As of right now…

First off, my GoFundMe College Campaign raised over $1600 in a month. That’s pretty cool.

Unfortunately, it was not enough for me to attend Butler or Cincinnati. But that’s okay.

My mom teaches at Florida Southern College, and because of that I do have the option of attending school there for virtually no tuition cost. The reason I don’t like this option? Brand-spanking-new dance program.

Now, I know, I really can’t complain. All of that talk of how much our higher education system is screwed up and how hard it is to afford college, and I don’t want to take advantage of this opportunity? I must be out of my mind. Beggars can’t be choosers, and the school is actually good. But. That infernal little But.

I’m not saying the new dance program won’t be good. On the contrary, I’ve met the professor, seen her choreography, and taken class from her. She is good. But her background is more modern focused. There is no partnering class in the curriculum, no indication of performing ballets. And she is the only professor so far. I know the college will be working to bring in another professor. I know the person funding the program was most interested to see ballet dancers. And I know I’ve been told “How exciting it will be to shape the new program and be part of it’s first graduating class!” In fact, one of my fellow trainees from my company will be attending in the fall.

But back to that important little But. It is not the program for me, and I have no desire to attend. The past two years I have been performing with a contemporary ballet company, which was wonderful. I grew so much in my dancing, specifically in contemporary. But I want to dance ballet, and I need that focus on classical ballet to do that. For my friend attending Florida Southern next year, the program will work well for her because her goals are different. She wants to do commercial and contemporary dance. And you know what? She will be great at it.

So what will I do? Good question. I have deferred enrollment to Butler for a year. I will apply for the tuition exchange again next year, and besides that there is another possibility that might allow me to attend. I auditioned for the company Ballet Palm Beach. It is a small company in Palm Beach, FL (who would have guessed?) and I really like it. I would be a trainee, but I am okay dancing for an unpaid position, because for a classical ballet company I need to shift back to high gear ballet focused training and dancing, and Ballet Palm Beach will help me do that. They like me and think I would be a good fit. So I would gain experience dancing for a classical ballet company, and I will have the experience dancing contemporary ballet in my back pocket (Thank you FDT!)

Did I really want to live on my own straight out of high school? The current answer would be no. For the last two years, I had planned to go to college and ease into the “real world”. I still will go to college, just not right away as planned.

Ironically, if you had asked me the same question two years ago and before, I would have said yes. before junior year, all I wanted was to join a ballet company right away, and I hardly gave a thought to college at all. So, it’s kind of funny how things work out.

I haven’t finalized my decision yet, so it might change. But right now, it looks like I’ll be spending next year in Palm Beach instead of Lakeland.

P.S.- My GoFundMe Campaign wasn’t a failure- I am keeping it open and will use the money raised to cover education costs when I do start taking classes.

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