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Guest hesterlover1

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Guest hesterlover1

Hey, it's Katie-

 

I'm not sure where this would even belong anymore...so of course, feel free to move it! I haven't been here in ages, and the boards look great! Way to go, everyone who is involved in maintaining and running the site!

 

I just wanted to write a little update, as to whatever happened to me. I'm now a freshman in college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I decided that I didn't want to pursue a career in ballet, but I could never give up dancing--it's far too important to me and such a part of who I am! When I applied to schools, I looked for a place where I could take advanced classes without being a major. For a while, I did consider going to Butler and being a double major, because I got into the program :), but I decided it wasn't right for me. Plus, UMass gave me a full ride (for being a National Merit Scholar)--quite the incentive!

 

I'm officially a pre-journalism major, though I definitely plan to double major in English or Psychology or Political Science or something else as well... And right now, I'm taking ballet class 4 days a week for almost 2 hours--I've worked it into my schedule of classes--2 days a week on pointe. The ballet teacher here is very good--my teacher at home warned me that college ballet teachers would only GIVE class, not teach, but I've found Ken Lipitz to be a good TEACHER. I hope to take classes at Smith sometime, because I've heard the ballet teacher there is excellent, and I've witnessed some very noticeable improvement in the Smith dancer who takes class with me. In later semesters, I also want to get involved in University Dancers, the company made up of 5 college students. They're doing Serenade this semester, and they do at least one ballet every semester... it's definitely something I want to try while I'm here. I hope I can take modern or jazz at some point, too, just for fun and to try something new.

 

And for me, this is good. I have room to do everything else I love (including marching band, believe it or not! talk about busy), and I can still work hard and DANCE! It was really hard finding a school where ballet would work even if it wasn't my only focus, but I want to encourage anyone who's looking at colleges and doesn't want to go pro to just work hard to find ballet. I'm still performing when I go home, too, as a Snow Queen at another studio. And actually, coming to a new place has really revitalized and reinspired me--I feel like I'm working harder! I also had a break this summer for the first time since I was 12--instead of going to an intensive, I went to China with a group of 12 Presidential Scholars for a student leader exchange. It was really a once in a lifetime opportunity and I learned SOOO much--and having more experiences invariably is good for your dancing, in my opinion! But anyway--I'm really happy dancing here, and I love UMass. (Plus, I'm close enough to go to New York for a weekend! :D)

 

I remember that I used to post here pretty much every day in 8th or 9th grade, until I got way too busy... but Ballet Talk taught me SOOOO much about ballet and dance in general and being an informed consumer of information. Being connected with dancers all over the country and the world who I could learn from--and dancers of all types, from extremely serious to totally recreational--was really cool. Talking to one of the posters to the site also helped me decide on UMass--she was able to give me a lot of information about the dance department that assured me I could dance here and be challenged, stuff I couldn't have known from brochures, and I'm so glad Ballet Talk facilitated that connection! Now we take class together and she's awesome.

 

So yeah...I just wanted to thank Victoria Leigh and Mel and everyone else who's helped me out over the years. :) And to tell you that Krista (ScottieGDE13) and I are still friends--though the emails are less frequent than they used to be--I sent her a scarf for Christmas! :) She's at TCU. So I thank Ballet Talk for that as well.

 

If anyone has any questions about the Five College dance program, feel free to ask me! Thanks so much for everything!

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  • Administrators

How lovely to hear from you again, Katie!!! :) Thank you for updating us on your college life, and of course we are very happy to hear that you are still dancing a lot! Thank you for the good words about Ballet Alert! Online too. It's really great to know that we were helpful, and that contacts and friendships resulted from participation here. Please do keep us informed on your new life every once in a while. :):)

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Heck, if you're going to say nice things like that about us, tell us what you think as often as you like! :)

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Knock, knock - Wow!

 

What a wonderful post to see first thing on this October monring! Katie/hesterlover1 - you are an inspiration! Your happiness and excitement just jumps off this page. I have no doubt that your taking the time to come back on here and give everyone an update will make its mark on all who read this thread.

 

Congratulations! :):) And, please, do report back when you have a free moment. :)

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Yes, thank you Katie! Glad to hear you are doing so well. I'm going to make sure my DD sees your post, as she will be entering college search mode soon. :)

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Katie, thank you for a wonderful post. I’m going to print your post and have my DD read it today during our commute to class. Your ingenuity in combining college and dance serves a model for other young dancers.

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Guest hesterlover1

Wow... it's nice to see all the replies! I'm glad my post was helpful and inspirational to people.

 

As for the whole college search thing, I'd be wayyyy more than happy to help if anyone needs it. It's crazy and a pain, but I feel now like it was all worth it... for all the essays I wrote that went to universities I didn't end up liking or where I couldn't have danced or who didn't offer me money, there was one in there that got me my scholarship and got me here. :wink: And at the time, I felt like I was making a life-and-death decision, and if I messed up I'd be in big trouble... but really, I think you learn to love wherever you are, and I also firmly believe that you don't need to be at the most prestigious school or dance program to do well--you just have to take advantage of everything that's there, something I'm still in the process of figuring out how to do!

 

Anyway... once again, I'm really glad to say thanks for everything! Really, the work Ms. Leigh and Mel do here, and all the other moderators and frequent posters, is amazing... I wasn't trained by Ballet Talk, but this is where I found a LOT of my perspective and knowledge and connections. And to think of all the hours others must've spent responding to my questions and ideas... That deserves far more than just a thank you! :thumbsup:

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Hi, Katie! Thalnk you so much for letting us know what you're doing now, and for all your kind words. You were a HUGE part of this board, and we miss you! We often have people who post a lot in 8th or 9th grade and then disappear when schoolwork, dancing and life make more demands on their time and attention, but we always wonder about them. So it's wonderful to know that you're in college, and still dancing -- and have such a clear grasp of what you want to do and how to get there. Brava!!!

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I've been looking for a post like yours for a long time!!! I'm a junior in high school and I do want to go to college and dance (I've done nothing else since I was 5), but I don't want to go pro or even major in dance. When you were doing your college searches did you find that for the most part you have to major in dance to participate in high level classes and dance in that university's company? I really want to keep dancing AND performing!!!!! But I'm a really good student and want to major in something that will take me far in life! But I've had trouble finding answers to the question, "do I have to major in dance to take classes and perform?". I like the idea of Indiana and Utah. But I know they are really known for dance so I'm thinking that it wouldn't work for me unless I major. Any help I would greatly appreciate!!!!!!!

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