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justdancing

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Good morning!  Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of college dance teams?  My DD is a junior, loves dance, and has been competing since she was young.  She doesn't want to major in dance, but also doesn't want to stop dancing.  She really likes the team part of competitive dance and is interested in auditioning for a college dance team.  We live in the mid-west, but are open to anywhere in the States.  Size wise I think she would prefer a mid to large university with good athletic teams.  Advice?  Recommendations?  Insight?
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Lots of colleges have dance teams. Since she's competed in sure she has a good shot of getting on a college team. When and if you tour colleges make sure to ask them about their teams.
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emmymom

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There are some really amazing college dance teams!  At the UDA college nationals last year the University of Tennessee topped the University of Minnesota in jazz division 1A.  Minnesota had won several years in a row so this was huge (while Tennessee's routine was more visual, Minnesota's technique and timing was incredible as usual...IMO), videos of both can be found online.  Ohio State was third, with a great dance too!  All three of these schools are on DD's short list (she is a graduating senior this year)!  The University of Michigan and Wisconsin finished 10th and 11th. 

In division 1A pom, Minnesota was first, Ohio State was third, Cincinnati was forth and Wisconsin was seventh. 

There are more results for smaller school divisions can be found here: http://www.varsity.com/event/1925/schresult/2015-uca-uda-college

If you're looking to go outside of the Midwest, there are many other schools that have great teams including Alabama, Rutgers and many more. 

Making a college dance team is very important to my DD!  She has friends or former dancers from her studio on teams all over.  She really hopes for the same experiences that they've had.  It can be very competitive to make a team though.  U of M and MSU each had around 70 try out last year (yes, I'm in Michigan). 
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musicmom

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If you are looking for bigger names, quite a few of our grads are on the Ohio St dance team and love it. DD several others on their team are girls she recognizes from comps. One grad is at Kentucky and another might go next year. I also know some girls from our local studio who dance at their schools but are not involved in UDA. The OSU moms say the perks are lots of dancewear, and they don't pay to travel. Lol.
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Psmom

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Making a college dance team at a big school is really difficult. the odds are slim and the process is pretty harsh. Toward the end of the second day of the 2 day long audition many moms and friends were waiting outside for the final cuts and announcement of the new team. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was to watch girl after girl walk out that door just sobbing. I'm only telling you this so that you and your dd are prepared for the very real possibility of not making a team. These girls were great dancers who had a long history of success in competitive dance. Some of the girls who did not make the team were so upset that they decided not to even attend school there. I'm very happy that my dd did make the dance team. She knows just how fortunate she is.
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AtTheStudio

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Reply with quote  #6 
My oldest daughter was an a track to play sports in college but in the end opted not to. My number one piece of advice is to have your daughter select her college first and then worry about the college dance team. That way if something happens that prevents her from being able to be on the team (doesn't make it, decides she doesn't have time, etc.), she will still be happy with her selection. It's fine to include it as part of your search criteria. Just make sure it's where she feels she fits in and where she can achieve her academic goals, regardless on the dance team.

That said, there are several local dance competitions in our area for middle school and high school dance dance teams. One in particular showcases several college dance teams from the surrounding area. They set up booths and meet with people during the day. I suggest checking into those and see who is recruiting. The smaller the school, the better the odds.
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MSDanceMomma

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I would concur with Psmom.   I, too, have seen talented girls not make college dance teams.  My daughter was on her HS team and of the girls she danced with, maybe 3 or 4 made the college dance team. One of those auditioned to one school, didn't make it so auditioned a few weeks later at a smaller school and did make it.  Luckily for her, they also were strong in her major (pre-med/nursing).   The large schools in particular may not pick an extremely talented dancer because it does not fit the "look."   My daughter opted not to do dance in college but had she wanted to, I would have encouraged her to look at smaller schools (some which have very talented teams).  Besides UDA/UCA, you can also look up winning teams for NDA/NCA - I know they do HS and believe they also do college.   My daughter's coach preferred UDA but in our area (for HS) we have both.  


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jwsqrdplus2

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I agree with Psmom and MSDanceMomma, Div I schools are extremely tough to make the dance team!  We had 9 girls graduate from our studio last year; 4 tried out for their college dance teams; 2 made it.  

Three of the four tried out at Div I schools.  One was cut after the first day of technique, and the other was cut because she was not "sports bra ready" (and that is exactly what she was told)!  The one who made it on to a Div I squad is talented, beautiful, fit and sexy!  

The 4th girl is probably the least talented of the bunch (not saying she is not talented though), and she made her Div V school squad with no problem.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #9 
When are the auditions for these very competitive college teams?

I remember a co-working talking about her dd's college decisions. She had been accepted to several schools, but was waiting on cheerleading audition results to make her final decision. It was a confusing time for them because she had some mandatory camps to attend and there were some conflicts with times and deposits, etc. I don't remember what time of year it was... I just vaguely remember the discussion. 
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ilainen

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Auditions are usually in the spring around April and May! They also have pre-camps that give you a feel for the team.
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AthleteArtistDancer

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Purdue University has an amazing dance team: they've placed in the top three at NDA Nationals for the past three years, attend camps, do philanthropic work, and represent the university at football games and other functions.  Purdue is a great school anyway, especially for STEM careers.  Auditions are in April.  See here for more info:  https://www.facebook.com/purduedanceteam/timeline
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MSDanceMomma

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They are frequently in the spring - I would be checking online now for dates and/or ask your daughter's high school dance coach if they get fliers or other information they can pass along.  My daughter's coaches were very helpful and supportive helping the girls with college try-outs.   I usually check either athletic and look for spirit squad and/or band/music - as many of the dance teams work in conjunction with the marching band.

I do have a friend whose dd is on the dance team at a small Pennsylvania college and they did try-outs in the fall.  I am guessing their dance team does not do football games (small Catholic college so may not have a football program) but truthfully I'm not sure.  Her dd picked it for their PA (Physicians Assistant) program and dance was the bonus.  Kilgore Rangerettes (Texas famous drill team at a junior college) does their try-outs in the summer - July I believe.

I have been known to stream online Varsity (UDA or NDA) college and high school dance team events so would guess there would be a lot of information on that site about teams that compete nationally that may give you some ideas.  

Out of the 20 girls that my daughter danced with while in hs (not all her class LOL), we have one on a Division 1, and three who made teams at smaller schools.   There is also a former HS cheerleader who danced competitively throughout HS who made her Division 1 dance squad. Probably ten tried out. 
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Shaylenek

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http://www.cornnation.com/2009/5/5/865042/whats-it-take-to-be-a-husker  This article is a few years old but DD friends who have gone through the process confirm it is grueling.  There are cuts throughout the day based on timed mile, written exam of school history, dance technique, ability to learn routines quickly, etc.  One of our seniors is trying out this spring but she would be going to UNL even if she doesn't make the team.  Last I knew they had about 90 start the audition. 
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dancergirl123

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I agree.. College dance teams are very difficult to get on..even if you are a successful competitive studio dancer.  My daughter (high school) has done both. I've been to UDA Nationals, albeit for HS.  I think the reason its so tough is that the style of dance is different. Even in the Jazz category, the focus is on synchronicity, almost robotic movement. The Pom division is something most competitive studio dancers have never done before. It does look very cool and takes extreme athleticism, just a different focus than that of a studio dancer. That said.. most of those dancers on the large college teams were studio dancers at some point or another. They still need that technique!  Good Luck to her!
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #15 
My DD18 is a sophomore at small private school and on their dance team.  I guess it depends on what you're looking for. . . the team at a small school isn't going to be as "good" as a team at a larger, more competitive school, but the team my daughter is on performs well, has fun, and they're a tight-knit group.  I guess there's pros and cons to a small school just like there is with anything else.
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2girls

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I haven't experienced this personally. I would agree with those that say choose the college for the academic program first. I know a couple of dancers that chose schools for their dance programs with some scholarships to attend the school. Both dancers ended up hating the dance programs. You just never know until you try it out. Good luck with decision making! 

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spiritmom

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Reply with quote  #17 
I know next to nothing about the process but I do know I could sit and watch videos of the University of Minnesota dance team all day.  Turns for days - in just about as perfect unison as I've ever seen.  They are insanely talented!

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jwsqrdplus2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2girls

I haven't experienced this personally. I would agree with those that say choose the college for the academic program first. I know a couple of dancers that chose schools for their dance programs with some scholarships to attend the school. Both dancers ended up hating the dance programs. You just never know until you try it out. Good luck with decision making! 



This!!  I know of a dancer who is having to switch from an great private college to community college because she hates the dance team so much she is willing to give up her scholarship!
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carriesmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
DD is a college freshman and is dancing on her University's team this year.  I agree with the previous posters who said that it can often be very difficult to get a spot - at DD's school they had 25+ girls try out for 5 spots and DD thought most of the dancers who got cut had extensive dance experience and were pretty good.  

DD definitely selected her college based on academics and other factors, although the availability of a strong dance team was definitely a strong factor.  It has been a good experience.
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AthleteArtistDancer

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For those not very familiar with college dance teams, this is the video of Purdue Dance Team performing at NDA Nationals.  I disagree with the earlier poster who characterized this style of dance as "robotic," but we're all entitled to our opinion. [smile]

Here's a post linking to information about this year's tryouts: https://www.facebook.com/events/555450927951720/

Required skills include being able to do quad pirouettes, fouettes (turns in second w/variation), front and side leaps, and a Jazz combo sequence.  There's a lot of information here on the NDA page as to what schools have competitive teams and how to find out their various requirements.  http://nda.varsity.com/College/College-Recruitment

It can be a blast being on a college dance team - the girls are very close and the discipline often helps with time management, which is crucial for keeping up with college school work.  Good luck!  


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joriebelle

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Great job, girls!  Beautiful; thanks for sharing  [smile]
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Sabrina

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwsqrdplus2
I agree with Psmom and MSDanceMomma, Div I schools are extremely tough to make the dance team!  We had 9 girls graduate from our studio last year; 4 tried out for their college dance teams; 2 made it.  

Three of the four tried out at Div I schools.  One was cut after the first day of technique, and the other was cut because she was not "sports bra ready" (and that is exactly what she was told)!  The one who made it on to a Div I squad is talented, beautiful, fit and sexy!  


Ugh...that sucks. We are heading for some auditions.  We are planning on a couple auditions in the coming weeks and I'm dreading it.  My dd isn't overweight by any stretch of the imagination IRL, but in dance life? IDK. Plus she's tall--almost 5'8".  I have no idea how height will factor in.

I was actually happy to see on the 2016 dance comps on ESPN that there were some girls that weren't fitness model shaped.    

Is anyone else finding auditions that occur AFTER the May 1 commitment date?  My dd has been admitted to 3 schools with dance teams that she would be happy to join, so basically her decision will be decided on whichever dance team she makes.  Of course, the one she would REALLY like to attend hasn't even posted their audition date--only that it's in late May, well after decision day.  And probably prom weekend, the way things are going lately...sigh.
 
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mdsdmom

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrina


Ugh...that sucks. We are heading for some auditions.  We are planning on a couple auditions in the coming weeks and I'm dreading it.  My dd isn't overweight by any stretch of the imagination IRL, but in dance life? IDK. Plus she's tall--almost 5'8".  I have no idea how height will factor in.

I was actually happy to see on the 2016 dance comps on ESPN that there were some girls that weren't fitness model shaped.    

Is anyone else finding auditions that occur AFTER the May 1 commitment date?  My dd has been admitted to 3 schools with dance teams that she would be happy to join, so basically her decision will be decided on whichever dance team she makes.  Of course, the one she would REALLY like to attend hasn't even posted their audition date--only that it's in late May, well after decision day.  And probably prom weekend, the way things are going lately...sigh.
 



I would contact the coach and see if she can either do a video or one day audition if it is prom weekend. Older dd was on her division 1 college team and they made this accommodation a couple times. It's worth asking at least!
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Sabrina

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Reply with quote  #24 
Great idea. I'll suggest it to her.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayleemom9
Which college gives dance scholarships?


Los of colleges give dance scholarships. This thread is talking about dance teams. What colleges are you looking at?
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