Office Chats: Bryan Austermann - Dance Minor

Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Bryan Austermann who's minoring in Dance. Hometown Southwick, Massachusetts Year at NYU Senior Major Drama Minor Dance Can you tell me a little about the Dance Minor? What are you learning/doing on a day to day basis? The dance minor is mostly the art in practice, but each class includes history of the dance and culture. The strictly academic course History of Dance covered just that, the history of the development of dance in cultures around the world. The rest of the the classes are application classes including Choreography, Chinese, Indian, Modern, African, and Ballet. They [Tisch Special Programs] have recently expanded the curriculum to include Hip Hop and Flamenco. Each class of those includes a warm up in the specific style of dance of the class and then learning the unique moves of that style and each class also includes elements of the beginnings and history of that dance style. Is there a specific style concentration? The style is very clear and different for each class; those being the ones I listed above. What s the workload like? How are you managing? The workload for each class I have taken so far has been fairly light because they are only two credit courses. History of Dance is the only 4-credit course and therefore includes more reading and tests. The rest all have some element of a quiz or short paper and some readings, but they are not major and all certainly reasonable. The most work came from Choreography which is held twice a week for 3 hours each day and we had to bring in self choreographed phrases and pieces often. Why did you choose this minor? I chose to do this minor because I wanted to get as much experience dancing as possible while still in school. I auditioned for Musical Theater at NYU and was placed into Paywrights Horizons Theater School (PHTS)for my Primary Studio Training. So I spent the first two years without "Musical Theater" dance training. There were movement classes at PHTS which were wonderful but not as much training as I would have gotten at the New Studio on Broadway (NSB). I did transfer into NSB and will complete my training there. But all things considered, I still felt and feel dance to be my weakest part of the "triple threat" threats. But with my training at both PHTS and NSB along with my Dance Minor classes I feel I have improved in my dancing in a major way throughout my time here. What are you hoping to do when your done with school? Do you see this minor helping you in anyway? My ultimate goal is to perform on Broadway and so with what I said above I think this minor definitely has been helpful in my training and preparation towards being prepared to face that daunting task of auditions for the Great White Way. Who would you recommend minor in Dance? What type of student? I personally feel this minor to be best for people similar to me, those wanting to strengthen their dancing. But in every class I've been in for this minor there have been a very diverse population of students in terms of majors and schools within NYU and the classes have all been structured so those who've been dancing for years and those who have never really danced before all can succeed. Favorite place to eat in NYC? I know this is so college student, but I love me some Two Bros. I mean COME ON one dollar for a delicious slice of pizza? Please, it doesn't get better that that! What play/movie/exhibition are you most looking forward to in the coming months? I will always and forevermore be looking forward to my next return visit to Wicked (24 times and counting), but beyond the best thing to ever grace the planet Earth, I am really looking forward to seeing the revival of Side Show on Broadway! That and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Finding Neverland and any other Broadway show I haven't seen! To learn more about the Dance minor click here or stop by the Tisch Special Program Offices!