From aspiring dancer to college commit

Vivi Hirschfield, Editor

Senior Tess Meulbroek’s journey started 14 years ago.

She used to tag along with her sisters to their dance classes but wasn’t old enough to be in a class of her own, so she’d stay in the studio’s lobby and mimic their steps. When she turned three, she knew immediately she wanted to be enrolled in the same classes her sisters had completed before. According to Meulbroek, this kickstarted her passion for the art that recently earned her commitment to college. 

Tess at her first intensive audition at age seven.

Meulbroek began her college process much earlier than most, at only 14 years old. She selected schools that fit her vision of her future, which meant more than just dance.

“I knew from the start that I wanted to live out a ‘normal’ college life,” she said. “A four-year university that provides all of the traditional school aspects, plus a dance program that would help me grow as a dancer. “

This meant eliminating many conservatories for dance as they are a college for the study of classical arts where Tess would not experience typical things like football games or Greek life.

She also sought a “triple track” dance education, which is a program that allows its students to pursue the 3 fundamental styles of dance: ballet, modern, and jazz.

While many seniors spend hours on college applications and ultimately visit their favorite schools, Meulbroek’s process entailed hours of video as well as in-person auditions that took her out of school for a few weeks. Lucky for her, she was accepted into her dream school’s dance program early and the grueling demands came to an end.

Tess at her future school, The University of Arizona.

On Nov. 19, she officially committed to the University of Arizona. She’ll get the opportunity to study on a triple track, while still getting a traditional and fun college experience. As Tess simply put it, “it’s the best of both worlds.”

 This comes as exciting news not only to Tess but to those who have watched her grow as a dancer and as a person.

“I feel like a proud mom,” said friend and fellow dancer Alessandra Bisulca. “I know how hard she’s worked for this and I’m lucky to have gotten to see her become the beautiful person that she is today, inside and out.”

Tess and Alessandra at a dance competition.