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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Is it possible to be another major at the school, for example a Communications/Journalism major, and take dance electives, like ballet classes, pointe, partnering, etc. at SUNY Purchase? Could you be involved in dance productions like Nutcracker as a non-dance major? I am beginning to look into colleges but would like either a dance minor or simply the ability to take as many dance classes as I can fit into my schedule with a different major.

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There are technique classes for non dance majors, however they are taught be MFA or Senior BFA students. I am not quite sure about partnering and pointe, the course catalog says "by audition" I think that may be for dance majors only, you would have to check.


They do have younger students (children) in the Nutcracker, but I think all of the major roles are performed by dance majors... For instance, the snow corps is rehearsing for several hours daily this week, I doubt that non dance majors would have that much freedom in their schedules...


Purchase does not offer a dance minor... The also strongly discourage dance conservatory students to have minors.


My information is limited (as a parent and not a student). If you contact the school directly (dance department) I believe they will be happy to give you any information you need.

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  • 4 months later...

Has anybody auditioned for the 2007 school year, and is there anyone out there who is attending suny purchase currently who can provide insight on the school, the dance program, and the campus atmosphere? thanks

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I am wondering the same...My daughter auditioned in Portland, Oregon and just received an acceptance yesterday. I would like to hear from some current students. How much of your training is ballet, contemporary, modern? Is there an equal balance between all three? What other dance colleges/universities did you apply to? Why did you choose Purchase above the others? How many male dance students are there? What are your personal goals after you graduate? Do you feel like you will be very prepared to meet those goals upon graduation? Have you attempted a second major? Is that a feasible endeavor? I appreciate in advance your time in answering these questions.

Sincerely, !Danceon!

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  • 1 month later...

I received my acceptance from the Chicago audition a while back. I will be visiting the campus in a few weeks. I'll report back and let you all know how I feel about the school!

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  • 7 months later...

My daughter is a freshman in the Purchase program this year and loves it. There were 64 entering students, one of the largest classes they've had in years since most accepted students opted to attend. All freshmen have a 1 1/2 hour ballet and a 1 1/2 hour modern class four days a week with electives on Wednesdays and other times tucked into their busy schedules. They choose electives from pointe, partnering, men's class, modern, modern partnering, modern rep, improv/comp and a few others. They also have a freshman seminar, dance production, music for dance, anatomy for dancers (spring), plus one academic. They are free on weekends except for rehearsals. My daughter chose to do pointe in the fall, but is dropping it for the spring because it conflicts with a modern class with Kevin Wynn that she wants to take. The first week of class involves placement auditions for ballet (they just split into two groups for modern), and auditions for Nutcracker or their spring production, BFA and MFA pieces. It's intense right off the bat. She performed in an MFA student piece in December. She's had master classes with four major companies. Yes, there are quite a few men, can't remember the exact number in the entering class, but it's high.


There's little room in the schedule to do a minor, so it's not really encouraged. My daughter is taking an art class for fun, but it will bring her up to around 20-22 credits. Plus she would like to try and find time for classes in the city next semester. There is a free shuttle bus to the commuter train station in White Plains, so getting into the city is easy. For freshman seminar, they were required to see a play or dance production in the city, visit a museum, and go the Performing Arts Center Library at Lincoln Center to research choreographers. She's very comfortable going into the city with friends even late in the evening.


The campus is on a gorgeous piece of property surrounded by estates, but the buildings are bare brick ugly boxes - typical state university architecture. The dance building is the exception with lots of glass and large studios. There's a nice art museum also. The campus atmosphere is very artsy and liberal. There's no downtown to walk to, but the free bus goes into White Plains in 15 minutes, where there are shopping malls, restaurants, and a huge movie complex, so there's a lot to do.

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DD is auditioning at Purchase next month. Any suggestions on a reasonable hotel? Every place I have called so far is about 250 and up a night. I get better deals in the city! This will be just an overnight, audition and head out, so I don't want to spend over 200 if I don't have to! Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry I took so long to reply! We usually stay at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Danbury, CT since we come from the north. It's right off I-84, about a 40-minute drive in rush hour traffic to Purchase - you continue on I-84 to I-684 South. It usually runs about $99-139 with a nice buffet breakfast. It's spotless, new, and has gotten awards. The best in the area by far and much cheaper than staying in Westchester. The other option is checking with Res Life or Admissions at Purchase to see if they have rooms available. I can't find the link, but during orientation they let parents stay in apartments on campus for $60 per person. Not sure if they do it the rest of the year since the dorms have wait lists, but it's worth a try. Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Log on to your "e-purchase" account on the SUNY Purchase website to check your status. We have not received anything in the mail yet, however about a week ago my dd checked her status and it said she was accepted. We called -and they confirmed it and said the letters have been sent out in batches at different times and that we should receive it by the end of this week. Good Luck!!

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  • 2 months later...

My dd will be attending Purchase in the fall after 2 years of training in the pre-pro program at Atlanta Ballet. (FYI Atlanta Ballet hired 2 2007 Purchase grads right into their company.) Anyway, I was wondering if those of you who had given updates as your dd's began their freshman years had any further insights now that they have a year or two behind them? Insights and ideas welcome! :D

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