A Dancer's Advice for Incoming Students

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019
By Kalyn Berg
Juilliard Journal
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Dancer Kalyn Berg is performing in a dance studio
Fourth-year dancer Kalyn Berg, shown performing her work at the Juilliard Dance Homecoming

Embrace Challenges⁠—and Get a Good Umbrella

As the new school year was about to begin, a few seasoned Juilliard artists pulled together some advice for incoming students.

  1. Go see every show in the building, out of the building, and throughout the different boroughs.
  2. Keep your circle of friends close but expansive. As easy as it is to keep within your division, especially in drama and dance, the Juilliard community is full of beautiful souls all wanting to make this world a more artistic place.
  3. This may seem silly, but it rains a lot in the city! No one really talks about the wet weather but it rains in Manhattan more than it does in Seattle and unfortunately, it is often out of the blue. Invest in a raincoat with a hood and an umbrella that will withstand the rain and the wind.
  4. Give in to the experiences that make you feel uncomfortable, and dig deep within yourself to find the drive and passion you have for your art. The juncture of feeling like you are on the edge are the moments that bring the most clarity and growth to your voice—and our voices are what we come to Juilliard to nurture.
  5. Embrace the challenges that come your way and know they are pushing you to become the artist and soulful human you are meant to be.
  6. Take advantage of opportunities to meet with and perform for outside experts and alumni. On Thursdays, third- and fourth-year dancers can learn from guest artists—this past year’s included a former New York Times critic talking about Merce Cunningham’s centennial and Mikaela Kelly (BFA ’18, dance) talking about learning new Alexander Ekman repertoire at NDT2. I also got to perform a solo I choreographed at the Juilliard Dance Homecoming.

Fourth-year dancer Kalyn Berg participated in the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive for the second time