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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Both of my sons attended the University of Arizona; one an Engineering major and the other a Business major. The gen ed classes are extremely large lecture classes and in many cases taught by TA. Many had 300-500 students in one lecture hall. One of the problems my sons encountered were that many times the TAs were foreign born with heavily accented English. A bit hard to decipher especially if they were having problems understanding a concept.

 

But the Freshman comp classes did have only 30 students max in a section and received individual attention in their writing skills. There are also some Freshman colloquial classes that are purposefully smaller to give students a sense of community. But they tend to fill up quickly and most Freshman are left without that option. And they usually don't fulfil the gen ed requirements.

 

The University also has great resources for Freshman students that encounter problems or are struggling but the student must initiate the process of getting help/assistance. My sons (being clueless when they first went) didn't utilize these services but they are readily available.

 

The U of A is an excellent school but your child needs to be able to handle the size of the student body!

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I have similar info as temps de cuisse from my daughter, a sophmore. Her freshman English had about twenty kids both semesters. Luckily for her, she had AP credits and was able to CLEP out of first year Spanish and is avoiding several of the huge Gen Ed classes. Not sure if this would apply to your daughter, but I know U of A website has the listing of AP scores accepted and as I remember it is quite generous. Also, if you have enough credits before hand, during the second semester you can register as an upperclassman and get a better selection of courses. My daughter also used the "writing center" for almost every paper she did and this was another way to get a bit more attention.

We live in the east and since we were going to be so far away, I attended the orientation for incoming students/parents. They have a very comprehensive program for parents, many sessions separate from the kids. I picked up alot of useful information about the available resources to help the transition. The school is huge, but the dancers of all classes get to know each other very early on and this makes it alot less overwhelming.

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  • 3 months later...

Does anyone know if university of arizona offers pointe classes? Also, could anyone give me a sample weekly schedule? The information on this thread has been very helpful and is much appreciated! :)

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Luvpointe7, have you explored the University's website for the Dance program? According to their website, they offer two levels of pointe: University of Arizona Ballet Dept.

 

If you click on the DNC--Dance Courses link on that page, you will find a listing of the actual course offerings for this semester.

 

When researching the various programs, do check out their websites for information. :clapping: The threads on BT4D serve as additional information, but the school's website is the official information and will provide a good overview of the program and offerings.

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  • 1 month later...

Congratulations! What wonderful news. Would you be willing to share info regarding your daughter's training? Number of hours/week in the preceding your or so, SI's, and how much modern or jazz?

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Sorry! My daughter had signed in on my account, and I hadn't realized -- I actually asked the question above, not my teen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

DD was also accepted to U of A. She auditioned in February and was wait listed. Her focus is ballet and knew that the program was equally weighted between ballet, modern and jazz. Not really a top choice school for her, but her sister goes there so she went ahead and auditioned. They called her and requested a DVD but we ended up not sending it in because we didn't have any video of her doing Jazz or modern combinations and at the time were busy auditioning for other schools. They called last week and again requested a DVD. I put togehter what I had, which was all ballet barre and floor exercises and added her contemporary solo at the end. Not really what they were looking for, but I overnighted it and they called her the next day with an acceptance! I learned that it is possible to get off the waitlist and if you don't have exactly what a school is looking for on video go ahead and send it what you have, it can't hurt to try.

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  • 1 month later...

It's decided my DD will be a freshman "wild cat" for fall 2010. A previous post had asked about training, so I'll include my DDs in case it is helpful.

 

DD has trained at a RAD based ballet academy for 10+ years and completed her Advance 2 exam

Her most recent summer intensives included: Harid, Kaatsbaan, and Ellison Ballet in New York

 

I had really thought that she would be going to Utah's more ballet focused program. She went back and forth and had a difficult time deciding. She had an extensive pro list for University of Utah as well but these are the things she liked about U of A

 

Friendly environment- She was lost when she first got to the dance building. Several dancers were sitting around warming up. One of them got up, took her to the office, stayed with her until she found out which studio she was going to and walked her there. While she was observing a jazz class one of the boys that was sitting out introduced himself and talked about/up the program.

She was allowed to take an advance ballet class and found it challenging.

Met with a faculty member. They had already planned out placement and courses for her. There had clearly already been discussion with other dance faculty about her. She was concerned about being able to take ballet daily but would be allowed to add additional ballet classes as she liked.

Many performance opportunities. Auditions open to Freshman

Beautiful dance facility and the performance stage is enormous.

40 boys in the program

and finally the strong jazz and modern program. She is a ballet focused but felt that the jazz and modern training would make her over all a stronger dancer.

 

Although I think she has surprised some of her friends, she is happy with her decision and excited about the coming year.

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Page,

Congratulations to you and your DD! I really appreciate you sharing her list of what she liked about the U of A. It will be helpful to our family in the near future. Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Audition in the fall, so if you don't get in the first go-round, you can try again in the spring.

 

The DVD is important, so don't forget to include it with your application.

 

When you audition, "let it all hang out." My daughter didn't have a very strong modern background so she was a little intimidated by the modern part of the audition. However, she decided to throw caution to the winds and show them she was willing to take a risk. As a result, the modern teacher commented that he liked her performance.

 

Don't treat the audition like a class; treat it like a performance. They really want people who can act, not just do the technique.

 

Hope this helps!

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A couple more things to add to OldDancerBabe's advice.....eat a good breakfast and bring lots of water and a snack. It was the longest audition my daughter had by far and she was starving by the time it was over. I think we got there around 10 am and left around 4pm.

Another piece of advice we were given by the dean of recruitment at the fine arts department--if you have any interest in going there and are accepted make a housing deposit as soon as you are accepted. Housing is very tight and it is assigned first come first serve and you really don't want to be off campus your first year. I think it was $100 which in the grand scheme of this whole process is just a bit of insurance.

Good luck!

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  • 5 months later...

One of the questions that my dd feels is important about a college is the style of jazz training given at the University. Although she is a ballet girl, she is looking at triple focus programs. Does University of Arizona perform and train in a lyrical jazz style or more of a commercial jazz style? A couple of You Tube videos are on the web, but I'm not sure if they are representative or not. Does anyone know?

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Sam Watson, Michael Williams, and Susan Quinn Williams all performed with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, so I'd say the style is more classical/ concert jazz, which contains many contemporary influences. Michael Williams performed in many theatrical productions, so his style may lean more towards commercial. So it makes sense that he is also the tap teacher.

 

The professional connections with Chicago are on-going, with master teachers and choreographers from Gus Giordano and River North coming to UofA for their Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase, and the three UofA jazz teachers working with the Jazz Dance World Congress and the Giordano Jazz Dance Workshop. I believe it was during some of the master classes with the Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase that my daughter had some lyrical jazz classes.

 

But all that said, my daughter has been dancing professionally for two years, now, doing mostly musical theatre/ commercial jazz. She also had a brief contract with a contemporary ballet company, but since the pay was lousy, she was forced to move on, even though that's her first love. And, thanks to the training she got by being a member of Arizona's "Culture Rhythm" club, she also landed a one-time gig doing hip hop as a back up dancer for a boy band in New York. She feels Arizona's triple-focus program prepared her very well to work in a wide variety of dance jobs. I think her only regret was that she didn't pack in more voice lessons.

 

UofA's "jazzerinas" come from a variety of jazz backgrounds, including competition and lyrical jazz. But they get their name because they are great jazz dancers as well as great ballet dancers - the type of student that UofA seems to crave the most.

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