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Just returned from visting Texas Christian University. Campus great, dance facility nice. TCU gave me a list of dance grad's achievements for 2000-2002. About 6-8 grads went into regional companies, most are teaching or doing arts administration. From what I could gather, a few grads get into regional companies each year. One of the TCU ballet majors told me she didn't get into Butler's ballet program, was accepted to the school, just not the ballet major. TCU Style: Vaganova, per the students I spoke with. That's all!

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Just trying to tease out some specifics: Did the 6-8 dancers who got into regional companies come from three graduating classes - 2000, 2001, 2002? How many dancers TOTAL graduated from that program in those three years? That would help in comparing other school's dance graduates to TCU dance dept. graduates.

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Taradriver - Thanks for the info! Is the TCU program dance in general with ballet being the major emphasis? What about modern or jazz? Is the degree a BA or BFA?


Also, did you say you were going to SMU too? Thanks again. :D

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Guest AFAmom


Could you please share the names of the regional companies you were given? Did they say anything about dancers leaving early to join companies? I was told by a few of the TCU dancers in January that this happens occasionally. I was told that one female dancer left to dance at Orlando Ballet, but came back to TCU. I just wondered if there were others. I believe the incoming freshman class will be around 25. Thanks for the info! :lol:

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Re TCU and SMU programs.


My daughter was accepted into both TCU and SMU. She was not accepted to

Indiana's damce program although she felt she had an excellent audition.

Apparently they were only taking around 10 freshmen this year, at least that's

what we heard. She was not interested in Butler because the school is about the

same size as her high school! So I can't comment on that one.


She likes TCU because it offers a major in either Ballet or Modern. She's a ballet girl so that appeals to her. It is a BFA.

The program at SMU is a BFA with equal amounts of ballet and modern. Jazz

is also required but not as many hours as the other two. She likes SMU because the reputation of the Meadows School of the Arts is so stellar and the dancers

there seemed very happy with the program

The technical ballet training appears VERY strong at both.


She is still undecided about which college to go to...her list includes these two

and several others. She'll probably decide at the last minute (may 1).

Hope this helps.

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BluebirdMom - Thank You, I appreciate the info. As a parent is there anything about either TCU or SMU (academically, ballet training, campus life, etc)) that you find positive or negative?


Also had your daughter been accepted into Indiana University (Bloomington or Fort Wayne?) would that have been her first choice over TCU and SMU?

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My D initially preferred the atmosphere at TCU--found the students

extremely friendly, and the campus felt "right" for her. She is planning

to double major in biology/neuroscience and TCU offers that specific major--another plus. Of course, it didn't hurt that a plethora of "really hot guys" seemed

to be in abundance the day we visited B) (A parental side note--they really WERE

exceptionally cute.) The Dance Department was extremely helpful to students and

parents. The quality of the training appeared excellent although she didn't love the style of the Modern audition. The facilities are older but decent. I enjoyed my visit and felt it could be a decent fit for my daughter. She was awarded some scholarship money which is certainly very helpful.


SMU is a gorgeous campus but her original impression was just luke-warm. To be fair, her 1st trip there was her very first college visit ever (she was only a sophomore then) and it was summer, so not much happening on campus.

However, she was a contender for a major academic scholarship and had to go back for interviews. After an overnight visit and two days, she found herself loving this campus as well. My bias is toward SMU because she did win

the full tuition scholarship. SMU does seem to be somewhat stronger academically.

We had both heard about a "snobby atmosphere" at SMU. We're very middle

class and this concerned us. However, her visit and meeting with many

current students dispelled that issue for both of us. The Meadows School hosts

lots of performing opportunities which seem to be VERY popular with the students,

especially the dance performances. The ballet is excellent--although they are conducting a search for a new Department Head. One of whom will be OUTSTANDING, especially from the ballet dancer's point of view! (Hope he takes the job--I can't say who since I don't have any confirmed facts on this) After talking to some dancers, she was pleased to learn that the modern taught there was more structured than other places (sorry I don't know the name for the type they teach!). And she does like jazz so the chance to take some quality jazz also appeals to her.


Indiana--a very large and beautiful campus, an excellent biological sciences program. The performing arts facilities are to die for. My DD prefers to be in an urban area and Bloomington is definitely NOT. Because she also was awarded some scholarship money, this school was relatively high on her list though. Until the dance audition results came.


I will say that the Dance Department was a little "cold" in dealing with the auditionees as well as parents---in person, over the phone, and even in writing.

I had heard this but presumed it was a matter of opinion. Unfortunately, it became mine too. However, the ballet class was amazing--the audition taught by Violette Verdy, whom my DD adores. All in pointe---a major plus. They did tell us when we were there that their freshman class would be exceptionally small for 2004-2005 because not as many students either graduated or took company contracts this past year. Many auditionees travelled at great expense and distance, and it would have been helpful to know just how few would be taken up front. A letter confirming the audition could have laid this out for us. They hosted at least 6 auditions or more. The chances were small for an acceptance, even if you have the "body" and the talent. Bottom line--even if she had gotten in, I'm not sure whether she would have gone there or not. The day she auditioned there were dancers from all over the country and from top schools, like SAB. She commented that the talent in the audition was the highest she'd seen thus far. Even still, she felt she did very well and was hopeful in spite of the odds. Unusual

for my normally "glass is half empty" D.


If you want more specifics, please feel free to PM me. I will say I have learned

way more than I expected going through this process this year! I wish the money

didn't have to affect the choices, but for us it will have some impact.

It becomes a matter of weighing the dance program, the academic program,

the location, the "atmosphere", location, etc. etc. etc..........In the end, though,

it will be totally her decision.

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BluebirdMom - Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I have printed your comments and given them to my DD to read. Tell your DD congratulations B) on her acceptances and scholarships to TCU and SMU – obviously she is multi-talented.

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Guest Vicarmac

Girl from daughter's school also was told they were only taking maybe 10 new dancers at Indiana, She too did not get in. She got in the school but not the dance department.

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vagansmom: the list I was given included 2000-2002. I was unable to find out how many ballet majors there were. Someone DID go to Orlando Ballet on the list. One to DFW Ballet. From memory, there were about 40 on the list.


My senior DD is into lyrical jazz. We observed a modern class. I couldn't handle the drumming and hated it. DD liked it. Typical, these days :)


There is no dance minor at TCU. It is a major in either modern or ballet (and classes in both are required for either major). There are dance classes for non-majors and this appeals to my senior DD, who just wants to keep moving while she becomes an elementary school teacher (will probably eventually teach a few dance classes, too, she's been a TA in junior combo classes). My freshman DD is the balletmaniac. She will visit TCU sooner or later (sooner if her sister decides to go there and May 1st decision deadline is rapidly approaching, iiieeee!)


The campus is gorgeous, 260 acres, very spirited students, lots of TCU t-shirts and sweatshirts, hoodies, etc. Dance facility is fine, a bit old but certainly in good condition. Has a body work room w/Pilates equipment. Ballet majors are always busy with their program, according to both majors and their non-major friends. TCU is a "selective" university. They don't seem to have the reputation SMU has, but they are up and coming and academically challenging. Students are very personable. My senior DD told me she "felt comfortable."


Good luck to all the DK's out there. Go where your heart (and your beautiful feet) lead you!

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Oh yeah, at TCU you can major in ballet (or modern) and get a Texas teaching credential. (Check with your own state re: credential reciprocity). This may be helpful in getting a job at a high school for the performing arts or heading up a fine arts department.

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Guest FRA0408

Our experience with schools mentioned:


IU - Daughter accepted academically, but not as a Ballet Major - was crushed; felt she had an awesome audition, loved the dept and facilities, BUT, in retrospect, I think they did her a favor. The program is totally focused on classical ballet, when someone in our group asked about Modern and/or Jazz classes the response was that the dept was Ballet. They were asked if the Student Rec Center offered Mod or Jazz and they responded that they didn't have any idea. Daughter has been encouraged her entire school career to be multi-faceted with a strong ballet base. She was discouraged when she learned IU didn't offer anything but ballet, though I suspect because of the reputation and quality of teachers, she might have chosen IU if she had been offered a spot in the dance dept.


U of AL - Also has a Ballet Major, and is a larger state school like IU. Facilities are decent. I have had a harder time gleaning additional information about the state programs, like I was able to at TCU. The staff just doesn't comment as much outside of the printed material. Daughter has a friend attending here too and has told her that she feels she will have to leave the program to get classes strong enough to keep her professionally competitive. She is considering leaving after her Sophmore year - turned my daughter off to the program.


SMU - We have a friend who is currently a student in the Ballet program - she is very happy. Daughter did not like the campus "feel" when we visited - definitely had the "snob factor" in her words. Her friend talks about the types of clothing you must wear, the car you must drive, etc...just not what my daughter is interested in. (She was like that in high school too - didn't become that way at SMU) So...despite the reputation of the dance program, I was unable to get her to look at it further. Also her high school guidance counselor told her TCU would be a better "fit" for her - stressed the more inclusive, laid back atmosphere.


TCU - Experience was quite similar to what others have posted, though initally daughter was concerned the campus was "too clean" (- how can there be such a thing?) and a bit small. The staff were all very helpful and remembered a girl who studied at the same school my daughter does now - they really seem to take pride in knowing their students. Had a "family" feel to it. I spoke with several students while daughter was auditioning - they said the major programs, either Ballet or Modern keep you quite busy - they have multiple performing opps in formal and informal settings - like brown bag lunch series. They also felt supported and appreciated by the student body - dancers and non-dancers alike. When I asked about graduates and what they did after graduating - I was told to remember that not all Dance Majors intended to dance professionally - the one's that wanted to dance professionally were able to get jobs and the others were able to get positions in areas they preferred - teaching, choreographing, etc. Several recent graduates are with dance companies in Europe as well. Our friend loved the area and has remained there after graduation. She double majored (I can't recall her other major) and is not working full-time in dance, but she does dance with several companies in the Dallas area on a part-time basis. I get the impression they are small companies, don't support full-time dancers at all. She is very happy!


All that said, daughter ended up wrestling over TCU and U of AL - decided last week that TCU and Ft Worth had much more to offer her in the big scheme of things. She plans to major in Ballet and minor in languages - has a goal to be fluent in 5 languages - is well on her way in Spanish and French! When I asked about double majors I was told it is difficult, but can be done, in fact a recent graduate majored in Ballet AND Modern and was 2 credits away from a minor in another area as well - whew!


We are excited daughter has finally made a decision and are all happy and confident that TCU is a good choice for her. Now we can work on getting ready for the move! Mom will need lots of support when that time comes!!


It's late - I hope this is making sense... Let me know if any of your dancers will be going to TCU - we'll have to make sure to meet each other!

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FRA0408: My senior DD chose TCU, also. She had pretty much the same good vibes from it that your d had. I can't email you quite yet but will as soon as I can. My daughter plans to major in education and minor in dance, although I was told there was no dance minor (I haven't figured out how she'll do it, but she has a plan).


She never considered SMU and I am not sure why.


Congrats to all those dk's who will be attending college in the fall!

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  • 8 months later...

As with my SMU post, I shall tell the tale of my experience at the TCU audition in Fort Worth.


The TCU audition was much more equitable in terms of giving time to both ballet and modern.


First was ballet class taught by a woman who was not on the staff. I guess she's a guest teacher or something. The entire dance faculty was there to watch. At the end of ballet class (about an hour and a half long) we had pointe work for the ladies and men did tours en l'air. What I liked is that one of the faculty told us that it was okay to modify some of the pointe work if we weren't comfortable with something. It made me feel like they were looking out for our well-being vs. pushing us. Or maybe it was just me. Who knows.


Afterwards, we had modern class taught by another guest teacher. Modern class was fun, but not my element. But all of the faculty made it clear that they weren't necessarily looking for mastery of the step, but rather what you can "bring to the table."


All in all, I thought the the audition was great and I had a better experience with this audition than the SMU one if only because with SMU, unless you audition in Dallas, what class you take is luck of the draw. You may be only doing ballet or you may be doing modern or jazz. It just depends on who is conducting the audition. Whereas with TCU, they make it so that they give time for both modern and ballet.


Hope this helps.

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  • 7 months later...

I'm interested in the dance program at TCU. I was hoping someone could give a little more information such as number of students in the program, level of difficulty, and success of graduates.



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