ballet_fanatic

Good college for medical studies but also strong "story performanc

19 posts in this topic

I am an upcoming senior in high school and I have a very high ballet technique level. I am looking at colleges that have very good pre-med programs but I also want to go to a college that has a strong ballet program. I've looked at a couple of colleges but I can't tell whether their dancing is up to par. Plus, to make things harder, I would like to be able to perform. Not just those student choreographies but actual ballets, from The Nutcracker to Dracula. But I have no idea what colleges would have a good ballet program AND have those type of performances AND have a good med school. Help! Any advice is welcome.

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Ballet_fanatic, have you been through our discussions of colleges with strong ballet programs? We don't have information on strong pre-med programs, but if you find the colleges with good ballet programs, then you can look into their pre-med programs.

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Columbia University fits the bill, both in pre-med and ballet dancing. Read here about the Columbia Ballet Collaborative: http://www.columbiaballetcollaborative.com/about-us.html and about the Barnard dance studies, open to Columbia U's students as well: http://www.college.columbia.edu/bulletin/depts/dance.php

 

Here's some info about Columbia's pre med requirements: http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/preprofessional/health/premedical_curriculum If you nose around, you'll find a lot more about it. My daughter completed this program. She rarely took ballet classes on campus as she danced professionally part-time and found a studio in NYC that suited her needs better , but many of her friends did. In fact, Columbia is noted for having pre-med/ballet students. Both require a lot of discipline.

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You can make your search easier by not limiting yourself to undergraduate colleges with medical schools. There are a great many institutions that will prepare you well for medical school acceptance (note that "pre-med" is typically not an actual major) but far fewer with excellent ballet. I imagine even fewer that put on full length ballets open to non-ballet majors. Knowing the time it takes to do both a pre-medical education and ballet well, I would think it would be exceedingly difficult to do both as both require discipline and time, but if anyone can do it, a serious pre-pro ballet student can.

 

Princeton University would be another school to look at. The Princeton University Ballet (PUB) even puts on their own Nutcracker annually. Small scale and a bit different, but they pull it off. There are dancers in the company from top notch training programs and former company members. The close proximity to NYC and Philadelphia aids them in bringing in well known master teachers as well. They are also in the same town as a small professional ballet company.

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DD attended IU and did an Outside Field in Biology. She made a very good friend, non-dancer, who was a Biology Major and will be attending Harvard University this fall as a med student.

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It might help you to think outside the box a bit when considering your major. As long as you take all of the prerequisites for medical school admission, it does not matter what your major is. Even an English or history major could go to medical school if they took the proper science classes as well. You might want to research medical school admissions and MCAT preparation suggestions to gain a good understanding about what it takes to get into med school. Then you can look at the ballet programs that interest you and see if the schools offer the kind of classes you will need. I'm sure you can then call those schools to speak to someone about how easy or difficult it is to have a major or concentration outside of ballet. I think it is more challenging to juggle at some schools compared to others.

 

By the way, do not hesitate to contact the colleges to ask for specific information. Some schools track student-initiated contact and consider it when deciding whom to admit.

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I have heard that some med schools advise non-medical undergrad degrees to prevent burnout. In that case, pick the school best for your undergrad degree and apply to great med schools after.

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Just make sure you get the needed courses and labs. Otherwise you will need to pick them up in something like a pre-med post-baccalaureate program, which is not a degree program, or fill in those courses you missed in undergrad.

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What school are you going to attend? I'm also trying to find a school that's academically strong with a strong ballet based dance program

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I graduated from IU as a ballet major and am now in my 3rd yr of medical school. If you have any questions about IU or trying to tackle premed coursework as a ballet major feel free to PM me.

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sparkles,

 

I am new here. How does one PM? My DD is a junior in hs and is looking at IU for ballet and an outside field.

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Srabueno, you have to become a Member (you are still a New Member) in order to have Private Messaging privileges. When you have 30 posts your status will automatically change to Member.

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This is a helpful thread. My DD is a junior and would like to double major in sciences/pre health related and ballet.She would like a medium to large university with a good academic rep. Indiana would be great, but seems like more of a stretch for her to get accepted into their ballet program. Was also looking at TCU, SMU, Wake Forest, Texas, etc. It is hard for us to judge how competitive the top college programs are for ballet. A few of her friends had auditioned for Indiana in past couple years and didn't get in, but were accepted to South Carolina for ballet and are happy there. Then others have chosen to go with some year round programs when they reach around 15-17 years old. We are close to NYC, so a number of girls from her studio have elected to go to some of the big city companies and complete HS online. She knows what auditions and the competition is like from going to summer intensives auditions, but hard to know if same for the college programs. I know there are varying levels and acceptance levels at the college ballet programs.

 

All the info is always helpful as I was also thinking about when the time comes and she needs to describe all this. Thanks!

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A friend of mine who is the chief medical officer in her field at a well-known hospital has acted as mentor for my daughter. She told her that medical schools want students with diverse interests and will often (and increasingly) choose them over the straight-and-narrow-path students for the reason Dansant described: avoidance of those who may be susceptible to burnout. Daughter was very worried that she didn't have enough summer internship or medical experience (she toured with her dance company for two of her undergrad summers), but that turned out to be a good thing for her.

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No matter how unique the background though, med school admissions is very much a numbers game. Many schools have hard screens which means grades and MCAT scores still come first which is unfortunate and a discussion for another day. In my experience, my background in ballet didn't help me get in as much as my advisors and other physicians I had worked with told me it would. No one should think of being a ballet dancer as being a free pass into med school! I know my school also gives preference to students who have volunteered or worked in a healthcare setting simply because it shows that the student is committed to a career in medicine and has an idea of what they are getting themselves into. My class is made up of several former college athletes, artists, musicians, students changing careers from finance or engineering, etc and everyone still had to have some kind of long term experience that showed admissions why they are pursuing medicine instead of continuing with their other areas of interest. Again this was just my experience.

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