Kathy de Jong, Owner and Founder,
College in 3-2-1/Dance into College
My dance story starts as many dancer’s stories do – dancing as soon as I could walk. While my focus was turned to organized sports and cheerleading as a young child, my passion for dance could not be denied, and I made my high school dance team in 10th grade. But college dance was not to be because of a lack of formal training.
Becoming a Dance Mom
Later as a mother of two dancing daughters, we lived the competitive studio dance life. Those were some of the best times my daughters and I shared together. One daughter was very much an all-styles competitive dancer. The other daughter became more ballet/contemporary focused and transitioned to a ballet-based studio program during high school.
Where My Passion for College Admissions Began
Both participated on their high school dance team all four years. During these years, I made a career shift from a Director of Technology Services for a marketing research firm to Owner of College in 3-2-1, a college counseling practice, to be more present for my daughters and more capable of guiding them into adulthood and college. I recognized that most parents did not have the bandwidth to learn everything there is to know about college admission. So I learned it in order to share my expertise with others. I obtained a certificate in College Counseling from the University of California Irvine, and became a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. My college counseling training and education continues on a daily basis with extensive research, reading, attending conferences, visiting colleges, etc.
Filling the Unmet Needs of High School Dancers
As my college consulting practice College in 3-2-1 grew, I naturally developed a clientele of dancers – after all, dance parents and dancers were my people! Parents appreciate that “I get” what it takes to be a dancer in high school. The challenges of balancing home, school, dance classes, privates and often competitions and conventions are significant. Throwing college applications and auditions on top if it can be too much – increasing anxiety and stress.
Dance Into College Is Born
In 2020 during the height of the pandemic, I formally introduced Dance into College, a suite of services and specialized guidance for dancers. What started as a program for students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts dance major quickly included services for finding best-fit colleges for dancers that wanted to pursue a college dance team. Each year, we also serve dancers that have their own unique aspirations for college dance and careers, and we help each one approach the college preparation and application process with information, process and timing to take out the guesswork and put their best “pointed foot” forward!
College Dance Goals
Both of my daughters are now in college and participating on a D1 competitive college dance team. The world of college dance teams is currently the “wild wild west” with no regulations, no rules, no standards – leaving dancers struggling to find a college where they will get the education/major they seek while identify dance teams and trying to figure out their recruitment and audition process – knowing the whole time that their dance team pursuits may not pan out if they are forced to make a decision before they have the opportunity to “try-out” all of their teams of interest.
What’s Next for Dance Into College
Dance into College is dedicated to continuing to build on our one-of-a-kind consulting practice and deliver research, information, expert guidance and dedication to the well-being and education of the dancer.
Our team of experts support students on their unique path. We provide specialized services such as dance evaluations, dance resumes, and dance reels to support the college prep process. Most importantly, we make every effort to keep the process manageable with the student’s best interest in mind.