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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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fendrock

Does anyone know anything about the Dance Department at Chapman University, in Orange, CA?

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dancemaven

Given that Katee on SYTYCD is a student there, I am curious, also. Any info available?

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Redstorm

I don't know specifically about the dance department but I do know their theater department is top notch. It has come highly recommended to us. We are heading down that way next month to check out the school and surrounding area. This is on dd's short list for college. It is not an inexpensive school but they are generous with scholorships.

Chapman is most well known for its Law School.

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fendrock

Actually I would say Chapman is best known for its film-making school.

 

William Lu, a grad, choreographed the modern piece for the summer performance at Maple Conservatory.

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Cordelia

Do we have any current or recently graduated students at Chapman on this board? If so, could you please give us some feedback on the program? We're interested in how much emphasis is on ballet in the school and how much on other forms of dance. Thank you!

 

PS: Hi Redstorm!

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Temps de cuisse

I have a student that is now a freshman at Chapman doing a double major in dance and graphic design. When she went to register for classes, she was surprised to find out that her dance would consist of 2 ballet, 2 modern and 2 jazz per week. Not a schedule that leaned toward serious ballet training (at our school students are in ballet classes 6 days/week along with 2/3 pointe and a modern class along with rehearsals 2/3 days a week). She was able to pick up a pointe class on Fridays. She has realized that this was not really what she thought college dance would be like, but is enjoying the program none the less.

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Taradriver

Chapman is a "balanced" program. My friend's daughter attended. It probably is not for someone with a strong ballet focus but is is a good dance program.

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Cordelia

Thank you both for your answers. Much appreciated. Temps de cuisse, my DD's schedule sounds a lot like what yours was. Lots of decisions to make!

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tab9496

Another SYTYCD top 20 dancer who attends Chapman now...Ade. I wonder if he dances at school?

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SnowWhite

My niece graduated from Chapman two years ago with a BFA in dance. I would not classify her as a classical trained dancer; though she is a very talented, well rounded dancer, and gifted choreographer. She loved her time at Chapman and thought the program was an excellent fit for her. She is presently working commercially all over LA and choreographing for major competition dance studios.

 

She would be the first to admit that she would not have chosen Chapman, if it were strictly a classical based program. "Well rounded" and "balanced" is a perfect way to describe her training at Chapman. Again, she loved her time there!

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clairekmae

I am also interested in Chapman University. If anyone has any more information about the dance program please share it!

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Dancer830

I see the last post on this thread is from 2009. I am wondering if anyone could give me any current insight into the Chapman University ballet program. I'd like to know about the instruction, dance schedule, are they open to double-majoring, performances. Any information would be much appreciated, thank you in advance!

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calimom

We haven't looked deeply into the Chapman program itself, but I know that for the past couple of years some of the faculty at Charles Maple's program have taught classes at Chapman in addition to Maple. Maple is a relatively new school but is building a strong reputation. My daughter has taken open classes there many times and all the teachers she had were excellent. If you are interested in ballet and get serious about Chapman, I would check it out for additional classes. http://mapleconservatory.com/aboutus/

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Dancer830

I looked today at the curriculum and class descriptions for dance majors and I have a few questions that I hope can be answered please. The description for pointe class says that pointe is offered every semester. When I looked at the fall 2012 class schedule I couldn't find the pointe class. Does anyone know if it really is offered every semester? If so, how many times per week? Also, can the dancers take the other ballet classes en pointe if they choose to? I see that ballet is offered several times during the day, can the dancers take more than one ballet class per day if their schedule allows? Do the dancers audition into a particular level of dance or are they just set as freshman, sophomore, etc?

 

Thank you for any help. DD's passion is classical ballet and she was set to attend another university and ballet program, however a generous scholarship from Chapman has us reevaluating our options. Thank you again for any insight. :)

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wldance

As a alumni and a working professional, I think Chapman was (and probably still is) a great school. I do have to clarify a few things. If you are pursuing ballet as a career, I don't think any of the colleges or universities would be your destination. Instead, go to a classical conservatory and go straight into a ballet company as an apprentice.

 

Chapman's ballet requirement is set to the minimum amount you have to take to be in the program.... but it doesn't mean you cannot take more than what is required. What I like about the program at the time was that we were pushed to be well-rounded dancers both technically and intellectually. Most of the students there (when I was still attending Chapman) take extra classes outside of the university. And, we were encouraged to do so. Not every university program fits for every dancers. You have to check the program out yourself and decide for yourself. No matter how good a school is, it really comes down to how the student utilize the resources. Some students prefer an intimate environment where they get some personal attention from the teachers. Some students excel in a large competitive environment. My advice: check the colleges/universities that you think you may like and decide after you visit or research them yourself.

 

Technically, I'm a complete product of Chapman's dance program. I went to Chapmany U as a film student, and I ended up taking my first dance class there. I was then guided by a few teachers there and the head of the dance program at the time (Cyrus Parker-Jeannette who is now the chair at Cal State Long Beach) through a series of training both in the university and out of university referred by them. I graduated as a dance major. I have had a dance career that I consider somewhat successful. I have danced with reputable companies and I have taught in some of the most respected schools and universities. I have received awards for both my dancing and choreographic works as a professional. And even with the training that some of you think is not good enough, I have danced at the Lucent Dance Theater (home of the Netherlands Dance Theater) in works that were classically driven. My works have been performed or screened internationally. I'm currently a guest faculty at Codarts (which is the equivalent of Julliard College located in Netherlands) while I'm dancing with the International Dance Theater in Amsterdam. On top of that, I'm working on projects both in Europe and Asia.

 

My point is.... Chapman is a good school if you know how to take advantage of the faculty and its resources. What made it good for me was that I had classmates and faculty who constantly inspired and motivated me.

 

I have had a good career so far, or even better compared to some of my colleagues who attended other colleges that are considered much better by most. I know other classmates of mine who are now actively dancing in New York both Broadway and Dance companies. I also know another classmate who danced for a bit then decided to go back to school and got a doctorate degree in physical therapy (which proves that Chapman is also academically strong even in the dance program). At the same time, I also know a few classmates who ended up not pursuing dance at all. I don't think Chapman is a perfect dance school. I did wish that they had a lot more intensive training, but at the same time I am glad instead of the extra training classes, we use those time to be educated in other things that become a lot more useful as a working professional.

 

I hope this posting helps answering some of your questions.

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