Scott Corr Q & A:
What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
It’s tough to say what my favorite class was. I loved all of my dance classes. I didn’t start my formal dance training until I was 18 years old. So, every time I got exposed to a new dance class, it was a new and exciting experience for me. Outside of the dance program, I would have to say that my computer science class was my favorite class.
With regard to my favorite professor, it’s hard to choose favorites. However, I would have to say that Lance Westergard (ballet professor and head of the Dance Department at the time) has been one of the most influential people in my life. When I came to check out Hofstra for the first time and told him I’d be declaring a dance major with no experience, he started ripping things off the bulletin board – concerts to go see, intensives that were happening over the summer, free classes, classes on Long Island – you name it. He saw something in me since day one, and encouraged me to continue dancing. It was really important to have a person like that, especially in the beginning. There were a lot of times I felt down and out. Lance recognized my ability way before I (or anyone else) did.
My fondest memory of Hofstra was my experience at American College Dance Festival (ACDF) in my junior year. Gregory Youdan (a senior at the time) choreographed an incredible piece. What made it unique was that all six of us dancers were men. The piece was so well received that we closed the Gala showing (an honor in itself) and got a standing ovation. I will never ever forget that. Another amazing experience happened while performing a piece choreographed by Karla Wolfangle in the Faculty Dance Concert. There were 15-18 dancers in the piece and there were a lot of exits and entrances. The piece was close to 20 minutes long and halfway through one of our performances, the music cut out and that was that. BUT, we were so well rehearsed and so in sync with each other that we finished out the piece with no music, flawlessly; what a natural high! I thought to myself, “THIS is what dance is about. THIS is artistry.” I still get the chills thinking about it.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
My first job was actually not dance related. My first job was doing IT support for Henry Schein Inc. The most important thing I learned there was my technical skills. This led me to get a job later on doing IT consulting in NYC, where I now live and dance. The tech skills proved to be valuable when I launched RealMenLiftWomen.com. Even more importantly, I learned not to limit life to the restraints of your degree. Why can’t a dance major become a tech guy? Why can’t a business major decide to pursue an acting career? Do what you love to do, create your own path in life, and seize opportunities.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My current field of specialty is information technology. I came into the field by recommendation of a CTO of a well-known company; I would say that I stumbled into the field a bit. However, I was able to combine my dance degree and my tech knowledge to start my online dancewear brand, RealMenLiftWomen.com. “We are The Face. The Voice. The Brand. For Men’s Dance”. AND … We are the dancewear company that gives back. We have featured stories about men doing positive things in the community and we have helped create three scholarships so far, in just several months, for young men who are pursuing their passion for dance!
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Do what you love, meet new people and ask about their lives, and take everything for what it is. Life is about experiencing new things, becoming a better person, and being the best person you can be before your time is up. Don’t be restrained by the values that society sets for us. Nothing is a waste of time, money, or effort if it makes you a better person. Learn something new and take something away from each experience. THAT is what higher education is about and that is what success looks like!
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Life-changing (I know; that’s technically two words!)
From break-dancing to ballet, have you found it difficult to be a male in the dance world?
Yes, absolutely! This is why I started RealMenLiftWomen.com – to create awareness for men in the dance community and the struggle that we go through as dancers. We are a small percentage of the dance community and face a lot of social stigma. I am not sure where all of the nonsense started, but if people were a little bit more open-minded, they would realize how incredible the art form truly is!
What advantages have you found starting a formal dance career at 18 years of age?
I think that there are two advantages:
First of all, I didn’t come to college with any bad habits. A lot of dancers who don’t get proper training when they are younger come into a professional program with bad habits. As most people probably realize, it is very very hard to break bad habits.
Second, I think that a lot of dancers who have been dancing since they were 3 or 4 years old don’t remember what it’s like to not be able to dance. With that being said, some of them don’t realize just how special it is and how truly liberating it is to be a real mover. On the other hand, I clearly remember what it was like to not be able to move across a floor with such freedom and grace, and at times, I think it makes me appreciate it more.
How has your background in sports, such as lacrosse, supported your transition to dance?
I think that it all translates to some degree. The strength training and the endurance training definitely translate. You need to have a very strong body to become a dancer. I think that wrestling had more of an influence on my dancing ability; in this sport, you understand how bodies move together and react to one another. You begin to understand momentum and muscular efficiency. You know when it’s appropriate to let technique take precedence over strength and vice versa.
Scott Corr (BA ’08) is a dancer and choreographer based out of New York City. He founded Real Men Lift Women Inc., RealMenLiftWomen.com, a company that promotes the growth and awareness of men in the dance community, through the sale of apparel and other products. A portion of all the company’s profits is donated to dance programs and dance schools throughout the country to fund scholarships and tuition assistance programs designed to bring men/boys into the dance community, and keep them dancing.
Scott grew up on Long Island. During his childhood he played sports, including lacrosse, track and wrestling. While he always loved to dance, he didn’t pursue his dance ambitions until his later years. At 16 years old, he started break dancing, and fell into hip-hop choreography.
After some formal dance instruction, Scott fell in love with this art form and declared a dance major at Hofstra. He was amazed at how athletic and challenging a modern dance program could be. Even in classes like ballet, he would think, “why wasn’t I exposed to this earlier in life? Why aren’t more men doing this?” This led to performance opportunities and a chance to share his passion with friends in an amazing community. Today, Scott works to bridge the gap between men and women in the dance world, and to bring attention to men/boys in the dance community.