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News
Dancing all night long


Photo
EVAN CARAVELLI/ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT
Justin Quandt is a dance senior who is dedicated to modern jazz and ballet. Quandt spends plenty of hours in the Ina E. Gittings building practicing for his performances.
By Elizabeth Thompson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, January 29, 2004
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Think you have it bad because you're on campus from noon to 3.p.m on Tuesdays?

Justin Quandt, a dance senior studying modern jazz and ballet, doesn't want to hear about it.

Unlike many UA students, who go home after class to enjoy afternoon snacks and bad television, when Quandt is finished with classes, he's off to rehearsals until late at night.

"It can get pretty intense," said Quandt about rehearsals. "It's all day. I'm usually on campus from 8 or 9 a.m. to 10 at night."

The weekends don't offer much time off for Quandt either, who said Saturday and Sunday rehearsals can mean being on campus from 9-5.

Quandt is one of two males currently working on the dance department's upcoming April production of George Ballenchine's neoclassical ballet "Ballenchine Serenade."

Quandt added that the close-knit feel of the dance department has helped keep him going. "The dance faculty are so great; they're like my second parents and it's really nice to have that."

Quandt began dancing when he was 3 years old, taking classes at his mother's dance studio. He also learned moves from watching Michael Jackson videos on MTV.

Quandt , who came to the UA from Iowa, says he never received much flack for dancing from other kids. "I didn't get teased too badly," said Quandt. "I lived in a smaller town, so everyone knew I danced. It wasn't too big of an issue."

Besides performing in the dance department's annual shows through- out the semester, Quandt's talent has allowed him to travel around the country. For the past two summers, Quandt has gone to Chicago to study under a jazz dance company.

After graduating, Quandt says he would like to go back to Chicago or to New York City to join a dance company.

With more than 200 people usually vying for one spot, Quandt said that being rejected from a dance company can become a common occurrence.

"It's disappointing when you don't get chosen, but you become more motivated to work harder and to figure out what you need to improve on," he said.

Though most dancers retire from performing professionally in their mid 30s, Quandt says he can't picture ever leaving dancing behind for good, and sees himself teaching classes for a studio down the line.

"I grew up dancing; I love it," said Quandt. "It's been such a big part of my life for a long time, and when I'm not dancing I miss it. The performance aspect of it is just a further payoff."



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