Magazine article Dance Spirit

JEANINE MASON: Why I Chose College

Magazine article Dance Spirit

JEANINE MASON: Why I Chose College

Article excerpt

AS TOLD TO ASHLEY RIVERS

Before winning Season 5 of "So You Think You Can Dance," Jeanine Mason was a regular high school senior looking forward to starting college in the fall. But after the TV show jumpstarted her career, things suddenly didn't seem quite as straightforward. Here, she tells DS why she decided to go ahead with her college plans (she's enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles)- and her dance career.

Ever since I was little, I've known I wanted to go to college. My mom and dad say education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you, and they're right. It's a sacrifice now and then because I have longer hours and a little bit higher stress level than many people my age, but it's worth it to me. College is going to enrich my life and make me a better person and artist.

Four days after I graduated high school, I moved to L.A. to start shooting "So You Think You Can Dance." I'd already been admitted to UCLA. When I made it to the "SYTYCD" Top 10, 1 was excited, but I also had this quiet realization: "Oh my gosh, the tour schedule means I'm not going to be able to start school on time." For a second, my heart was broken. I had really looked forward to that freshman nervousness, to starting this new chapter in my life. But once UCLA let me know I could start a semester late, in January 2010, 1 felt better.

Since then, I haven't stopped. I enroll full-time when possible, but whenever I'm working on a big project like a film, I go part-time, taking only one or two courses. During the summer, I take online classes, which are amazing because I can bring the work with me on dance projects. …

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