Week 12 – Guest Speaker: Antonio Cuyler

Dr. Antonio C. Cuyler is Assistant Professor of Arts Administration & Coordinator of Internships in the Department of Art Education at Florida State University. Antonio Cuyler’s talk with us on Monday was very informational and brought up a lot of topics regarding the present dance world and our futures as dancers.

He started the discussion basically by asking  what we want to do after graduation? Answers varied from continuing to dance and perform to pursuing a totally different career that has nothing to do with dance. This brought up the question, well what can dancers bring to other jobs that other people can’t. We started discussing what it takes to be a dancer and what qualities serious dancers have. We determined dancers have…..resilience, adaptation, artistry, discipline, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, mathematical/problem solving skills, and finally spiritual intelligence. With dance, we will be exposed to all these higher intelligences that a regular person might not be. By applying these skills to other jobs and even our everyday life we tend to have quite an advantage.

We continued to talk about life after to college for dancers and the option of not necessarily performing but still being involved in the dance world with jobs like stage design, costumes, dance writing, and dance administration. Antonio stressed the fact that dance admin’s are the thing that keep the dance world going and the fact that most dancers just don’t think of it as an option. After the day’s talk and even since this class I’ve found myself becoming extremely interested in dance admin. I don’t think I would do it instead of performing or choreographing but I think that it is a subject that’s very important to be informed about.

arts admin

Antonio continuously stressed the importance that the time to start planning is now. Now is the time to think ahead about our futures and become open to new ideas and career paths. It’s not like your dance career as a performer will last forever. So he brought up the question, well after your body can’t dance anymore, what else is out there? How long will your dance career last? 10? 15 years? When is it time to call it quits? When is it time to transition to a different career? These are all questions that we must start thinking about NOW. It’s kind of overwhelming to think about all these questions and what their answers are but little by little I think you grow into the answers. With an open mind I think the answers will become clearer as we learn more and more about the dance world and ourselves. I can definitely see myself dancing for a good amount of time and then going back to school and getting a MFA to teach or work in dance administration, while still working on personal projects and such.

Essentially I think if you want to dance for the fullest amount of time possible and do it successfully you must; stay inspired and seek inspiration/knowledge daily, take care of your body because you only get one, and finally don’t do it all too fast. I don’t think it’s really about where your gonna end up, I think it’s about the process and the journey to where you end up.

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