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Does anyone have any first-hand or current knowledge about Marymount Manhattan College in NYC for ballet? I did a search but didn't come up with too much.


The website looks like there is a decent adjunct faculty but it's hard to see if there is really much emphasis on ballet ... looks modern-oriented.


Anyone have any good insights to share? I'd appreciate it. Thank you!

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  • tippy_toes


  • Pierrette


  • balletmom4mia


  • eschmitt98


My daughter just got accepted, so we're looking for more information, ourselves, but I can tell you want we know. First of all, I hope you managed to find the Dance Department's own web site: MMC Dance Department. Under the link, "BFA Dance," you can read about the concentration in Ballet. The department offers four BFA concentrations: ballet, modern, jazz and choreography. Ballet technique is offered daily (along with modern and jazz).


You spoke of adjunct faculty, but two of the six full-time faculty, including the director of the department, are former professional ballet dancers.


I took my daughter to see last semester's final concert and my daughter noted that all the dancers in the casts had excellent ballet technique. So much so, in fact, that my daughter worried about being accepted. It's true that we didn't see any classical ballet being performed, if that is what you mean by "modern oriented." The show was a mix of modern, contemporary ballet (on pointe) and modern ballet (in slippers).


We know another girl from our area who recently graduated from MMC. She's now a member of Ballet Deviare. You can read about her and another MMC graduate under the link, "Company Info." (And if you'll notice, both of these MMC graduates are not listed on the Dance Department's own Alumae/i page, which means that that list is very incomplete.) I also know that a former studiomate of my daughter's just got accepted and the faculty at her residency program are all gung-ho about MMC over the semi-possibilities of traineeships (offered at the end of SIs). :::waves to her mom:::


So, that may not seem like much first-hand or current knowledge, but keep in mind, before I posted on Ballet Talk about Joffrey Midwest Workshop, no one here had heard much about it. Now it's listed under the "Most Popular" SIs. :D


My daughter is weighing MMC against University of Arizona and Point Park University. I'm still hoping that I might learn more about these programs from Ballet Talk, but I'm getting the sense that knowledge about college programs doesn't extend much past the Fab Six (Indiana, Butler, SMU, SUNY Purchase, Utah, and the U. of Oklahoma) plus Juilliard and Tisch. My "University of Arizona" thread is now sitting idle with no first-hand feedback. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


If no one else responds, do you think we can repost our questions to Cross Talk?

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Thanks, Pierrette. This is very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to share your insights about MMC. I do want to keep this program as an option for next year (my dd is a junior and we are exploring college programs right now).


It's good to know that you went to see a performance and your daughter was able to make that assessment. We recently visited NCSA and saw their winter concert -- seeing the performances is very enlightening about the dance program itself. In my humble opinion -- and in agreement with my daughter who has far more knowledge than I do -- we thought NCSA also had excellent ballet and modern dancers.


Does U of A have ties to Ballet Arizona? Again, I am but a novice but it appears as though this company is on its way up with Ib Anderson as the AD. Also, as I understand it, U of A has a growing academic reputation and much money is being pumped into the school from corporate, philanthropic and other resources. Of course, I'm not sure of the dance dept. but I do see the school actively marketing the dance program in all the appropriate venues.


I'd love to hear what your daughter decides. Did you also explore the Fab Six?

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  • 10 months later...

Dancing daughter attended MMC audition in Chicago yesterday. For what it is worth, she was not impressed at all. The ballet audition was, "fine", but did not include pointe. The only correction my daughter received (and there was time for corrections in a group of only about 20 or so) was that she was using too much expression and should "save it for the stage". That really surprised her! There was no modern given, though the audition is used for placement in modern classes( as well as others). Though the information about the audition stated that tap would be given, it was not. My daughter is a potential jazz major, and did not like the style of jazz given at all. That wasn't the biggest concern, but rather the attitude that she perceived that this was THE only jazz style at MMC. DD was also surprised at the students selected to give solos. She said the auditionees she perceived as strongest in ballet were not even selected to give solos, including an African American girl who was a standout. DD perception was, fair or not, that they showed preference to the dancers who she identified as "competition kids".

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For what it's worth, when my daughter auditioned for MMC in NYC last year, she made the solo cut and she's definitely not a "competition kid." The tap class was only for the kids who made the cut and for placement only, along with the music skills test. They were given to half the (finalists) group while the other half lined up for solos and then they switched, so perhaps the Chicago audition group was too small to accomodate these extra placement procedures.


In my DD's estimation, of the dance programs that offer a unique jazz major, MMC is the weakest in terms of jazz offerings. They mostly view jazz dance as an offshoot and complement to theater dance, so that is why tap forms a chunk of that major and why they encourage the jazz dance majors to round out their program with participation in school musicals (through the theater dept.). In contrast, the other programs offer much more advanced jazz that can help students reach for a career with a jazz dance company. The girl we know who graduated from MMC had to take extra jazz classes through Steps and BDC (and pay for them) to get what she wanted.


Since the Univ. of Arizona is out for your DD, I hope Point Park and UArts are on her list for auditions. They have excellent jazz programs.

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I have a friend from highschool that is currently enrolled at MMC, from what I've heard he really enjoys it. I'll send him a link to the forum. Hopefully he can add some solid insight into the program.

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Guest LawrenceEd

Hello, I am currently a sophomore dancer at Marymount Manhattan College. Marymount is more Modern Based, students are required to take both Ballet and Modern 5 days a week, with a very strict attendence policy. In the audition they do both modern and ballet auditions, unfortunately the audition in Chicago didn't have a modern instructor. The Jazz is taught by two different jazz teachers, with two different backgrounds, with Sheila Baker who teaches at BDC. The ballet at MMC has mostly adjunct teachers from all over the city so you will get the same technique and concepts. If you have any more questions or concerns, I will keep my eye on this post.

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My sister dances at Marymount and she loves it. I know this isn't first hand info so I won't say much, but she is in the highest ballet level and finds the teachers very good. She was trained at Boston Ballet's Intensive Division and finds this school challenging and wonderful.

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  • 5 months later...

hi I will be attending MMC in the fall w/ a ballet concentration however i do believe that i may switch over to modern, because it seems that there are many more oppurtunities in the modern dance industry!!i was trained professionally and have never done competition, and i auditioned at the NYC location. i felt those that were kept were strong in all fields of dance.

I also was exhausted by the end so much that i was hoping that i was cut because the audition lasted almost 5 hours!!!Yet, i felt it extremley challenging compared to the Suny audition, or summer program auditions!

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