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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Mackie - DD took most of her summer classes at our local junior college (as glissade_jete suggested). However, she did stay one summer session at UA to take a class or two that she couldn't take at home. If I remember correctly, the Dance department was pretty much shut down during that time, so she didn't have the opportunity to dance then. However, she had time after her summer session to pick up a late summer intensive that year, so it all worked out. She has also taken a number of online classes during the summer and winter sessions.


I agree, a Dance degree in 3 years is completely doable at UA and DD has a few friends who have done so.

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I see in some posts from a few years ago that there is no pointe at the UA audition. Can anyone comment on whether this is still true? There was no mention of pointe on the UA website regarding the auditions, so it seems they don't, but I was hoping to confirm. Thanks!

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Can I ask - when do the kids do these auditions? Or, when are the auditions held? Do they audition the tale end of their junior year? Or in the fall of their senior year? Or in January of their senior year? Seems most seniors know where they are headed for college as early as January.

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Students audition during their senior year. The year my DD auditioned there were three audition dates. She did the earliest audition in mid-September. The other two auditions were in October (also their Jazz Showcase weekend) and January. In order to be considered for a merit scholarship the student must submit a scholarship DVD in addition to attending a live audition.

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My DD just returned from the weekend audition at the University of Arizona. Below are a few of the notes that I took during the parent

Q&A after the audition and comments from my daughter. Good Luck to all that attended and here's hoping that the staff picks the most qualified.



My DD was super impressed with the students leading the classes, she was amazed at their level of talent.

I had asked if the audition was fun, she said "No", because after you learned a routine, you had one shot to perform it and then waited

45 minutes until your next chance. Yes, she understands why it's this way with the staff having to evaluate over 145 students and be

able to give everyone a serious look. It's just the nature of an audition this size. I don't think it was her performance that she was

unhappy with, it was the waiting. The girl has got to "move". I tried to explain to her that the audition and the dance school are two

totally different things and don't cloud your opinion of the school by the size of the audition.


I was impressed by the staff and could tell that they take their art/job seriously and were very professional at the audition. Yes, they

want all of the dancers to succeed, but they only have room to accept so many.




Auditions (about 400 total applicants spread over 3 dates, 2 fall, 1 spring)

at our audition there were about 145 dancers.

The day consisted of a ballet, modern and jazz performance.

Checkin was a 10:30, the audition started at 12:00 and finished up a little later than normal after 4:00

Looking for a class of about 30 (equal to same number of students that graduate)

don’t want to grow the school any more. (125-130 undergrads)

To get 30 students in Freshman class, will have to send out acceptances to about 50.

Some offers have already gone out (~12) as well as some maybes.

The judges for the audition were 7-staff members from all disciplines

“We are shopping for talent”

It was communicated that the staff has been doing evaluations for a long time and can easily tell who can pass the grade.

They realize that all dancers offered admittance will not come, so they hope to entice those with dance scholarships.

Video link that is used for scholarships is “required”.

Used for bubble applicants to break ties in case the staff is not in agreement.


Acceptance letters sent out within a month.

Dance minors exist but there are very few, 7-8 students in one particular style

Can only minor in dance if the school gives you that option

Double Majors are possible

Non-major classes are taught by grad students

Students on the wait-list will have to wait until May 1st for possible acceptance


Performances (45 performances / year)

-Faculty performances collaborated with guest artists

-student concerts

-Travel to Europe for festivals

-”last chance to dance”


My other notes were from the admissions director which dealt with the university admissions process.

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My DD was at that audition too and was very disappointed and frustrated that the majority of time was spent standing in a corner, told not to move. She got cold and felt that the dancers did not get sufficient opportunity to be seen. She also felt that by the time they got to jazz, it was very rushed - hurriedly learning one combination, do it once and done. We were very disappointed with this audition experience. My sense was that they were unprepared for such a crowd and should have altered the format once they knew they had so many. DD was particularly disappointed that they scrapped an idea to do a complex petite allegro because it would be too hard to teach it to so many and opted for simple chainments instead. We were not impressed. I feel like it was a waste of time and money. It was a big trip for us and I would have expected an opportunity for the dancers to dance.

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Does anyone have any info about where dance alumni are now? I can't seem to find this on the website.

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Circling back.........my dancer got a phone call today from Melissa Lowe, she is accepted into the dance program!! My daughter originally attended the Jazz showcase audition, got a partial acceptance and returned for an audition last week. So excited that she has the opportunity to dance in this amazing program!

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hauke3211- Congratulations to your dancer! She will love the program!


Carlyeeeeee- My DD is just a freshman, so I don't know where all of the recent graduates found work, but these are just a few of of the places you can find UofA graduates: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Wonderbound-formerly Ballet Nouveau, Rochester City Ballet, River North Dance Chicago, Ballet Austin II, SMUIN Ballet and cruise ship work. I'm sure there are many others as well, but perhaps someone else has more information.

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Mackie - can you give me a rundown of a typical Freshman schedule? I would be really interested to know how much dancing our kids are going to be doing each day. Thank you!!

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DD, a Sophomore, said there was one ballet focused student that graduated last year. She is now at a Jazz Dance Company in Virginia,apparently wanted to dance a different style professionally. Last year's graduates are at Cirque de Soleil Beatles, Las Vegas, Visceral Chicago, Inaside Chicago, Mosaic Dance Project Miami, FL, MET Dance Houston, Tx,Trendsetters Dance TX, Las Vegas Wynn Dancer.


DD has ballet everyday, pointe 3x/week, rep class 2x/week, jazz or modern 3x/week. Frosh year she took jazz and modern, but academic scheduling didn't allow her to take both this year. DD has been casted in quite a few pieces and the rehearsals keep her very busy. She is also choreographing a piece for student showcase. She dances about 6+ hours a day. Rehearsals could take place on weekends as well. If one is participating in thr student choreography showcase and/or the MFA grad pieces, those rehearse weekends usually.

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hauke3211... Melissa Lowe,, the ballet director, helped my daughter create her frosh schedule. DD said she wanted ballet everyday and pointe as much as possible. A jazz or modern focused student would put together a different schedule. I watched the shows this weekend and I would say DD has progressed and matured as a dancer since beginning this program. Am very pleased. DD gets casted quite a bit so lots of dancing opportunity for her.The Antique Epigraphs piece with NYC ballet répétiteur that set and periodically rehearsed the piece,was particularly a growing experience for DD.

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When your DD attends orientation this summer, Melissa Lowe will help your daughter create her schedule. She will be placed in ballet/pointe, jazz, and modern classes based on her audition she took for admission into the program. There are three levels for each genre (200, 300, and 400). Some study each genre every semester, while others take as much as they can fit in their schedule. There is a required tech/production course that they encourage freshman to get out of the way their first year. It involves working behind the scenes for the shows (curtain, lights, etc.) My DD could not fit it in this year, so she will have to take it another time. Typically, the first year student will take dance history both semesters, and an improvisation class in the fall. This semester DD also has a required class that everyone calls "clap class", that deals with music and rhythm. It is a required dance course taught by a professor from the musical theater area, I believe. The rest of her schedule would be filled in with general university requirements.


My husband and I also just returned from seeing the Color Wheel production this past weekend. Both my DD and kiwiwdancer's DD were soloists in Antique Epigraphs. It was truly a mesmerizing, professional quality performance. It was also a wonderful opportunity for the students to get to work with a former soloist of NYCB.


Let me know if you have any other questions, and I will be happy to try to answer them!

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