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Motherhem

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My dd is a HS junior in and we are just staring the college search. Does anyone have any recommendations on good college programs we should research?

Her main training is in ballet but she is also good at modern and she would possibly like to try some musical theater while at college as she has a good voice.
She wants to make sure she can take enough ballet classes to keep her training up so a rigorous training program is preferred with lots of performance opportunities (if possible). She currently trains in ballet 20 hours a week plus rehearsals for the performing company she is in. She is not on the competition circuit.

She is insistent, she wants to go to college and get a degree but she doesn’t want to rule out the possibility of dancing with a company or for a living sometime in the future.

I am new to the college program search. I just learned from this forum I need to start college audition planning now. I’d love college recommendations from your experience and any advice on getting through this process successfully. (Hopefully with a scholarship.)

I have read BT4D. But I feel I need to know more To build a list for my daughter. And so many of the posts there are old which makes me feel they are outdated. I also have been looking at college websites but there are so many I want to narrow my focus a bit.

So I am hoping for a fresh up to date perspective from you guys! Thank you in advance for your comments and opinions!!
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Motherhem

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I forgot to add she is 16 going on 17 with 13 years of training. 5 years on pointe. She has a lot of performing experience in original works. They perform at her school 6 or 7 times a year. From small 5 dance exhibitions to large full ballet programs twice a year. She does well in auditions.
That is all I can think of to add that might help with suggestions. Thanks again for your input!
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stpierremom

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There are a few threads on this topic in the College Dance forum, I think, but I'm sure members would be happy to offer suggestions depending on where in the country she is hoping to go?

Here's a link to some Michigan audition info: http://www.michigandance.org/auditions.html

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Motherhem

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DD would prefer to stay in the south where we live but not too close to home ;-). But hubby and I told her if she is going to peruse this path then we should stay open to any programs in the US that will give her the best boost forward. Once we have a solid smaller list we can weigh location versus other qualifying factors.
Thanks for the Michigan info! I will check their website.
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hopefuldancer17

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motherhem
I’d love college recommendations from your experience and any advice on getting through this process successfully. (Hopefully with a scholarship.) I have read BT4D. But I feel I need to know more To build a list for my daughter. And so many of the posts there are old which makes me feel they are outdated. I also have been looking at college websites but there are so many I want to narrow my focus a bit. So I am hoping for a fresh up to date perspective from you guys! Thank you in advance for your comments and opinions!!


What exactly would you like to know? That is, what would help you narrow your focus? BT4D is nice because you can read reviews (and yes, I agree that many are sadly outdated) and also just get a nice master list of schools to look into further. When I started helping DD research options, we looked first at programs with the strongest ballet reputation. Then we looked at schools that might have good ballet programs but weren't necessarily the most selective programs. Finally, we looked at schools that had dance programs and tried to figure out how ballet-based they might (or might not) be. It helps if your daughter can start to figure out what she wants out of a program and then start looking at each program to see ho wit measures up. If geographical location matters, then start with the ones closer to home. For my DD, location didn't matter so much as the program itself, although there were certain places she really didn't want to consider.
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Motherhem

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That is what I don’t know. Which are the ones with the best ballet reputation? And selectivity? How do you know? I will go back and read through BT4D for more info too. When I look at the college sites they are all touting themselves. It isn’t clear who is better.
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hopefuldancer17

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This isn't scientific, but if you look at the schools with the most pages of conversation on BT4D that will start to give you an idea of the most popular - and hence likely more selective due to volume of applicants - schools. 

If you drill down more on each school's website you can start to see how often students take ballet technique. Is it daily? 3 days a week? 1-hour classes? 90-minute classes? What about pointe classes? Partnering? Your DD needs to figure out what criteria are important to her.

Indiana Univ., Univ. of Oklahoma, Butler, Univ. of AZ, Univ. of Utah, Mercyhurst, Point Park, Univ. of Cincinnati, USC, TCU, and others come to mind. Each program is different though, so you have to get clear on what you're looking for.
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tendumom

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Dance Magazine puts out a huge college guide annually. It's pricey but it will give you a much broader range of schools to look into, especially as your dd has broad interests in dance. I managed to be given one a few years back and was impressed with the number of programs as I had only been aware of a much smaller number of programs. 

It seemed to me that the programs that dancers at dd's former studio either applied for or attended for ballet were IU. Butler, SUNY-Purchase, Mercyhurst, U of Utah, and U of Cincinnati. Those branching out from classical ballet added Fordham-Ailey, Juilliard, U of Arizona, U of So Cal, NYU, Rutgers Mason Gross, and others. 

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jwsqrdplus2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

Dance Magazine puts out a huge college guide annually. It's pricey but it will give you a much broader range of schools to look into, especially as your dd has broad interests in dance. I managed to be given one a few years back and was impressed with the number of programs as I had only been aware of a much smaller number of programs. 

It seemed to me that the programs that dancers at dd's former studio either applied for or attended for ballet were IU. Butler, SUNY-Purchase, Mercyhurst, U of Utah, and U of Cincinnati. Those branching out from classical ballet added Fordham-Ailey, Juilliard, U of Arizona, U of So Cal, NYU, Rutgers Mason Gross, and others. 



I second the dance magazine College guide!  It is worth every penny.  There are several of us on the board with kids in college as dance majors at different universities around the country.  Mine is at Point Park which has ballet, modern and jazz concentrations.  She is a BA with a modern concentration.
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Lad16

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My daughter was just accepted and will be attending Point Park in the fall as a BFA, concentration in jazz. We began our process of looking at college programs late in sophomore year. Visiting colleges that were close by to get a feel, BFA vs. BA programs and doing lots of reading. We also bought the college guide. Junior year we started visiting schools farther away that we felt were contenders to apply to. By the summer before senior year we were ready to apply, you have to apply academically and artistically, so it’s a 2 step process and you usually can’t pick an audition date till you submit your academic application. Each school has different items too that they want submitted so keep track of due dates and items, we kept a notebook. We also attended Dancewave, a college Dance fair in NYC, we went fall of junior year, but if you go senior year you can also do auditions for colleges that are attending. My daughter’s background was comp dance from 6-14, then ballet only 14-present. She also wanted a strong college ballet program within a traditional college. The programs she applied to was a mix though; Towson (which did not have ballet everyday but there were other things my daughter liked about it), Point Park (ballet strong, jazz, modern)), Michigan (only modern and ballet but she loved the school), Marymount (ballet, jazz, modern), Montclair( ballet and modern), Buffalo (ballet, jazz, modern) and South Carolina (strong ballet, modern, liked the school too). Point Park was always a top choice for her and she just felt it was a great fit for her, luckily it worked out. My daughter hopes to perform professionally. It is a crazy process and I too had no idea how to start, you and your daughter will know and figure it out as you start to visit. Some schools you just get that feeling, like this it, other schools you will want to leave because you just know it’s not a fit. As far as scholarships, ask questions when you visit. Some schools only give academic or artistic, not both. Some do give both, they are all different. My daughter received academic and artistic from Point Park along with a grant making it affordable for us, so money is out there. Good luck and if you have any other questions I’d be happy to answer them.
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thank you all! This is so helpful! I went and ordered the magazine. It was pricey but it will be worth it to have a tangible resource I can mark up and read. I haven’t been back today but the suggestion to look for popular college threads on BT4D is a good suggestion too!

I feel like I am staring late in the game. I didn’t know we needed to apply then audition so it will really help to narrow the list down before we apply. The application fees can add up I’m sure.

DD isn’t sure what genre she wants to end up in but want to do something with dance. She loves it so much. She is in a strong ballet program so I think it is key to stick with that while she tries others out. I think she will need classes 4-5 days a week 4-5 hours a day like she has now or she will miss it too much or maybe lose some of the skills she has now. Is that unreasonable for college? I don’t really know.

For now I’m going to research the ones you guys have listed.
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dancermom128

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motherhem
Thank you all! This is so helpful! I went and ordered the magazine. It was pricey but it will be worth it to have a tangible resource I can mark up and read. I haven’t been back today but the suggestion to look for popular college threads on BT4D is a good suggestion too! I feel like I am staring late in the game. I didn’t know we needed to apply then audition so it will really help to narrow the list down before we apply. The application fees can add up I’m sure. DD isn’t sure what genre she wants to end up in but want to do something with dance. She loves it so much. She is in a strong ballet program so I think it is key to stick with that while she tries others out. I think she will need classes 4-5 days a week 4-5 hours a day like she has now or she will miss it too much or maybe lose some of the skills she has now. Is that unreasonable for college? I don’t really know. For now I’m going to research the ones you guys have listed.


I think it's worth noting that you are looking for a conservatory setting. My DD attends Montclair State as a BFA which is a modern based program within a full University. She has ballet Monday-Thursday and Modern Tuesday-Friday. Also included in that would be improv, choreography, laban, dance production, rhythmic analysis, etc as well as rep (which includes both dancing and assisting). On average I would say she dances between 3-5 hours per day (Friday is less because they only have modern and sometimes rep). Her program does encourage a minor or double major so academics are a big part of her schooling as well as dance. Even the dance classes have academic components (papers and journals). My DD is happy to have the mix and feels very fulfilled by the schedule.







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jujusmom

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Reply with quote  #13 
I'll second the Dancewave Dancing Through College and Beyond program in the fall!  My dd attended for the first time this past fall (it is her senior year) and was able to audition for quite a few schools on her list.  Many were "safety" or as "safety" as you can get in this college dance world, and when the acceptances arrived it was a load off her shoulders.  We know she will be headed to college for a BFA in dance... we just don't know where [wink]  Her top 3 contenders will not notify students until March sometime so for now she waits.

But back to DTCB - it is in NYC and seems to be held in October.  The first night is a college dance fair.  Be warned it is crowded but if you take the time to talk to admissions folks and/or current students or alumni of the dance programs - there is a lot of information to be discovered.  The second day is classes and auditions if you are a senior in high school.  It was well worth the overnight stay in the city for us.

FWIW - junior year is not late to start this search, imo.  And visiting is important, but realize you can also visit during auditions.  Watch videos of each programs performances to help your daughter get a feel for the programs.  And above all, keep an open mind.  It's important because there are many hidden gems throughout the country!

Good luck and enjoy this next adventure!
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mom2rb

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Reply with quote  #14 
The College Dance guide was the best money that I ever spent. It helped to narrow down the search for the perfect fit for my son. He needed a Ballet focused, BA or BFA that allowed a double major. The guide saved me $1000’s since we could narrow down the schools to audition at. He found his home at Mercyhurst. He is now a Jr. going for a BA in dance and a minor in communication. It is not all Ballet, they have discovered that he is really good at Musical Theater, something that he had never tried before and now loves.
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hopefuldancer17

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We couldn't afford to fly to visit schools and then fly out again for auditions, so we researched as best we could and then used the auditions as visits, too.


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Motherhem

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Good luck jujusmom! I know with SIs, the waiting is the hard part. With college it will be excruciating. It will be nice to have it narrowed down.

I ordered the guide last night. I am excited for it to come so I can dog ear some pages apply my post it notes.

After work today I spent a lot of time researching from the names above and googled a few more. I talked to DD too and whoever said Conservatories was right. That is what she wants. She is also sure she wants a BFA. She wants to perform.

Just like hopefuldancer we can’t afford the airfare for more than a trip or two, so we are going to have to save visits for audition unless they are in reasonable driving distance.

For the same financial reason I don’t know if we can go to the DTCB but I love the idea of seeing them all in one place. I am in the south so I’m going to look for something like that in our area. Maybe there is one in Atlanta or Nashville, etc...
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Lad16

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Motherhem, I thought I found one of those dance college fairs in Florida when I was searching on line once, try a google search. They may even advertise in the college guide you ordered.
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Motherhem

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Good thinking! I will!! Thanks!
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Motherhem

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Not many Dance college fairs are out there. Look like I need consider saving for DTCB. Thanks for that recommendation!!
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #20 
There is the College Dance Fair in Boca Raton. More info on Ballet Talk for Dancers.
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mom2rb

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My son went to the one in Boca Raton. It was very helpful.
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #22 
College Confidential has a dance section
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #23 
Oh cool! Does the one in Boca have an open audition?
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Amomofonedancer

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Reply with quote  #24 
Here is a list of the top 10 colleges for musical theatre along with snippets about each program- https://www.collegemagazine.com/top-10-colleges-musical-theatre-majors/.

It appears these college have great placement rates in professional dance performance.

Note: body type (height) is important for Broadway jobs.  We perused the job posting binders at Steps on Broadway in NYC.  Looking at the book will give one a good idea of what qualities they are looking for when hiring.   Also- some university programs seem to have a preference for certain body types.  For example, I have heard that IU ballet school prefers taller dancers.
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