jsn

University of Southern California

30 posts in this topic

Thanks everyone for the input. I've just been accepted to USC and I will be attending there next year.

 

I'm definitely interested in minoring in dance there, but I'm really sad that they don't have the proper flooring? Ah.. and I won't be having a car there so I won't be able to travel very far. Can anyone recommend me the closest dance studio near USC that offers good ballet and pointe classes?

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Well, I figured this post was rather old, so I should add a few things that are more current:

 

I am currently a Junior at USC, and I do take the dance classes offered there. They have no dance "school", the classes are offered through the School of Theatre, which is excellent. The classes are mostly for fun, e.g. the people that take them are usually theatre students that dance a little in musicals, athletes trying to get more balance, and former dancers looking for a fun elective. There is only a minor in dance which is pretty much just taking all the dance classes they offer.

 

The ballet classes are very traditionally run. The ballet instructor there is great, if not a little harsh, and will always offer many corrections on technique. They do offer three levels of ballet (a, b, and c) instead of the four they may have had in the past. Pointe, as a class, is not offered. However, I have several friends that do dance on pointe in the ballet c class, but this is not required, pointe is not initiated by the program, and the class is not geared towards helping girls on pointe. I also have heard that the floor is not geared towards pointe work specifically, but my friends on pointe have not had any problems dancing on it.

 

However, the dancing performance opportunites at USC are outstanding. They have two different companies I know that use ballet often, as well as many others that do other dance like hip hop, jazz, and tap is used sometimes in the spring musical the school of theatre puts on.

 

One company is the Dance Repertory Company, which is large (over 75 students) and they put on usually two shows a year. The shows are usually one revue show with random self-choreographed dances and one full length dance show (along the lines of Peter Pan).

 

The other is the Chamber Ballet Company. This was started by my very good friend and sorority sister. The girls do solely classical pointe ballet work, although sometimes they have a dance or two in their shows that are off pointe. They have one show a year in the Spring and they are very well done. The girls in this company are incredible classical dancers!

 

If you have any questions about USC nowadays, feel free to reply to this message. Also, I dance as well off campus at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, which is also a fantastic facility.

Edited by jakijo

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Jakijo -- thank you so much for your post!

 

My daughter is very interested in USC, but doesn't really have a good sense of the dance program (other than that they offer some ballet, and a minor through the Theater Department). Your information about the Chamber Ballet was a happy surprise, and very encouraging. Do you participate? Do you know how often they rehearse? Any idea what kind of repertory is performed? Additional details would be great.

 

But the big question is about supplementing whatever ballet classes are available on campus with those at nearby studios. Is this possible -- or reasonable -- without a car? My daughter is a city girl, and easily gets herself around on public transportation at home, but LA is different kind of city. Are there any ballet studios closer to USC, or is there an easy way to get to Westside Ballet?

 

It would be great to get a few more details about classes available at Westside Ballet too. Do you participate in Adult classes? Are things like variations and pas de deux available for 18+ year olds?

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Let's see:

 

The Chamber Ballet Company is great, I myself do not participate since I'm just getting back to pointe after a hiatus and they're pretty fast paced, but I plan to next semester. I believe they have at least 3 rehearsals/classes a week, and more when they're getting ready for a performance. They do mostly student choreographed pieces, but I wouldn't put it past them to do some well known classical pieces. It's really up to the dancers, and it's a very open group of girls (yes, no boys in this company yet, hopefully they'll come with time!)

 

Ah, going to ballet classes without a car. That's a toughy... you see USC is not in the best neighbourhood, and there aren't any ballet studios anywhere nearby (at least, not any I would consider attending). However, DanceArts is on La Brea and that's where a lot of the 'SC girls go to dance. Westside is in Santa Monica, which is a ways (15min by car from 'SC w/out traffic, 45min with traffic). You would probably need a car for either, but the public transportation system around here is extensive and I bet a bus route would go right past there, if your daughter loves to walk/ride busses.

 

There may be other dance studios, but these are the two that I know girls go to and I personally love Westside. For more on Westside, they have a whole slew of adult classes ranging from Beginner Basic (a fun class to show off in...) to Level I/II to Intermediate to Advanced as well as Pointe and Pas de Deux. These classes are mostly real adults, aka women over 35, but I find them really fun and inspiring. As of yet, they don't have a variations class available for adults.

 

I'm looking into whether I would be allowed to take some of the classes that they offer in their School (which is absolutely incredible!). I'm not sure yet whether they would take girls over 18, and since I'm rather young myself, I wouldn't feel out of place with 16 year olds. I'll let you know what the studio says when I get around to asking.

 

I hope I answered all your questions, let me know if you need any more information, and if you and/or your daughter comes for a visit, I'm sure me and my friend that runs the Chamber company would love to show you guys around.

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Saw a full-page ad in the New York Times Magazine insert from last Sunday's issue on USC starting a new USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. What was interesting is the ad featured a part of pointe shoes, which implied ballet will be a strong component of the school.

 

Here's the announcement and their new website:

 

http://kaufman.usc.e...chool-of-dance/

http://kaufman.usc.edu/

 

At +$59,000/year in tuition & room+board, it's pricey for pre-pro training. But, it is a prestigious place to get an education -- and USC is known for their generous financial aid and merit scholarships.

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The campaign announcing the new school has been impressive. I called to find out more and was told that fall of 2014 is the target for the first incoming class. No idea how realistic that date is, but this will be exciting to watch.

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Jodie Gates (currently at UC Irvine) has been named vice dean and director of USC Kaufman. http://kaufman.usc.edu/2013/04/11/director-jodie-gates/

 

Wonder how it will all play out - my DD will be a college freshman in fall 2015, and somebody's got to be in the first class, but it's a scary concept with an uproven program.

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Jodie Gates has so much experience ! I'm sure the program will be fantastic ! She knows how to put things together and more importantly bring people together !

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The Glorya Kaufman School website is now up: http://kaufman.usc.edu It looks like it will be a very diverse dance program. Only one real ballet teacher on the faculty - was soloist with the Bolshoi. Other than him I wasn't overly impressed. A bit disappointed that it's not ballet focused, but am glad they are offering a minor, which is what my daughter would prefer.

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Our son attended one of the on-site auditions at USC. USC uses video pre-screening and supplementary application to Glorya Kaufman before an invite to the on-site audition. This year from what was discussed at the parent meeting, they invited about 120 dancers for the on-sites; mostly in Los Angeles, one in Chicago and the other in New York I believe, Since they ended up having to take way more than they expected to (39 acceptances were sent out expecting about 25, 36 joined the program) last year, this year they plan to send out only about 18-20 acceptances, expecting for a class size of 15-18. There were lot more boys at the audition than any other and none of the dancers looked like they were cut out of the same mold or the same genre of training.

 

Regarding the program, they are solid in training -yet diverse not to mention the accomplished staff with industry connections. Top notch Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is said to be ready by this summer. The current students were available for discussion throughout the day and seem to be very happy and settled in. There was good chemistry between the students and the staff. Staff was accessible throughout the day for any questions as well. Dancers and guests were fed very well too! There were activities planed for the guests through out the day. They said they look for the hybrid dancer. Audition was heavy in ballet and solid in hip-hip. Improvisation was also part of the audition. A solo was required and the interview was friendly. If you get in or not they made sure you left feeling good about the school and the university.

 

Hope this helps for anyone planning...

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Is it like some other places where ypu have to be accepted into the college first, and then they consider you for the dance program?

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Lady Elle, from what I have understood, I believe first you need to get accepted by your major(Dance) and school(GKSD) you applied at USC. If not you can still be accepted to Dornsife as an undeclared.

 

Twenty years ago I know they admitted students to Viterbi School of Engineering sometimes undeclared. And students who applied to Viterbi deferred but admitted to Dornsife undeclared.

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DD and I are hoping to visit this program this spring. Does anyone have any current updates?

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We visited USC Dance program in April. Love the new building with all gorgeous studios. When we met with the advisor, she informed us they just approved a "design your own" concentration for dance. That really appealed to our son. 

We find it interesting that they listed each class of students, pictures and bio. Can't wait to see the new list for Class of 2021!

Anyone have update on audition experience and acceptance rates?

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We were very impressed with the space, grounds and faculty. They were very helpful in answering questions. Our DD loves the rigorous schedule the dance program will be offering. 

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