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Dance Teacher Becomes the Student

Submitted by on July 19, 2011 – 1:32 pm

After years of teaching dance to students 3 to 23, Tracy DiJulia needed artistic inspiration. She found it at Northern Essex.

The Merrimack, N.H. resident who had been home schooled through middle school and high school, earned her high school diploma and opted to pursue a professional dance career rather than the college track.

The Tewksbury native danced one season with a New Hampshire dance company and discovered it was not the environment for her. Teaching was her talent, so she returned to the dance studio. After a few years, she says, “I started to feel stale. I needed something to refresh me.”

Familiar with the dance certificate program at NECC, she enrolled seeking new energy. She taught full time while attending school part time. Yet, something funny happened on the way to the dance studio. “I fell in love with learning again,” she says.

She also fell for the college where she expanded her talents and was cast in its production of Tartuffe and choreographed its production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“I loved my experiences at Northern Essex,” she says. “The faculty really care about student success. Most are willing to go above and beyond to make sure their students succeed.”

She earned her Associate Degree in General Studies: Dance Option in May 2010. She had immediate plans to transfer to a four-year college dance program but was sidelined with health issues. Eventually she will earn her bachelor’s since she wants to teach at the college level.

She is still affiliated with the college serving as the NECC Dance Club choreographer.

“I have learned that it is stimulating for my mind to work with college students,”
she says.