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Alyssa Kunkle

I found it rather fascinating that Craig Berman had actually graduated from school with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and from there moved on to a Master in Dance and lastly to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. As a student whom is currently pursuing an undergrad degree in Dance and Forensic Chemistry, it makes me confident that I may not actually be wasting my time. Seeing that Berman as an artist has been able to be successful in all the areas that he once wished including that of rock-climbing has been really reinforcing as an upcoming artist who has a lot of ambitions for life. As Berman describes the work he did with Momix over the years it helps you to realize that it is not all about the movement or the choreography, but sometimes as performers we need to be involved in all aspects of the company. The fact that Berman had stated that while dancing with Momix it was as if everything else was put on hold where on the other hand while dancing in Cirque he was still able to do things outside of performing. I think that this is something very interesting and important to think about while researching companies, though as artists we all love our art more than most things in the world everyone needs a break sometimes. I found the advice from Craig Berman to be really helpful especially as someone who is in a very similar boat as a beginning artist, with a unique mix of degrees. However one thing that I would really be interested in is Berman’s advice on graduate school and if it is better to audition for companies right out of my undergraduate degree and return to school later or vice versa.

Alison Ribellino

I am very inspired by Craig Berman’s diversity in his life. As a dance major you typically feel that when you land your dream job performing that will totally consume your life. I found it refreshing and amazing that while traveling and training with Cirque du Soleil he still found the time and opportunity to experience other things in life. I also found it very interesting that Craig did not originally go to college for dance, but for biology instead and then went on to obtain a masters in Modern Dance and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I wonder if by doing this Craig felt that it allowed him to really investigate other interests he had before pursuing a dance career. Being a Dance Performance and Education major I am fascinated how Craig approached and felt teaching college level courses directly post-graduation. As an artist I believe that sometimes we put our art even before ourselves in our daily life. This is very important to realize because if you are doing this for too long it can destroy your love for dance. By having the time to explore other interests and forge new relationships dancers have more inspiration and new movements to draw from when either creating a piece and performing. In Craig’s Top 10 List of advice to young dancers I really agree that somedays we need to be able to just focus on our strengths. This is because even though we do need to focus on the weaknesses in order to correct them and make them stronger if we are constantly knocking ourselves down then we will never have the confidence to feel strong in an audition. This blog was extremely helpful for me to realize a working professional dancers honest opinions and experiences on how to get the most out of yourself as a person and a dancer.

Rein Short

This Artist Profile of Craig Berman was a very impressive and uplifting story. It was great to hear a story of a performer’s life that took many different directions and turns but still while pursuing what he loved. Craig was not naive when it comes to realizing life, as a performer, is difficult. It gave me more confidence that I can make a living in this career. I also realized I have time later in life to go back to school and pursue another passion of mine. Craig described all aspects of his gigs, from the audition to the schedule to his job duties. He gave a very detailed information of how a true company runs. As a company member he was involved in many different aspects of the company, and that is how it is in this field. Berman was able to continue dancing through many years of his life. This is reassuring to know that you can keep your passions for a lifetime and that the path of a college education can be a helpful and successful path. Later in Berman’s life he was able to focus on different things while still dancing in Cirque du Soleil and later on still followed his passion of rock climbing. He showed me that you do not need to leave on passion even if another one takes over for a part of your life. I wonder what inspired him to first step into a dance class and also where he formed most of his connections in the dance world. He mentioned how a large part of his career was based off of a lucky encounter with a colleague and I was curious where he made the best connections for his career.

Abigail Farina

I really enjoyed reading Craig Berman’s profile. I thought it was really interesting that all of his “dance hats” and non-dance work involved movement of some kind. He was able to go back to school when he wanted to, and become a physical therapist; which is a great way to make money on the side, as well as gain more knowledge about how to deal with injuries and keep your body healthy. I think he exemplifies the saying “being at the right place at the right time” because by just attending a dance concert in NYC to support a fellow friend/dancer, he opened the door to the opportunity to be in a dance company he always aspired to be in. As a dancer, it informs me to continue to expect the unexpected. Opportunities sometimes come out of situations you might never have imagined, and those can be some of the best opportunities. It was interesting how he had to put some of his favorite past-times on the back burner when being in his dream company Momix, but was able to continue it through his time with Cirque du Soleil. His advice to young dancers is extremely helpful. I think it is important to show personality, because I believe that can be the defining thing between two great dancers landing the job. I wonder which dance experience was the most meaningful to Craig and why. It sounds like each different dance experience taught him about himself as well as different dance movements and the type of dance schedule he liked the most.

Caitlin Rose

I was extremely intrigued by Craig Berman's profile. I found it fascinating that he was fortunate enough to work with Cirque Du Soleil. I have seen a few of their shows and I think what they do is an amazing fusion of acrobatic perfection, dance, and live theatre performance. It seems like an artists dream to land in such a melting pot of creative outlets. I have studied aerial dance, and having experienced just a small piece of how that influenced my dancing in my technique classes was extremely helpful. I had begun my journey of really delving into the exploration of my limbs through my core, and overall awareness of my body in general. It was like something was missing in my dancing before, and studying aerial helped kick start my strategies to remedy that. I think it's genius that Craig Berman was able to find passion and intrigue in the world of physical therapy. Marrying that field of study with his dancing was a fantastic way to provide a safety net of income and help keep his body healthy. However, the most inspiring part of his blog was when he spoke of starting dance in college. I didn't start dancing until the latter half of my high school years, and often times I struggle with the mental and physical limitations that has on my dancing now. I get in this mindset where I think I'm not as good as everyone else, or that I don't belong in this field at all. Sometimes I just think about how much better I would be if I had started at the age of three or four. There are most certainly ways to overcome these obstacles, and many before me have done so, but I think for me, I am still discovering the best way to do so. I haven't quite gotten over the hump yet. Reading Berman's blog was just one more bit of assurance that it is possible for late bloomers to become successful in this field. His notes regarding the importance of personality also spoke to me. I believe I have quite a bit of personality. I'm not saying that technique should be disregarded by any means, but having that assurance that what I have to say as a person will matter is a good feeling. Thanks Craig!

Meli'sa Grier

Hi my name is Meli’sa Grier! I really enjoyed how you talked about letting your inner self show at auditions. I feel that as a dancer today you get caught up with the idea of being “perfect” and we start to lose our love of just being able to be ourselves and show that passion through movement. Technique is the life of everything, our foundation but our own artistry gives the technique it’s breath of life. You’ve had a lot of very spectacular experiences arriving to where you are today. It blows my mind! You made a lot of good connections that led to job offers which is what everyone in this industry is trying to do. And it definitely paid off in the long run. I would love to know more about how you kept yourself motivated all those years in this challenging field. As well as what for you were your most prized moments; when did you feel infinite? As a dance major at Towson University what would you say are some helpful tips for students who will be partaking in the auditioning world after college? Also it’s awesome that you were able to go back to school. Do you think it put a hinder on the time you could have been pursuing other things or did you find it to be beneficial because it gave you extra income? Would say that everyone pursuing the arts should have two majors/ degrees; something else that they enjoy as a backup plan and what would you think are the best ones for dancers?

Rachel Bunting

Craig Berman seems to be a superbly well -rounded mover. I say "mover" because he is not just a cut-and-dry company performer, but rather a man of many hats. It must have been an amazing opportunity to work with Cirque Du Soleil, which fuses so many mediums of entertainment (acrobatics, acting, theatre, singing, comedy, dance, cultural ritual, etc) with an incredibly talented cast. I love how he compares his work with Momix and with Cirque, explaining how the long rehearsal days and commitment of working with the company made him put his life on hold for a while, but when he performed with Cirque, his life was more complete and he could return to (and have time for) other joys in life, like rock climbing. As a dancer who loves to perform but does not see herself being happy in the lifestyle of a company member, this section of the blog post excited me about the other dance performance opportunities out there other than joining a company. I feel that we don’t get to hear/learn about other dance performance jobs enough while studying at Towson. I loved Craig’s philosophy that performing the same show so many times can be draining to your creativity, so to keep it feeling fresh and different each time, he dedicated each show to a specific friend or created a new story in his mind in order to preserve his artistic integrity. I think that this method can also be used in our technique classes as well; while at the barre doing plies (something which we’ve done a million times) we can focus on getting a certain emotion across or thinking of a certain situation in our heads as we move through ho-hum combinations. This way, the warm up turns into dancing, and our overall performance quality throughout the class would improve. I do believe that earning a Doctorate in PT is a fantastic way to marry love of dance with anatomy and desire to help people. A lot of times I feel pressured to add a second major along with dance in order to ensure job opportunities, but the amount of effort and time I already put into this major along with extra-curricular activities seems to make it impossible to add anything else, especially for someone who gets easily overwhelmed like me. I would like to ask Craig if you think that returning to school for your PT certification was the best choice for you, or do you wish that you completed both degrees at the same time? Learning about Craig’s dance career was very inspiring and enlightening to some aspects of being a performer from the inside!

Jessica Pinkett

Craig Bermans profile is captivating. To see someone live the life that I am working towards as a dance/performing arts student is comforting. It can be a bit unsettling at times when I look at our art form and not see many people pursue it after college, even if that is what their particular degree is for. Bermans story is a beacon of hope for dancers who have fears and doubts about the unknown regarding success in this art form. I found it very intriguing that Berman had a Bachelors degree in biology, a Doctorate in physical therapy, and a Masters in modern dance with an emphasis in kinesiology. Berman seemed to have prepared himself for long term work by having such credentials. The ability to "wear multiple hats" added variety and substance to Bermans quality of life. As a student and emerging artist, I find myself stuck in a certain "mold". Only recently have I really begun to experiment and explore movement that is diverse and new to my body. At times I believe that many dancers, including myself, get so caught up in the technical aspect that we forget that performance and expressing ones self through movement is just as important. Technique is something that is taught and is known by many, but only technique will not guarantee that there is a contract with your name on it. Reading that the drag queen improvisation that landed him the job at Cirque Du Soleil blew my mind. To have done something that was a complete contrast to his "technical" ability was the thing that made him successful. Berman has had so many experiences that have helped him grow and thrive as a "performer". To be a Camilion and be malleable under many circumstances is a lesson that should be adopted and integrated into our way of thinking and how we approach our craft. Even so, I wonder about being able to find ones inner "camilion". If someone trains and is "set" in a certain style of dance, how does one go about deconditioning themselves from that mentality and trying to embody new ways of moving without compromising quality.?

Jasmine Rivera

It was very inspiring to see that Craig Berman has had such a diverse life. He has a Bachelor degree in Biology and even went further to get his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. As a double major in Dance and Psychology I see it is a possibility to do both! I was most interested in how he was able to juggle these aspects of his life. I, myself am personally not the best multi-tasker. I may now consider going back to school to receive my Doctorate in Psychology at a later date to pursue dance while I am fresh out of college.
Craig's advice was definitely helpful and inspiring. I liked how he emphasized the need to let your personality show throughout his profile. I feel as a dance major I get caught up in technique that I become kind of perfectionist which I have learned does nothing for your self confidence. I really want to be able to apply these tools he had provided us with in class everyday. I also agree with his statement to have "extracurriculars" if you will while in school or even out of school. It helps keep you sane with all of the extra pressures we experience as students. Thank you Craig your story is truly an inspiration

Shaela Davis

I find Craig Berman's profile to be very refreshing and reassuring. As a dancer, I often hear non-dancers talk about how hard it is to make it in the dance world. His story is proof that retaining a dance career is manageable, even if there are some difficulties. I found it really interesting when he talked about his experience in Cirque du Soleil. He found a way to keep the job interesting, even when there wasn't a lot of variation in it. I know there are times that I get bored with dance because I'm doing it everyday. I'm going to try to challenge this by focusing on different parts of my technique for every class. Berman definitely exemplifies that knowing the right people definitely helps. An old acquaintance from college ended up being the trigger for Berman working with Momix. I enjoy the fact that he went back to school, because it gives me hope for my future, when I'm ready to go to grad school. Berman talks about auditioning and how to be noticed. He shows that personality is very important when trying to get a job. Anyone can have the technique, but what's technique if there's no personality to back it up. I want to make sure that I stand out, not blend in. My question for Craig Berman is: When you're at an audition, how do you show personality without compromising the set style that you are given?

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