Carly Dishman on Being a Dance Major at FSU

Courtesy: Megan Helman, FSU School of Dance (Carly is pictured on the right.)

Name: Carly Dishman

Year: Senior

Major: Double majoring in Dance and Accounting

Hometown: Lake Worth, Fla.

Her Campus (HC): What is the normal reaction you get when you tell someone you are a dance major?

Carly Dishman (CD): Most people think that my major is easy. They automatically assume that I don’t go to any “real” classes, that I spend my entire day in the studio training or that I don’t have any homework. All of which are false. Usually people ask if I’m planning to open a dance studio or teach dance. When that’s actually not the case for most of the dance majors here at FSU.

HC: Do you think there is a weird stigma around studying dance in college?

CD: I don’t necessarily think there is a “weird stigma.” Most people just don’t understand the benefits of maturing as an artist through a collegiate program before you jump into the real professional world. There is this idea that we must “dance while we’re young because it’s a fleeting profession.” Which is true to a certain degree but dance companies now are also looking for dancers who are more in tune with the research and process behind creating work. These are skills that for most people come from training in a collegiate dance program.

HC: What does a normal day as a dance major look like?

CD: Here at FSU we receive a very holistic dance education. We are required to take two daily technique classes in ballet and contemporary. In the afternoon, we take classes in various subjects including dance history, dance science, dance technology, and stage production. Many of us also take classes contributing to our liberal studies requirements or second major between all of this. Then at night, we participate in rehearsals to prepare for our upcoming performances. 

Courtesy: Megan Helman, FSU School of Dance


HC: How to do you think FSU’s program stands out from other dance programs?

CD: FSU promotes the idea of dance as a form of research. It equips you with various tools to explore and unpack ideas through choreographic work and performance.  I think this program especially excels in the area of dance science. Students graduate with a better awareness of how to condition their bodies to train safely and reduce the risk of injury and increase the longevity of their careers. We also have an house choreographic institution called MANCC (Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography) that gives students in the program exposure to working artists in the professional world. Additionally, undergraduates have an opportunity to choreograph and have their work potentially selected for one of the two major shows of the school year.  

HC: What advice would you give to someone trying out for the FSU Dance program?

CD: Be yourself. FSU is a welcoming environment to explore your ideas and figure out who you want to be as a dancer. All the teachers are here to help you grow and reach your full potential.

HC: Can you explain your reasoning behind double majoring in accounting? How do you want to eventually combine Accounting with Dance?

CD: I have always been artistically and academically driven. In high school, I particularly excelled at math and I would consider myself a very organized person. I was attracted to the logic and problem solving accounting entails. As I have studied the two subjects simultaneously I’ve noticed how my accounting background has impacted my analytical approach to creating movement through numbers and patterns. Eventually I would love to offer financial consulting services to artists and organizations to better equip them to fund their own projects.

HC: What is your advice to someone who wants to be a successful double major?

CD: Time management is key. Don’t let anyone tell you that your two passions don’t relate to each other. Be prepared. Take the time to sit down and plan your semesters way in advance. It may take some extra work individually but it’s possible.

HC: Now that you are a senior is there anything you would have done different in your past four years here at FSU?

CD: I’m overall proud of the work I’ve done at FSU so far. I would tell myself to put myself out there a little more. It’s never too early to start networking.

HC: Finally, what dance performances are coming up this semester that our readers can get excited about?

CD: One of our two major performances of the year, Evenings of Dance is coming up in late October on the weekend of the 27th. We also have a lot of MFA concerts (Masters student’s final cap stone projects) coming up in the following months. There are also special projects going on sporadically throughout the year that have not set dates yet. Follow FSU Dance on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest shows.