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Ballet Talk for Dancers
DanceMumNYC

Ivy League Dancers

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DanceMumNYC

Mln, congratulations to your son! He has achieved so much. I’m sure it takes a lot to balance his schedule, and I would be very proud of a student dancer/musician with great grades. If he is admitted to the ivy, he may be able to defer (indefinitely, depending on which school it is) until after pursuing a dance career. That is what many dancers seem to be doing. I wish him all the best!

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DanceMumNYC

Sorry Melissa, I didn’t see your comment before posting my last response. I also see that many parents are making sure their children have several options. Dance can be a risky business, so we have to. I commend all of you and your children on balancing these ballet schedules with AP/honors classes. I will definitely come back to BT4D and re-read through the academic threads when it’s my dd’s turn! I am already a little stressed out and considering homeschooling.

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cchow

Curious why you are considering homeschooling - is it unrelated to dance?  I think you mentioned before your dd is only 10.  It seems that most who homeschool for dance reasons don’t start until they are older.

 

 

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nutmeg

With respect to standardized tests:  every child is so different--you really have to evaluate the needs and abilities of each child individually.  My son, for example, (the dancer) was an exceptional test taker and frankly had absolutely no time in his schedule to take any kind of a prep-class.  It was all we could do to schedule the actual test-taking--one time.  And he did incredibly well (because he was a good test taker).

My daughter, on the other hand, (non-dancer) was an anxious test-taker.  I didn't think her initial scores reflected her abilities, so she took a short course and then studied like mad.  (I could never have gotten my son to do that!)  Really, you don't need a fancy, expensive course, you just need to do practice tests and figure out what you don't know and how to do it right the next time.  She was able to raise her scores considerably.

That said, let me just make a plug here for a couple of things:  (1) standardized tests are not the be-all/end-all, and many schools are finally realizing this;  some aren't even requiring them, and those that are aren't weighing them as heavily as other assets; (2) Ivy League schools aren't the be-all/end-all.  You really need to find a school that suits your child: his or her interests and style, and, frankly, if your student isn't that strong a test-taker, maybe an Ivy League wouldn't be a good fit.  I don't know how to make parents realize this but honestly the college your child attends will not be a reflection of their future success.  (4) Don't count out a dance career after college (esp for those of you with dancing sons).  It's not easy, but Ballet Austin, for example, has several college grads who dance in their company, including James Fuller who graduated from Harvard.

As far as what got my children into the schools they attended, I completely agree with dancemaven, it is totally a crapshoot as far as why a college accepts one student and not another.  You have to trust the process and believe that if your child is not accepted, it would not have been a good fit.  And, for goodness sake, don't stress out about all this until your child is at least high school age!  A lot can change in that time frame, and there will be plenty of other things to stress out about in the meantime.  Don't worry whether home schooling or private schooling or public schooling will help your child down the road for college--worry about how it will help them now, and it will all work out.  I promise.  

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slhogan

Regarding Homeschooling-- Homeschooling can be a great alternative for a lot of families, and it can make intense ballet training a lot easier during the high school years.  But, I wouldn't recommend homeschooling as a path to easier Ivy League admittance.   According to the US Department of Education, 3.4% of students are homeschooled, yet they make up far less than 1% of the students admitted to the top 2 Ivy League schools--   

At Princeton, only 0.2% of students were homeschooled (https://admission.princeton.edu/how-apply/admission-statistics) .  

At Harvard University, only 0.1% were homeschooled (http://features.thecrimson.com/2017/freshman-survey/makeup/

I looked at other Ivy League schools, but their class profiles didn't even mention homeschoolers.  They simply listed "public", "private", and "parochial".  If they had a sizable number of homeschoolers, I'm sure it would get a mention among the other three types of secondary schools.

In other words, don't homeschool because you think it would help with Ivy League admissions.  Just homeschool it if it works best for your family.

 

Regarding Dancers-- My dancing son didn't go the college route, so I really have no experience here.  But, my youngest son is passionate about musical theater, and he spends as many hours rehearsing and practicing his art that my dancing son does with dance.  When my youngest son applied to colleges, I worried that all those hours spent on musical theater might work against him (he wasn't applying for a BFA program).  Because of his time spent in rehearsals and technique classes, he only took 3 AP classes (1 as a junior, 2 as a senior).  His summers were spent doing plays rather than academic programs.  But, despite his few AP classes or summer academic programs, he ended up being accepted to very selective colleges and will be heading off to a "Southern Ivy" next fall. 

The reason why I'm sharing this, is that I think the admissions counselors may have been impressed by the dedication he had to his art.  All those hours and all that dedication probably made him stand out among the other applicants who only had boring academics listed.  Of course, his high ACT and SAT probably helped too!  (his college's test averages for incoming freshmen are 33-35 and 1430-1600, and he was well within that range). However, in the sea of applicants who all had high test scores, his passion for musical theater may have set him apart.  I would guess that dancers would also stand out in the applicant pool-- assuming, of course, that they meet the general requirements for the school to begin with (such as high scores).   

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cchow

It sounds like the percentages of homeschooling students accepted at elite universities are far less than 35-45% of total acceptances, perhaps even thousands of times less than that.

It was mentioned in the OP that Ivy League schools are impressed by dancers’ abilities to manage their hectic schedules. It seems that homeschooling would make that aspect less impressive.

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MelissaGA

With these statistics, those who have graduated from online/virtual schools, may not be counted as homeschoolers. Even some homeschoolers don't consider the use of an on-line program true "homeschooling" (it was a comment I heard several times when we started using a virtual school for dd!). These students do have a transcript from a school and can easily be missed in those statistics. Same for those in mixed programs with some in person and some online schooling. 

Just a little more food for thought in the conversation about these very competitive "lottery" schools. 

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dancemaven

College Confidential for all things college related.  Seriously. 

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DanceMumNYC

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts on this. Melissa, thank you so much for providing clarity. When I looked into or mentioned homeschooling, I definitely included online schooling and mixed programs, as those are the methods I’ve been considering. 

Cchow, to answer your question, education comes first and foremost in my home. I began teaching my dd at a very early age. I went back to work and couldn’t continue at the rate we were going. She was tested and accepted into a gifted program which didn’t work out. Now she is in private, and while I know she’s getting a better education than she would’ve in the gifted school or local public school, it still falls short for me. I constantly supplement at home to keep my dd ahead as long as she is capable. Now with a constantly increasing dance schedule (as well as music), I am reconsidering homeschooling (or I guess I should say online/virtual schooling) full out. I read through a bunch of threads and it seemed very promising, especially for a dancer, for several reasons. I am weighing a mixture of academics & extracurriculars.

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