Dancers in Cap and Gown: Some Leading California Professors Discuss What the Present and the Future Hold for Dance Students

By Topaz, Muriel | Dance Magazine, May 1994 | Go to article overview

Dancers in Cap and Gown: Some Leading California Professors Discuss What the Present and the Future Hold for Dance Students


Topaz, Muriel, Dance Magazine


Some leading California professors discuss what the present and the future hold for dance students.

Last September we brought you the results of our round-table discussion with deans of dance departments in the New York area. The feedback from that discussion encouraged us to take the idea out to the West Coast. Once again four department chairs, chosen for both the quality and disparity of their programs, were invited to speak out frankly about their problems and their passions. Those participating in the animated discussion were: Cristyne Lawson from California Institute of the Arts, a very small private conservatory with about sixty-five dance majors; James Penrod from the University of California at Irvine, with one hundred sixty dance majors within a huge state-supported university; Judith Scalin from Loyola Marymount, a medium-sized Jesuit liberal arts institution with thirty dance majors; our hostess for the discussion, Joan Schlaich of California State University at Long Beach, a state-supported megauniversity with ninety dance majors; and moderator Muriel Topaz. Here are some of the things they talked about:

How are we preparing our students,

and what are we preparing

them for? Are there any jobs out

there?

Schlaich: We really are preparing them to do just about anything. Dancers' discipline, focus, and willingness to work hard make people love them as employees.

Scalin: We try to train our students to be "awake dreamers." Because a lot of students at Loyola come from parental backgrounds in which they are expected to be practical and productive, they tend to abandon their dreams very much too soon. Being an awake dreamer means cultivating the skills that you need, finding out the talents you have, and yet not letting go of your dream of dancing. You have to be able to speak and write, not be a moron about technology, be able to work equipment, and connect to the community. Being a sleepy dreamer does not produce anything, either. For example, if I wanted to be a Las Vegas showgirl with my four-foot, eleven-inch body, that would be a sleepy dream. We try to keep them awake and planning concretely for careers.

Penrod: There are jobs out there in dance, but not all of the students have the necessary talent to get those jobs as dancers or choreographers. It is our obligation to prepare them to move in many different directions.

Lawson: We are really going into technology in dance, having computerized lighting boards to work with, giving the opportunity to be stage managers and even lighting designers. And we are moving towards having a computerized choreography program like the one Merce Cunningham uses.

Schlaich: Watching large companies fold is scary. Now our graduates are creating many small companies all over. That doesn't mean that they are supporting themselves by dancing - they couldn't possibly. But they are supporting themselves in other ways, sometimes dance-related, and are still dancing and choreographing.

Lawson: There are a lot of people who want to do their own work. They are going to do it anyway, no matter what happens.

Do you think we are changing the

field by helping our students to

make things happen themselves

instead of trying to walk into an

established situation?

Schlaich: Partly we are doing that, but I think a lot is the nature of the students. They are very determined.

Penrod: What is the university, college, or conservatory giving to its students? We are educating ours to think, to write-probably changing the nature of what dance is all about on some level. Not in terms of the big companies, however. The other thing we concentrate on is the science connected to dance. There are jobs out there for dancers who know about the human body and how it works. Some of our students find employment as rehabilitative people or specialists in dance injury prevention. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Dancers in Cap and Gown: Some Leading California Professors Discuss What the Present and the Future Hold for Dance Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.