Big Dreams, Big Cities

Many dancers dream of moving on to bigger and better things after high school or college, but how do you actually make the transition from a college town like, Athens Ohio, to New York or Chicago? 

OU Class of 2014 alum, Emma Rumberg, has been preparing to make her move to NYC since her freshman year of college. The summer after her freshman year of college, she attended the New York Summer Dance Intensive at Dance New Amsterdam and subleased an apartment in Spanish Harlem. 

“I wanted to experience what it would be like to live here (NYC) and have time to explore different areas,” Rumberg said.

Rumberg went back to the city every chance she got to keep expanding her knowledge of the city and the dancers there, as well as to maintain relationships she had already formed.

Once OU Class of 2014 alum, Liz Conway, decided that she wanted to move to Chicago, she started doing research on auditions and workshops that she wanted to attend. 

“I started to apply for jobs as well so I could have some interviews set up once I arrived,” Conway said.

Emily Stepleton, also an OU Class of 2014 alum, sent out resumes for work as a Pilates instructor before she arrived in Chicago in order to try to secure a job before making the move.

All three alum stressed the importance of doing research before making the move to a big city and making connections in the community after arriving. 

Rumberg is currently working with Xan Burley and Alex Springer, choreographers for The Median Movement, on their new evening length work entitled Jack Rally. Rumberg met Burley and Springer at OU when they did a guest artist residency. Keeping in contact with older dancers and other professional connections can really pay off in the long run.

Having a job on the side in a dance related field is also a must. Stepleton works as a Pilates and group fitness instructor in Chicago and Conway works as an administrative intern for Visceral Dance Chicago and works for audience services at The Harris Theater in Chicago to supplement her apprenticeship with the Dance COLEctive with Margi Cole. Rumberg was recently hired as the receptionist/substitute teacher at Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center; an after school program for children located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

However, moving to a new city can be scary and the transition may difficult at first.

“Unlike college, in which social situations, safety, comfort with your surroundings is created almost instantly, it is much more difficult to find my ‘place’ here. I am not living in a dorm filled with others my age searching for friendship. I am not eating in a dining hall and attending classes in my major in which I pass by the same familiar faces every day,” Stepleton said.

While the transition may be difficult, it is also important to take chances and take the plunge. If the city life appeals to you, give it a shot! Visit friends living in cities, see shows, take classes, and take advantage of all the opportunities that are out there. 

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Performing this Weekend: Sept. 26-28

There’s plenty of art, music and dance happening in Ohio this weekend! Check out some of the featured shows below!

Twisted: A Trio of Excellence

BalletMet Columbus is teaming up with the Columbus Symphony and Chorus and Opera Columbus to create a beautiful evening of integration between the arts. The performance features a collaboration between over 200 artists. The performance will be held at the Ohio Theatre, Sept. 25-28 with shows at 8 p.m. Sept. 25-27 and a show at 3 p.m. on Sept. 28. Click here for more information.

Brian Regan 

Photo via PlayhouseSquare.

Brian Regan will be bringing his comedic talents to the PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. Regan is most known for his appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. He began as a stand up comedian traveling from comedy club to comedy club on a Greeyhound Bus. His show at PlayhouseSquare, “Shaking With Laughter,” also raises more for research for Parkinson’s disease. Tickets are available here.

Dirty Dancing

The Broadway production of this classic film is coming to the Arnoff Center in Cincinnati as part of it’s North American Tour. The production features many of the classic songs and dances from the film in a re-creation for the stage. The show runs Sept. 23- Oct. 5. For more information and ticket information, click here.


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Performing this Weekend: Sept. 19-21

With school back in full swing, everyone is looking for something exciting to do this weekend. Be sure to look into these events near you!

Turtle Island Quartet

As part of the Ohio University Performing Arts Series, the Turtle Island Quartet will be performing on Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker Center Theatre. The two-time Grammy winning group explores all different music styles from jazz, classical, and different world music styles. Tickets are $5 for students, $8 for seniors and $10 for the general public.

Turtle Island Quartet will be performing on Sept. 22 at the Baker Center Theatre. Photo via Ohio University Performing Arts Series.

Phillip Phillips

Season 11 winner of American Idol will be performing at Playhouse Square in Cleveland on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Phillips will be playing all his popular tunes from “Home” to “Gone, Gone, Gone” and newer hits like “Where We Came From.” Ticket prices range from $20-$49. Visit PlayhouseSquare‘s website for more ticket information.

Phillip Phillips, photo via PlayhouseSquare

The Kaplan New Works Series: Presented by The Cincinnati Ballet

With choreography by Jennifer Archibald, Heather Britt, Victoria Morgan, Amy Seiwert, William Whitener and music by various artists, The Kaplan New Works Series is sure to excite audiences with innovative and exciting modern dance choreography. Showings will be on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m., Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Arnoff Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ticket prices start at $45.

The Kaplan New Works Series, presented by the Cincinnati Ballet, will be performed at the Arnoff Center Sept. 19-21. Photo via Cincinnati Arts.

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Caution! Putnam Hall under renovation

Over the summer, faculty and students were shocked to find water damage in room 134 of Putnam Hall, the largest dance studio which doubles as a theater for Division of Dance performances.

Luckily, action was taken quickly and renovations on the floor began on Aug. 27. It has been estimated to take at least four to six weeks to replace the floor. Until then, classes will be held in the studios on the third floor of Putnam Hall and at the auditorium at The Ridges.

During the deconstruction of the floor the construction crew made an interesting find. A ballet slipper was found under the floorboards. Dance professor Marina Walchii revealed that it was placed there by Beth Davis Moffett when the floor was installed in 1975 according to the Division of Dance.

Putnam 134 floor replacement under way. Photo courtesy of The Division of Dance

Ballet slipper found under the floorboards of Putnam 134. Photo courtesy of The Division of Dance.

Look for more updates about the progress of the floor in Putnam and the location of dance performances this semester coming soon.

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Advice for incoming Dance Division freshman

Sophomore Dance Majors pose with  modern professor, Chengxin Wei

Sophomore Dance Majors pose with modern professor, Chengxin Wei

Entering a college classroom for the first time is intimidating, especially when that classroom is a dance studio. Each freshman dancer is coming from a different background and has no idea what to expect when they walk through Putnam’s doors for the first time. But don’t fear Class of 2018, the current and former Dance Division students have shared some of their advice below.


“Always keep an open mind” – Sydney Sanders, Sophomore BFA

“College, the faculty, and other dancers can easily overwhelm you and seem intimidating. Take a breath and have no fear. This is a place for all of us to come together, do what we love and grow together. Step out of your comfort zone and have fun” – Corrine Bailey, Sophomore BFA

“Appreciate your Division of Dance family because they will make Putnam your home away from home, but also make sure you have people you can go to when you need space away from the Putnam hullaballoo. Also, in college it’s cool to get involved and be active and participate. Be the youest you” – Kelly Schlabach, Senior Dance Minor

“If a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) degree is more flexible for you and more of the direction you want to go rather than a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, there’s nothing wrong with that! There are so many opportunities in dance; Physical therapy, Yoga, Pilates, health, production, media, videography, arts administration, dance educate, etc. And most importantly, when things get stressful, remember that dance is your passion and it’s supposed to be fun!”- Jasmine Shafley, Senior BA

“Focus on yourself in class, and how you can improve your abilities. It’s not a competition in college, it’s about yourself.”- Becky Sebo, Senior BFA

“Let go and be willing to step outside your comfort zone to explore and create new things. Be willing to be there to give encouragement and support to others when they need it. There are going to be times when you need some positive vibes to keep you going. Lastly, never lose sight of the reasons you love dancing.” – Grace Nicklos, Junior BFA

“First year composition class is sometimes stressful because it might be new to you but stay positive about it and be serious because it WILL help you in the long run.” – Kristyn Lein, Sophomore BFA

“Realize that you have something to offer. Too tall? Not for someone. Too stumpy? Not for someone. Too uncoordinated? Not for someone.” – Leah Crosby, Senior BFA

“You’re you and that’s awesome. But try someone else’s awesome. Give that a go. Master someone else’s  work. That’s versatility. If you never try, you’ll never know. If you never experience, you’ll never grow.” – Kaitlin Flynn, Senior BFA


“Don’t be afraid to film yourself! This will help with your Senior Seminar (BFA) class a lot!” – Alexandra Plantinga, Alumna (Class of 2014)


“No dance form/style is better than another. Dance is extraordinary because it is always changing, people are always creating, value what you create and stand behind it, take criticism…its what makes you grow, be a sponge..soak up all the knowledge you can! Work your ass off and love every minute of it because its over before you know it!” – Lauren Daidone, Alumna (Class of 2014)


As for my tip: Let your passion for dance guide you in all aspects of your life, not just in the studio. If you like another subject (say journalism for example…), see how you can bring the two together. Be creative and forge your own path!

Keep these tips in mind and we will see you in Putnam!

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In Defense of the Dance Major


Wonderful piece about the value of being a dance major!

Originally posted on shannondoolingdances:

after the rain

After the Rain – the first piece I choreographed at DeSales University, in 2005

Several months ago, I heard two interesting reports from NPR’s Planet Money team that focused on college majors and jobs – why people decide to pursue particular tracks of studies and the careers they hold as a result  As might be expected from a program entitled “Planet Money,” both of the these reports focused heavily on the economics of such decisions. Specifically, “What’s Your Major” took a look at the relationship between college majors and salaries, and the title of “Why Women Like Me Choose Lower Paying Jobs” pretty much says it all.

One topic that came up often as the various economic experts tried to justify why someone wouldn’t choose a more lucrative college major and career was “passion.” On some level, I think that is absolutely true. Some of us do make such…

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New Movement Organization website released

Check out The Movement Organization’s new website at  to learn more about the organization, its executive board and upcoming events for the 2014-2015 school year!

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