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Difference between Conservatory and University

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Georgia

I am trying to education myself on dance programs. Even though my daughter is only a freshman, I would like to start discussing it with her now. She is an average student academically but an excellent dance student. She has ruled out ballet because it's not her favorite plus she doesn't have all it takes for ballet. She is continuing ballet but focusing on modern/contemporary at another school.

 

My questions are what's the difference between a conservatory degree and a university degree? Also what's the difference between a degree in dance and a degree in dance pedagogy? What schools are best when you are strong in dance but just ok in academics?

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vrsfanatic

In the US there does not seem to be a legal definiton of what a conservatory actually is. :shhh: I work at the Harid Conservatory. We are a legally recognized, diploma granting high school by the State of Florida. There is no college program affiliated with Harid. :)

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cheetah

The only higher-education conservatory we know of is Boston Conservatory. I just checked and they offer a BFA. We also have a not-so-academically inclined dancer but, looking at the requirements for a BFA at various universities we've become a bit more optimistic that college may be in the future. Once that step is taken, and the student matures or finds different passions or interests, then a MA may be easier to pursue. Check the different colleges that offer BFA and see what their entrance requirements are.

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lhc1109

I am no where near an expert, just a mom doing tons of research for my junior dd. When I think of conservatory, I get the picture of an arts school---basically everyone there is in some form of performing arts. There is not much in the way of liberal arts offered. Some universities have conservatories or a conservatory type approach to performing arts and students have some general ed requirements which offer limited liberal arts ed to a BFA student. A degree in pedagogy is for someone that wants to teach, the required courses are focused on that more than performance.

Please, anyone more knowledgeable, correct me if I am wrong about any of this.

As far as what schools are better at dance, less competitive academically...can't answer that one. But, as Cheetah said, looking at different school's academic requirements may surprise you at eligiblity.

I have found it very helpful to look at different school's course catalogs (usually on available online at the college's website) to see what requirements are--this will give you an idea if a school is more modern or ballet focused. There is a ton of info to plow through on this site to help direct you. You are starting very early, so you have lots of time to read on.

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Victoria Leigh

Georgia, since you are in MA, I would suggest visiting the Boston Conservatory. I think it might be a very good fit for your daughter, but there is no way to know without checking it out! :)

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balletbooster

I think that Juilliard would also qualify as a conservatory program. As does the NCSA college diploma program (this is different than the degree program).

 

When I think of a post grad conservatory program, I think of one that offers either a degree or diploma where all classes are either in dance or some complimentary art (such as theater for dancers or music for dancers or costume design, etc.). BFA programs differ widely from college to college, but there are some that require very few classes outside of the dance department and do provide conservatory type training. Others will require a substantial number of core academic courses that are outside of dance/arts and will provide a more well-rounded academic experience.

 

In order to determine which colleges offer a conservatory style BFA, you will need to look at the course requirements for the BFA for each school individually.

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Redbookish

In Britain, and most of Europe, a conservatoire is an educational institution offering post-high school training, which can lead to either a full degree or a diploma. The training is vocational and professional, to equip a graduate (mind, not the US high school "graduate" - that concept does not exist elsewhere) to enter a performing arts profession. Thus, music, dance, or performance conservatoires. Examples in the UK would include RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) or the RSAMD in Glasgow (Royal School of Art, Music, and Drama).

 

Here in the UK, universities offer performing arts training also -- I run one such department -- but we don't offer the full-on practical training which would equip a graduate to go straight into the profession. We teach a standard liberal arts degree, but require the students to pursue their study of drama (that's what I teach) through practice as well as theoretical studies. So out of 8-12 hours of face to face classes per week (each hour of teaching requires about 3-4 hours private or group study) about 2-4 of those might be in practical classes on say, mime, or stage management. The idea is that in order to have a broad theoretical and analytical knowledge of the theatre & drama, they need to learn through doing. But the 'doing' is not with a view to them becoming professional actors, or stage-managers. And they always have to write reflective or analytical reports or essays on their practical work, as well as research essays for their theoretical seminars.

 

Although it should be noted that I teach at an élite research-led university, where students need AAB at A Level (about 34-36 points in the International Bac) to get in.

 

As I understand the US system, the BFA/MFA degrees are practice/vocational degrees. I know in the academy, the 2 tracks are quite separate, and if a student wants to go on to an academic career, the BFA/MFA won't cut it. And I imagine there are other professions where the BFA is not seen as a particularly high level theoretical or professional training. However, for a performing career, or a career as a visual artist, or a career as director, stage managers etc, the BFA/MFA is the recommended route. And I know of some stunning courses in my field -- excellent teaching and facilities, and the opportunity to create good networks. I would imagine that the BFA is a good basis for teaching dance as well, with further post-graduate (ie after first degree, not HS graduation) training.

 

My own experience of growing up in a family of performers (I have the most "normal" job of all my family!) is that a degree in dance or performance really doesn't make much difference at all when it comes to auditions! My pro-dancing sibling (classical & reached soloist) stopped school at 16 to go full-time to the national ballet school where we lived, and had a good career; my actor-sister has 2 degrees from a very good university & then conservatoire, but when starting out still had to run the gamut of auditions, as did my dancing sister. No-one asked either of themn what sort of degree they had -- it was their talent, their performance on the day, and how they might fit with the cast or the company, which got them work!

 

All I can say is that the performing arts is a brutal world in this way -- but from what I've seen of 20 years of teaching & watching siblings make careers is that talent will out. Degree or no!

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balletbooster

To give you an idea of the difference between BFA programs and what separates the conservatory approach from the liberal arts approach, here is a sampling of course requirements for two well known programs.

 

Juilliard BFA

 

All Dance students are required to complete the following courses:

Ballet

Modern Dance

Partnering

Repertory, Collaborations,

Performance

Acting

Anatomy

Elements of Performing

Alexander Technique

Dance Composition

Dance History

Literature and Materials

of Music

Stagecraft and Production

Seminar for Seniors

Dance Elective

Humanities

Liberal Arts Elective

 

Apart from the areas of major studies, students may elect courses in:

 

Pointe

Tap

Jazz

Voice

Repertory Solos

 

University of ARizona BFA:

 

University Composition Requirements

- 1) NEEDS: 1 COURSE

SELECT FROM: ENGL 101 ,103H,107

- 2) NEEDS: 1 COURSE

SELECT FROM: ENGL 102 ,104H,108

-----------------------------------------------------------------

OR AP Exam and ENGL 109H

- 1) SELECT FROM: ENGL 109H

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Mid-Career Writing Assessment

- 1) The Mid-Career Writing Assessment is satisfied by

earning a grade of B or better in second semester

English Composition (ENGL 102, 104H, 108, or 109H).

Students who do not earn a grade of B or better in ENGL

102, 104H, 108, or 109H must also satisfy a college or

department writing requirement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Second Language - 2nd Semester Proficiency

Demonstrate second semester proficiency in a foreign

language by completing one of the following:

- 1) Pass a language proficiency examination at the second

semester level.

- OR) NEEDS: 1 COURSE

-> NOT FROM: SPAN 414 ,423A,423B,397W,406A,465C,465D

HIST 465D ITAL 399 TO 399H,330A TO 330D FREN 414 ,

FREN 393 ,325 ,399 TO 399H

SELECT FROM: ARB 102 ,439B,425B,424B,401 TO 403

CHN 102 ,201 ,202 ,403 ,423 ,422 ,404 ,415 TO

CHN 418 CRL 102 ,197A,201 ,202 ,297A,301 ,302 ,

CRL 397A,497A FREN 102 ,112 ,113 ,201 ,202 ,212 ,

FREN 213 ,301 TO 443 GER 102 ,201 ,202 ,203 ,

GER 211 GRK 102 ,103 ,104 ,201 ,202 ,204 ,402 ,

GRK 412 ,421 TO 432 ITAL 102 ,102Z,201 ,202 TO

ITAL 202Z,305A TO 420 JPN 102 ,201 ,202 ,403 ,

JPN 405 ,415 TO 417 ,421 ,422 JUS 103B,203A,203B,

JUS 303 LAT 102 ,201 ,202 ,212 ,400 TO 428

LING 104B,307B,204A,204B NES 102 ,103B,203B,303

PRS 102 ,401 TO 404 PORT 102 ,205 ,206 ,305 ,

PORT 325 ,425 TO 449 SERP 370B,431A,431B

SPAN 102 ,103 ,201 ,202 ,203 ,204C,205 ,206 ,302

TO 473 RUSS 101B,201A,201B,205 ,301A,301B,305 ,

RUSS 307A,307B,405A,405B,407A,407B

NOTE - Credit will not be given for a course at an

equivalent or lower level than prior language credit

earned.

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Foundation Mathematics - General Strand

- 1) Take one 3 unit course from the following list. PHIL

110 requires a minimum Math Readiness Test code of 100.

LING178 requires an acceptable score on the Math

Readiness Test.

NEEDS: 3.00 UNITS

-> NOT FROM: MATH 111 ,116 TO 116S,117A TO 117F,118 ,

MATH 120S,197A,199 ,199H,294A,299 ,299H,301 ,302A,

MATH 302B,397A,399 ,399H, 481

SELECT FROM: MATH 105 TO 485 PHIL 110 LING 178

-----------------------------------------------------------------

University General Education - Tier One

- 1) Traditions and Cultures - fulfillment of Traditions and

Cultures requires completion of two distinctly numbered

courses (e.g., TRAD 102 & 104).

NEEDS: 2 COURSES

SELECT FROM: TRAD 101 ,102 ,103 ,104

- 2) Individuals and Societies - fulfillment of Individuals

and Societies requires completion of two distinctly

numbered courses (e.g., INDV 101 & 103).

NEEDS: 2 COURSES

SELECT FROM: INDV 101 ,102 ,103

- 3) Natural Sciences - For students planning to pursue a

non-science intensive major, fulfillment of Natural

Sciences requires completion of two distinctly numbered

courses (e.g., NATS 102 & 104).

NEEDS: 2 COURSES

SELECT FROM: NATS 101 ,102 ,104

-----------------------------------------------------------------

University General Education - Tier Two

- 1) Individuals and Societies - prerequisite course work in

Tier 1 (INDV) must be completed prior to taking.

SELECT FROM: A ED 408 AFAS 340 AGTM 380 ANTH 202 ,

ANTH 203 ,205 ,206 ,207 ,307 OR ANTV 307

ANTH 316 ,320 AREC 350 CLAS 240 ,305 ,306 ,335 ,

CLAS 362 ECON 200 ,201A,210 EDL 200 ED P 200

GEOG 210 ,251 ,256 ,367 GER 274 ITAL 330D

JUS 370A,370B LING 210 ,211 LRC 204 MAS 265 ,

MAS 365 ,375 MSE 259 NES 334 NURS 310 ,376

PHIL 233 ,264 ,323 ,346 POL 201 ,202 ,203 ,204

PSYC 277 ,461A RNR 256 (SP06 OR AFTER) RSSS 275 ,

RSSS 315 ,328 SERP 200 SOC 260 ,280 W S 210 ,

W S 240

- 2) Humanities - prerequisite course work in Tier 1 (TRAD)

must be completed prior to taking.

SELECT FROM: AFAS 200 ,222 ,224 ,255 ,315 ,320 ,365 ,

AFAS 381 ART 358 CLAS 220 ,221 ,300 ,342 ,346 ,

CLAS 360 ENGL 220A,220B,231 ,260 ,261 ,265 ,267 ,

ENGL 280 FREN 245 ,249 ,280 ,282 ,283 ,284

GER 273 ,275 ,276 ,278 ,325 ,373 ,375 ,376 ,379

ITAL 230A,230B,240 ,250A,250B,250C,250D,330B

JPN 220 ,311 JUS 372A,372B LAT 201 ,202

NES 277A,330 PHIL 260 ,261 ,262 RELI 210 ,250 ,

RELI 300 ,304 RSSS 210 ,340 ,350 SPAN 210

UNVR 310 (FA06-SP07),315 (FA06-SP07) W S 200 ,317

- 3) Natural Sciences - prerequisite course work in Tier 1

(NATS) must be completed prior to taking.

SELECT FROM: AIEX 382 (FA98-FA05) ANTH 261 ,364

ASTR 201 ,202 ,203 ,204 ATMO 325 ,336 BIOC 223

ECOL 206 ,210 ,223 ENTO 205 GEOG 220 ,230 ,240

GEOS 210 ,212 ,216 (SP06 OR AFTER),218 ,220

HWR 201 ,202 ,203 MSE 208 ,257B,258 NRSC 282

N SC 310 PHIL 305 PHYS 201 PE 201 PL S 329

PSIO 220 (THROUGH FA05) PTYS 206 ,209 ,212H

RA M 222 SP H 261 ,262 WFSC 225

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Diversity Emphasis Courses: Gender, Race, Class,

Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation or Non-Western Area Studies

- 1) NEEDS: 1 COURSE

SELECT FROM: AFAS 222 ,255 ,302 ,304A,304B,306 ,315 ,

AFAS 340 ,342 ,381 ,444 (FA03 OR AFTER) ANTH 202 ,

ANTH 203 ,205 ,206 ,307 OR ANTV 307 ANTH 316 ,

ANTH 320 ARH 203 CHN 251 ,275 ,276 ,331 ,340 ,

CHN 341 ,419 ,420 ,429 ,430 ,431 ,443 ,468 ,475A,

CHN 475B,475D,475E,482 ,483 ,495A CLAS 362

EAS 130 ,333 ,345 ,350 ,445 ,452 ,487A,487B,496C

FREN 245 ,249 GEOG 210 ,251 ,369 ,413 GER 274 ,

GER 278 ,373 ,376 HIST 253 ,254 ,489 HUMS 260 ,

HUMS 333 ,365 ,370 ,420

INDV 101 (SP06 OR AFTER) RACE, ETHNICITY+AM DREAM

ITAL 330B,330D JPN 220 ,245 ,272 ,304 ,310 ,311 ,

JPN 396H,402 ,411 ,412 ,446A,446B,447A,447B,485 ,

JPN 486 ,489 ,495B,496A,496C JUS 372A,372B

LING 210 MAS 265 ,365 ,375 MUS 109 ,334 ,337 ,

MUS 344 NES 277A,330 ,334 POL 330 ,332 ,334 ,

POL 335 ,441 ,464 ,468 ,476 OR POLV 476 POL 478 ,

POL 487A RELI 210 RSSS 315 ,328 ,350 SOC 222 ,

SOC 260 ,280 ,324 ,427 ,450 ,459 ,467 SPAN 210

TRAD 101 UNVR 310 (FA06-SP07),315 (FA06-SP07)

W S 200 ,210 ,240

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dance Major GPA

The Dance Major requires a minimum of 80 units. Admission

into the BFA program is competitive and by audition only.

--> NEEDS: 80.00 UNITS 2.000 GPA

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Core Courses

- 1) 26 hours required.

NOTE: DNC 445A, 445B, 451B are repeatable and should be

taken for 4 hours total.

NEEDS: 26.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 145 ,200 ,243 ,245A,245B,301A OR

DNC 302 ,394B,400 ,445A,445B,451B,455 ,498

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dance Major - Technique

Complete a minimum of 24 units of technique

(may be repeatable).

- 1) Complete 20 units from:

NEEDS: 20.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 240A,240B,241A,241B,244A,244B,340A,

DNC 340B,341A,341B,344A,344B,440A,440B,441A,441B,

DNC 444A,444B

**********

Complete 4 units (may be repeatable) from one of the

following 3 disciplines:

**********

- 2) Ballet - 4 units required

NEEDS: 4.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 440A,440B

- OR) Modern - 4 units required

NEEDS: 4.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 441A,441B

- OR) Jazz - 4 units required.

NEEDS: 4.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 444A,444B

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dance Major (continued)

- 1) Ensemble - 8 hours required.

NEEDS: 8.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC 343

- 2) Electives - 13 hours required.

NEEDS: 13.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: DNC ****

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Arts Courses

--> NEEDS: 9.00 UNITS

- 1) 6 hours required.

NEEDS: 6.00 UNITS

SELECT FROM: MUS ****

- 2) Select 1 course.

SELECT FROM: T AR 100 ,103 ,111 ,116 ,121 F A 300

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dance Residence Units

- 1) All College of Fine Arts majors require 18 upper

division units in the major to be taken in

residence - 18 hours required.

NEEDS: 18.00 UNITS

-----

 

Both of these programs will result in a BFA degree with well respected dance training. However, the coursework is VERY different. At Juilliard, there are no math, English, natural science or foreign language requirements. All of these are requirements for the BFA at Arizona. From my perspective, Juilliard is offering a conservatory degree program, while Arizona is offering a general, liberal arts degree program with a major emphasis in dance performance.

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Stork

Universities have conservatories within. UCincinnati has CCM-College Conservatory of Music. Within this is also ballet. There are other U's with conservatory programs withing their umbrella.

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balletbooster

Yes, as Stork says, whether a school is offering a conservatory program or not has little to do with whether they are designated as a University. It has much more to do with the approach they are taking to the subject matter.

 

There are really four options for post-grad dance degree programs in the US:

- Conservatory program offering a BFA degree

- Liberal Arts program offering a BFA degree

- Bachelor of Arts in Dance

- Bachelor of Sciences in Dance

 

Some schools will offer two or more options from the list above. Depending upon the program selected, the amount and type of non-dance classes will vary greatly. For example, at the University of Kansas, you can earn either a BA or a BFA in Dance. Here are the course requirements for each:

 

BFA in Dance

Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirements. A minimum of 35 credit

hours in liberal arts and sciences is required.

ENGL 101, ENGL 102, and ENGL 203, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, or

ENGL 211 ................................................................................

... 9

TH&F 215 Approaching Design for Theatre and Film (3) or

TH&F 216 Scenic Production (2) or

TH&F 220 Costume Production (2) or

TH&F 224 Lighting Production (2) ...................................... 2-3

MUSC 136/MUSC 336 Masterworks of Music ............................ 3

Humanities electives ........................................................................ 6

Social sciences elective .................................................................... 3

College electives ............................................................................ 12

Dance Technique (39-40 hours)

DANC 201 and DANC 202 Intermediate Ballet I and II ............... 4

DANC 203 and DANC 204 Intermediate Modern Dance I and II .. 4

DANC 205 Intermediate Jazz Dance .............................................. 2

DANC 301 and DANC 302 Advanced Ballet I and II .................... 6

DANC 303 and DANC 304 Advanced Modern Dance I ............... 6

DANC 305 Advanced Jazz Dance ................................................... 3

DANC 301, DANC 302, DANC 303 or DANC 304 .........................6

And four of the following courses ...................................................... 8-9

DANC 305 Advanced Jazz Dance (3)

DANC 307 Pointe and Pas de Deux (2)/DANC 308 Pas de Deux (1)

DANC 309 Men’s Ballet (2)

DANC 201 Intermediate Ballet I (2)

DANC 202 Intermediate Ballet II (2)

DANC 203 Intermediate Modern I (2)

DANC 204 Intermediate Modern II (2)

DANC 205 Intermediate Jazz Dance (2)

Choreography (10 hours)

DANC 150 Dance Improvisation .................................................... 2

DANC 250 Choreography: Structured Solos ................................ 2

DANC 350 Choreography: Group Forms ...................................... 3

DANC 450 Environmental Choreography ..................................... 3

Dance Performance (17 hours)

DANC 260 Musical Theatre Dance ................................................ 2

DANC 320 University Dance Company (four semesters) ........... 4

DANC 360 Repertory ...................................................................... 2

DANC 440 Introduction to Classical East Indian Dance ............. 3

DANC 470 Renaissance and Baroque Dance ................................ 3

DANC 550 Senior Project ................................................................ 3

Dance Theory, History, Pedagogy, and Science (24 hours)

DANC 170 Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Dancers ...... 1

DANC 210 Rhythms and Structures of Music .............................. 1

DANC 310 Music for Dance ........................................................... 3

DANC 330 Approaches to World Dance ........................................ 3

DANC 340 Introduction to Laban Movement Analysis ................ 3

DANC 370 Musculoskeletal Concepts for Dancers ..................... 3

DANC 375 Ideokinesis .................................................................... 3

DANC 430 Dance for Children ....................................................... 3

DANC 460 Dance History: Research and Reconstruction .......... 3

DANC 530 Practicum in: _______ .................................................. 1

 

BA in Dance

Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirements. A minimum of 74 credit

hours in liberal arts and sciences is required.

ENGL 101, ENGL 102, and ENGL 203, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, or

ENGL 211 ................................................................................

... 9

MATH 101 Algebra .......................................................................... 3

Oral communication ........................................................................ 3

Western civilization .......................................................................... 6

Foreign language (16 hours in one language) ............................ 16

BIOL 100 and BIOL 102 Principles of Biology and Lab ............... 5

Humanities (TH&F 215, TH&F 220, or TH&F 224 and MUSC

136/MUSC 336 must be 6 of these hours) ...................... 11-12

Social sciences ................................................................................

.. 9

Non-Western culture ....................................................................... 3

General electives .............................................................................. 9

Dance (51 credit hours)

Dance Technique (16 hours)

DANC 201 and DANC 202 Intermediate Ballet I and II ............... 4

DANC 203 and DANC 204 Intermediate Modern Dance I and II .. 4

DANC 205 Intermediate Jazz Dance .............................................. 2

DANC 301 and DANC 302 Advanced Ballet I and II (6) or

DANC 303 and DANC 304 Advanced Modern Dance

I and II (6) ................................................................................

... 6

Dance Performance (2 hours)

Any combination of DANC 220 Dance Performance and/or

DANC 320 University Dance Company (two semesters) ..... 2

Dance Composition (10 hours)

DANC 150 Dance Improvisation .................................................... 2

DANC 250 Choreography: Structured Solos ................................ 2

DANC 350 Choreography: Group Forms ...................................... 3

DANC 450 Environmental Choreography ..................................... 3

Dance Theory (20 hours)

DANC 210 Rhythms and Structures of Music .............................. 1

DANC 330 Approaches to World Dance ........................................ 3

DANC 340 Introduction to Laban Movement Analysis ................ 3

DANC 370 Musculoskeletal Concepts for Dancers ..................... 3

DANC 375 Ideokinesis .................................................................... 3

DANC 430 Dance for Children ....................................................... 3

DANC 460 Dance History: Research and Reconstruction .......... 3

DANC 530 Practicum in: _______ .................................................. 1

Senior Project (3 hours)

DANC 550 Senior Project ................................................................ 3

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calamitous

Most conservatories that are attached with/to universities- especially public universities - will have a required core of general education courses that all students are required to take. These core courses typically require a course in one of each discipline - math, natural sciences, social sciences, language and one other I can't remember off hand And almost all require an English composition course. Frequently there are at least some discipline related courses that will cover these core classes, i.e., history of dance and theatre for the social science requirement.

In a typical BFA degree (whether it is in a conservatory attached to a U or just a BFA at a U that doesn't claim a conservatory) there are very few or no other courses required of the students in general education. All the "elective" credits are used for the BFA degree. If you do a BA it is more similar to a major and minor situation of a universities degree where dance is the major and then the student can select a minor area or a double major. In terms of courses the one dance ped. I am familiar with is essentially a double major with dance courses and a major of education and pedagogy courses.

I don't really know anything about stand alone conservatories.

 

In terms of getting in, I agee with others check the individual school requirements and ask the schools. Some schools have a lot of flexibility with academic requirements and may count the audition much more heavily than academics. Others will weight an audition and academics equally and others will screen candidates on academics first and only allow those who qualifiy for the school academically to audition.

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bobbypinfinder

As a parent of a junior, DD , this thread is great stuff!!!

I always wondered which came first. Do you get accepted to the college based on your academics and then audition for the dance side of it or audition for the dance side and if they like you then they look at your application as a whole. I just keep hoping it gets clearer as we go along and pay attention to what others are doing. I remember at the Russian Pointe Competition someone won a scholarship to Utah (I think) and I wondered then "How can you just win a scholarship based on your dancing and not the whole picture as far as your GPA and all the other things that come into play when trying to get into college?" If they like your dancing are they willing to deal with whatever the rest of your application might look like. My dd doesn't really like the idea of college but she needs to at least get in the race. I think it is because she struggles to do well in both dance and academics and feels her academic demands hold her back from dancing more and vice versa. She also feels like because she is not as strong academically that she can not compete in the college race with those with 4.5 GPA's. :thumbsup:

 

I also am finding it interesting that my incoming freshman football kid is being handled much differently by the high school than my dancing kid. They are letting us know right away what he needs to do and how to get him into college. Lots of paperwork and speeches. Our school doesn't have a dance program and whenever I try to talk to the councelor about my dd's situation, I don't come away feeling very informed. :blushing: So again...keep the facts coming! I am taking lots of notes. :thumbsup:

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balletbooster
In a typical BFA degree (whether it is in a conservatory attached to a U or just a BFA at a U that doesn't claim a conservatory) there are very few or no other courses required of the students in general education. All the "elective" credits are used for the BFA degree.

 

Calamitous, this is not exactly true. I copied the course descriptions for two BFA programs at two different, public universities above and both require at least 35 hours outside the dance department, which adds up to at least one full year of college work. The big difference is which courses are required outside of dance and how many credits. For example, KU requires 9 hours of English, AU requires 6. AU requires foreign language and math. KU does not, and so on...

 

The differences between conservatory BFA programs and University (non-conservatory) BFA programs can be pretty substantial. In a true conservatory setting, there will generally be very few academic requirements outside of dance and the related arts (as the BFA requirements from Juilliard indicate).

 

The differences between the BA and BFA requirements at schools that offer both can vary as well. Some schools only offer a BS (Indiana) that has very similar academic requirements to a BA at some other schools. The differences between BA requirements from school to school can vary widely as well.

 

My point in copying these program requirements here is not to discuss the pros and cons of any program (that discussion belongs on the individual threads for each school), but rather to show how vastly different the academic requirements can be for the same BFA degree, from school to school. It is really not possible to accurately generalize too broadly about this topic. What is important is to really do the research and really understand the nuances of any program that your dancer is considering. Once you understand how each school's various programs work, you can make better decisions about which one is best for your child, based upon their strengths and their long-term goals.

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cricket

I echo the need to research each program. Spend lots of time reading the college board here, each individual school's website, and also the boards at http://www.collegeconfidential.com I can't say enough about that website - ballet alert & college confidential have been two fabulous resources for my DD as she begins her junior year. Because dance auditions are in the late fall/early winter of the senior year, it is imperative that the college bound dancer has a very good idea by the end of his/her junior year which programs they want to try for.

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Pierrette

A bunch of the previous comments aren't quite correct with their facts.

 

Basically, a real conservatory is a program that offers some kind of certification that is not a degree. They may ALSO offer a degree, but they also offer the option of a diploma in dance, or the like. Hence, since Juilliard offers a diploma (in addition to a BFA), they are one, but so is North Carolina School of the Arts, Mercyhurst, NYU/Tisch, University of the Arts and other places. Others places will say they operate much like a conservatory, which means they get away with minimal extra liberal arts requirements as part of their BFA degree. Thus, there are actually five options for post-grad dance programs, in that the Diploma is not a degree.

 

In a typical BFA degree (whether it is in a conservatory attached to a U or just a BFA at a U that doesn't claim a conservatory) there are very few or no other courses required of the students in general education. All the "elective" credits are used for the BFA degree.

This is not true. There is a wide range of non-fine arts courses that are required at the various BFA dance programs as Balletbooster was trying to show. Just to clarify, though, the "Humanities" requirement at Juilliard is a 4-course sequence. The University of the Arts is similar with requiring few non-dance related core courses. Then, despite the overload of detail seen in the University of Arizona ("UA," also called "UofA") requirements, that only represents a minimum of 36-44 non-fine arts credits (depending on foreign language proficiency, which you can test out of) out of 125 needed to graduate. This is still not on the high end, as the University of Iowa requires 58 out of 120 for their BFA.

 

As I understand the US system, the BFA/MFA degrees are practice/vocational degrees. I know in the academy, the 2 tracks are quite separate, and if a student wants to go on to an academic career, the BFA/MFA won't cut it.

Actually, for teaching in a university in the fine arts, a BFA and MFA are just fine. In fact, an MFA is considered a terminal degree for becoming a professor in dance (or other fine art).

 

Georgia, to get to the heart of your question: for a student who is strong in dance but just ok in academics, I would recommend Marymount Manhattan, Point Park University, and University of the Arts, especially since you said your daughter wishes to focus in modern/contemporary. UArts, out of the three, is not especially strong in ballet even though they offer a concentration in it (in addition to modern and jazz).

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