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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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At the Purchase College Spring Dance Concert last year, my daughter (a freshman at the time), danced in Balanchine's Serenade. There is no video available because of the rules of the Balanchine Trust. I don't think there are any videos of the Purchase Nutcracker online either. She also danced in a ballet number (on pointe) for a BFA senior project last spring, but it was more contemporary. The level of ballet training there is excellent. The fact that she has changed her major has nothing to do with the program. It was simply time for her to change her direction. Congratulations to all who have been accepted!

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Any information or stats on graduates from the program? Would love to know if any leave early to dance with a company, or upon graduation, how many actually end up with a classical ballet company, contemporary company, etc.



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Since my daughter was only in the dance program one year, I don't have any information on graduates. Perhaps someone else here will answer your question.

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Thank you for your information about SUNY Purchase peformances!

I am glad to hear the level of ballet training at Purchase is excellent.


In their BFA performances, are there any other classical ballet repertoires other than

Nutcracker or Balanchine?

I assume your DD is sophomore 2marzipans, and does she in Ballet Concentration?


Thank you in advance for your reply.



And some other comments or information about SUNY classical ballet performances are all welcome!

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Hi, pasdechatchat -


My daughter didn't stay a dance major after freshman year. She changed her major to Liberal Arts this past fall of her sophomore year. I'm sure she would have done the Ballet Concentration, but she never got to that point.

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My DD is a freshman at Purchase. As far as ballet at Purchase, There is a strong emphasis on ballet technique regardless of ballet or modern concentration. My DD is classically trained and focuses most of her electives in ballet. She takes ballet tech daily, and varies her days with pointe(which includes rep), ballet partnering(there is also modern partnering), modern, Graham technique, acedemic requirenments and rehersals for BFA and an outside project being done by a senior choreography student. The classes are taught by highly qualified and well respected ballet teachers. Modern teachers are equally qualified. There is always a strong ballet piece presented in the Spring Show(a long substantial one). Other numbers vary and often display the strong ballet technique base taught at Purchase even if they are not classical in nature.


She is rehabing from an injury and was not cast in the spring show(did not audition). Many freshman were not cast this year. However, most have multiple opportunities to perform in junior,senior and MFA projects. She was cast in multiple roles for Nutcracker. Again, some freshman were not cast in Nutcracker either. At Purchase there is no "guaranteed" performance opportunities. We were told this during our visit. As a parent, paying the tuition, I'm not in love with that premis but students have ample opportunity to audition and be selected to perform. And my DD has taken the view that performance is the icing and the training is the delicous chocolate cake that stands on its own.


As for graduates: I have no exact stats, just anadotal conversations However, the class numbers go down every year. Many get jobs before finishing there BFAs others make other career/college choices.

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Dear 2marzipans,

Thank you for your reply and I am so sorry to misread your previous post.

Now I see that your DD has changed her major.

I know many dancing girls who changed their direction, even they have excellent

talents and strong techniques and also passions to Dance.

Yes, it was may be simply time for them to change their direction.


Good luck your DD in all her college life!


Dear 2kids2,

Thank you for your detail information about Purchase ballet program.

Your description helps me so much to know about Purchase ballet.

Thank you again!!

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Not sure if this is considered inappropriate second hand information but a friend who recently graduated from SUNY Purchase posted on my FB page that 3 of the most recent hires of Mark Morris Dance Company are Purchase grads...not sure if they are recent grads but looking at their company's dancer biographies, most have degrees which I thought interesting.

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It is very common for dancers in modern companies to have gone to college before their professional career. Most of the dance programs in colleges are mondern-based. That trend has gone on for a long time now. The current acceptance of ballet dancers who go to college first is what is new, and I think, exciting for those who still need a few years to polish their training.

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tutu2you, thank you for that information. I've been trying to research this for my DD who is in the midst of another decision concerning college vs. dance so I guess I’m absorbing any information that comes along or that I can find researching. Everyone here is so helpful. She loves ballet but that is not her passion. Someday being on Broadway would be more like her. She is 19 and traded her college acceptances last year to become a jazz/contemp trainee in NY. She loves NY and the program.


But, she feels she is missing something by not having the college experience at least for one year. She was reaccepted this week to one school but was not able to audition for their dance program. Unfortunately it's probably the only college right now we could afford. It is in state and she has some scholarship money still available to her. She is considering the dance team so at least she can keep dancing but to me that’s not the right direction.


I'm not familiar with many companies so I appreciate your post back. The degrees in the Mark Morris Company are very impressive. I'm not sure a degree if not in dance carries any weight in the dance world. And my concern is even if she takes some dance classes for a year or does the dance team, she will lose the enormous growth she has achieved this year. So her wanting to go back to NY or audition for another college dance program may not be in the cards for Fall 2012.


She said if she can't dance in some way in college she would not want to go. Anyway, she comes home Saturday for her spring break and a decision will be made soon...

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  • 1 month later...

Hello! Thought I’d do a post for those arranging to come to Orientation in July! Love to know what session you and your DKs are coming to!


Just wanted to share that I found the Courtyard Marriott in Rye has a special, all-the-time rate for SUNY Purchase parents that is cheaper than the special rate the school has arranged for Orientation! When you call just ask for the PURCHASE RATE, not the special orientation rate! This hotel is close by AND has free parking, which at least some of the ones in White Plains do NOT! :)

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  • 1 month later...

So I'm wondering if anyone has any input on orientation and roommates specifically! DD had planned on the 2nd Orientation session (early July) but we have now switched to the one just before classes start! She is having such a great and intense time at her nearby SI that our original plan of missing 2 days of the SI to go to orientation has been scrapped. She was so stressed about having to miss ANYTHING! Which is great and I'm glad. Should be fine to do the last orientation.


So she now has several on-line dancer friends entering the Freshman class. Should I encourage her to arrange now and see if one wants to room together? 2kids (or anyone), do you have any advice on the best rooming situation to request? DD is very social and easygoing, but I was thinking she'd get a feel for what her preferences would be at Orientation but now she'll have to figure that out beforehand! She did request "Wellness" and thought that sounded like a good arrangement.


Anything else we should be thinking of now, now that her orientation is going to be just before the start of classes? Appreciate any input I can pass along! I hope everyone's summers are going great!



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  • 1 month later...

Hi I'm going to be a sophomore here at SUNY Purchase and last year I roomed with 2 other dancers in one of the freshman dorms. Because dancers at SUNY have such strange and long hours compared to the rest of the school rooming with other dancers was the perfect fit for me. Hope your DD is having a great time at orientation and can't wait to meet them!

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Thanks, Gracefulswan211!!! Dd is set now on the rooming, she actually lucked out and got a room in an upperclassman dorm, partly I think because we got her deposit in very early, and partly because she did request the "Wellness" program.. So we're heading down with all her stuff tomorrow after work!!!! She'll be in the orientation Friday and Saturday, and I THINK moving in Saturday. She is super excited as am I!


I'm glad you feel it works well to room with another dancer, because she did end up with that! Someone she's gotten to know a bit online, so... Here we go!! So glad to have a Purchase dance student on Ballet Talk!!!!!! Hope you have a fabulous year!! Keep the BT posts coming if you can!!!

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It is posted on the Purchase website today that all classes are cancelled on Monday, August 29 due to Hurricane Irene. Check your Purchase email concerning moving into campus housing - they are advising holding off moving in over the weekend due to possible power outages (according to my daughter who is a current student).

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