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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Sparkles, it was interesting to hear about the ballet schedule at Indiana! Thank you for sharing about your academics too. Can you also tell us what other forms of dance are required for ballet majors (jazz, contemporary, modern, African, etc.)? And, how many hours ballet majors take in another dance form, please? :)

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For graduation if pursuing a BSOF we need 2 credit hours of jazz, so basically its an entire year but the classes meet once a week. As far as I know, that is the only required other dance class. There are also 4 credit hours of choreography workshop and 8 of Ballet Pedagogy in addition to all of the "regular" ballet classes which are at minimum 5 credit hrs per semester. We are also enrolled in Ballet Ensemble which we get 2 credit hrs every semester for. We need 4 credits of piano, 6 of other Music School courses, 27 in the Outside Field, and 24 in Gen Eds. Overall we need 120 credits to graduate. I think thats basically it in a nutshell, I'm still trying to figure out how all of this works. Hopefully this kind of answered your question?

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Does anyone know if there are opportunities to take classes with some of the teachers in a setting outside of IU. For example, do they teach master classes in the area?

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Some of the IU faculty also teaches at the Chautauqua program in the summer, and according to IU's web site, Michael Vernon still teaches at Steps in NYC. I actually have the reverse question - and was wondering how much time Mr. Vernon actually spends in Bloomington, and whether he teaches, or primarily sets the ballet productions. I understand there is a new Nut this year.

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Thanks e's mom~

I went on the Steps website and it says the following about his class..."Emphasis is placed on the articulation and speed that is currently required for acceptance into a ballet company or Broadway show."

Interesting to know what he might be looking for at the IU audition. Does he infact give the audition?

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DS auditioned at IU earlier this month. Michael Vernon did not give the class, but was observing along with other faculty members. DS was not sure who gave the class as there were no introductions. He said the class was not too difficult, nothing overly complicated. He also said that Mr. Vernon left before barre was over.

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e'smom, Mr. Vernon spends quite a bit of time in Bloomington especially now as he is setting his new Nutcracker. I usually get him for technique class at least once a week and sometimes for pointe.


jen, for my audition last year and for the first audition this year Guoping Wang taught the class and Mr. Vernon was there to watch.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for posting the link, I saw the show Fri. night and it was wonderful! :wub: Can't wait to watch it again!

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DD was at the audition on Friday and I thought I would provide some insight to what they are looking for as told to us during a question and answer session after the audition.


They are looking for "company ready dancers". They are not looking for potential. Letters will be sent out at the end of January. They do not have a specific number that they accept. They accepted 11 last year. However, a dancer in the senior class stated there are only 4 dancers graduating this year. Their class started with 7 dancers. There are approx. 40 total dancers in the entire program. You figure it out.


For those parents, whose funds are limited, if your dancer is not company ready, do not waste your time and money. I just wish this information would have been provided in their literature or perhaps on their website. In my opinion, the staff member, who checked in the dancers, was rude, had an elitist attitude and seemed as though we were wasting her time. It was not warm & fuzzy.


Michael Vernon seemed nice and friendly and was there during the audition but did not give the class. It was clear from the beginning, according to DD, who they were interested in. But felt everyone was viewed. The class was 1.5 hrs long, all on pointe, followed by a Q&A session and observation of their ballet classes. The class wasn't extremely difficult, and would be a breeze for anyone who is "company ready".


Although they did not present the program in any specific detail, there is no question it's a great program with outstanding placement.

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They are looking for "company ready dancers". They are not looking for potential.


. . . , there is no question it's a great program with outstanding placement.


That has always been our impression over the years. The dancers we know who have been accepted into the program usually had a trainee/apprenticeship offer they were also considering. Thus, it appears to us that 'of course, IU would have outstanding placement in companies---they pretty much only take company ready dancers to start with!'

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I am not a moderator, teacher or dancer, I am just a parent. I am not privy to the information you are regarding the knowledge of other dancer's and their offers/acceptances, nor do I have the time to follow other dancers posts regarding offers/acceptances. While the information on this thread clearly indicates it is a highly selective program, the statement of company ready only has never been clearly stated by others on this thread regarding the statements made by IU itself. You could make an inference based on a post or two regarding deferrment etc, but nothing stated by IU.


I am sure there are other "just parents" on this forum who may need this information spelled out for them. Some of these parents, without any specific knowledge of ballet, may be intimidated to ask questions. This forum is here to provide knowledge of all information, not just to make inferences based on a few posts, especially after Michael Vernon has become involved in the program.

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I agree with you. It is difficult for parents to follow all acceptances and read between the lines about all these programs. So, here is a BIG thank you for relaying this information.


And as for IU taking only "company ready" dancers, all I can say as a parent of an auditioning dancer this year (not at IU)---OUCH! This philosophy doesn't leave those dancers who are not yet company-ready for various reasons but who might be with more training much in the way of options.


So, moderators, while I know it is difficult to generalize and make inferences without a direct statement from an educational institution, is there any way to relay this kind of information on BT4D about other programs without descending into hearsay? This information would be very valuable for those of us who are trying to find out about all the various programs---I think that is what Passion4dnc is getting at.



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Whoa, passion4dnc! I certainly didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. In fact, I was only echoing your information. It has long been my 'inference' that IU was competing for company-ready dancers with the trainee, apprenticeship, and second companies--rather than other college ballet programs.


Again, my inference has been based upon dancers my DD and I have known to be accepted to the program versus those we know who were accepted every where but IU. Given this is our State's public university, we have been quite interested in divining whether it was a program DD could reasonably consider. We know that the admit rate is extremely small---and in all the years we have been watching, I know of one single Indiana resident who is currently there. We know of one other who was at first not accepted, but then later they changed their minds and offered her a spot. But by then, she'd already accepted a traineeship (and within a very few years, made principle).


I, in no manner, meant to suggest that you or anyone else here 'shoulda known better', which is how I'm reading your post to me. :yes: In fact, I was very interested to see my inference confirmed by a statement from IU to your auditioning group. Considering the expense involved in getting to IU for most people and the small, exclusive acceptance rate, I think your post and that information is very important for folks here to read.


I'm sorry the intent of my first post was not clear.

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