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Erika

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Hi, I'm new to this forum and finding it to be a wealth of information! 

My daughter is a high school sophomore and we are trying to get a jump on the college process. So far, she is interested in a college with good academics and a strong dance program. She is not sure where she wants to go with dance yet, she just knows she doesn't want to stop since it's been such a huge part of her life. Right now we are looking at a double major (partnered with something in the sciences) or dance minor. She wants a program that is not strictly ballet/modern focused, but offers jazz and theater as well. Tap would be a bonus!

We have Dance Spirit's College Guide and have been looking through it but some programs I know of aren't in there and we would like to know if anyone has any personal experience with some of the others. 

We currently live in Alabama (husband is active duty military) and she could go to U of Alabama-Tuscaloosa but their program is not in the guide. Anyone have any experience with their dance department? Also missing is the U of South Carolina in Columbia. 

She likes the University of Kansas program so far. We've checked out the website and it looks like a good fit for her but I haven't seen it talked about it on this forum. Does anyone have a child or know of someone attending that school for dance?

Slippery Rock looks like another possibility for her and from what I've read on this forum most people seem happy with it. If you are happy with the program, what does your child love about it? Anyone not happy there? Why? 

Unless she got a generous scholarship, private colleges are out. Being a military dependent could work in her favor so we haven't ruled out places like Southern Methodist or Point Park, but without the scholarships, forget it. Graduating with little to zero debt is important to her (us)!

If you've read through this long post, thanks! Any and all advice about the above schools is appreciated! [smile]
 
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beachgirl

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Well I'm biased, but even without my biased opinion, Univ of SC has a great dance program, dance team, and a strong dance/arts culture in the city itself. My DD wants to go there major in dance and teach part time at her current studio. She has it all mapped out at age 10. Lol. Some recent graduates of our studio currently dance on the dance team there. I know one is majoring in education but not sure about the others. I know some past dancers majored in dance. There is information about their dance programs online at sc.edu. If you read through it, it should help answer your specific questions. And if you have any other questions, PM me and I can ask the current students.
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pinnellmom

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My DD just graduated with her BA from Slippery Rock in December.  She loved it there.  I was amazed at how genuinely supportive the professors all were. They truly want the dancers to succeed.  They also work with the students to get them to graduate early or on time. My dd was able to graduate with her undergrad in 3 1/2 years and then completed her masters this spring, she had an internship this summer but was completely done in 4 years with both undergrad and masters.  Her masters was in Adaptive Physical Activity so that she can work with individuals with disabilities and dance. They also are very supportive and helpful for those choosing to double major.  The cost was very affordable, we live in Ohio and even with out of state costs it was less expensive than anything in-state here.  The campus is beautiful, and there is an outlet mall just a few minutes away where there is no tax on clothes as they consider them a necessity and I totally agree. [smile]   Please feel free to PM me if you have further questions.  I would also encourage any AP classes too.  That way you can get even more classes out of the way.

And I forgot to mention, many colleges do not have tap or have that much of it.  My dd's favorite styles were musical theatre and tap - she wanted to train more in ballet and modern so chose a school that focused on those to improve those skills. She still did MT and Tap pieces throughout her college days to keep up those skills
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MSDanceMomma

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My daughter has had teachers from KU and they have been excellent at teaching her and also they have been able to dance in regional dance companies.  The other dance school in the area that you may want to look at is UMKC. 
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LasMa

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika

Unless she got a generous scholarship, private colleges are out.  
 


Don't rule out that possibility.  A lot of privates are very generous with the scholarship money.  My D attended a private college for considerably less than it would have cost to send her to a state university. 

Muhlenberg in PA has a wonderful dance program.
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Erika

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Thanks everyone for the tips. I'm glad we have started looking into all of this now! There is just so much to consider. We definitely plan on keeping an open mind and may start visiting a few schools as early as this spring (combined with vacation [smile] [wink] to try to get a feel for this. 
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diglass

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Smart of you to start looking this early. Wish we had started sooner. I don't have a lot to offer other than that I know the directors at U Alabama and U of SC are great! My child has worked with both of them in high school. Depending on what level of dancer your child is- there is also Columbia college in SC. We have a friend there who loves it. But she was not as technically trained as my child as in no real ballet training, she started in gymnastics. She has moved up through the program rapidly and is very happy.

Best advice I can offer is to narrow your list and start visiting and observing classes where you can. Or try to attend performances at the school. This is a valuable experience that I wish we had made the sacrifice $$ and time to make happen. 

Since you are in Alabama I would really look into U Alabama, as a back up if nothing else. They have amazing automatic scholarship programs for out of state students, not sure about in state. Definitely a reason to keep the grades and test scores up!
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jujusmom

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Reply with quote  #8 
My daughter is also a sophomore and we've begun to look at different programs online and through DS college guide.  Happy we aren't the only ones... people look at me like I'm crazy!  Right now she is looking at schools in and around NYC but I've convinced her to broaden her initial list since we aren't visiting everything.  We've decided it will take a few rounds of cuts before we get down to what she is truly interested in and wants to visit.

1st stop is Pace this weekend for their fall intensive.  Looking forward to the college seminar piece.
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tiptoemom

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Our daughter is also a sophomore and we been doing research since last year. We have done a few tours and admissions tours. The list is still long. She really has to decide what her focus will be for college. Will it be a BFA or a BA? Audition only program? Dance as a minor? What is her focus after college? Does she want to shoot for a company? Some of these decisions may dictate the program or colleges she ends up attending. Hope we can share ideas!
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trinitymomof2

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My DD is a junior and we started looking this summer. We went to Point Park which she absolutely loved and Slippery Rock because I went there and it was on the way. She liked that too, but loved the non traditional campus at PP. we are planning on looking at Indiana and George Mason, plus Pace in the spring when we are in New York
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dancermom128

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinitymomof2
My DD is a junior and we started looking this summer. We went to Point Park which she absolutely loved and Slippery Rock because I went there and it was on the way. She liked that too, but loved the non traditional campus at PP. we are planning on looking at Indiana and George Mason, plus Pace in the spring when we are in New York


My DD is also a junior. Point Park is definitely one of the schools at the top of our list (without having seen it yet). We are looking at Montclaire next month, going to their dance day so she can get a feel for their classes. Also at the top of the list now is Marymount. I would also like to explore SUNY Purchase and Towson. We live in MA so she will probably audition at UMass Amerst but don't see that as a top choice. We will probably also look at Boston Conservatory. Who know maybe our girls will end up together!
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Erika

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm also glad to see some other moms are starting early too! Now I don't feel crazy! [smile]

We should be able to visit U of Alabama sometime this year. Watching one of the performances was definitely a plan. 

It's just hard because she doesn't even really know what she wants out of the college yet either. She wants to dance but isn't sure if she wants a BFA (not really able to double major) or BA or possibly minor if she keeps her love of chemistry.

Right now we are planning on visiting:

U of Alabama
U of Kansas
Muhlenberg
Slippery Rock
Point Park
Southern Methodist
U of Arizona (if we can get there)

University of SC is too ballet based for her I believe. We're hoping to get a good idea of what is out there and maybe start narrowing down what she's looking for. 


 
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tiptoemom

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If you make it to Mulhenburg, think about Suny Purchase on Long Island; UArts in Philly and you may go through Baltimore and see Goucher. Fordam in NYC is academics through the university and dance through Alvin Ailey, which may be interesting. I have multiple lists depending on which direction my daughter decides to go. Right now, she is primarily classical ballet, but she has been exposed to contemporary and contemp ballet and jazz this past year and really enjoys them, so we'll see.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Unless she got a generous scholarship, private colleges are out


A local ballet company/school had a talk on applying to colleges. The financial aid director from a private college was there and said that you should not rule out schools with higher tuition costs without looking at the amount of financial aid they give. Private universities are more likely to have a larger endowment and can give MUCH more aid. She actually said that the threshold for financial need was around 225K, meaning that families that earned less than that at her school are eligible.
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mom2rb

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
Quote:
Unless she got a generous scholarship, private colleges are out


A local ballet company/school had a talk on applying to colleges. The financial aid director from a private college was there and said that you should not rule out schools with higher tuition costs without looking at the amount of financial aid they give. Private universities are more likely to have a larger endowment and can give MUCH more aid. She actually said that the threshold for financial need was around 225K, meaning that families that earned less than that are her school are eligible. 


DS was offered way more from private schools than public. In fact it made it cheaper to sent him to a small private school than for him to live at home and commute.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #16 
I have a dance major at Alabama. She is in a BA program. I'm not a fan of the BFA. The program is fabulous inevery way and more diverse than most. South Carolina has a great ballet program the director of the dance school is quite vocal of her disapproval of dance team. Fordham is an excellent school and I love the Ailey program but if you dance you're not at the main campus so double majoring might not be a possibility. I'm not a fan of George Masons program. PACE is great but doesn't offer a BA in dance. I know some Point Park graduates and based on them I would have some doubts about the program. It's only 3 people though so not a big sample. I liked SMU. I didn't go to KU or Arizona to see those programs. UArts doesn't offer a BA.

That's my synopsis of those you listed.
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MSDanceMomma

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika
I'm also glad to see some other moms are starting early too! Now I don't feel crazy! [smile]

We should be able to visit U of Alabama sometime this year. Watching one of the performances was definitely a plan. 

It's just hard because she doesn't even really know what she wants out of the college yet either. She wants to dance but isn't sure if she wants a BFA (not really able to double major) or BA or possibly minor if she keeps her love of chemistry.

Right now we are planning on visiting:

U of Alabama
U of Kansas
Muhlenberg
Slippery Rock
Point Park
Southern Methodist
U of Arizona (if we can get there)

University of SC is too ballet based for her I believe. We're hoping to get a good idea of what is out there and maybe start narrowing down what she's looking for. 


 
 Have you considered University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) if you are going to check out University of Kansas (KU) anyway? It would be within two hours of KU. 


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mom2tall

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UMKC is just 1 hour away from KU.
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Erika

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I forgot about UMKC! Thanks for the reminder MSDanceMomma!

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