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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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suesuedressage

Will do. We just got back last night. We spent one day doing the campus and housing tours and meeting with two advisors in the business dept---very, very helpful. She is considering a business minor. We spent one day getting a tour of the ballet facility and speaking with Mr. Bearden and then my DD watched classes and a little of rehearsals the rest of the day. We went back the next morning and spoke to another ballet instructor--very, very helpful--about the program and concerns. Then she and I watched flat classes and variation classes. We flew in on Tuesday, spent Wed-Fri am on campus, went to Park City to snowmobile, and then flew home Sat.

 

Thoughts:

 

1. The program will provide the framework-- focused classes, intensity, instruction, performance opportunities, etc. to attain a professional dance career. However, not all participants in the program have the lines, body, feet, aptitude for a classical dance profession. Most dancers by the time they are seniors seem to know what area of the dance world they would fit into best.

 

2. We were told that some of the dancers in the ballet program aren't pursuing a classical ballet career, but rather looking toward joining a contemporary company. The dancers are in the ballet program because they want to sharpen their ballet skills and lines for contemporary work. Others are looking to teach or choreograph upon graduation. There is a visiting ballet teacher from Lines there right now. She is exposing the students to how to use their classical ballet skills for a contemporary look and feel. She was excellent--she used classical terminology and movements, but her combinations were challenging, physically and mentally--trying to help bunheads not move like bunheads. The ones that excelled at this type of class were the ones who were musical and understood how to use space and shape to create the line she was asking for.

 

3. The program has kinesiology components to it--a very important aspect of becoming an excellent teacher.

 

4. There is a stagecraft class where students learn to work a soundboard, lighting, etc. There are two required music classes. Both of these areas are to give the dancers an exposure to and vocabulary to be able to work with production and pianists.

 

5. They have pianists for flat, pointe, and variations.

 

6. The students will have help in putting together a website, getting performance footage, and identifying companies--however, we could see that if the dancer really wanted to pursue a dance career, they will have to spend much time on their own and use well the resources available to them.

 

7. There is the opportunity for a dancer to become a trainee at Ballet West, but that is at the discretion of the Ballet West staff -Sklute, Mertz and Kitten. If a teacher at the U thinks a student would be a good fit for BW, then that student's name might be given to BW to audition. At times throughout the semester the directors of BW and the Academy come to the U to give class. In my parent's opinion, I think that a dancer should come to Utah's program based on the merits of the college program, and not the thinking that they will become a trainee at BW. They do not take many dancers, and your dancer may be very disappointed if that opportunity is not offered to them if that is the main reason why they chose this program.

 

8. Some dancers do choose to double major--ballet and something else from another college on campus. When we meet with business we were told that a business degree is about 80 hours minus gen eds and a ballet degree is about 80 hours minus gen eds. So to double major in business means that your dancer would have to attain 160 hours to graduate with a double major. A typical BA or BS is 122-136 or so hours including gen eds. You really have to look at the requirements of the other major you are interested in. A double major in English, or psychology needs fewer hours. We were told that the ballet dept will work with students in this area. For instance, a dancer may be in a level three flat class, but on Thursdays this semester they need to be in a lab at the same time as level three flat. The dancer could go to the lab, and take another flat on Thursdays at a time that would work--but they would have to be in another flat class. They can't just miss flat on Thursdays. The dance classes are graded with a rubric. A student will receive a grade, and it won't always be an "A" just because you showed up. You do have to earn your grade and they give you the rubric at the beginning of the semester for each class.

 

9. The dancers do have access to student athletic trainers and a physical therapist. Not 100% how that works. I think it's on certain days of the week and certain times the dancers can go to another building on campus and receive service. There is an ice machine in the dance building in the Pilates reformer room for dancers use. Once the dancer has taken the Pilates class, they can, with the permission of the Pilates instructors, use the reformers when they wish. There is a locker room in the dance building that dancers can use. They just pick a locker, put a combo lock on it, and give the code to the office. They are full length lockers. The locker room has a make up area with lighting and shower stalls for use.

 

10. The studios are large and have nice flooring and lovely windows. The modern dept is on one floor and the ballet dept is on another floor. The dance building almost is as far away from the dorms as you can get on campus. Utah has all the dorms for freshmen and dining hall on the far east side of campus and the academic buildings on the west part of campus. It would be really difficult for a dancer to get back to the dining hall for lunch most days, but there are many places around the dance building that they could use dining dollars or cash to get lunch. There are also 5-6 food trucks that come onto campus. I think that the students can make a sack lunch from the dining hall at breakfast time to take with them. There are campus buses that a student could use to get to the extremes of campus more quickly.

 

11. There is a great opportunity to attain residence status for tuition purposes after your first year. The requirements are on their website. I won't try to explain this, as each family has to read the material carefully, ask good questions, and decide if they want to pursue residency for their dancer. Summer courses are at in state tuition prices for everyone.

 

 

We think it is a good program, but it would be up to the dancer to set his/her own personal goals--academic, fitness, weight, focus, etc. and stick to them to attain their desired outcome upon graduation. There are many things that can sidetrack a young college student from their goals in any field of study. You will get out of this program, what you put into it.

 

Overall, our dancer liked the program, the instructors, the campus, and the city--it's a very strong possibility for her. She has been accepted into another program that we will probably visit in the next two weeks or so in order to make the final decision.

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suesuedressage

There was so much to take in on this trip, that I may have not understood everything correctly. If anyone has better information or can clarify about anything I've said, please do.

 

Thanks

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iredancer

Does anyone have any idea when merit-based dance awards will be sent out? Should that be expected with the financial aid package (which I have heard should start to come out end of next week)?

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iredancer

Are there any current or former students who were able to pursue and major or minor in communication as a ballet student?

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demeisa

My daughter will be attending the ballet program this coming fall. If anyone is in search of a roommate please let me know? She would love to room with someone who is also in the ballet department. 

Edited by demeisa

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sheahuang

We received in the mail a dance merit award from a donor for our DS that was separate from the financial aid notice. Both pieces of mail came sometime last week while we were on Spring break.

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dancemaven

Demeisa, are you a parent or a student?  Your most recent post is written from a student's perspective, but your profile states you are a parent.

If you are using your parent's account, you will need to sign up with your own individual account.  We require everyone have their own accounts here; we do not permit shared accounts.  It is important that folks know with whom they are talking. :D.  Also, there are restricted forums for various demographics and it is difficult to post in the appropriate ones without your own account.

 

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demeisa

Sorry, I was using my mom's account. I will create my own. 

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sheahuang

Update- we received a second letter dated 2 days later with an increased scholarship amount from the same donor.:D

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dancemaven

Thank you, demeisa-student. :D

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slhogan

Congrats to your son, Sheahuang!  Our sons danced together at a summer intensive, and I recall that your son was very good!

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sheahuang

I do remember your son too-  Thank you slhogan!

millvillemurphs- thanks for the update. This constant flux is one of the main reasons my DS declined on Utah.

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dancingSJ

Can anyone comment on applying to the Honor College program at Utah if DD is applying to the ballet program?  That is, is the Honor College mainly for the academic programs and not for the performing arts?  

 

Thanks.

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sheahuang

dancingSJ- what would you like to know about the Honors College? DS was accepted to the Honors College and Ballet program last year but declined for another school.

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