Major / Program: Dance Performance


It’s fall semester 2017, and first-year student Darius Hickman is getting his first impressions of Butler.

“I love it so far,” he said. “The thing I love the most is the people. I didn’t realize the people were going to be so nice. I really enjoy the people here—as well as my classes; I love all my classes—but the people, I really enjoy. I love meeting new people every day. So that’s been great.”

The Dance Performance major and Education minor said he didn’t know what to expect from Butler. In fact, for a long time, he planned to join a professional ballet company after high school rather than attend college. But his mother pointed out that dancers get injured and he should have an education to fall back on.

So he went to a college fair in Boca Raton, took a class with Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa, “and I fell in love with everything about it.”

Hickman came to Butler a bit of a celebrity—this summer, he was a contestant on the Fox network series So You Think You Can Dance, where he finished in the top 100. He also learned a few things about himself during that process: He’s persistent and resilient (the day he auditioned, he spent six hours in line and another four waiting once he got inside), and celebrity makes him a little uncomfortable.

Rather than shoot for superstardom on television, he said, he’s excited to experience personal growth over the next four years. “I’m excited to see where I will be in 2021 and see how I’ve changed. Because change is good, I think.”

He plans to spend the next four years preparing to be in a professional ballet company.

“I think I’ll definitely be ready by then, especially by being here,” he said. “I know they’re going to take care of me and make sure I’m ready when that time comes.”