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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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DD does not know it but she was accepted to the University today. (I checked online which she never does). DH and I decided not to tell her and let her wait to get the big envelope in the mail. No word from the dance department yet. I thought they said 6 weeks but when I looked online they said December for dance notifications.

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Hi, I'm a prospective HS senior with a competition background but have a good ballet background and have gone to some SI's. I'm looking at AZ for a minor in dance with a classical ballet focus because although I have advanced training in jazz & some training in modern, I'm not interested in pursuing them at a college level. I'm wondering if I would be able to take advanced ballet classes at least four times a week, what the performance opportunities look like for minors, how many jazz/modern classes minors have to taken & if most of the students are from more conservatory or competition backgrounds. Thanks!

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Veghead, are you a current HS senior who is looking into college dance programs for next year? If so, I'm afraid you're going about your search the wrong way as you'd be rather late to the search process and have a lot of catching up to do. Most of your questions - both here and on the University of Iowa thread - can be answered by going to the colleges' web sites. You need to be poring through those sites, devouring everything possible, and then for the sake of efficiency and accuracy, emailing your follow-up questions directly to the program heads.

 

Entrance as an Undergraduate Dance Minor at UofA is briefly explained here. I'll admit, their online catalog is not easy to use to figure out the requirements of a ballet minor, but one can work it out by referencing different parts. The minimum 21 credits is comprised of:

 

1. Core Curriculum (10 credits):

DNC 143 – Improvisation - 1 credit

DNC 200 – History of Dance – 3 credits

DNC 400 – Dance and Culture – 3 credits

DNC 455 – Biomechanics for Dancers – 3 credits

 

2. Technique Options

Then 2 courses in your dance style – ballet, modern or jazz – at either the 300 or 400 level: total 4 credits

(for Ballet, either 340A and 340B, or 440A and 440B)

 

3. Dance Composition

DNC 243 – Creating with Movement and Rhythms – 2 credits

 

4. “Performance” classes listed for your style, for a minimum of 5 credits

(Ballet lists the following classes to select from:

239A Beginning Ballet Pointe – 1 credit

239B Beginning Ballet Pointe – 1 credit

301A Fletcher Pilates Mat Class I – 1 credit

302 Dance Injury Prevention – 1 credit

343 Dance Ensemble – 1-3 credits

439A Advanced Pointe Technique -1 credit

439B Advanced Pointe Technique – 1 credit

440A Ballet Technique III – 2 credits

440B Ballet Technique III – 2 credits

451B Ballet Repertoire – 2 credits

 

Performance opportunities are the same as for dance majors: you audition and see whether you get cast. It is possible to never get cast in a faculty/guest piece. But dance minors are in high demand to fill out student choreography pieces.

 

At UofA, it is "possible" for ballet minors to get ballet classes 4 times a week, but they'd need to be placed at least at the Ballet II level and then have room in their schedule to take both Ballet I and Ballet II on alternate days. It is very rare for first year students to be placed into Ballet III. And, as the web site states, there are limited positions for dance minors.

 

On the whole, I'd say most of the UofA dancers have been classically trained at pre-professional ballet schools. But given their ability to attract top jazz dancers as well, their jazz training would span the spectrum of dance studios.

 

May I suggest that you post a more general topic under Higher Education General Discussion or even Cross Talk to describe what you're actually looking for in a college dance program and what you're hoping to do with your training? Your "interests" in your profile suggest that you're looking at some of the top ballet programs, yet you're only looking to minor in ballet? Given your question on the UofOK thread, I'm wondering whether you might also wish to look into programs such as Swarthmore or Smith. With your competition training, the top ballet programs are going to be a long reach for you, especially if this is for next year.

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I've been searching for programs for over a year but have had setbacks with ankle surgery gone wrong & newfound hip problems. I'm looking at majoring at OK & UT in addition to looking at minoring at IA or AZ. I've talked to my instructor who has sent students to Julliard, Fordham, UT, NYU, Purchase, Chapman, IA, Smith & UCI, & she recommended OK & IA for me. I take multiple ballet/pointe classes/wk & have been training like I'm going to audition in Jan/Feb. I'm only putting it off because I was off pointe for 9 months last year & would like to be at my best for auditions. I have called AZ & visited their website multiple times.

 

With only 9 actual studio credits, would I be able to take a ballet class for 8 semesters as a minor?

 

Thanks!

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You're getting in the realm of theoretical, now. Taking ballet four days a week for 8 semesters and asking about performance opportunities is basically saying you're looking to double major in dance. The logistics are daunting and rarely can be surmounted without taking academic classes over the summer.

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I agree with Pierrette, if you're looking to take ballet 4 days per week for 8 semesters and you're looking for performance opportunities, you're probably describing a double major in dance. Many UA dance students are double majors, including my DD. But, she takes at least 19 to 21 credits per semester and does have to take summer classes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Mackie and lovemydancers. My DD is excited though we have not heard from the dance program. Has anyone heard from either the September audition or the jazz festival audition?

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Still no word here from the 9/21 audition. They said it would be December but it sure would be nice to hear something sooner. I will post when DD hears anything.

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Daughter received 2 page rejection letter today from U of A. They said they are only taking 25-30 BFA dancers out of approximately 450 auditioning.

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Sorry for your DD, cnemama. We are mentally prepared but haven't gotten results yet. It's an impressive program, for sure but one in so many. Best of luck to your daughter finding her perfect fit! Now we stalk the mailman.

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