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nowmomto3

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Hi!  My dd has compiled her list of colleges she will be applying/auditioning for.  It was a long process with many schools getting added or removed all summer.  She doesn't want to go really far away, we are on the east coast, so it limits many of her choices.  She is looking to get a BFA, perform and eventually get her MFA and possibly teach, own studio, etc.  She was looking primarily at programs that offered a broad range of disciplines, including jazz and tap, as one of her goals is to be a Rockette.

Would love to see where others are thinking and why they chose those programs.  I feel like I am constantly mentioning new schools to her so she can research them.  What she has right now is based on what she is looking for and from recommendations from her dance teachers and other dancers she has met along the way.

Here is her list:

Point Park
Pace
UArts
Marymount Manhattan
George Mason
Shenandoah University

She may add another school or two as we begin the process of applying and scheduling auditions.

Best of luck to all of our dancers and may they find their new dance home for the next four years!

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Dancexoxocolleen

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I start my senior year tomorrow! Nervous and excited.
My goal is to double major, dance and nutrition.
I'm looking for a BA for dance, not a BFA.
My top two schools now are:
Hunter College
Long Island University (either Post or Brooklyn, either way)
My goal is to commute, NOT dorm since I don't have the money for dorming. I barely have money for tuition, and I don't want to be in debt the rest of my life.
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Gizheiuranin

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Pace sucks. Its expensive and doesn't live up to expectations in my opinion. I do like the westchester campus better than the Manhattan one. I don't think they offer voice classes/lessons. For the commercial dance program students are taught by broadway professionals. There are always chances to perform.

Marymount Doesn't offer good financial aid. It's housed in one building and the dorms aren't near by. I believe they offer 4 different levels of ballet placement and four different majors. Their weak spot is jazz. I think the dance program is very modern based.

I've heard good things abut George Mason. I think their dance department is very good. However it's very large and selective.
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Psmom

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizheiuranin
Pace sucks. Its expensive and doesn't live up to expectations in my opinion. I do like the westchester campus better than the Manhattan one. I don't think they offer voice classes/lessons. For the commercial dance program students are taught by broadway professionals. There are always chances to perform.

Marymount Doesn't offer good financial aid. It's housed in one building and the dorms aren't near by. I believe they offer 4 different levels of ballet placement and four different majors. Their weak spot is jazz. I think the dance program is very modern based.

I've heard good things abut George Mason. I think their dance department is very good. However it's very large and selective.


Could you clarify what you dislike about PACE? The commercial dance major is not offered in Westchester so I'm only interested in the NYC campus. We've toured the facility so I'm also not asking about the buildings, just the program. Thanks
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classydance

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I wonder why you have not considered NYU. Cost?
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classydance

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I had another couple of thoughts:

1.  This thread could really turned towards "How do you know if a program is good??"  So, for me, these are the things that make the program good: a) what the graduates do after the program and if what they do matches your goals.  IMO most of these dance programs are pretty thin/non-specific about what their students do.  It will say something like, "With many students working on Broadway." But when you go to shows and read the bios you almost never see the name of that college. Of the programs that you mentioned, Pointe Park IS the one school where I see grads doing the kind of stuff that your DD wants to do (Rockette, MT on Broadway, Touring Shows). However, that's a reach school for almost everyone. They accept 8-10% of the applicants.  So, just tell your DD.

2. Pay attention to what Gizheiuranin           is telling you.  Getting information that is NOT so complimentary is just as helpful and important as getting glowing reviews. Probe that.

3. If she has a goal to be a Rockette, then solid ballet base is important and she must be 5'6 at least. You might take a look at Oklahoma City Univ. They have a # of students who have done what you want.  I know that you are interested in East Coast, but for what you want to do, that program appears to have a pretty solid reputation.

4. If a program does not require an audition, then it is probably not a competitive program.

5.  Have you considered School of the Arts in NC?  That campus is a very "arts" community with all arts students, tons of stages, a film making school, costume shops, a music program. . . . You could take voice.  I don't know what their record is in the area that you want.



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nowmomto3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizheiuranin
Pace sucks. Its expensive and doesn't live up to expectations in my opinion. I do like the westchester campus better than the Manhattan one. I don't think they offer voice classes/lessons. For the commercial dance program students are taught by broadway professionals. There are always chances to perform. Marymount Doesn't offer good financial aid. It's housed in one building and the dorms aren't near by. I believe they offer 4 different levels of ballet placement and four different majors. Their weak spot is jazz. I think the dance program is very modern based. I've heard good things abut George Mason. I think their dance department is very good. However it's very large and selective.
Could you clarify what you dislike about PACE? The commercial dance major is not offered in Westchester so I'm only interested in the NYC campus. We've toured the facility so I'm also not asking about the buildings, just the program. Thanks


Thanks for your responses!!  I would love to also hear more of your thoughts on PACE and your experiences.  My daughter has friends from SI's that attend there so she does have some inside knowledge but nothing entirely negative, so if you wouldn't mind sharing, that would be great.  If you don't feel comfortable posting it here, then you could send me a message.

Thank you!!
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My2DanceLoves

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DD17 is applying to:

University at Buffalo 
Brockport
Fredonia
Oneonta
and possibly Geneseo

Our school district was a pilot district chosen for a program, in which, through donations, grants and participation from certain colleges and Universities, any student who has been in our district for at least 2 years before graduating from the district and graduates, is eligible to receive money towards college tuition.  Once the student applies for financial aid and it is determined what they will get, the program kicks in and provides more money towards tuition beyond that.  In some cases how much may be dependent on income.  It seems students have a shot at more assistance with less income limits with most of the SUNY schools and a few others in NY state.  This played a large part in the schools we looked at. 
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nowmomto3

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classydance- Thank you for your thoughts!! 

She isn't considering NYU because she doesn't meet the academic requirements (test scores) to get into NYU academically.  The price is of course another factor.

My dd has actually been training for quite a long time, in all disciplines, including the Rockette SI, and has met friends from all over the country.  Several of her friends have been hired by the Rockettes this summer, YAY, and the one thing she learned is that most have attended college, but their backgrounds and where they go to school is so varied.  My dd looked at OCU and agrees it is a great program, but she doesn't feel that it fits her, location-wise and just can't see herself there for four years.

Funny that you mentioned NC because that is one school that she was thinking of looking into as well!



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nowmomto3

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My2danceLoves- That is a great program your school district seems to have!!  Money is such a huge part in all of this.  We tried to make sure our daughter had schools in a wide range of price points and some where they are known to give assistance financially. I don't think we will qualify for much from the government, so any little bit helps!!
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My2DanceLoves

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowmomto3
My2danceLoves- That is a great program your school district seems to have!!  Money is such a huge part in all of this.  We tried to make sure our daughter had schools in a wide range of price points and some where they are known to give assistance financially. I don't think we will qualify for much from the government, so any little bit helps!!



It is!!  We tried to approach it with some thought to how to make it work as much as possible for DD's benefit.  With 5 kids we cannot pay for college for all of them, and let's be honest a graduate from a dance program with a bunch of student loans isn't quite desirable.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizheiuranin
Pace sucks. Its expensive and doesn't live up to expectations in my opinion. I do like the westchester campus better than the Manhattan one. I don't think they offer voice classes/lessons. For the commercial dance program students are taught by broadway professionals. There are always chances to perform. Marymount Doesn't offer good financial aid. It's housed in one building and the dorms aren't near by. I believe they offer 4 different levels of ballet placement and four different majors. Their weak spot is jazz. I think the dance program is very modern based. I've heard good things abut George Mason. I think their dance department is very good. However it's very large and selective.
Could you clarify what you dislike about PACE? The commercial dance major is not offered in Westchester so I'm only interested in the NYC campus. We've toured the facility so I'm also not asking about the buildings, just the program. Thanks


I have a good friend who's daughter is at PACE and loves it, Psmom. If you want to I can put you in touch with them.
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Sabrina

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Have you considered Montclair University in NJ?  It's an easy commute to NYC (train line right on campus), gorgeous downtown area, new dorms and has a great dance program.

http://www.montclair.edu/arts/theatre-and-dance/academic-programs/undergraduate/bfa-dance/
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nowmomto3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrina
Have you considered Montclair University in NJ?  It's an easy commute to NYC (train line right on campus), gorgeous downtown area, new dorms and has a great dance program.

http://www.montclair.edu/arts/theatre-and-dance/academic-programs/undergraduate/bfa-dance/


Thanks Sabrina!  I will check it out!!
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #15 
nowmom

I did not mean to suggest that your DD was not skilled or proficient or a shoe-in for Pointe Park.  You asked for feedback and "what do you think."  What I think is that would be a reach school for any kid, just as Julliard might be, or others.
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nowmomto3

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Classydance trust me I didn't take offense to anything you said. Having a dd looking to get into this business isn't for the faint of heart to begin with so things like advice that you gave doesn't sound negative to me! Although I don't think in my post I did ask for a "what do you think of her choices" as much as it was actually written as "hey where are your potential dance majors looking"?. But I always welcome feedback on her choices because you never know there could be a great program out there that's a hidden gem or others could have some insider info on a well ranked program that is not as good as it seems.

Thanks again!
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MooseysBiggestFan

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My DD is a graduate of UArts this past year (2 year Certificate in Dance, which I think has been discontinued as of this year).  She is now a paid Apprentice at a small ballet company.  She had another offer from a ballet company as well.   Of her UArts friends and acquaintances there are many who are dancing for ballet companies and modern companies all over the country and also working as commercial dancers and teachers.  One friend lives in LA and is self supporting out there as a teacher, choreographer, commercial dancer, and is a company member in a Contemporary Ballet Company as well as in a straight Contemporary company.  She is my FB friend so I can attest that she is working constantly and performs pretty much weekly at this point in live settings (clubs, theaters, festivals, etc).

DD also has a friend from UArts who has transferred to Montclair State and likes it very much.  She made the decision to transfer as she is in a dance crew at home (NJ) and wanted to be closer to them as well as closer to NYC for auditions and performances.

I have heard the same about financial aid at Marymount (those FA calculators on school websites are not very accurate in my experience).  NYU (in my experience from older DD) does give good financial aid packages/scholarships but the overall cost is so high it is still just way too much even with a good financial package.

My2DanceLoves:  I would look VERY carefully at Fredonia for a dance major.  My oldest DD is a graduate of the School of Music at Fredonia and while they are top notch the dance program is not.  Younger DD had a friend who found the Fredonia program to be extremely limited while she was there and has now transferred out.  Based on your list though, I am assuming your DD is looking to have dance as a minor or a side thing to another major? 

Mercyhurst is another you both might want to check out.  It is in Erie PA and has a great reputation for giving good financial aid to NYS students. 

If you are both in NYS I would say for your money SUNY Brockport is a good bet if you are interested in modern (we diversity of dance genres offered in that program to not be what DD was looking for) and if you are interested in a commercial dance program then UB is your best bet.

As for private colleges, for commercially focused programs Pace is certainly one to consider (not sure how their scholarship/aid money is) and UArts should be on your audition list as they give out 2-4 full tuition scholarships every year to incoming freshman.  I cannot speak on Point Park's aid packages but their ballet program is supposed to be very strong. 

One thing I CAN tell you is that there are a million schools out there and everyone thinks the one their child goes to is the best (or worst in some cases lol) it's just like with a studio.  You have to think about what your child wants out of the experience, look at the classes offered, decide what kind of campus your child would like to be on, performance opportunities, faculty, and success of graduates in the area in which your child wants to be successful (however, I will tell you that my DD started at UArts thinking a commercial dance career was what she wanted but then her love for ballet was re-kindled and she took a totally different path from where she thought she would go).

Questions I think are important to think about:
Does my child want an urban campus or a more traditional campus (with big school sports and maybe possibility to join dance team)?
How often is ballet offered and, if important to her, is pointe offered as a class?
What sorts of classes are offered outside of ballet, jazz, and modern?  Are there classes in other genres that are important to her: Aerial, Tap, African Dance, Student Comp, Hip Hop, Musical Theater Dance, Voice, Acting?  You would be surprised at what you assume is offered vs what a lot of schools are actually offering.
Does the school have a large academic core requirement?  This will take time away from the number of dance classes a student can take.  However, in the event the student might want to transfer or change majors at some point the academic core will be a factor in where she will be able to transfer to and also how many credits will transfer over to a different school.
Are there outside activities and clubs your DD is interested in (does she want a sorority or service organization)?
What performance opportunities are there and how important is the number of those opportunities to your child? 

Then you still have to think about all of the traditional college questions (cost, distance from home, dorms, etc!!!!

 




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purplerain

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Reply with quote  #18 
Marymount dorms aren't that good. The dorm room fits a bed, and nothing else. I think their program is average. NYU is overrated and way too expensive. It's not worth it in my eyes to go if you can't afford it. They don't give out many scholarships. The same with Pace, but their commercial dance program is really good.Its getting more competitive each year. I just don't like the campus. Point park only offers 10-12k for scholarships. Tuition is around 45k.Its in a GREAT arts city, the Pitt. Playhouse (where the PP shows are all at) is very nice, the dorms are nice, dance program and teachers are great. However it's not really a campus because it's in the middle of the city. It's kinda like NYU, but smaller. I heard that the BFA is hard to obtain, I don't know if it's true.

SUNY Purchase is only 35 - 45 minutes north of NY, have you looked into it?
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Psmom

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseysBiggestFan

My DD is a graduate of UArts this past year (2 year Certificate in Dance, which I think has been discontinued as of this year).  She is now a paid Apprentice at a small ballet company.  She had another offer from a ballet company as well.   Of her UArts friends and acquaintances there are many who are dancing for ballet companies and modern companies all over the country and also working as commercial dancers and teachers.  One friend lives in LA and is self supporting out there as a teacher, choreographer, commercial dancer, and is a company member in a Contemporary Ballet Company as well as in a straight Contemporary company.  She is my FB friend so I can attest that she is working constantly and performs pretty much weekly at this point in live settings (clubs, theaters, festivals, etc).

DD also has a friend from UArts who has transferred to Montclair State and likes it very much.  She made the decision to transfer as she is in a dance crew at home (NJ) and wanted to be closer to them as well as closer to NYC for auditions and performances.

I have heard the same about financial aid at Marymount (those FA calculators on school websites are not very accurate in my experience).  NYU (in my experience from older DD) does give good financial aid packages/scholarships but the overall cost is so high it is still just way too much even with a good financial package.

My2DanceLoves:  I would look VERY carefully at Fredonia for a dance major.  My oldest DD is a graduate of the School of Music at Fredonia and while they are top notch the dance program is not.  Younger DD had a friend who found the Fredonia program to be extremely limited while she was there and has now transferred out.  Based on your list though, I am assuming your DD is looking to have dance as a minor or a side thing to another major? 

Mercyhurst is another you both might want to check out.  It is in Erie PA and has a great reputation for giving good financial aid to NYS students. 

If you are both in NYS I would say for your money SUNY Brockport is a good bet if you are interested in modern (we diversity of dance genres offered in that program to not be what DD was looking for) and if you are interested in a commercial dance program then UB is your best bet.

As for private colleges, for commercially focused programs Pace is certainly one to consider (not sure how their scholarship/aid money is) and UArts should be on your audition list as they give out 2-4 full tuition scholarships every year to incoming freshman.  I cannot speak on Point Park's aid packages but their ballet program is supposed to be very strong. 

One thing I CAN tell you is that there are a million schools out there and everyone thinks the one their child goes to is the best (or worst in some cases lol) it's just like with a studio.  You have to think about what your child wants out of the experience, look at the classes offered, decide what kind of campus your child would like to be on, performance opportunities, faculty, and success of graduates in the area in which your child wants to be successful (however, I will tell you that my DD started at UArts thinking a commercial dance career was what she wanted but then her love for ballet was re-kindled and she took a totally different path from where she thought she would go).

Questions I think are important to think about:
Does my child want an urban campus or a more traditional campus (with big school sports and maybe possibility to join dance team)?
How often is ballet offered and, if important to her, is pointe offered as a class?
What sorts of classes are offered outside of ballet, jazz, and modern?  Are there classes in other genres that are important to her: Aerial, Tap, African Dance, Student Comp, Hip Hop, Musical Theater Dance, Voice, Acting?  You would be surprised at what you assume is offered vs what a lot of schools are actually offering.
Does the school have a large academic core requirement?  This will take time away from the number of dance classes a student can take.  However, in the event the student might want to transfer or change majors at some point the academic core will be a factor in where she will be able to transfer to and also how many credits will transfer over to a different school.
Are there outside activities and clubs your DD is interested in (does she want a sorority or service organization)?
What performance opportunities are there and how important is the number of those opportunities to your child? 

Then you still have to think about all of the traditional college questions (cost, distance from home, dorms, etc!!!!

 






These are great questions. My dd17 thought she knew exactly what she wanted until we started visiting schools and she started realizing she would be spending 4 years living and dancing there. During the last few weeks she has really evaluated her goals and made decisions about what kind of overall college experience she wants. We had just been so focused on the dance programs but now we are balancing the dance program with the overall atmosphere of the university. She seems to have a very clear idea of what she wants. Now we just have to hope that the schools she wants, want her. Auditions start really soon.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseysBiggestFan

My DD is a graduate of UArts this past year (2 year Certificate in Dance, which I think has been discontinued as of this year).  She is now a paid Apprentice at a small ballet company.  She had another offer from a ballet company as well.   Of her UArts friends and acquaintances there are many who are dancing for ballet companies and modern companies all over the country and also working as commercial dancers and teachers.  One friend lives in LA and is self supporting out there as a teacher, choreographer, commercial dancer, and is a company member in a Contemporary Ballet Company as well as in a straight Contemporary company.  She is my FB friend so I can attest that she is working constantly and performs pretty much weekly at this point in live settings (clubs, theaters, festivals, etc).

DD also has a friend from UArts who has transferred to Montclair State and likes it very much.  She made the decision to transfer as she is in a dance crew at home (NJ) and wanted to be closer to them as well as closer to NYC for auditions and performances.

I have heard the same about financial aid at Marymount (those FA calculators on school websites are not very accurate in my experience).  NYU (in my experience from older DD) does give good financial aid packages/scholarships but the overall cost is so high it is still just way too much even with a good financial package.

My2DanceLoves:  I would look VERY carefully at Fredonia for a dance major.  My oldest DD is a graduate of the School of Music at Fredonia and while they are top notch the dance program is not.  Younger DD had a friend who found the Fredonia program to be extremely limited while she was there and has now transferred out.  Based on your list though, I am assuming your DD is looking to have dance as a minor or a side thing to another major? 

Mercyhurst is another you both might want to check out.  It is in Erie PA and has a great reputation for giving good financial aid to NYS students. 

If you are both in NYS I would say for your money SUNY Brockport is a good bet if you are interested in modern (we diversity of dance genres offered in that program to not be what DD was looking for) and if you are interested in a commercial dance program then UB is your best bet.

As for private colleges, for commercially focused programs Pace is certainly one to consider (not sure how their scholarship/aid money is) and UArts should be on your audition list as they give out 2-4 full tuition scholarships every year to incoming freshman.  I cannot speak on Point Park's aid packages but their ballet program is supposed to be very strong. 

One thing I CAN tell you is that there are a million schools out there and everyone thinks the one their child goes to is the best (or worst in some cases lol) it's just like with a studio.  You have to think about what your child wants out of the experience, look at the classes offered, decide what kind of campus your child would like to be on, performance opportunities, faculty, and success of graduates in the area in which your child wants to be successful (however, I will tell you that my DD started at UArts thinking a commercial dance career was what she wanted but then her love for ballet was re-kindled and she took a totally different path from where she thought she would go).

Questions I think are important to think about:
Does my child want an urban campus or a more traditional campus (with big school sports and maybe possibility to join dance team)?
How often is ballet offered and, if important to her, is pointe offered as a class?
What sorts of classes are offered outside of ballet, jazz, and modern?  Are there classes in other genres that are important to her: Aerial, Tap, African Dance, Student Comp, Hip Hop, Musical Theater Dance, Voice, Acting?  You would be surprised at what you assume is offered vs what a lot of schools are actually offering.
Does the school have a large academic core requirement?  This will take time away from the number of dance classes a student can take.  However, in the event the student might want to transfer or change majors at some point the academic core will be a factor in where she will be able to transfer to and also how many credits will transfer over to a different school.
Are there outside activities and clubs your DD is interested in (does she want a sorority or service organization)?
What performance opportunities are there and how important is the number of those opportunities to your child? 

Then you still have to think about all of the traditional college questions (cost, distance from home, dorms, etc!!!!

 






Thank you for the tip on Fredonia.  May I ask (regarding what I bolded) why specifically based on my list you assume she is looking to minor?   We are just getting started and I am clueless and overwhelmed (I went to Community College, never even inquired into schools).  She wants to major in dance.  I am not familiar with UArts , and by all means anyone who wants to drop their 2 cents ...please do!  [smile]


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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
nowmom

I did not mean to suggest that your DD was not skilled or proficient or a shoe-in for Pointe Park.  You asked for feedback and "what do you think."  What I think is that would be a reach school for any kid, just as Julliard might be, or others.


Is Point Park very selective academically speaking?  Because I know of a dancer who is going there and, although she's certainly a good dancer, I wouldn't have expected her to be good enough to get into any program that was extremely selective when it came to dance ability.
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nowmomto3

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Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
nowmom

I did not mean to suggest that your DD was not skilled or proficient or a shoe-in for Pointe Park.  You asked for feedback and "what do you think."  What I think is that would be a reach school for any kid, just as Julliard might be, or others.


Is Point Park very selective academically speaking?  Because I know of a dancer who is going there and, although she's certainly a good dancer, I wouldn't have expected her to be good enough to get into any program that was extremely selective when it came to dance ability.


No, I don't think it's particularly difficult to get into Point Park academically.  I have heard that the most selective path into Point Park is as a jazz BFA major, don't know if there is truth to that, it's just what I heard.  From what I can tell, it looks like Point Park accepts about 75 dancers between the three disciplines (ballet, modern and jazz).   
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #23 
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Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
nowmom

I did not mean to suggest that your DD was not skilled or proficient or a shoe-in for Pointe Park.  You asked for feedback and "what do you think."  What I think is that would be a reach school for any kid, just as Julliard might be, or others.


Is Point Park very selective academically speaking?  Because I know of a dancer who is going there and, although she's certainly a good dancer, I wouldn't have expected her to be good enough to get into any program that was extremely selective when it came to dance ability.


I don't think so either.  I know a boy who had pretty bad SAT/ACT scores who got rejected from a few dance programs when his academic piece was looked at but ended up going to Point Park.
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MooseysBiggestFan

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My2DanceLoves:  To answer your question, I do not believe the Geneseo and Oneonta have Dance as a major.  If they do I have never known anyone who has gone there for that degree.  Both schools have strong programs in lots of other things which is why I assumed you were not considering a major at those schools.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseysBiggestFan
My2DanceLoves:  To answer your question, I do not believe the Geneseo and Oneonta have Dance as a major.  If they do I have never known anyone who has gone there for that degree.  Both schools have strong programs in lots of other things which is why I assumed you were not considering a major at those schools.


Oh I thought you might know something I didn't about the programs lol.  You are correct. They do not offer majors.  The hope is to major , however , she is an average student and struggles a little with some of the testing requirements in NY State, so not knowing where she may or may not get accepted she is open to minoring , at least initially if she HAS to. 
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