jsn

University of Southern California

30 posts in this topic

Has anyone with a ballet background experienced the dance program at USC? Are there programs in the area that can support the lack of ballet programs at this school? We would appreciate any first hand information that someone can give us. Thanks!

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Having been a former director of dance at USC, they used to have great ballet classes on campus. Not sure what the situation is now. However, there are some great studios fairly close to campus to take ballet from many wonderful teachers......you will need a car. If you would like more info, you can PM me :thumbsup:

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Having been a former director of dance at USC, they used to have great ballet classes on campus. Not sure what the situation is now. However, there are some great studios fairly close to campus to take ballet from many wonderful teachers......you will need a car. If you would like more info, you can PM me :shrug:

 

 

My DD and I visited there in March while touring colleges. She has been in a pre-professional company for several years and although she doesn't think she wants to go professional, she wants to be able to continue dancing in college, while pursuing a degree in another area. We observed a couple of dance classes. Hip Hop is very big there. We were told that they offered ballet, but not pointe because they didn't have the floor for it. Also, we've been told that L.A. is not a big ballet town. Would love to hear from socalgal or anyone else who has had first hand experience. Thanks!

Edited by jsn

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Socalgal, I can't PM you because I don't have enough posts to qualify. My dd is applying to colleges this fall and seems to be most interested in USC. They told us they did not have pointe classes because they didn't have the flooring. Any other info you can give us would be highly appreciated :wink: You sound like you have great first hand knowledge and I'm afraid my dd is starting to focus on the southern california beaches rather than the college curriculum and what her life will be like once classes start. I just want to make sure she has all the information she needs to make a good decision. Thanks!

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jsn

 

I am so sorry that I neglected this post. Congrats to your DD for being accepted to USC!

My suggestion to you is to look around at the School of the Performing Arts for courses in Ballet.

It would not surprise me to see hip hop and also ballroom dance being big over at the Physical Education building. The Drama Department used to have some excellent dance classes.

If driving off campus is a possibility, I can give you a few studios where my pro DD goes when she is home on break. Westside Ballet in Santa Monica is one of them. There is also another studio on La Brea.

 

I will see what else I can find out for you!

good luck :unsure::wink:

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Thanks for the quick response, Socalgal! Actually, she is APPLYING this fall and has not been accepted, but it is #1 on her list and by the numbers, she should get in. I just want her to have an accurate picture of what the dance community is really like there because it is hard to figure it all out when you have not gone to college before. She is a very good student, but also a good dancer, and although she doesn't want to major in dance, she also doesn't want to give it up completely. We just got the feeling when we visited that ballet was not a strong component of their dance program. I would love any information you or anyone else who is familiar with USC's dance program might have. Thanks! :wink:

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My dd, who will be a senior this year, is also interested in USC, and wondering as well if they will offer adequate ballet classes. I called the theatre dept this past Spring and was told they do offer daily ballet. In pulling up their catalog I see Ballet 183a,b,c,d listed, with a being beginning technique, b intermed tech, c adv tech (adv adagio and allegro, combinations and pointe work), and d (pointe class with variations from classical and modern ballets). This sounds like it might work, but it's a little worrisome if you were just visiting and they said they didn't have proper flooring for pointe. Could you have been in a different dept? Maybe try talking /e-mailing someone who actually teaches ballet there for a more accurate picture. I will post if I find out more.

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Pasdedeaux,

I looked up those courses, and you are correct! However, I distinctly remember that the flooring was a problem. We met with Margo Apostolos, who is the head of the dance department, when we were visiting. I have e-mailed her to get clarification on this point (no pun intended :o ) I will let you know when I get a response. Socalgal might be able to speak to that as well. My dd is out of town for a while so I can't confer with her. I'll report when I get an answer.

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Can you tell me where the ballet classes are held? Does it list which building that they are in?

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I don't remember the name of the building but it was a neat old one and it was directly across from the track facility, if I remember correctly. We saw 5 colleges in 5 days, so my memory sometimes gets muddled.

I actually heard back from Dr. Apostolos and she informed me that the flooring issues had been resolved! This is good news :o When dd gets home I'm sure she'll explore this further. Any information that can be added would be greatly appreciated.

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Following up on the e-mail discussion with Dr. Apostolos, I asked if the floor issue might be an indication that the ballet program could be growing. The response I just received was "Not at this time." Just some more information for you, Pasdedeux, as your daughter continues to check out schools.

Edited by jsn

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I am an alunni of U.S.C. The place that professional dancers took classes was at Stanley Holden's studio downtown. There really is not a strong ballet community in Los Angeles, but if your daughter has a car she will be able to find classes. I was not fond of the ballet offered at U.S.C., but I remember some drama students taking ballet classes from George deLa Pena on campus. This was back at the end of the '80's.

 

Best of luck to your daughter being accepted. U.S.C. is a very fun and good school. I was in the film school and received an exceptional education.

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Thank you for your input, Winky. This is a "mom" question. I'm concerned about the size of USC (16,000). Did you get the personal attention the large tuition should warrant, in my opinion? Were you able to take the classes you wanted, including dance, and to explore other area's of interest? My dd is looking for a school where she can continue dancing, while exploring other areas of study. From our initial visit, we concluded USC was a combination of NYU and the University of Texas. It had all the "rah rah" of UT, but had the appreciation of the arts of NYU. Does that sound correct to you?

Thanks! :clapping:

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Thank you for your input, Winky. This is a "mom" question. I'm concerned about the size of USC (16,000). Did you get the personal attention the large tuition should warrant, in my opinion?

 

Although U.S.C. is a large school, it really doesn't feel that way when you are there. It has a closeknit feeling. As far as personal attention, it depends on what your daughter's major is. My film classes, except for large lectures, contained on average 10 people. The attention was amazing. But again, that is the film school. I had friends in other programs that are also known for being outstanding, competitive to get into, and give a great deal of attention such as broadcast journalism, business, and architecture.

 

Were you able to take the classes you wanted, including dance, and to explore other area's of interest? My dd is looking for a school where she can continue dancing, while exploring other areas of study.

 

 

I did not choose to take dance, but I know there were classes in ballet that I could have taken as an elective. I remember there being ballet dancers at U.S.C. who took ballet classes and performed there. They came from schools such as SAB and ABT. I would definately check to see if there are still performing opportunities.

 

 

From our initial visit, we concluded USC was a combination of NYU and the University of Texas. It had all the "rah rah" of UT, but had the appreciation of the arts of NYU. Does that sound correct to you?

 

 

There is no doubt 'SC is rah rah with football games and has great artistic schools such as cinema and music.

 

I had a great time at U.S.C. My friends who went to Stanford, Cal Berkeley and Harvard wished they had had as good a college experience. U.S.C. mixes campus life with education better than any school I know of.

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Great input, Winky! You make ME want to go there. I'll share all this information with dd when she returns home. Thanks so much for your help and valuable information.

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