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This was the information our friend was given by a representative of the school regarding her admission status.


If you are affiliated with Juilliard, please take this opportunity to provide accurate and current information about your admissions policies. There is lots of mystery surrounding the school's admissions policies. It would be very beneficial if you could provide some insight. :)

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  • balletbooster


  • Pierrette


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balletbooster, in December 2004, DD and I made arrangements to observe two classes at Juilliard – one was a pointe class and the other was a modern class. If the dancers in these two classes were representative of Juilliard’s dancers, there were far more Caucasian females while the number of ethnic minority male dancers did seem to be higher than Caucasian males.

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[i composed this reply just as the others were posting theirs.]


Balletbooster stated what she based her conclusion on and all the available evidence, including my daughter’s own experience with the Juilliard audition, supports this conclusion. No one is accusing Juilliard of having racial quotas, but it is very apparent that they value diversity as much as talent when making selection decisions - starting with the very first cut at the audition and ending with the final makeup of their student body. So what? The Supreme Court ruled that diversity is allowed to be a factor in admissions decisions, so actually it’s puzzling why you seem to be taking offense to someone plainly stating the obvious. A strong case could be made that the dance world has a lot of catching up to do in terms of being representative of society at-large and Juilliard is in the position of being able to shape their incoming classes based on society’s demographics rather than the demographics of the applicant pool. I can tell you for a fact that the 9 out of 52 applicants who made the first cut at my daughter’s audition certainly did not reflect the demographics of that group, nor were they necessarily the best dancers of the group. Yet no one is questioning the talent of Juilliard’s student body or the caliber of their program. This is just how Juilliard goes about assembling a freshman class that is both talented and diverse.


Given the strong feelings that this topic engenders, one could understand why Juilliard doesn’t come right out and broadcast their acceptance policies. However, I can tell you that in my daughter’s case, this silence does more harm than good. It is not fair to the applicants to state that the first cut is only based on technique and then leave them feeling hurt and confused when their national audition experience tells them that they are in the top 10% of dance students in their age group. It was only after my daughter got to compare her Juilliard audition experience with those of other white girls who are amazing dancers that she was finally able to make sense of the painful mystery and actually feel much better about it. Her bitterness towards Juilliard is not about being cut partially on the basis of her skin color, but for not being upfront about it. At least the University of Michigan (whose admissions policies prompted that Supreme Court decision), is upfront about using race as one of the factors it considers. In the case of dancers, they are used to being cut on the basis of body type and can handle full disclosure.


So, call this a scientific theory in which all of the accumulated evidence supports it as being true. Simply saying this is “absolutely not true” is not evidence to the contrary. Please tell us what evidence you have that this is not true.

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Thank you for your excellent post. I think you said it very well! :yes:


Thedriver, please look closely at what I wrote. I recounted what one dancer was told about the single year she auditioned. Her audition experience did not end with a full-day dance audition, but also included a one-on-one interview, additional documentation that was requested from her at a later date and several discussions with admissions, which spanned several months. Her contact with admissions was far more extensive than that of a young man we know, who also auditioned that year and made it into the finals, but was not wait-listed.


Whether that exact scenario was played out in previous and future years, I do not know. I do not know what classes you watched and if those classes included students from all grades (freshman, sophomore, Junior, senior) or was just one group. I do not know if that particular year was unique in that they were trying to even out some imbalance in their student demographics. What I do know is that this particular dancer got some very specific information from admissions about demographic considerations. And, as Pierrette's post indicates, knowing this helped this dancer deal with her disappointment much more effectively than had she not been told that demographic factors did indeed play into the decision process.

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The fact is, that it is a VERY exclusive school.  I know of no other dance college program with as many who apply and as few who are accepted.

According to The Princeton Review, Juilliard (all majors –not just dance) is more selective than even the Ivies. Less than 7% of those applying are accepted.


balletbooster, please understand, I really don’t have a dog in this fight. I was only relating our VERY limited experience with Juilliard. We were traveling to NYC and requested the opportunity to observe a few classes. I read and believe everything you posted about the experiences of the dancers with whom you are acquainted, but I don’t think you can compare the experience of one female dancer with that of one male dancer, irrespective of their ethnicity.


As with most highly selective universities and LACs, admission into Juilliard is probably based on many factors (high-school weighted GPA, SAT/ACT scores, student’s essay, ECs, teacher recommendation letters, ethnicity, demographics…..) in addition to dance ability. I think Juilliard’s ADCOM should be more upfront about their process and method of acceptance, but I have that complaint about most of the highly selective colleges and universities.

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I don't have a dog in this fight either. :yes: Just recounting the experiences of those we know. No comparisons were intended between the male and female mentioned (both caucasian), simply presenting the facts about their experiences to give others as much fact-based information as possible.


All we really have here is anecdotal information. One year's admission stats may not match the next year's. One class may not be representative of those on either side of it. I think we both agree that the school is highly competitive and it does indeed have admissions stats that are among the most exclusive on the planet!


I'm a big believer in getting as many facts as possible (the good, the bad and the ugly) out there for public consumption. I realize that we will likely never be privy to the details behind admissions decisions for this or any other school. In this particular instance, a school official did give some insight and so I shared that here. No judgements or accusations have been voiced, just the sharing of facts and experiences that might help others as they navigate the admissions process.


I think the more that we can de-mystify this or any other program's practices, by sharing facts and experiences, the more we can all help and support one another along this confusing, sometimes frustrating, often mysterious ballet journey. :blink:

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As with most highly selective universities and LACs, admission into Juilliard is probably based on many factors (high-school weighted GPA,  SAT/ACT scores, student’s essay, ECs, teacher recommendation letters, ethnicity, demographics…..) in addition to dance ability.

Actually, this postulation can be proven incorrect by going straight to Juilliard's General Application Procedures website, in which they write:


<<The Committee on Admissions selects students primarily on the basis of their performance at competitive auditions held at The Juilliard School and in selected cities around the country.>>


Juilliard does NOT require the SAT, ACT or Achievement tests, only the TOEFL for non-native English speakers. And they don't care about high school grades, only that a student graduates high school. The applicant's paperwork is only examined in-depth after they have successfully passed through all of the cuts in the audition process. As they write:


<<The Juilliard School seeks students whose talent and commitment to excellence promise future achievement in their chosen areas of major study. >>


Thus, talent and potential are even more important than technical prowess. This is why dancers with less technical ability can make the first cut.


You can't deny that Juilliard is not in the same category as "most highly selective universities." And you can't deny that Juilliard's dance students are much more diverse than almost all of the other dance programs in the country just by looking at them. (UArts might be an exception, but then they accept 75-90 freshmen.) I've been to Juilliard's shows, so I am speaking from experience. That diversity is by design, not chance, as anyone who's been to SI auditions - even in NYC or Detroit - knows that the applicant pool is overwhelmingly white.

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To take a slight tangent to the selection process issue at Juilliard...my DD was encouraged by the school's director to apply to Juilliard next year. As she is classically trained, and interested in pursuing that focus in college or company, I questioned whether Juilliard's program was too modern/contemporary. The response I received was that there is a change of focus occurring, bringing more classical training back to their program. I was told of a classical teacher, well known in ballet circles, who had joined the faculty, yet do not see her name on the roster of instructors. Is there truly a "shift in the winds" there? Would like to hear some opinions, as the website doesn't indicate any change toward classical focus.

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My own research about the Julliard School dance program leads me to believe that the admissions committee is looking for a certain type of student. One who fits their mold of what a Julliard student is. I do not think they are necessarily looking for a dancer who is a finished product. That might explain why it isn't necessarily the most technically strong dancer who makes it to the interview at the end. I really have no firsthand knowledge or opinion about whether or not Julliard has some sort of racial quota or that they seek diversity over talent and ability. My daughter has applied to Julliard and will be attending their audition. She is a classically trained dancer but also has an interest and strength in modern and contemporary dance. She would welcomes the possibility of working with Mr. Rhodes and Martine Van Hamel again. Perhaps the addition of Ms. Hamel is the "shift in the wind".

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I would be happy to post my relationship to Juilliard and address some of these questions, but only with the expressed permission of BalletTalk. :)

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I'm a global moderator here and we would love to have you share your knowledge about Juilliard! You will find that we have many at Ballet Talk who are affiliated with major ballet schools who are frequent posters. Their knowledge and experience has been so helpful to so many in our cyber community.


We welcome you and look forward to your insights about the Juilliard School. :)

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Yes, Martine Van Hamel was indeed the name I was given...but because I couldn't confirm her involvement there, I was not sure I should mention the name! I would welcome any insight as to whether program is broadening toward increased classical influence, as it has become recognized as a modern/contemporary training site by my daughter's contemporaries, and is therefore not high up on her list. Would hate to miss out on a wave into a more classical realm...realizing well that odds are tough for acceptance into the program either way.

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Thank you!


I’m Sarah Adriance, Associate Director for Dance Admissions for The Juilliard School. (Yes, that’s Juilliard with two I’s.) I help dancers, their parents and Juilliard’s dance faculty through the admissions process each year. This year 474 dancers have applied for our B.F.A. program and 390 for our Summer Dance Intensive.


When I get a chance, I read these boards to see what kind of information is out there. This website is an excellent resource for dancers and parents and I am more than happy to add (I hope) to the conversation. We are extremely open about our admission policies and I hope I can help decipher some of the mystery surrounding our process.


Let me speak to a recent posting regarding quotas…


We ideally accept 12 women and 12 men a year. That is our only admissions goal - we do not have any other demographic quotas. Each incoming class varies greatly according to faculty’s evaluation of the applicant pool for that year. Each faculty member has their own unique idea of talent necessary for a career as a dancer and that scope is reflected each year in our incoming class. Since the faculty has four years to work intensively with the dancers, they will sometimes accept a dancer with less training but with a great amount of artistic talent and an able instrument.


I am happy to answer any questions, any time (I’ll be out for our audition tour from mid-day tomorrow to the 12th) regarding dance at Juilliard.


Thank you again for the opportunity to address these questions and concerns.


For those auditioning this year… best of luck! :)

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Thank you very much for introducing yourself and for sharing this information about the school. I really appreciate your willingness to answer questions that dancers and their parents might have - and I'm sure there will be some! :)


Take care on your audition tour and welcome to our cyber community. You will be a wonderful asset! Thank you again! :clapping:

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