Q&A: After 14 years of dancing, Dakota Cosgrove, ’16, studies at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU

Dakota Cosgrove, ’16, demonstrates one of her many dance moves in 2013.

Freshman Dakota Cosgrove is a dance major in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She focuses on contemporary and ballet but also takes choreography classes.

Q: At what age did you start dancing, and where did you train?

A: I started dancing at about age 5. First I went to a studio in Davis. Then in middle school I switched to the Sacramento Ballet  Studio. Later I went to Contemporary Dance Conservatory (in Sacramento).

Q; How did you decide to dance in college?

A: I think that I always knew that I wanted to dance in college. It’s what I love doing and what I’m most interested in. I didn’t want to choose a career that I didn’t really have a passion for.

Q: How many days per week are your practices? How long are they?

A: I dance about the same number of hours a week as I used to, five days a week (Monday through Friday).

I have class from 9 a.m.-noon, which is a ballet and contemporary class. We also have a class in the afternoon called composition class, which is our choreography class. In addition to these classes, we have to take music class and anatomy for dance classes twice a week. Overall, I enjoy the technique classes more, but they’re all so different.

Q: How many different teachers do you have?

A: We rotate teachers. We have one ballet teacher and one contemporary teacher for seven weeks, and then we switch to new ones.

Q: What is your favorite thing about dancing in college?

A: We have a lot of freedom. You can wear whatever you want.

We have 10 shows a year, and anyone, including the freshmen, is allowed to choreograph. If I were to submit a proposal that I could choreograph, I can select certain people to be in  my piece and pick the specific style. You’re really allowed to do anything.

During our third year we are able to choreograph other choreographers’ works. Right before the shows, the rehearsals can get hectic. The choreographer of the piece can choose to have rehearsal whenever they want,  resulting in a lot of rehearsals. Usually our days are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and then we have rehearsal after 6.

Q: Why did you choose Tisch?

A: It’s a very unique program that is mainly focused on contemporary work and not too classical. It’s also a really small program. There are only 34 people in my class (six boys), so I get a lot of individual attention.

By Jackson Margolis

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