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dancemom0987

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Reply with quote  #1 
My DD and I have finally started our search for a BFA program for her that is preferably focused on choreography. We're not super close to the college age, but in a few years she will go.[eek] Currently, the schools she's interested in are University of Arizona, VCU, Juilliard, and the Boston Conservatory. DD started asking questions about some of the applications and auditions, and I don't know that much because I wasn't ever a dancer.

1) What should be on her resume?
2) Should she bring her pointe shoes to auditions?
3) For the colleges that require a video along with the dancers' application, is DD allowed to choreograph her own combos or can she use one of her teacher's?
4) Do they prefer if the dancers wear a black or colored leotard?
5) What are some things the dancer or parents should know before applying to a college for dance?

Thanks! If you have other colleges your DD has been to/is currently at/has in mind, feel free to share them!
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #2 
What grade is your daughter in? I ask because you are asking a lot of questions that can change. Each program is different and asks for/requires different things. You have to research each program individually. My daughter is a senior this year. We started visiting programs last year. Investigated college websites. Read Ballet Talk for Dancers. Made lists/spreadsheet for each school. They all start with a general application to the individual university and then they change depending on the program. Plug in University of Arizona BFA dance and read their website. Look up threads on this site. There is one going now. There was one last year. 

Advice will depend on your daughter's age/year of school.
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancemom0987
My DD and I have finally started our search for a BFA program for her that is preferably focused on choreography. We're not super close to the college age, but in a few years she will go.[eek] Currently, the schools she's interested in are University of Arizona, VCU, Juilliard, and the Boston Conservatory. DD started asking questions about some of the applications and auditions, and I don't know that much because I wasn't ever a dancer.

1) What should be on her resume?
2) Should she bring her pointe shoes to auditions?
3) For the colleges that require a video along with the dancers' application, is DD allowed to choreograph her own combos or can she use one of her teacher's?
4) Do they prefer if the dancers wear a black or colored leotard?
5) What are some things the dancer or parents should know before applying to a college for dance?

Thanks! If you have other colleges your DD has been to/is currently at/has in mind, feel free to share them!


Look at USC Glorya Kaufman as well.  They are considered the Julliard of the west and pretty hard to get into, but they do have a concentration in choreography for the stage and screen.

My experience is that each and every school is different (we've applied to most on your list and have been pretty successful.) Go to each website and start a spreadsheet where you record application dates and other items that you find important. VCU and USC both require the common application.  UCS also requires a portfolio which includes videos, pictures, an interview and written application.  This is the hurdle you have to jump in order to get invited for an audition (not everyone can audition.)  AZ has video requirements too that are entirely different, but those videos are a supplement to the live auditions as all can sign up for an audition.

Each school will have their own set of requirements for live auditions, so go to their websites and record that on your spread sheet.

One of the things I wish I had known ahead of time is that every place we have applied to, my dd got in (except USC...just submitted the app last night.)  Almost none of the places were amazingly interested in her SAT score.  Maybe if it had been bad, they would have cared...not sure.  I beat that kid up all summer making her study and work to get the best score possible...I think it may have been wasted time and was pretty stressful for us both.

I am amazed at how different each application process has been.  Get informed and don't wait till the last minute.  VCU's application to be considered for scholarships was in November.  USC's is today.  They are all different.

Yes you can do your own choreography.  My dd submitting nothing but her own work.  I don't believe it counts in your favor though.

ETA:  Also almost everything that people told us about this process has been wrong.  One piece of advice we got was take the hardest classes you can possibly take.  Colleges need to see the rigor.  So this is what my dd has done.  All AP and concurrent college classes this year.  That has not made one bit of difference for her except make her want to pull her hair out trying to balance dance requirements and homework requirements (and a permanent hatred for King Lear.)  Do your own research.

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hopefuldancer17

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Reply with quote  #4 

DD is a senior this year and from what we've seen, as cynmckee said, each school has been different in what they've asked for, what their process was to apply to audition, the audition itself, etc. I think it's great that your DD is already asking questions. I'd encourage her (and you) to pick some schools, go to their websites, dig deep to find as many answers now as you can, and start a spreadsheet to track everything. DD and I use Google sheets which makes it easy for us to both keep things updated. Last year I tried to get a handle on when auditions would likely be held so that we could start making a travel game plan over the summer. I'd also encourage her to think about what she really wants to gain from majoring in dance in college. The programs all seem great on the surface, but they are not all the same once you start looking closer. You have to figure out what has what you're looking for.

As for high school classes, you do still have to be academically accepted at these programs. I think as long as your DD's test scores are in the middle 50% of a school's range and her GPA is good, and she takes a college-preparatory curriculum with some honors/AP/IB, she's going to get into most schools for dance. DD has gone through some periods now of questioning why she focused on school so much when she could have been focusing on ballet. It was her choice, but she sometimes second-guesses herself now. She went from 5 honors classes her junior year to just 2 this year, and her life has been much saner. She has been easily accepted to several schools now, academically, but I don't know if that would have been the case had she not pursued all the honors work. There's no way to tell, really. Her test scores were not what was setting her apart.

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dancemom0987

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for all the wonderful responses! She's a sophomore this year (15), so she'll enter college in 2020. I just looked at USC, and I'm sure it'll be on her list once she looks at it! We will definitely start a spreadsheet. [smile]
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dancermom128

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Posts: 3,639
Reply with quote  #6 
It's too early for many of these questions. Once she decides the schools she's looking to apply to and has a firm grasp of what each program offers, you will be able to look at all of the websites to see what the auditions require. Juilliard and USC are very competitive schools and will only choose a few dancers per year. BoCo is much less selective and will be easier to get into. You'll need to be very well educated in what each school has to offer and a very honest opinion of your DD's level of talent.

ETA. My DD is a freshman BFA at Montclair State which is a very strong modern based program. If your DD is interested in concert dance I would recommend looking at it.
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BalletDad

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Reply with quote  #7 
My DD is a freshman in the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program. She loves it there. She did the summer intensive there two years ago and fell in love. I recommend your DD try the SIs of the schools which interest her.

When DD was a junior we went this college fair for dance programs. It was very helpful https://www.dancewave.org/DTCB
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jujusmom

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Posts: 166
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BalletDad
My DD is a freshman in the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program. She loves it there. She did the summer intensive there two years ago and fell in love. I recommend your DD try the SIs of the schools which interest her.

When DD was a junior we went this college fair for dance programs. It was very helpful https://www.dancewave.org/DTCB


I agree with the DCTB recommendation!  We went this year (my dd's senior year) mostly so she could audition for programs as well, but I wish we had gone junior year so she could learn about the programs that we didn't know about.  There are so many!!!!  

My biggest piece of advice is to prepare your well of patience now.  Between 2 sets of applications for every school, different video requirements for every program, senior year activities and general life... it is a lot.  And for most of the schools, you audition and then you won't hear anything until March - regardless of when you audition (November, December, etc).  It is a lot of hurry up... now wait.

As for SATs and course load - SATs play a HUGE role in some schools merit offerings.  Univ of AZ, for instance, weighs SAT scores more than grades when it comes to merit money.  USCs average SAT score for admitted students is on the higher side.  

At the end of the day, I keep telling my dancer that she will end up exactly where she should be.  We considered many programs - some big name and others are not big name but have solid programs.  It's a nice mix and she'll have wonderful opportunities at any of the programs she's looking at.  

Good luck!!!
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