It’s That Time of Year…
So, it is the time of year where you are deciding where to apply to college…don’t panic.
There are so many factors to consider when deciding to apply to college/university, and with so many options and considerations to think about, it can be very overwhelming. I would suggest narrowing it down to a ‘top five’ criterion. Choose five factors that are especially important to you about a college. I did this, and I thought I’d share some of the most important criteria to me when you are thinking about what schools you will be applying to…it also happens that I chose Juilliard on these same five grounds!
Juilliard is known as the foremost arts college, and in the dance world, it is widely regarded as the most prestigious post-secondary dance program. A Juilliard education opens up so many opportunities for a dancer, and I wanted to give myself a shot at getting to be a student at this amazing place. The school is known for producing many amazing artists, and some of my biggest inspirations and mentors are alumni of the school.
Juilliard graduates are great technicians. Since Juilliard is a conservatory, much of the day focuses on technical training that will equip us to use our facilities in articulate, expressive and artistic ways and to be able to take on any style of piece. Much of Juilliard is about refining your craft, and knowing that I was looking for a school with a very strong technical program, Juilliard seemed like the perfect place for me to push myself technically.
3. Expertise of Teachers
Juilliard’s faculty includes some of the most important, prominent and artistic teachers. In the dance department, some of our teachers have worked directly with legends like José Limón and Martha Graham, and they also have a vast amount of knowledge to share. Juilliard gives you access to the best teachers that are genuinely invested in your artistic growth. The faculty is absolutely one of the most important factors to consider when applying to schools, so take the time to research program faculty. The experience of the teachers at Juilliard was for me one of the biggest draws to the school, and your teachers will shape your college experience, and your career for that matter. Make sure you do your research!
4. Performance Opportunities
At Juilliard, we get many performance and creative opportunities where we learn repertory, New Dances, and are able to create works ourselves, in Workshops. It is amazing to participate in many different creative and preparation processes, and the stage experience is always valuable. Having known people beforehand who had attended Juilliard or were currently attending, I got the opportunity to talk with them about performance opportunities at the school. Make sure to keep in mind finding the balance between performance and training, since some schools have a focus on one or the other. I think Juilliard strikes a really amazing balance between the two, and there is lots of opportunity to perform classic and important works, while also developing your own choreographic voice if you so choose.
Juilliard is located at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side of New York. Here, life never really stops, and the area is host to a vast number of the finest artists in the world that come to perform and teach. The location of schools is also was one of the most important aspects for me when considering where to apply. You have to enjoy living in a place in order to really get everything out of your college experience. You will spend at least a couple of years in the vicinity of your chosen college, so make sure to consider the vivacity, cultural attractions, food, safety, etc. of the location. Some locations are also more connected to the arts scene than others, and as developing artists, it is important to be in a city that fosters a creative energy. That’s why New York is so great!
On another note, I also want to add that you should start as soon as possible on putting together your application materials. It can take time to get your letters of recommendation, transcripts, photos, audition material, etc. together, so if you are well-organized and on top of all the deadlines, it will eliminate much stress in the application process. You know, as they say, the early bird catches the worm!
I hope this got you thinking about what is most important to you in deciding where to apply to college. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing more tips about auditioning, applying, and navigating the college admissions process, so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!