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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Thanks for the great information Mackie and Kiwidancer! That is super helpful to get an idea of what life looks like at U of A. My dancer is used to dancing whenever she isn't sleeping or studying so I'm glad to hear that the schedule is (or can be) intense. My daughter auditioned in class on Thursday and Friday and had the opportunity to watch the dancers perform last Thursday night. She and my husband were very impressed with the quality of dancing.

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Mackie and Kiwidancer - couple more questions. What dormitories did your dancers live in? I'm hearing that Manzanita is popular with the dancers but thought I would check to see your experiences? Also, when is student orientation? We are out of state so I'm just trying to figure out if this a separate trip we will need to make prior to the actual start of Fall semester.

 

Thank you ladies!

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Hauke3211 we are doing the Seattle Orientation April 25th. There are 4 out of state and the rest are all on campus in May and June. Does anyone know if parents need to join for the orientation? It's $210 more for the parent to attend. Thank you!

Edited by Blaird98
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Thank you Blaird98 - where did you find that info out? That's great that they have the orientation in Seattle. We live in Portland so that is an easy trip - although I feel like there is a dance competition that weekend. We haven't actually committed to the school although I'm expecting to do so within a couple of weeks. I'm guessing more information comes out when we actually sign.

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I didn't go to orientation. Some parents did,But A Lot Did not. They set up their frosh schedule ,but Melissa Lowe told DD not to,because of dance schedule. They also get their student ID and other general university information.

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Hauke3211 When you pay the enrollment fee you can then move on and register for an orientation. I wasn't sure if you need to do an orientation in Arizona to work out the dance schedule or if it's fine to do the Seattle one. By any chance is your daughter at Jump Portland this weekend? I was watching friends on the webcast and recognize the last name from one of the solos I watched. My daughter did competitions around Portland/Seattle for years and now dances at PNB :-)

Edited by Blaird98
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Yes Blaird 98, my daughter is at JUMP this weekend! Small world! I was wondering the same thing - about orientations. I guess we will need to figure that out. Kinda sounds like we will need to do the Arizona orientation?

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Hauke3211 I am going to call Monday and ask which orientation is better for the dance program kids to attend. I'll let you know! Seattle would certainly be easier! I think I do remember your daughter...her solo was beautiful! She was a few numbers before our Westlake friends. I'll have to ask my daughter if she knows her from competitions in the past:-).

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hauke3211 and Blaird98,

 

Dance students stay in many different dorms across campus, although Manzanita is considered the arts dorm because it it located near many of the arts buildings. However, as you know, it is on the opposite side of campus from the dance building! My DD decided to stay in Yuma, one of honor's dorm (you must be the the honor's program to stay there). She wanted a quiet place for sleeping and studying; it has worked out very well for her. Many of her freshman dance friends are spread out across campus in many different dorms. I actually don't think that any of her friends are staying in Manzanita this year.

 

I did attend the on-campus orientation over Memorial Day weekend with my DD, because none of the regional sites were close to us. It was another expense, but I was very glad that we attended the session in Tucson. It gave us a chance to really get to know our way around the very large UA campus, we both got to meet with Melissa Lowe, and the sessions for "parents only" were very, very useful.

 

Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Mackie- can you tell us a little more about the Honors Program your DD is doing and how does one begin that route? Is it possible to double major in a science area or will labs conflict with rehearsals or dance classes? Thanks!

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Sheahuang- My DD feels that she made the right decision to join the honors program at UA. You must apply to be accepted into the program, and it is fairly competitive (based on HS GPA, test scores, HS activities/honors, and a written essay). If I remember correctly, she applied for the program when she applied for admission to the university. The student is required to take six honor's designated credits per academic year to remain in the program. You can petition to have regular courses count for honor's credit. The professor must agree to it, and then the student is assigned extra work (often times it is a research paper). DD did this with her dance history course last semester. You must also maintain a certain GPA. All freshman in the program read a book over the summer and then they also sign up for a 1 credit honor's course first semester based on their interests.

 

One of the big advantages is that honor's freshman are allowed to enroll as a senior. This has been very helpful for my DD. She is a dance/neuroscience dual major and being able to enroll early is the only reason her schedule has worked! Both semesters she has only been able to fit one lab section (of many offered) into her dance schedule. The dance schedule is insanely busy if your DD gets cast a lot, so there are very few spots where one can fit in a lab. The day senior class registration opens, she literally wakes up early and pulls up the lab section she wants, and waits with her finger on the "enroll button" to be sure she gets the one and only section that will work for her! She chose UA because the dual major is possible, although it is by no means easy! She has been very, very busy and stressed out this year, although I think she is beginning to get used to the pace. Excellent time management skills are a must! Although she has always been good with time management (most dancers are!), this year she has really had to work even harder to manage her time effectively.

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Mackie and Kiwidancer - and any other mother's of dancers, can you elaborate on what types of special opportunites come up for the dancers within the school year. Do they bring in guest teachers for master classes? Opportunities to travel abroad for performances?

Amything you can elaborate on in regard to additional dance opportunities would be very helpful as we make our final decision.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hauke3211 - One of DD's classmates had the opportunity to travel with the school of dance maybe three or four years ago. That's the last time that they went abroad. But I believe there are yearly opportunities where they take a small set of dancers to perform outside of Tucson. I get the sense that those opportunities exist, but are few and far between.

 

As for guest teachers, the dancers have opportunities to take classes from visiting companies. I remember the now defunct Cedar Lake visiting and giving a Master Class and there is currently a group in residence from Israel teaching classes. There have been others, I just can't remember them.

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Hauke3211, Sorry for not seeing this earlier. My DD stays in Rawl-Eller. It is very close to the Dance building. It has no other dancers for some reason.It is not a party dorm at all.It has the lowest amount of police calls for drugs and alcoholproblems, it was a frat that was shut down and turned into a dorm in 2014. DD is getting a house next year with 2 other dancers. Many frosh live off campus as well.

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Last year, during winter break faculty took a group of available students to Mexico to perform. Men in The all-male Limon piece performed at NYC Joyce Center Limon Festival this last fall. Two upper classmen traveled to Europe with Sam Watson last summer. I do not know how they were chosen. I would say the traveling to perform options are limited at UA. DD has done masterclasses. Let's see if I can recall...Jazz in AZ, the annual Fall Jazz Showcase brings in a plethora of Masterclasses by Nan Giordano, Stacey Tookey, Alex Magno, Sherry Zunker, Richard Havey.

 

"UA Present" brings in professional companies for the various performing arts to perform and often the AD or company member will hold a masterclass.Forgive my not recalling the names of the Guest Faculty,but DD attended masterclass by Body Traffic Contemp from LA, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tucson Ballet.

Auditions are held at UA as well ,professional and summer intensives, Urbanity Contemporary Dance from Boston, Lines, Cirque de Soleil, various Cruise Lines, various Musical Theater type auditions,

Off the top of my head that is what I recall these past 2 years.

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