Career Development Plan - How can I choose between two great dance schools?

Career Development Plan - How can I choose between two great dance schools?

Dear Odette,

This isn't a ballet one I'm afraid, but I have a serious difficulty in choosing between these two contemporary dance schools which I love.
Basically, I dance with one of the schools twice a week, where an hour and a half is a technique class and the other hour and a half is a more creative/choreography/rehearsal session. There has been great performance opportunities with them, dance intensives, the teaching is great and I like the people that go and we are all quite close as it is a small Juniors program.
However, we have to audition every year to keep our place and I will be auditioning in July for the Seniors Program as I will have turned 16 years old by September. So, as a backup I auditioned for the Young Dancers CAT program at a contemporary college which offers contemporary courses and education. It is an amazing school with brilliant teachers, a friendly and warm atmosphere and many students have graduated from the college to dance companies like Rambert Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, Mad Dogs Dance Theatre and Henri Oguike Dance Company. I have been there for work experience and I observed the classes and I know that level of training is very good.
The CAT program at the college in which I auditioned for offers contemporary, pilates, creative, choreography, ballet and sometimes yoga three times a week. Also, they offer physiotherapy regularly for injuries (minor or major)and advice. Students are given three targets per term to work on, training and fitness tests and reports to students and parents on what needs to be improved and what is good. I was really impressed by the technicality and professionalism of the course and I feel very, very tempted to accept if I am accepted a place (I will find out in 2 weeks).
Although, the course I am currently at fits well around my schedule (I have just started an all day Saturday job - if I were to join the college course I would have to quit the job) and if I get in, I will be familiar with the teachers and the dancers etc. Also, it is cheaper than the college young dancers course. The Young dancers course costs about £3000 a year whereas the one I am currently at is much, much less. I can more easily get to the one I am currently at by train and a short 10 min walk, whereas the college one is a bit further out.
Both have pros and cons obviously but if I was accepted into the Young dancers program, and if my parents said it was okay, I wouldn't help but feel really

guilty and disloyal to the school that I am at. I have visions (this is only if I am accepted into the dance program at the college) of it being very awkward between both schools as they are in the same city (which is really small).
I am excited about the prospect of being accepted into the program at the college as the professionalism, sophistication, charisma and attention to individual students (i.e. having targets) impresses me, but would I be "betraying" the other school?
The young dancers program is so appealing yet more difficult to get to, expensive (fees and transport costs) and it would mean losing my part time job on a Saturday.
Obviously, I might not get in, in which case I must put all of my focus and determination into the July audition for my current school, but nevertheless, if I am accepted what should I do??

Career Development Plan - How can I choose between two great dance schools?

Hi Orla,
Thank you for your message, it's great to hear from you and I understand your dilemma. On the good side, it's great you've given yourself more than one option and a 'back up' plan by taking initiative and auditioning for another School.

In my opinion, you shouldn't feel bad that you're considering joining the other School. Dancers have to move on and change places all the time, it's part of the experience and helps shape you as a dancer. You wouldn't be betraying the other School, don't worry, they should support and understand that you're being given another great opportunity. Always do your best to keep in good relationships with all your teachers and schools though, as the dance world is small and you never know when you might need them again.

Mainly, when choosing the school which is right for you, you want to look at which place gives you the most options at the end of the course. This really helped me see the bigger picture when I was choosing schools and made it clearer for me to decide. Ask yourself, by the end of the year or course, which school gives you the most opportunities? Which one would gives you many paths to lead onto? Especially if you see past students succeeding into companies or professional dancers, this is an encouraging factor to consider.

Most importantly, do which one you feel is right. Follow your gut instincts and don't be influenced too much by what other people say, because it is your decision and you have to be the one who is happy with it. Both schools sound like they would fit for you and I know you would make the best out of whichever school you decide.

Keep me in touch!
Best wishes,

Comments for Career Development Plan - How can I choose between two great dance schools?

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you're so lucky NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow! You have the option between two dance schools! That's so lucky. Xxx

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