Dance Major Learns to Pursue a Professional Career with Help From Dance Educator Jadell Lee
For Shane Wiseman, a senior dance major with a minor in business administration, dance has been her life ever since she was three years old. Shane came to Seton Hill because of the different tracks - performance, choreography, and pedagogy - the Dance Program offered.
“Dancing is important to me because I have the ability to do so much with it,” she says. “I am able to share my love and passion for dance through performing but also through teaching.”
Shane recently served as a teaching assistant for Jadell Lee, adjunct professor of dance. Jadell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of California, Riverside, with an emphasis in experimental and unconventional choreography. He teaches as a resident instructor for a studio in California; travels and teaches as faculty for Thrive Dance Experience, a touring convention based out of Pittsburgh; and is an assistant director and adjudicator for CRU dance competition.
This semester at Seton Hill, he teaches the course Industry Prep for Commercial Dance.
“Part of this is introducing a basic understanding of what would be required should someone pursue a career in professional dancing,” says Jadell. “This is the course I never knew I needed and never had the ability or opportunity to take while I was in university. This course introduces a real-life component to the idea of dance. Dance has been an idea for undergraduates since however long they have been dancing. Now, it’s time to actualize it and practicalize it. It takes a new strategy or approach.”
In the course, Shane and her classmates learned about agency representation and auditioning.
“Talent agencies may sometimes have a specific type of dancer or performer on their roster,” she says. “So, Jadell has helped me to understand which agencies would fit best.” When learning about auditions, Shane was given audition outlines based on what a typical dance audition would look like. “This helped me to be more knowledgeable of what to expect ahead of time,” she says.
"There is so much that you can do in the professional dance world and there are so many options.”
“Shane was also able to partner with a professional cinematographer to develop her virtual resume - a dance reel, and receive personal mentorship from professional dancer, actress, choreographer, television personality and Top 10 Finalist in Season 4 of the hit reality-dance show So You Think You Can Dance, Kherington Payne Luther,” Jadell says.
Shane has also had the opportunity to learn from guest speakers and instructors in the course. These included Ebonee Arielle, who toured with Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears; Derek Halloway, who was a featured dancer in Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” music video; and Bobby Amamizu, who has toured with Cirque Du Soleil.
“Having the chance to hear from all of these different people was amazing,” Shane says. “It showed me that there is so much that you can do in the professional dance world and there are so many options.”
What Jadell hopes students like Shane will take from this course is that it is all possible. “But, it takes more than your degree,” he says. “It takes your sense of self, your confidence, your willingness to be purpose-driven, your communication, and your vision.”
“I went through a time in college where I wasn’t sure that it was possible for me to become a professional dancer,” Shane says. “Jadell has reignited my spark to become a performer. Thanks to his class, I am now excited to move to a dominant dance city to pursue my professional dance career.”
Shane plans to audition for talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York City after graduation. She would also like to audition for NBA and NFL dance teams. Eventually, after performing, her dream is to open her own Dance Fitness Center.
Photo, above: Shane Wiseman in a Seton Hill Arts Center dance studio
Photo, right: Jadell Lee