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Little Pointe Bird

Thanks 3ElizaJane for the thorough review. My DD was just accepted and I'm looking for as much first hand information as possible. That was a great start. Am wondering if either of the Anya's decided to go and might have insight as well. 

Does anyone have any insight into how many students choose to take the company route vs. college dance program? The website info is old. Does the program assist or nurture the students in selecting the best route for them based on their dance strength?

Does the school host auditions for SIs there or would a student need to manage their own video auditions? 

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3elizajane

Sorry I missed your question!  My guess is it would be hard for Nutmeg to give out stats for where their dancers go because they have a contingent of local day students who have been dancing since they were 5 to 8 years old but have no intention of ever being a professional (Nutmeg was just a studio convenient to their home). They have resident students who arrive sometime in high school with the hope of a professional career (by way of college first or straight into a company in some capacity) and they have students who show up after they have already completed high school, strictly for their pre-professional program.  Typical pre-professional dancers leave and go straight to companies in their trainee/apprentice/studio companies.  From what I remember of last year‘s graduates (high school and pre-pro) that wanted to go on in Ballet –one is with Milwaukee ballet, and one went to University of Utah (She wants a degree and wants to dance) and one is at San Francisco ballet in their school’s top level . My daughter’s roommate from last year is already dancing with Washington ballet and she is still a senior this year (She left before her senior year).  My daughter's roommate this year is not sure what she wants to do after this year (stay for a second year or move forward) and is auditioning for companies and two of her friends are looking at Cincinnati ballet – they already have a connection there and look forward to hopefully joining the company.  

My daughter has met with her teachers about colleges/universities – they suggested to her she was already ready for a company but she definitely doesn’t feel ready (in an emotional ready to be out there on her own in the big world kind of way) and she wants to go to college.  So – she is presently deciding between three dance programs that have a decent track record for producing professionals that she auditioned for and was invited into their program (Univ. of Oklahoma, Butler and Univ. of Utah). Two other upcoming May graduates don’t want to dance professionally and they’ve already been accepted to Columbia and Dartmouth. One of the day students that wants college and isn't 100% sure about being a professional was accepted into the Ballet programs at (I think) Utah and Cincinnati (CCM).  Two other recent graduates (not the ones listed above from last year) who went the college route went to Univ. of Oklahoma (1) and Utah (1).   Other recent grads (unsure if  high school grads or pre-pro grads) are now dancing with Arizona, Colorado, Boston, Momix, ARB, Miami, Richmond, Charlotte, Ruth Page, and Pittsburg Ballet Theater.  Remember- some “graduate” as a senior in high school but other dancers don’t even show up until after high school because they don’t feel they are quite ready (and obviously don’t want to go the college route) and attend for one or two years as a pre-professional.

The school does host some auditions but dancers also go to Boston and NYC for auditions and/or submit video auditions.  My daughter has done all the different ways!

I have no idea about the percentage of dancers (who want to go on) taking a company route vs. the college route.  I can say that the teachers listened to what my daughter expressed as her desire and supported her.  They told her they thought she was ready but didn't try to change her mind (don't know if this is good or bad).

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Little Pointe Bird

Thanks once again, 3Elizajane. Your insight confirmed what I was hoping, simply that they're thoughtful about the support given and nurture the students in a direction. My daughter is leaving an environment where she's had a very nurturing mentor and I'm hoping she'll land somewhere she'll feel as confident in the guidance.  I had a feeling video auditions would likely be the case for SIs, but I can see that Boston or NYC may be close enough.  If a few hours is considered close.  Your answers are very timely. We're making a trip to Nutmeg tomorrow so she can get a feel for things.  Thank you so much!!

Last question, a e the residential students relatively close? Torrington seems pretty small and I wonder what type of lives the dancers have outside of their studies - though that's clearly not a huge swath of time.

 

 

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3elizajane

Hope your visit went well!  My daughter is on the quiet side and is a bit more studious (she takes AP classes, etc. with her online coursework) so maybe spends more time studying BUT she has never complained about things to do.  Ms. Karen will take them shopping (they call them "van runs") to farther locations such as grocery, Target, and Panera, and other stores, restaurants, and coffeehouse are within walking distance.  My daughter has had great roommates each year and in general, the resident students find a group of buddies.  If they become friends with day students, there can be sleepovers in the dorms and at their homes (my daughter does this).  The students have an activity council of some sort that also occasionally plans outings/activities. They (the adults) are pretty open to allowing the students to plan whatever, based on interests.  There is a parents council that does some fundraising so there is $$$ for the activities. In the fall they had some type of harvest farm/hay ride activity (embarrassed I don't remember-my daughter is on the planning committee), they went to an amusement park, they had a winter dance, and last year they had a spring dinner out.  Last weekend, they all took a bus and attended the Boston Ballet where they saw the new Forsythe production.  Afterwords all the dancers got to meet Mr. Forsythe and the AD of the Boston Ballet since Nutmeg's AD knows them (used to dance with them).  They also watched on stage a Nutmeg alum dance one of the roles in the production (and chatted with him after, as well).

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Little Pointe Bird

The visit went very well.  I'm sure I probably saw your daughter, as we arrived during the class time and peeked into the room. Everything you mentioned above was brought up, at some point, during our visit. So, it was funny to read about it. You laid out some of the exact same points. 😃

Thank you again. Your insight has been very helpful and reinforced what I've heard and seen with my own eyes. It seems like a very nurturing environment. I really like that they value ensuring they balance out the technique with significant performance opportunities. My daughter is coming from an environment very similar so it wouldn't be an adjustment at all. 

We have one last school visit next week and then it's decision time. 

 

 

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3elizajane

Pretty funny I shared the same things--being so far away, I wonder how "In the know" I am....but apparently my daughter has kept me fairly up to speed!  When I spoke with my daughter last night I asked her if someone was visiting and she said she saw you.  She was surprised your daughter didn't stay to take a class.  Good luck with your decisions-I know it can be hard.  I guess we should be thankful we have options to even choose from!  I'll try to watch my emails more closely in case you have any further questions.😊

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Little Pointe Bird

Oh no she definitely took a class. But she's 14 so she took the class with that level. She was annoyed because we had to catch our flight back, so she was only able to take barre. She kept asking was I sure she couldn't stay for center work. We didn't want to push it since our flight was at 6:30 and we had no idea if we'd run into any traffic...at least traffic by Torrington standards. She enjoyed the class, said she loved how technical it was. She admitted that every now and then she'd get distracted by how lovely the huge windows were and how much light they let in. 

Her one con is she had expected live accompaniment and was really disappointed that wasn't the case. Otherwise her words were - I can see myself there. So that's high regard.

And sounds like you're very much in the know. Which also gives me hope that my daughter will continue to share those kind of things. One thing I'll miss, when sending her off, is our ballet talk and just being very in touch with her experiences.

 

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3elizajane

I thought they had live accompaniment at least some of the time so I asked my daughter.  According to her they "frequently" have live accompaniment. 

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Little Pointe Bird

Thank you. I'l pass that along. I think it will have an impact.

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3elizajane

I asked for clarification between her classes.  They have "always" had "Mr. Wallace" playing for them on certain days but now Ms. Limoli's husband is now also playing at other times.  I read an article about Ms. Limoli's hubby joining and found it for you. https://nutmegconservatory.org/acclaimed-dance-music-duo-join-nutmeg-for-its-50th-year/?fbclid=IwAR3QUQVtnJUcWnKJZX6XIH3_xL9W-KtHhjV_pgQF7qPELutdwi7s5jCKFaE

Denise Limoli sets pieces frequently enough with the older level that I recognized her name (and thought she was already there part time) but now, after reading the article, I can appreciate what a gift both are, coming back to Nutmeg.

Last year and again this year during their spring performances, the dancers will be performing an original work accompanied by a live jazz ensemble.  Since this is my daughters second year, I don't know if this is standard or just something they are trying out.  

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fuddyduddy

My daughter will be attending Nutmeg as a freshman starting in the fall. Was wondering if there was a less formal way to chat with other residential parents. I don’t think BTFD allows posting of outside groups, but if someone knows of a Facebook group or other option, I’d love to have someone send me a private message about it. Thanks! 

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KissaKay

Fuddyduddy,

Did you ever find a less formal way to connect?  We are trying to make a last minute decision and would love this too! 

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3elizajane

Hi Fuddyduddy and KissaKay- sorry I didn’t see the summer post earlier. I am unaware of any outside group of Nutmeg parents. There could be.... If you would like to start one, that could potentially be a valuable tool for present parents. I could try to get a few graduate parents on there if desired. KissaKay- my daughter graduated from Nutmeg last year -she was a resident for only her junior and senior years of high school. If I could possibly be of help, I’m more than willing to answer questions.  

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Little Pointe Bird

Thanks, 3elizajane. You gave me a lot of very helpful information earlier about Nutmeg. How do current Nutmeg parents communicate? Or does it all go through a school-led forum?

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fuddyduddy

KissaKay, I’d be happy to start such a group. You don’t think the school would mind, do you? 

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