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Ballet Talk for Dancers
lorrainegd

High School Grades and Going to College for dance

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dancemaven

Even with audition dance departments, you must mind your 'Ps & Qs". Keep in mind that colleges with a dance department that hold auditions have a 2-step admission process for the college: admission to the dance department itself and admission to the university/college as a whole.

 

We have known several dancers who were granted admission to the dance department following their audition, but did not received admission to the university/college. University/college admissions trumps dance department admission, so those dancers were not accepted to the college and had to look elsewhere.

 

We also know of several instances where the flip scenario occurred, i.e., the student received admission to the university/college, but not the dance department following audition. In those cases, the student could go to the university/college, but could not be a dance major. Sometimes it is permitted to audition again after a semester or two, but no guarantees of department admission.

 

So, yes, for the dance department, the dancer's skill, technique, and training are the most important part of that admission. But the student still has to receive admission from the university/college general Admissions---and there the whole high school track record, including grades, courses taken, class rank, etc. come into play. Various colleges have various criteria levels, of course, but a student cannot expect their dancing to carry them through this aspect of the admissions process. So, be aware and make sure your dancer is tracking those requirements, too.

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dancemaven

Georgia, as far as a strategy for a 'safety' dance school, it can only be to apply/audition for as many dance programs as your DK can find that interest her/him. Some have better odds of admission than others. Makes sure there are academic safeties in the dance programs she chooses.

 

Also, if dancing is the DK's focus, and he/she wouldn't be happy in a straight academic program, then also research and make preparations for attending a post-grad training program that interests the DK in case the college programs of choice don't pan out.

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edgart6

Georgia- I would like to add that having just finished the audition process with my DD and her friends for college dance programs, dancemaven is correct- the dance department may love them, want them and push the admission department to take them, but the final say lies with the admission committee. Especially in private colleges, dance majors have to meet the academics of the rest of the school- it is the same now for a lot of athletics. My DD's older brother played a DI sport at a small private college and part of the reason they wanted him was his academics. As he coach told us- "I can line up 10 goalies who are all really the same skill wise but you are the good, smart one. No brainer."

 

There are a few "safety" schools out there as far as colleges with dance departments go where the requirement, especially for standardized testing, is lowered or done away with for art related students. I imagine what she meant by safety school is look at her GPA, her test scores, and her activities, then look at the schools and see where even if she did not audition, she would meet or exceed admission standards. Also, many councilors consider in-state public universities as safety schools.

 

Is she thinking conservatory as well?

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sgmca

My daughter was accepted into a very good college ballet program with scholarship through the audition, however due to a year of "attempted" internet schooling when she was at a residency program that didn't go well, and applying to the college as a junior/senior student taking all her core junior and senior classes in one year in order to graduate with her class, she was not accepted right away to the college. She was accepted shortly thereafter with a letter that read the head of the ballet department has "sponsored your admission". He kept up with her throughout her freshman year to be sure she was on top of her studies and to be sure her grades were keeping up. She ended up doing quite well actually making the Dean's List first semester and with a high GPA the second semester. My point is, it is possible to be accepted from your audition even when the university hesitates depending on the situation.

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Georgia

I know you have to take all of the core requirements, tests, etc to gain admission into the universities, it's the minimum GPA, SAT that you can sometimes get around if the dance department wants you.

 

My DD is looking at conservatories, conservatories within big universities and big state universities (UGA, USF). She has watched the seniors in her program audition for programs over the last two years. Two years ago it was a strong graduating class, two went professional and the rest went to excellent college programs. This past year was not so strong. Some got into dance programs but not university, some to the university but not the dance program.

 

A couple ended up at good universities with just so/so dance departments. Even though they didn't meet the minimum GPAs, they were admitted based on strong dance auditions. These schools are trying to enhance their dance programs by increasing the quality of dancers. So, although most, if not all dance majors need to apply to the dance department and school, i don't think it always goes down like they advertise. But also, I wouldn't want my daughter in a program with a bunch of recreational dancers either.

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trythis

This is a timely thread for me. DH and I have decided to pull DD out of "extra" dance classes for her 8th grade year. This decision is primarily a scheduling one, middle school here gets out at 4 pm and DD gets off the bus at 4:30. M, Tu and Wed dance classes start at 4:30 creating a need for my mother to help out with carpooling DD from school to dance. We think that she needs a little extra time each evening to learn to work more effectively on her school work and develop better study habits. She will be dancing 2 hours per day, plus rehearsals. so her schedule will by no means be easy. But company dancers usually take ballet "plus three" meaning modern, jazz plus something else. Today I made the call to the director to tell her, and to ask if DD will still be in the company.

At the same time, we have academically reduced her courseload from all excellerated courses to only two.

If by mid-term we can see that she is doing better academically we may allow her to put back one dance class. I am concerned about what this will do to her training, but more concerned that if she continued as she had been -which was doing what was necessary and that is all, she would move into high school and her GPA would not be what it needs to be for college.

I am pretty confident that in high school when she gets out of school earlier in the afternoon, giving her more time to get homework done, she can go back to a full dance schedule and manage to accomplish everything that she wants to.

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kdintx

Sounds like you are doing what is best for your daughter. I can totally relate to what you are facing with middle school ending at 4pm since that is exactly what my daughter faced. Her classes in the evening started around 6pm, but she would get to the studio at least a half hour before to stretch before ballet class. Her extra classes like jazz & modern would take place after her ballet but often times would interfer with rehearsals. Lucky for my daughter her artistic directors did not require dancers to take other classes beyond the ballet. They encouraged jazz, tap & modern but knew that some kids could not work it into their schedule. The most important thing that you and your daughter should focus on is to not let her get overwhelmed with school work because this can overflow into her ballet training. Being stressed out along with the many hours that ballet dancers must endure can be harmful. Your daughter should make the most of what dance classes that she is able to take. It's how hard you work in the classes that you are able to take that is important and not how many classes per week you take. When she gets into high school and she gets out earlier in the day is when you can see if she is able to handle more. Keeping her GPA is important to get accepted into college and her SAT/ACT scores is also a really important thing to remember. I would suggest you take a look at some of the universities that she might be interested in to see what their requirements are and plan accordingly. Dancers who are trying to get into a good college dance program have to focus on two things. You have to remember that the dance departments are looking for strong dancers and the university's are looking for strong students. The best thing that she can do is to stay focused on both and to always keep on schedule with schoolwork so that you don't get behind. The dance schedule during most of the year does not let up so getting behind with schoolwork just adds huge stress. I wish you and your daughter the best of luck with 8th grade and I hope that she is successful with both her dance and education. Glad to see that you are a mom that gets involved with helping her make good decisions that are best for her.

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tutu2you

Counselors recommend that you apply to "safety" schools and "reaches." My daughter will be applying to programs that all require an audition. With auditions, there really are no safety schools. Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem?

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kdintx

Auditioning early for college's with strong dance programs is probably the best choice that you can make. I agree with "tutu2you" that getting those early acceptances does take the pressure off other auditions. The only problem with getting a early acceptance is that you still have to wait for scholarship offers. All of the college auditions that my DD did resulted in waiting until late March to late April to hear about scholarship offers and financial aid results came as late as mid July. Academic scholarships came a little earlier than dance merit scholarships since the dance departments tend to wait until all auditions are over before allocating money based on dance merit. This does make it hard if your decision is based on whether the college of choice is affordable without any finacial aid or scholarship money. Most high school counselors will tell you that you should not apply to just your number one choice because you never know what will happen. You always need a back-up plan for everything in life and applying and auditioning for a college dance program should not be any different.

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Momof3darlings

tutu2you--I'm not sure what you were really asking since I deleted 2 other posts where you were unsuccessful quoting. Please do post your own words and questions first, then you can either hit quote bubble first and then copy and paste what you want quoted being sure to paste it between the two commands that show up. OR you can copy the passage you want quoted into your post, then highlight what you want quoted,hit the quote bubble which will then wrap the command around your entire post. When people make mistakes in quoting, it is usually because as they try to clean up their post prior to posting, they erase one of the quote commands accidentally. Therefore, making only half a command. :yucky:

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trythis

Thanks kdintx, it was the most horrible feeling in my stomach making that phone call to the AD to tell her we had made this decision. While she doesn't want to set a precedent that classes are optional, she said she wouldn't dream of kicking DD out of company for this year. She is a very sweet lady. There are four girls in DD's grade that have chosen to home school, so that thier daughters can balance the dance and the academic. I do not feel equiped to make that decision, and I don't think it would be in the best interest of my daughter academically. So really, for one year, for her to scale back slightly in dance is not going to be the end of her dance carreer. She was very successful last year, playing Clara in Nut; and I have observed that the year after Clara the dancers are often just in corps roles. I think a down year in dance to focus on school is necessary at this point....but you can see that as I am typing here I am still trying to talk myself into the logic of it. I hope that she will have a much less stressful year, with the reduced academic load, and the reduced dance load; with the result that I hope to see grade improvement. We are an example of first time parents, pushing our child into the highest acheivement levels in everything...and she just plugged along and did her best. She has a great attitude. But I have learned some huge lessons.

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Momof3darlings

I encourage any parent considering the tough road you've had to consider, to also review and revise as necessary. I admire a family decision to do what is best for you. The only reason I say "review and revise" is that as a former high school coach, I can't tell you how many parents believed the same thing. That freeing up the schedule would therefore equate to better grades and in reality, it depends on the student. In my personal opinion, it works about 50% of the time so that's why I saw "review and revise".

 

I would also encourage my students to do what they needed to do to achieve the best possible chance at good colleges and college scholarships. However, in many cases, after about a month the students and their parents would say that they understood what I meant. Going home at 4:00 and now having 3 hours extra free for some students will result in a quick snack and a soon thereafter time to begin studying. But for most, that extra time equates to phone time, facebook time, snack time, and may or may not equate to one second more in actual studying during those hours. Now of course, the student will be more relaxed when they do begin studying and that works best for some and not others.

 

So, I say "review and revise" simply because at the end of the day, most of the students that dropped my activity under the disguise of more study time were looking for new activities to fill the void in about a month since it was too late to join mine. That's about how long it took to realize they focused better with a shorter amount of time and did not use the extra time for studying at all. I am that type of person myself. Give me a month to build a tutu and I piddle for a month with the design. Give me a week to build a tutu and I work like a mad woman but get it done in less time and just as well. Not everyone is like that, it's just imbedded in my personality to be so.

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kdintx

This whole thing about how much your kid can handle with education and dance activities can be debated on many levels. In the end it is all about how the kid handles the stress as well as how the parents handle it. I can remember many late nights when my dd was in high school dealing with difficult AP classes and multiple deadlines along with long rehearsals that went past the posted time. What helps the most is reassuring your kid that it will all get done and how important it is to stay in control of your emotions so that you can stay focused. There were many late nights when I myself would stay up until dd got everything done. I just found that it helped to be there for them even though I couldn't physically do the work for them. My dd always felt that I cared about what she was going thru. It is important to stay on top of your school work and not get behind but students don't have control over how much homework, projects or studying for tests can be dumped on them in one night. It is just so amazing how dancers can juggle the work load of school and dance at the same time. I think it is the discipline that dance offers that gets these kids thru it all. If you think about it, dancers are unique individuals and I for one take my hat off to all of them that excel in both dance and education at the same time. :clapping:

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trythis

Mom of 3 and kdintx I understand completely what you are saying.

Stress-my DH does not handle it well, and that makes it difficult for all of us.

I agree with Mom of Three, that creating more study time can sometimes be counter-productive. But for this year, with the late hour of middle school I really think we are going from zero time, to a little time. DD will still dance every day, and will still have to be very efficient with her study time. Plus, her AD would like to see her take the extra classes once in a while, and since DD loves both Jazz and tap, she will be eager to prove to DH and I that she can get the work done and still do the dancing.

But ultimately, if she wants to maintain this dance schedule she must maintain an A-B average. She did not do that last year, pulling two C's on her report card. This was the stated consequence of coming home with C's, so we are following through.

It all kicks into gear on Monday....and we have a guest choreographer coming so in reality it will be four hours a night all week. So much for cutting back. i hope the teachers take it easy the first week of school!

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kdintx

I would like to wish "trythis" the best of luck this school year with your daughter. Don't forget that ballet alert is here to help and reasure you that dance and education together can work. Tell your daughter that many dancers have success in both areas and with hard work, determination and staying focused that she can also be successfull. Have a great school year!!!!

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