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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #26 
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Originally Posted by mom2rb


Every college that had a ballet class as part of the audition, DS got into with a scholarship. The one school that had a Jazz class and solo only, he didn't even get in to the program. He gets nervous, but once the bare work starts, his technique takes over.

I wish that I knew what school gave a boy a full ride. DS has a great scholarship to a great school, but no school gave him a full ride, and definitely not right when he walked in the door.  



University of South Carolina. The boy was a fabulous dancer. I don't know if he accepted the offer. My dd did not choose that school
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #27 
I do think there are programs for everyone. Many colleges are building diverse classes. So many factors go into acceptances. I do think the evolution of all the dance shows and performing shows like American idol have increased interest in the arts. Thus made the field of applicants larger and more competitive.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #28 
My DD is only 12 but I always follow the college discussions with interest.  My concern about all these new programs and "a program for everyone" is that they are accepting tuition from young people for 4 (sometimes 5) years and sending them out into the world with a degree but no realistic way of making a living as a dancer and a crushing burden of debt.  It seems to me that a dancer with "real" potential is going to have a scholarship offer, at some program(s) that has a track record of producing employed dancers.  Just my opinion.
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #29 
I don't think any program has the money to scholarship the entire dance class, in whole or in part. Same with theater and MT. Even the biggest programs can't scholarship everyone. That's why the academics play a huge part in this process. Many get academic scholarships (and/or artistic) that help defray the costs. Tisch has an amazing dance program and so does Fordham (Ailey), but both of those Universities are known to be tight with scholarship money (which is not to say that no one gets one, just that they give a lot). College Confidential is a great forum to read to get a feel for the application process and to research each college program. There is a lot of information to sift through.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #30 
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Originally Posted by ggsmith
My DD is only 12 but I always follow the college discussions with interest.  My concern about all these new programs and "a program for everyone" is that they are accepting tuition from young people for 4 (sometimes 5) years and sending them out into the world with a degree but no realistic way of making a living as a dancer and a crushing burden of debt.  It seems to me that a dancer with "real" potential is going to have a scholarship offer, at some program(s) that has a track record of producing employed dancers.  Just my opinion.


I understand your point. I'm not sure this is actually happening though. The dance programs that aren't turning out professional dancers are still turning out students with an education. In our many visits to colleges I noticed that the ones that aren't that strong promote non-performance aspects of their program. They talk about the career paths of former students who have completed their dance degree and options for minors or double majors that work well with the dance degree. I'd be very concerned if a program was making false promises of what to expect performance career wise but I did not come across anybody doing that
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Lad16

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Reply with quote  #31 
I really appreciate everyone's opinions. I have started researching schools with my DD, one thing I have found that dance majors do have options. I was pleasantly surprised that some schools even offer a BS degree for those that want to tie it in to the sciences or some schools offering teaching certificates in dance. I don't believe my daughter has ever had a dance teacher with this "certificate" but wondering if it is something that could make a person more employable if this is the route one chooses. Also interesting to me are those programs that audition you for all programs and concentrations and then tell you where they feel you would fit best, BA or BFA, jazz, ballet, modern tracks. Some I have found also wait to accept you into the BFA, so you enter as a pre-dance major. I don't think there are any promises or guarantees in dance or any major or degree for that matter. So many young people have no idea at 17 or 18 what they want to do with their life and many will change their minds many times. Right now I am just trying to support my DD and provide her with the tools and opportunities to help one of her current goals of getting into college. I've been thru the college search before with my older children who are not in the arts and getting all these great perspectives on how to navigate the dance college search is really helpful. Sometimes you question yourself if you are doing what's right for your kid, especially when so many options are out there. This year has been a year of changes and growing (switching from a comp school to ballet) and although not easy, so far has been worth it.
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #32 
DD's studio has a long list of former students who have gone on to study dance in one form or another in various colleges around the country.  Off the top of my head, I don't believe there are more than 3-4 who are pursuing/have pursued either a BA or a BFA singularly. 

Virtually every one of them are piggy-backing their dance degree with another.  Many of them add a second major in kinesiology or the like hoping to possibly end up in a dance therapy program.  Many are pairing their dance educations with a business degree, preparing themselves a backup plan in case a career ending injury occurs. 

I also know several who graduated college with double majors including dance who are now in pharm school, nursing, or PA graduate school and others. 

My best advice to anyone is just always have a backup plan lurking in your mind.  There are no guarantees in any of this or in any field of interest. 

My oldest son who is a classically trained musician received his undergraduate degree on a very generous scholarship, he later received his graduate degree by means of a graduate fellowship, and is now finishing up his first year of a PhD. fellowship at the University of Illinois.  Guess what...?  When he was a young 18 year old just beginning college and planning his future, he decided to double major in performance and music education (extending his undergraduate time) because "if all of this performance stuff doesn't work out, I still need to get a job".  His exact words...
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #33 
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Originally Posted by Psmom
University of South Carolina. The boy was a fabulous dancer. I don't know if he accepted the offer. My dd did not choose that school


The boy from our studio got just under $200,000 to PACE last year.
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #34 
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Originally Posted by cynmckee


The boy from our studio got just under $200,000 to PACE last year.
Did he attend? Pace gives a ton of money for scholarships.
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4boysmom

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Reply with quote  #35 
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Originally Posted by emmymom
DD's studio has a long list of former students who have gone on to study dance in one form or another in various colleges around the country.  Off the top of my head, I don't believe there are more than 3-4 who are pursuing/have pursued either a BA or a BFA singularly. 

Virtually every one of them are piggy-backing their dance degree with another.  Many of them add a second major in kinesiology or the like hoping to possibly end up in a dance therapy program.  Many are pairing their dance educations with a business degree, preparing themselves a backup plan in case a career ending injury occurs. 

I also know several who graduated college with double majors including dance who are now in pharm school, nursing, or PA graduate school and others. 

My best advice to anyone is just always have a backup plan lurking in your mind.  There are no guarantees in any of this or in any field of interest. 

My oldest son who is a classically trained musician received his undergraduate degree on a very generous scholarship, he later received his graduate degree by means of a graduate fellowship, and is now finishing up his first year of a PhD. fellowship at the University of Illinois.  Guess what...?  When he was a young 18 year old just beginning college and planning his future, he decided to double major in performance and music education (extending his undergraduate time) because "if all of this performance stuff doesn't work out, I still need to get a job".  His exact words...


Looking at everything from a mother's perspective, I agree 100%. Having said that, we have a very successful young alumni from our studio who looked at things from a different perspective. He decided to not pursue plan B. He went to college auditions and was accepted, looked at double majoring etc., and made a different decision. He told DS that he truly believes that had he not put all of hie energy into Plan A, he would not be where he is now. He felt that plan B would hold him back. I guess it has worked for him, but coming from a parent's perspective, it is a very difficult thing to let your child try to soar without that safety net. His parents let him use college fund money to travel to the UK, where he has really made a name for himself.
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancemonkey
Did he attend? Pace gives a ton of money for scholarships.


Yeah, he is there now.  That would be a pretty hard thing to turn down.  I think he is there for commercial dance which was a little bit of a surprise for me, because I thought he was leaning toward ballet.  He danced a little in his senior year of high school with a Florida professional ballet company.  I don't totally get what he is doing because I think he is with a pro group off the island in addition to school but his mom talks in dance speak using names I don't know and I never see her enough to get the details.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #37 
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Originally Posted by 4boysmom
Looking at everything from a mother's perspective, I agree 100%. Having said that, we have a very successful young alumni from our studio who looked at things from a different perspective. He decided to not pursue plan B. He went to college auditions and was accepted, looked at double majoring etc., and made a different decision. He told DS that he truly believes that had he not put all of hie energy into Plan A, he would not be where he is now. He felt that plan B would hold him back. I guess it has worked for him, but coming from a parent's perspective, it is a very difficult thing to let your child try to soar without that safety net. His parents let him use college fund money to travel to the UK, where he has really made a name for himself.


I couldn't agree w/this more.  I completely understand that desire to consider a practical Plan B but I will always believe that trying to pursue both simultaneaously just reduces the chance that Plan A will ever become a reality.  No, not make it impossible...but perhaps significantly reduce the chances.  Of those who pursue these demanding double majors I wonder... how many are able to bring the passion & dedication necessary to excel to both endeavors?   How many, 4 yrs down the line, decide that it's in their best interests to now put Plan B on the backburner so they can go out & chase this dream that they really didn't fully believe in from the start?  Obviously I don't have any hard and fast data but I'm betting it's very small.

IDK  I don't have any problems w/many of these academically demanding Plan Bs so please don't anyone misunderstand.   I just think we're kidding ourselves if we don't recognize the potential impact they have to Plan A.... if the dancer is truly serious about that Plan A & not just thinking "gee, wouldn't it be nice".   My own kid's safety net?  That will be tomorrow.  There is always tomorrow... always another day to forge a new path.  Not that she won't give some thought today to what that tomorrow might be, but I won't encourage her to pursue them all at once. One exceptionally serious & demanding dream at a time.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #38 
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Originally Posted by heidi459


I couldn't agree w/this more.  I completely understand that desire to consider a practical Plan B but I will always believe that trying to pursue both simultaneaously just reduces the chance that Plan A will ever become a reality.  No, not make it impossible...but perhaps significantly reduce the chances.  Of those who pursue these demanding double majors I wonder... how many are able to bring the passion & dedication necessary to excel to both endeavors?   How many, 4 yrs down the line, decide that it's in their best interests to now put Plan B on the backburner so they can go out & chase this dream that really they didn't fully believe in from the start?  Obviously I don't have any hard and fast data but I'm betting it's very small.

IDK  I don't any problems w/many of these academically demanding Plan Bs so please don't anyone misunderstand.   I just think we're kidding ourselves if we don't recognize the potential impact they have to Plan A.... if they are truly serious about that Plan A & not just thinking "gee, wouldn't it be nice".   My own kid's safety net?  That will be tomorrow.  There is always tomorrow... always another day to forge a new path.  Not that she won't give some thought today to what that tomorrow might be but I won't encourage her to seriously pursue them all at once. One exceptionally serious & demanding dream at a time.


I agree. No plan B for my dd. It would just be a distraction and possibly make her think we don't believe in her ability to do this. There are things that she's doing to hopefully help open more doors for Plan A. That includes taking classes that give her more gifts to bring to the table. For example, she's getting a minor in nutrition. That's something that dancers often need help with so if she has that on her resume and she auditions for a job where she's a good fit that might nudge her ahead of somebody else who's also a good fit dance wise but doesn't have as much to offer in addition to dance.
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mackiecat

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Reply with quote  #39 
We are in Canada so it is a bit different. There are only a couple universities that have dance. My DD does not place in her solo at competitions. She does a lot of ballet though and has done SI the past 3 years. She has applied to 3 schools. First one they took 5, she was one. next one took 5, she was one. She still has to do #3. Another school wrote her a personalized letter asking her to come as they knew her from her one SI. ( she doesn't want to go there). So it is very possible to be a dancer who doesn't place in overalls. DD has great ballet technique she can turn like there is no tomorrow but isn't flashy. She said though that she is happy she went to the SI as her studio doesn't do modern and her last audition was modern and she did modern in the SI
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MinnDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #40 
I don't know a ton about dance programs at colleges but I am aware of more than a couple of local dancers who went to some of the dance programs mentioned by the original poster but did not place with their solos. Now some of these dancers tended to compete at only the toughest competitions around where it was not easy to place for even the most talented dancers. Placing is a vague term. As we all know, some studios avoid the tough competitions so they can place even if they don't necessarily have the best technique or performance ability.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #41 
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Originally Posted by Lad16
I appreciate your response Psmom, I would not take it as mean. Although her strength may not be performing as a soloist she dances well in groups and is usually in the front and selected for small groups which in our studio is more selective. She has also had much success with her summer intensive auditions. Just trying to prepare her as much as possible in helping her achieve her dreams.


Actually I'd like to apologize to you. There are lots of reasons a great dancer might not always place at competitions. That's not a very accurate way to decide where to apply for college. The only thing I might do if I were you is add some more dance programs that do require auditions. There are so many really good dance programs and her list is a great start but add maybe 2-3 more. The hardest thing is trying to fit in all of the auditions. Some schools will allow a class audition, some will accept a video to pre screen and others want you there for the mass auditions. There are also college dance fair auditions. I'm not sure they're always in the same cities every year but it's definitely something to look into.
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Lad16

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Reply with quote  #42 
No need to apologize, I totally appreciate hearing others views and I just don't know what to expect. At her summer intensive auditions she has had very positive experiences, good feedback and being accepted at everywhere but Julliard, but we knew that was a long shot and just went for the experience. She usually encounters others at auditions that she has competed against or were at other auditions. I expect the college auditions to be more challenging and more selective but it is human nature to always compare yourself and how you measure up. She has confidence in her ability and handles new situations with ease, much I attribute to being in comp dance. I think with her concentration on her technique these next couple of years she will only improve and it will definitely help her future auditions. The NYC schools are probably reaches, my hope is she finds a good fit for her, and she is happy. Getting a handle on what schools are more desirable, for lack of a better word, but regarded as having a strong dance program is what I am trying to help her figure out.
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JojosDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #43 
I just want to voice my agreement with the no plan B crowd.  DD said she feels like Plan B would be a crutch, and a distraction.  Also, regarding double majors, every school we visited said the same thing, they strongly discourage that for anyone interested in the BFA track.  The curriculum is far too demanding in these programs and there's just no time.  Most of these kids are taking classes from 8:00 - 2:00 and in rehearsals from 4:00 to whenever... One school even said that there are night classes after rehearsals that are highly attended just to get in the basic curriculum requirements.  And that's the schedule with just the BFA... trying to add in more to accommodate at Plan B just seems like torture. 

They did say that the BA is an option for those who want to double major... but, if Plan A is dance, then going for the BA rather than the BFA seems like the first compromise in supporting Plan B.  I'm sure there are also less rigorous BFA programs at other colleges, but again, is taking a less rigorous program for your Plan A in order to accommodate your Plan B really the best option?
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4boysmom

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JojosDanceMom
I just want to voice my agreement with the no plan B crowd.  DD said she feels like Plan B would be a crutch, and a distraction.  Also, regarding double majors, every school we visited said the same thing, they strongly discourage that for anyone interested in the BFA track.  The curriculum is far too demanding in these programs and there's just no time.  Most of these kids are taking classes from 8:00 - 2:00 and in rehearsals from 4:00 to whenever... One school even said that there are night classes after rehearsals that are highly attended just to get in the basic curriculum requirements.  And that's the schedule with just the BFA... trying to add in more to accommodate at Plan B just seems like torture. 

They did say that the BA is an option for those who want to double major... but, if Plan A is dance, then going for the BA rather than the BFA seems like the first compromise in supporting Plan B.  I'm sure there are also less rigorous BFA programs at other colleges, but again, is taking a less rigorous program for your Plan A in order to accommodate your Plan B really the best option?

Totally agree, still makes me nervous lol
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JojosDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #45 
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Originally Posted by 4boysmom
Totally agree, still makes me nervous lol


Being a mom means being nervous for your kids.  LOL  BUT, I also know that as long as I'm around DD will never be without a roof over her head.  If the dance thing doesn't work out she can always come home and refocus on her Plan B then.

Not to mention, in the non-dance world I find that more and more jobs are looking for a Bachelors... they don't particularly care what it's in.  My current position, for example, won't even look at your application if you don't have a Bachelors.  But the people in my office (all in the same position) have degrees in everything from liberal arts, to marketing, to psychology... none of which have anything to do with what we do.  Meanwhile I personally know people who applied who have 10-15 years of experience in the field but weren't even considered because they didn't have a degree.  So just getting the BFA is already a step towards a Plan B.  [smile]
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Shaylenek

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Reply with quote  #46 
I strongly recommend picking a few programs at different tiers to research and visit.  Don't put too many eggs in any basket.  Competition can sometimes help - kids have a stage presence that helps them in certain aspects of certain auditions.  And I agree that you aren't going to get into a career track college program without the base ballet technique.  

I guarantee that you will be surprised by the vibe and feel you and your dancer get at different schools.  And a greater chance of success in a college programs comes from feeling that you can fit in and learn and grow.  DD was accepted into programs all across the country, large and small - top and middle, and she decided finally to go to the school that made her feel welcoming and wanted.  And she is thriving!  Both in technique and academics.  

She is a double BFA - BS student but she went into college with 18 credits complete so she has some flexibility in scheduling.  If she decides not to pursue the Dance Science she could probably graduate in three years.  Will see where this crazy path takes her between now and then.  If offered an apprentice position at her dream company she would probably bail on school for now.  But she feels better with a back-up plan.  Injuries take everything away so quickly.  You are doing the research which is a great start.  Just followup and make the trips to see the schools your dancer is interest in.  We did Michigan, Pennsylvania and California in ten days.  It was crazy but fun and she landed right where she needed to be. 
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LJK2dance

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Reply with quote  #47 
I am arriving a little late to this conversation....

A good friend has a daughter who just went through the college audition process. As mentioned by several others, she said that almost universally, the key to success at each and every audition was solid ballet technique. Most auditions started with ballet and many applicants were "cut" after that round without ever getting the opportunity to show what else they had to offer. The process proved to be a huge wakeup call for those competitive dancers who consistently placed doing modern or contemporary or tap but lacked consistent quality ballet training. By the time a dancer is preparing for college, having "potential" is no longer an asset. There are hundreds of applicants for these college programs and the schools have plenty of talent to choose from. This topic kind of ties in to the thread on the "big fish - little pond" question. My friend said that the audition process was a huge wake up call for many- Dancers who won titles at competitions and who were the stars of their studios yet found themselves being rejected by big name and not so big name college programs.

Based upon her observations - I would recommend to any dancer that he/she do some serious realistic reflection on the quality of ballet training currently being taken. Also - get out in the "real world" - do conventions, see the real talent that is out there. And most of all, do what is right for YOU in terms of training.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #48 
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Originally Posted by LJK2dance
Based upon her observations - I would recommend to any dancer that he/she do some serious realistic reflection on the quality of ballet training currently being taken. Also - get out in the "real world" - do conventions, see the real talent that is out there. And most of all, do what is right for YOU in terms of training.


Exactly this!!  Well said (written), LJK2dance!
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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJK2dance
I am arriving a little late to this conversation.... A good friend has a daughter who just went through the college audition process. As mentioned by several others, she said that almost universally, the key to success at each and every audition was solid ballet technique. Most auditions started with ballet and many applicants were "cut" after that round without ever getting the opportunity to show what else they had to offer. The process proved to be a huge wakeup call for those competitive dancers who consistently placed doing modern or contemporary or tap but lacked consistent quality ballet training. By the time a dancer is preparing for college, having "potential" is no longer an asset. There are hundreds of applicants for these college programs and the schools have plenty of talent to choose from. This topic kind of ties in to the thread on the "big fish - little pond" question. My friend said that the audition process was a huge wake up call for many- Dancers who won titles at competitions and who were the stars of their studios yet found themselves being rejected by big name and not so big name college programs. Based upon her observations - I would recommend to any dancer that he/she do some serious realistic reflection on the quality of ballet training currently being taken. Also - get out in the "real world" - do conventions, see the real talent that is out there. And most of all, do what is right for YOU in terms of training.


The bolded is true about other auditions as well.  Ash just went through an audition for a scholarship to a summer intensive at at local professional contemporary company.  The audition was for company membership, the trainee program and summer intensive scholarships.  It started with ballet, then went on to learning company rep.  Over half the hopefuls were cut during or after the ballet round.  They AD did not even accept head shots and resumes until after the ballet round!  At the end of the audition, there were 17 dancers left: 14 girls and 3 boys; more than 40 dancers started the audition.  Ash did make it through to the end (and was offered a partial scholarship), and saw many dancers she knew personally get cut during ballet (including a college dance major who subs as a ballet teacher at our studio on occasion).
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Lad16

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Reply with quote  #50 
I'm not surprised about ballet technique being important, it's reassuring to hear that this is the case. When DD went for the Julliard summer intensive audition they did say they run the college audition the same, starting with ballet, do cuts then modern. Our eyes started to open a few years ago when at our own studio the top dancers who attempted to go on to college to pursue dance were not making the cut, these were students who always placed and were always the featured dancers. When I asked one of the teachers why she felt this was happening her opinion was that the ballet training was not strong enough and if DD wanted to pursue dance beyond high school she needed to supplement or leave the studio all together and find the best ballet training we could find. So last year DD finally decided to make the change. I am sure there are great comp studios out there that have excellent ballet technique and if I had a crystal ball way back when I would have done my research and chose one of those schools, but here we are and although our comp studio was absolutely wonderful and so hard to leave DD felt she had to do what was best and hope that it is not too late.
I was surprised to learn about these large comps that do offer scholarship money to graduating seniors, that was news to me! Something we can definitely look into for the future.
It will definitely be an interesting journey as we start this college process, and although DD is not a stand out at comps (she still competes a solo) I do have faith that we made the right switch and her technique in ballet will hopefully get her thru these future auditions.
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