro, MFA and University of Hawaii at Manoa, PhD Candidate

An older woman standing against the wall hold a red fan, dressed in a dress and headband.

“Be prepared for the workload! As a full - time Dance Educator in the public school system, a full-time graduate student, and working fellowship hours; the demand is intense but the reward and experience is worth it! Graduate school has helped make me more organized and informed. These experiences enhanced my teaching style, provided connections with professionals in the field and enhanced my community of artists in education - the key to staying connected to your craft". - Katoya Johnson

“I believe that graduate school is for exploring what one is interested in, passionate about, and dedicated to. It is not for figuring it out, as undergraduate college is often treated. The prospective graduate student needs to have an established practice with experience training, choreographing, teaching, performing, and working with that practice in whichever other professional or professional-intended capacities. Naturally, the deeper and more seasoned one's practice is, and the more one has knowledge about the community, culture, and history regarding the practice, the more able one will be to direct the knowledge toward a specific end.

I hear too often that those in their first year of graduate school didn't know what to do; perhaps their choice in attending graduate school reflected on wanting to be directed, assigned, and led to water. In contrast, the first year of graduate school can allow one to hit the ground running, using each graduate course and every assignment to engage with one's field of interest. Perhaps in addition to an established practice, an established or developing career will lead one to that field of interest.” -Angelo "Vo Vera" Sapienza, Arizona State University

A man standing on a bench posing with his hand in his pocket.  He is smiling and looking over his shoulder.

"Bring yourself to whatever you are studying. The learning is only worth what it can mean to YOU and your world.” - Mikey Winslow (pictured left), Western Michigan University

Have multiple mentors, including outside your home department or institution.Treat grad school like a job. This will help you set boundaries for your work-life balance and holistic wellness. You are more than your job.” - Bradford Chin, University of California, Irvine.

Photo Credits (in order from top to bottom): Rosalinda Rojas, Phil Roccuzzo