For most college students, summer break is a time to rest and recover from overwhelming workloads. To some, this means lying by the pool and working on their tan. Others may travel the world, start a research project or land their dream internship.
Malorie Colby, sophomore accounting and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry (ACT-In) major, is choosing to spend her summer pursuing her passion of dance. For the second year in a row, the 15 year dance veteran accepted a job with the National Dance Alliance (NDA).
NDA is a large organization that specializes in training the next generation of dancers. The company travels across the country hosting camps for high school and collegiate dance teams. They also host nationals every year for both collegiate and high school teams in Florida.
Colby frequented NDA camps during her four years of dance in high school. When she was a senior in high school and at an NDA camp, the staff invited Colby to apply for an instructor position once she was 18. She went to an audition in Kansas, and the rest is history.
In her own dance career, Colby is no stranger to NDA Nationals either. In her first year of college, which was at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), her team placed third in the country. Now a member of the William Jewell College dance team, Colby hopes she and fellow cardinals will compete at nationals next year.
Through her position as an instructor with NDA last year, the company paid for Colby to travel the nation teaching dance at high school summer camps. Her position this year will be the same.
According to NDA its instructors are “not only good dancers, they’re great role models… Our instructors are some of the most talented and personable dancers, teachers, and choreographers in the nation.”
The summer camps can range from 5 to 6 teams hosted on a university campus to working with one team at their own school. Regardless of the number of campers, Colby says they all receive the same great experience.
“We teach them routines, techniques, judge their dances and present awards at the end of the week. Students learn five dances, which is a lot” said Colby. She also judges at the NDA nationals in Florida.
“It makes me feel good to see the teams improve… It’s really cool to see their growth,” Colby said, describing her job as that of a mentor.
Even since last summer, Colby has already seen great strides in her students’ abilities. She had the opportunity to see some of her former students when they competed at the NDA Nationals in February. Colby also learned that some of her students will now become her coworkers for this summer.
Colby encourages others with a similar passion for dance to consider working for NDA. Anyone who meets the minimum requirements and has the necessary dance skill can apply. The application can be found on their website.
NDA also encourages academic excellence. In order to be an instructor, you have to maintain a certain GPA. They also provide opportunities to improve leadership skills and offer tips in professionalism.
Colby has no doubt that her time at NDA will benefit her in the future. She hopes to work as a CPA one day, but she is not ready to give up dance anytime soon.
“I teach dance at my studio now, and I hope to continue as long as I can. Since the classes are at night, it makes it easier to keep teaching dance and have a regular job” said Colby. She can also stay on NDA staff as long as she wants, and has the opportunity to work her way all the way to corporate.
Colby also noted that this job has taught her about so much more than dance.
“I learned responsibility – learned how to get things done and be a professional. These skills will help me in my future career goals,” Colby said.