College Spotlight: Farah Dahya

Farah Dahya ’08 has been casually dancing since she was two years old in “baby ballerina” classes. When she was about 11 years old her dance instructor told her that she did not have a future in dance. “I had to prove her wrong,” said Dahya. She is now involved in numerous dance groups at Andover as well as some in her hometown, and she plans to major in dance in college. Dahya is looking primarily at art schools and conservatories with “intensive dance majors” for college next year. She will fill out the arts supplement in addition to the common application that most seniors have to fill out for college. This requires additional teacher recommendations and some example of her dancing ability such as a movie compiling her favorite dances that she has either participated in or choreographed. “The process is really stressful,” explains Dahya, “but I think one of the best things is that it makes me know what I want to do with my life. I mean, last year I wanted to be a doctor!” Dahya is applying to many colleges such as Barnard, NYU Tisch, Oberlin and the Boston Conservatory, where she spent the previous summer at a dance intensive program. Dahya will fly out to visit several of these colleges for auditions throughout her Senior fall and winter where she will perform in front of prospective dance instructors. The opinions of these instructors will impact, but not determine, the schools’ final decisions. “The auditions don’t have a huge say [in the admissions process], but if the people who see you like you, they’ll root for you later on,” said Dahya. She is currently applying to all of her schools as a dance major and intends to minor in either journalism or writing, hoping to become a dance critic if her career in dance does not work out. Recently, Dahya applied for a scholarship award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. According to the NFAA website, about six to eight thousand people apply every year, but only 10 percent are chosen for awards. Finalists travel to Miami, Florida to compete for scholarship money. Dahya applied with a video showing some of her dance routines with the hopes of becoming a finalist. Dahya has made a huge impression on the Andover community through her breathtaking performances. She has danced in multiple Grasshopper Night performances, Dance Opens and larger scale dance productions such as The Nutcracker, and has also taken dance as her sport every term. The Andover Dance Group, of which she is now captain, accepted Dahya during her Junior year. Furthermore, she co-founded and is now the head of the dance group Blue Strut. Even during vacations, Dahya spends a lot of her time dancing. “My best memories from home are actually the Friday nights we spent in the dance studio,” Dahya reminisces. She participated in many summer dance programs as well, most of which lasted one or two months. This past summer she went to the Boston Conservatory, which helped her solidify the idea that she wanted to apply to college as a dance major. During her time at Andover, Dahya has built up an undying respect for her dance instructors here: Judith Wombwell and Erin Strong. “I don’t think I’d be where I am now if they hadn’t pushed me,” said Dahya.