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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Guest arabento

I don't know a lot about Butler's program, but from what I hear they are very strong in the dance aspect. There was an article in the paper last fall about their program. THey were ecstatic to have more male dancers as that is allowing them to do some different things. They have a Nutcracker every year that is very good and is well received by the local community. As far as the campus, it is beautiful, is located on the Northside of Indianapolis in the middle of a residential community. It is very convenient to the city and all of the happenings in town. People I know who have gone their have been very happy with their program (whatever it is that they study). All in all it is a nice campus, good program, safe area and I think (but I'm prejudiced, because I live here) that Indianapolis is a wonderful town and is really trying to improve it's arts community. There is the Ballet Internationale a professional company that puts on excellent productions and Gregory Hancock Dance Theater that is a modern company, that also has good productions. I say try for both IU (I don't know anythinng about their program) and Butler and then pick the program that has what you want and need. As a previous poster said the two campuses are only about 2 hours apart, so you could do audtions at both in one weekend. :lol:

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Sorry I don't know personally exactly how many they took at Butler,

but a very good friend of my daughter's went there on scholarship

and I've heard via the grapevine that it was a much larger class--

maybe like 40??

I know there's several parents/dancers who are familiar with Butler

so hopefully you will get a more accurate response from one of them.

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  • 7 months later...
Hi pointebabe4ever!  I think your teacher has made a good list of recommendations for you.  You might also want to look into a few other schools with good dance programs, such as Southern Methodist University, Utah, and Oklahoma.  A good place to start is the websites of the particular schools you're interested in.  I've found a few for you and pasted them below. 


The best way to really get a feel for a school is to plan a visit.  That way you can see the campus, observe a class, and get a general feel for the place before you decide which schools you want to audition for.


I attended Butler University and I would be happy to answer any questions you have about this school.  I know there are other dancers on the board who attend or graduated from other schools on this list, and I'm sure they can help you with any specific questions as well.  Hope this helps!  :wacko:











What about the academics at Butler - are they good??  Did you major in dance and minor in something else?



I'm not sure if you're referring to the dance-related academics or the school as a whole, so I'll answer both.


The academics at the school as a whole are pretty strong.  Butler is well known in the medical world for its outstanding pharmacy program.  I attended a very competitive high school and was thus very prepared for the core curriculum classes that I was required to take.  A few of these classes in particular were fantastic.  The ones that come to mind immediately were my writing seminar, psychology, and philosophy of art classes.  These were all a part of the general education requirements.  I know of other people having very intellectually stimulating experiences in various other general education classes as well. 


The dance department provides an extensive array of academic programs.  The requirements can be found on the dance dept. website.  We took everything from music, several classes in music appreciation and (very) basic composition, Labanotation, choreography, dance history, dance theory & philosophy, teaching analysis, masterworks of dance, and several others.  In the studio, we had classes like spanish character, slavic character, modern, jazz, tap, theater dance, body placement, pas de deux, variations, acting for dancers, etc.  This isn't an all-inclusive list, but you can see that there was a broad spectrum of offerings.


My major was in Dance Peformance.  I did not have a minor.  My schedule was jam-packed every semester, and I think the only way I could have fit in a minor would have been to stay for the summer sessions.  You can also major in Dance Pedagogy or Arts Administration and still be considered a dance major.  I think it is easier to minor in something else if you choose one of those majors. 


*just to clarify: by saying someone is "considered a dance major," I mean that they are taking most of the classes offered by the department and are cast in performances.  Most professors probably could not even say off the top of their heads who is performance, pedagogy, or arts admin., and no degree is favored by the faculty over another degree.

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  • 1 month later...

I just auditioned for Butler University yesterday, which was only the second audtion this year I believe. I can answer any questions about the day (I have the schedule), the class, or information about the school. I learned some interesting things! All dance majors are required to take piano for one thing. I'm not quite sure what to say about the audition that hasn't already been said so just ask if you're curious. It was a great experience for sure, and it's my first choice if I do get in. :shhh:

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I got the chance to go up to Butler to see friends in the second night of the student choreographic workshop last week, unfortunately we got confused by the highway construction and got there late missing the majority of it.


What I got to see was very good work. The well rounded nature of the education Butler provides in its degree structure was really visible. The thought process of the students in their choreography was clear enough to be intelligent but not blatant. It was obvious they weren’t just making choreography, but really trying to achieve something through it. This is all to say that it was evident that a lot of thought had been put into what the body is capable of and how it can be used effectively as a conveyor of emotion, without just making the audience uncomfortable.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The class size varies. My ballet classes ranged from around 15 up to near 30. It depends on the level, and how many people are assigned to that level each year. The studios are large though, and crowding was not usually a problem. I always had enough space to dance and even to repeat the combination behind another group in the back of the room.


Personal attention is generally good, although it varies from teacher to teacher. Some teachers spread the attention around more evenly than others. I can't remember anyone being completely ignored in class, and as a rule if one was working hard, one would be taken notice of in the form of correction, praise, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Butler alumni have joined:


American Repertory Ballet

Atlanta Ballet

Ballet Arizona

Ballet Austin

Ballet Hispanico

Ballet Internationale

Ballet Theatre Of Boston

Boston Ballet

Charleston Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet

Cleveland Ballet

Columbia City Ballet

Corpus Christi Ballet

Dance Theatre Of Harlem

Dayton Ballet

Eugene Ballet Company

Festival Ballet Of Rhode Island

Georgia Ballet

Greensboro Balletr

Indianapolis Ballet Theatre

Joffrey Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

Lexington Ballet

Louisville Ballet

Memphis Ballet

Milwaukee Ballet

Nashville Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Portland Ballet

Richmond Ballet

San Diego Ballet

San Francisco Ballet

Springfield Ballet

Staatstheater Kasse



Dance Kaleidoscope

Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre

Donald Byrd/The Group

Peter Paul Taylor Ii

Sparling Dance Co

Indianapolis Arts Council

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Hey! I have some additional questions about Butler . .


1. What style of technique is taught?


2. What are differences between the Butler University and Indiana University ballet programs?


3. What is the atmosphere like? (very competitive?, friendly?, etc.)

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The style depends on the teacher. There are two teachers there that give very Russian classes, the others tend to teach a mixture of techniques, with their own personal styles. I haven't gone to any other schools, so I couldn't really answer your second question :speechless: When I was there, the atmsphere was very competitve. For the most part, my close friends were outside the dance department. It's hard when there are a huge amount of good dancers and a limited amounts of parts/attention/whatever. It's probably no worse than anywhere else with that demographic.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Do you believe then, that by going to Butler there is a good possibility to get in a professional company. (with hard work and tons of dedication??)

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Well, I did it, and I know others who have. Bear in mind, in my graduating class, at the end of the year, 5 of us had jobs, out of a class of 28, I believe. I do know of 2 others who have since been hired. I believe in last years class, the numbers were similar. When I was there, Butler's training was good enough that if you did as you mentioned in your post, and you had the necessary facility to begin with, then yes, it could happen. I should also say that I graduated several years ago, and the faculty has since changed somewhat. My two favorite teachers from that time are now retired, and the department may have changed somewhat from when I was there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This information was split off from a post by BalletNutter on another thread:


Admission into the ballet program is highly competitive. The dance department accepts a small number of students to keep their overall numbers low so class sizes remain relatively small.


In my opinion, it is much easier to be admitted academically to the school than to be admitted into the dance departments. You have to be admitted to each school academically and through a dance audition. Butler offers many choices for a career in dance, performing or not performing. Butler also offers a minor. My understanding is that Butler takes about 20-25 per year.

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I agree, it is MUCH easier to get admitted academically to Butler than to the dance department. Are you sure that they are only taking 25 or so per year now? If so, that is a change from my years, and one for the better. There were 40 or so in my class...the problem was, virtually all of us who were accepted that year showed up! The top level in my last year was miserably crowded. I used to go take level one or two just to get a decent class with corrections! Good to hear they are making some positive changes.

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