North­eastern and Boston Ballet no longer want dance and edu­ca­tion to exist sep­a­rately, hoping instead to inte­grate the two with a little flex­i­bility. They are part­ners in a novel ini­tia­tive that allows dancers to earn a col­lege degree while they dance.

This first group of 16 dancing stu­dents started in May, and dancers have six years to com­plete their degrees. Classes will be online, on campus, or at the Ballet’s Clarendon Street head­quar­ters. The courses are accel­er­ated, with a semester’s worth of mate­rial com­pressed into as little as six weeks.

Instruc­tors are keenly aware these stu­dents have jobs that keep them in rehearsals and per­for­mances for up to 12 hours a day, admin­is­tra­tors assured dancers during ori­en­ta­tion. They have tours to prep for, shows to per­fect. On this day, “Cop­pélia” was set to pre­miere in just three days. (Class begins in eight.)

It’s all tai­lored to make them suc­ceed,” North­eastern pres­i­dent Joseph Aoun said. “We started by looking at the dancers and by saying what is their schedule? When are they going to be in Boston? When are they going to be on the road? When are they going to be per­forming? And when are they going to be rehearsing? And we devised a pro­gram based on their pro­gram and their needs.”

Read the article at The Boston Globe →