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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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One of my students just left today for MMC. She also is currently focusing on ballet, but chose MMC because of the diversity of the program as compared to some of the other programs to which she was accepted.


Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of how well-prepared MMC grads are in dance education? I know there is both a BA and BFA track at the school--I believe the BA is the track that is set up for those interested in teaching. My student is interested in the education field at this time, although that may change.

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  • 6 months later...
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  • 2 weeks later...


I am a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in dance with a concentration in modern, but was originally a ballet concentration.

We get about 20 plus hours of dance a week, this depends on if you take pointe class, tap class, or african dance class along with the required ballet and modern technique classes that you will take everyday.

When you are in projects, which the performing experience, depending on how may pieces you are in you will usually have around seven hours of rehearsale a week.


If you have anymore questions I am more than open to answer them for you!!!I really love the dance program, and I feel that I have really grown as a dancer and a person within the last year!!

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  • 1 year later...

I read about this program recently and I am very interested in it! Could anyone tell me if there is an arts administration degree offered in the dance department? I thought I saw the degree mentioned on the website, but then on the page with the list of majors there was nothing mentioned about arts administration...

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  • 3 months later...

One day last week my daughter observed what she thought was the highest level of ballet. She was very surprised that only 2 girls were on pointe. She thought the class exercises/ combinations were definitely geared towards pointe work, however. AEDancer or others: is there a different, dedicated pointe class? Also, what do they do for partnering in ballet and in modern?


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Wow, that is very surprising (only 2 on pointe) maybe there is an explanation?! My daughter is also looking at Marymount for ballet/dance and the teachers at her studio have said great things about the program. Would love any info on level of training, quantity/quality of classes offered / faculty, performance opportunities, etc. How many do they typically take in the freshman class, and what is the audition like? Also, how is the new freshman apartment building? We were there a month ago and walked to it from Marymount. It's definitely a ways away but seems to have great security once you get there. Any info would be much appreciated!! Thanks! :offtopic:

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My dd auditioned and was accepted last year. In the end she chose to attend a different program, but MMM was her second choice due to the diversity of the program---she ultimately chose to attend a much larger university, though it was a difficult decision turning down the NYC experience. I can answer a few of the questions posed, but unfortunately I have discarded all my notes about the specifics of numbers classes/wk, students per class---hopefully a current student will reply, and you can also check their website.

Last Feb we observed mid level jazz, first level modern and highest level ballet classes. My recollection of the ballet class was that after barre all the girls changed into pointe shoes for center. My dtr was very impressed with the quality of students and teachers in all the classes. Perhaps the time of year flygirl's dd observed had something to do with the lack of pointe in the class? I think that must have been close to the first week of school.

The audition consists of a ballet, jazz and modern combination. Then a cut is made and those making the cut do a solo. Prior to the solo there is a brief interview. My dtr felt the faculty were extremely friendly and welcoming and was not at all initmidated by the interview. The dancers making the cut also are given an assessment of their musical ability---I'm not sure what it is called, but it is to determine their understanding of rhythms and is used for placement in one of the required music classes. Basically they don't want to put kids that have any music training in the beginner class.

All the students we spoke with seemed to be genuinely happy there and very friendly--I think my dtr still keeps in touch with one of the students on facebook. The student we spoke with that lived in the dorm (? is it 56th St) said the apartments are really nice.....unfortunately they rarely offer dorm tours and we weren't able to see them the 3 times we visited. Also, if you are coming a long distance for the audition and you want to also observe clasees, make sure there will be classes. My dtr auditioned in Jan and school was not in session yet---we live fairly close so we just made a trip during Feb break, but I would have been upset if I came from far away.

Hope this was helpful.

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  • 4 months later...

I was wondering if anyone else has or is auditioning for 2009? DS has his this weekend in NYC. He has been accepted into the college itself; now he needs to audition for the dance department.


If anyone has been already, I was curious about the modern method favoured by MMC. Do they do Horton, Limon or Graham? Or, yikes, something else?


Will keep you posted.

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MMC teaches many different styles of modern, when my dd visited last year she observed a first level modern and they said it was O'Donnell style. As I remember Horton and Graham are stressed more in upper levels, but at each level/semester the style changes. My dd had minimal modern exposure but did not have any problem at the audition.

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Knowledge of a specific style of modern is not needed at the audition. All of the colleges that my daughter auditioned for, including MMC and Juilliard, realize that most of the applicants have had minimal exposure to modern, so the modern that is used in the audition is not any particular style (or is an amalgam of several styles). The point is to see how the student reacts to learning new movement. This is basically the goal of pre-professional modern training: to learn how to adapt to the style and method of creating movement of any choreographer.


My daughter created her own modern solo to use at her college auditions which absolutely delighted the Marymount faculty. At her audition, the personal interviews were combined with the solos and the judges used that time to ask my daughter numerous questions about how she created the piece, since she also composed the sound track. Given their enthusiastic reaction, I'd encourage your son to focus on being himself and even be a bit daring in regards to the modern movement. Openness and adaptability in applying corrections is more important than precision with modern dance.

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Good advice about remaining open to and adapting to different movement styles. Will remind him to keep that in mind. About being daring however, he needs no encouragement. For good or bad he is a risk taker. At his last audition he ran about 15 seconds past his music in his solo, because he was 'in the moment'. Not quite how I would have handled an audition and he has never done that in a performance, but that's who he is.

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Clairlea, I'll be eager to hear his thoughts on the audition.

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  • 10 months later...

Does MMC commission outside choreographers to set pieces on the students or does the faculty choreograph pieces? If outside choreographers come in, does anyone know who is setting pieces this year? Or last year?

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MMC has its own company. Students have to pass an audition to be accepted into the company. The company presents work by guest choreographers. In Spring 2009 they presented works by Martha Graham, Chris D'Amboise, Take Ueyama, Susan Marshall and Edgar Zendejas. In Spring 2008 they did pieces by David Parsons, Molissa Fenley, Edward Liaang, Stephen Petronio and another choreographer whose name escapes me right now. At a performance earlier this month, they had a guest choreographer set a piece on the students (who were not necessarily company members), but I don't have his name in front of me right now. AFAIK, the rest of the pieces in the winter concert were choreographed by faculty and administration.

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