The Cecily Shives story part III: A professional premiere

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Dec 18, 2017 4:13:57 PM


This past July, with nerves, excitement, and a U-Haul filled with her life’s possessions from four years spent in Kalamazoo, Cecily Shives moved across the country to begin her career as a professional ballerina. Unfortunately, however, this new life chapter did not start off on the right foot.

Just three weeks before her contract was set to commence with Ballet San Antonio, Cecily slipped and fell in rehearsal, breaking the fifth metatarsal in her foot. With an injury infamously known as the “dancer’s break,” Cecily was forced off the dance floor and into a boot before her professional career even started. The pain and frustration of being unable to dance, combined with the inevitable anxiety of coming into a new environment, left Cecily devastated.


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Topics: College Decision, Department of Dance, Dance, The Student Experience

The Cecily Shives story part II: College bound ballerina

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Oct 25, 2017 1:26:28 PM


Despite having two professional dancers as parents, Cecily’s dance journey wasn’t choreographed for her. Just watch her move about the stage or studio, and you’ll see that she got to where she is with her own commitment, resolve and talent.

“You’re only in this because your dad is with the Joffrey,” Cecily recalls peers sneering and suggesting when she was younger. While at times she internalized these resentful jabs and doubted herself, her dad, Willy Shives, reinforced that she was deserving of every role and spot because of her own abilities as a dancer.

“Even the times that I questioned it, he reminded me that he wouldn’t put me in a place that would reflect poorly on him,” she said. “I know I’ve earned [my success], but this flak is something I’ve had to deal with my whole life.”

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Topics: College Decision, Department of Dance, Dance, The Student Experience

Why WMU's musical theatre program

Posted by Drew Porrett on Apr 5, 2017 3:06:19 PM


Hello! My name is Drew Porrett. I’m a senior Music Theatre Performance major graduating next month. I was accepted into the program at Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre in the Spring of 2013. It has truly flown by. My credits here include: Frank Schultz in Showboat, Ensemble/Dance Captain in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dorilant in Country Wife, Paco in Man of La Mancha, and Ensemble in 9 to 5. My hometown is Yale, MI, where you can find a whole lot of livestock and one stop light. That said, being immersed in the study of musical theatre was a lot to handle at first. But now, at the end of my college career, my sincerest gratitude goes to my peers and my professors.

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Topics: College Decision, Department of Theatre, Student Experience, The Student Experience

Is a college fair worth your time?

Posted by Natalie Faculak on Mar 20, 2017 2:57:19 PM


It seems everything can be done online these days, so why bother attending a physical college fair? Other than logging some serious steps, it can actually save you time from clicking aimlessly for hours searching numerous sites for answers for each school that sparks your interest. At a college fair, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of colleges and universities under one roof. What better place to get all (or at least most) of your questions answered? Take advantage of this opportunity. Plus, who doesn’t love freebies? College fairs are not only a source of free information, but also free pens, coasters, flash drives, note pads and more.

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Topics: Admissions, College Decision

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting your portfolio

Posted by Natalie Faculak on Jan 17, 2017 2:10:42 PM


You’ve meticulously selected which artworks to include in your portfolio, spent hours crafting your statement of intent, and asked your favorite art teacher for a recommendation letter. Are you ready to hit submit? Take a moment to ask yourself these four questions just to cross your 't's and dot your 'i's. 

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Topics: Admissions, College Decision, Frostic School of Art

What is product design?

Posted by Scott Irelan on Oct 14, 2016 1:03:30 PM


Western Michigan University’s College of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Haworth College of Business, recently announced a new program: Product Design and Innovation. Set to debut in the Fall of 2017, this program aims to prepare the next generation of innovators to create the future of design. But what does that really mean? What is Product Design and Innovation? And what will this program look like for the incoming students? Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting addition to the Gwen Frostic School of Art.

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Topics: The Student Experience, Admissions, College Decision, Frostic School of Art

What is FAFSA? Why is it so important?

Posted by Natalie Faculak on Oct 3, 2016 12:44:25 PM


So you’ve begun your college search. You’re comparing academic programs, locations, and student life. But we’re about to add another important piece to puzzle – finances. There have been guidance counselors, teachers and college reps telling you about this thing called FAFSA. (You don’t have to know where you’re attending school to fill it out.) It sounds important and maybe a bit confusing, but we’re going to walk you through it, so take a deep breath.

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Topics: College Decision

Four reasons to attend a portfolio review

Posted by Natalie Faculak on Sep 20, 2016 1:21:54 PM


As you’ll read in our Portfolio Pointers e-book and hear from instructors and college advisors alike, seeking out feedback on your work is undeniably important in order to build a strong portfolio for art school admission. Portfolio review days are an excellent way to not only gain this sort of valuable feedback, but they’re also a way to explore your options in pursuing your art degree. Read more about the benefits of attending a portfolio day:


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Topics: Admissions, Frostic School of Art, College Decision

5 benefits of getting involved during college

Posted by Natalie Faculak on Aug 11, 2016 10:18:10 AM


While it’s critical to evaluate the academic programs available at the colleges you’re considering, it’s equally important to check out the opportunities that exist outside of the classroom. Getting involved in college is a must in order to build on the knowledge learned in the pages of your textbooks, meet friends and get to know your new environment.

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Topics: Student Experience, College Decision, Student Organizations

Public vs. private colleges: Where to pursue your arts degree

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Jul 12, 2016 10:26:00 AM


There's a lot to think about as you decide where to pursue your arts degree. Between the hundreds of colleges and universities offering art programs across the country and your own list of needs and wants in your education and college experience, you have so much to consider. 

To narrow your pool of options and simplify the decision ahead of you, we've documented the key differences between public and private universities and colleges. Deciding which type of institution is best aligned with your academic goals and general preferences is a great first step in your college search.

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Topics: College Decision, Admissions

About the Fine Print

The Official Blog of the WMU College of Fine Arts

Western Michigan University's College of Fine Arts is a place where passion meets practice, and The Fine Print is your lens into the lives of our students, faculty and community.

From behind-the-scenes looks at our performances and exhibits to tips and resources for prospective students, The Fine Print is rich with content that is both interesting and valuable. Subscribe below to read The Fine Print and stay in-the-know.

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