Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Recommended Posts


golconda, I'm not exactly sure what you are asking? :yes: Our policy on BT is to deal in first hand information. If you or your dancer has direct experience to share, then it is fair game on this forum. Anyone is free to post a link to information supplied by a college on their own website or from a published work or newspaper.


Aside from that, it is the responsibility of every user here to do their own research. Passion4dnc, it IS difficult to follow all the threads on colleges and universities that your dancer might be interested in and then to go back and learn what you can about those who post that they were accepted or not accepted by a given school. It takes time to go to college websites and pour over the degree requirements, performance opps and graduate stats, email or PM BT users who have visited or attended a school, plan college visits, etc. But, this is exactly what it takes to properly draw your own inferences and conclusions about the schools that might be a good match for your dancer. I can assure you that the parent moderators here are 'just parents' (all of whom have jobs, families and other responsibilities) and like so many other BT users with as many or more activities vying for their time, we have all had to find the time to properly research options for our children's dance training.


The caution here is that while doing your own research and drawing your own conclusions, that you do not pass judgement on a school for others. The best way to use this forum is to read it, study it, do additional research of your own, share your own experiences and then let everyone draw their own conclusions for their own dancer. I can tell you from personal experience that there are some hidden gems out there in university dance offering an excellent education, providing solid ballet training and performance opportunities, as well as career assistance with success to those who are company ready. Broaden your perspective and look a bit further afield than you may have originally drawn your circle of possibilities and I think you will find that there are a number of programs that can offer your dancer what they are looking for! Ballet Talk is here as a tool, but it is not meant to be the authority on university dance programs. YOU are the authority on which university dance program is right for your dancer.

Link to post
  • Replies 1.1k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • sgmca


  • sparkles


  • denipark


  • Ed McPherson


In addition, as far as a student being "company ready" most High School graduate are not necessary company ready, but continue in some type of trainee positions, apprentice positions for another one-four years, before a solid contract is ready. So whether they continue there training in college or a company base. Do not fear trying out for this school. If your dancer has, other issue seeks out other schools. Do not be so sure to rule out this one out of fear with this type of statement.

Link to post

Did anyone see the IU streaming video of their "Nutcracker?" I only got bits and pieces due to extreme pixelation (sp) on my computer.


It would be interested to hear reviews considering the few previous posts on IU's "Company Ready" policy.


The only thing that I can say for sure, is the sets were beautiful and the orchestra fantasic.




Link to post



I was not passing judgement on this school for others. I was merely stating a fact that based on a Q&A session after the IU audition, parents were cautioned they only accept "company ready dancers". That is not passing judgement, that is a fact and parents can make their own inferences from there.


In my opinion, if that statement doesn't reflect you dk, then it would be a waste of time and money to audition. I have "read this forum and have studied it", gone to Jacob's School of Music's website and still there is a lack of information regarding the company ready statement. If it was presented specifically and actually stated in that way, either on their website or here on this forum, I could have made an educated decision regarding my dd interest in this program. Without that specific knowlege, I can not do that. I wanted to make sure that those who need it spelled out, as presented to me my IU faculty/staff, it would be here for consumption in order for others to make an educated decision regarding their dk's auditions.


I agree I am the authority on university dance programs as it pertains to my dd. Without this important information, I can't do my job as a parent. That's all I am saying.

Link to post



I tried to watch as well. Same issue for me, didnt get a clear stream. I'm on a cheap old laptop and a wireless connection though. My friend got a good stream... As a former student I wish I could have seen what the dancing looks like now. Maybe the the winter ballet will be streamed.




do you know if there are plans to have future programs streamed? If not who can we email to make that request to?


I like the idea, the school is so isolated it should be a good way to help parents and students decide if it might be the place for them before they have to pay for a plane ticket, etc.

Link to post

I watched the show on line today without any technical problems (a miracle for me!) and thought it was every bit as good as our local professional company Nutcracker. Even the little kids looked very polished but I always get nostalgic when I watch them and miss the days when DD was a little one.


I would encourage anyone who is auditioning for college ballet programs to keep IU on their list of possibilities. Like any competitive program how well you do in the audition is your ticket to an acceptance and there are lots of good college programs besides IU.


We were told in our audition meeting, led by Doricha Sales, Ballet Mistress, that they like to keep the number of students in the dept. to 40-50 and it is run like a professional company with students in the studio daily from 11:30-5:30. Doricha does not come off "warm and fuzzy" to the parents but she is to the students in the dept. and very respected and well liked by them. She told our group if they like what they see they offer an acceptance and admit to having it down to an exact science on how many applicants will accept, defer and decline. By my count, which is not official, there could be six women graduating this spring. I'm not sure how many senior men there are.


I don't think any of this is new information that hasn't been discussed before in the IU thread but since this is the audition season maybe it will help to talk about it again. Good luck to everyone auditioning!

Link to post
In my opinion, if that statement doesn't reflect you dk, then it would be a waste of time and money to audition. In my opinion, if that statement doesn't reflect you dk, then it would be a waste of time and money to audition.


Passion4dnc, your assessment as stated in your last post (with the disclaimer that it is your opinion) is fine. No one took exception to your repeating what was told in an open meeting by an IU representative either. I understand and appreciate your desire to help out other BT users and share this information with others considering the school.


However, do remember that what a school representative may say in good faith and the reality of a school's ultimate admissions decisions are not always in synch. So, I would not rule this program out if you believe that your dancer is technically and artistically strong. All programs that are this small, with this large of an applicant pool, can afford to be selective. That means that they are going to be looking for the best dancers that they can attract. It is really no different from the smallest and most exclusive SI programs that only accept 10-15 dancers.


As for your assumption that they already seemed to know who they were interested in, again it is no different than an SI audition for an exclusive program. The faculty at IU have contacts and affiliations with various summer and year round programs. They have friends who teach at schools all over the world. They will know of some dancers before they arrive at an audition and yes, they will likely give those dancers a close look. This will also be the case when dancers get to the pro audition circuit. Ballet is a small world and networking and recommendations come into play at every decision point along the way. They are not the only elements that are important, but they do play a significant role, particularly when the number who can be accepted is small and the applicant pool is large.


However, it was your second post (quoted in part below) that most of my original post was in response to:




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.


All of the BT parents (moderators and other users) are privy to the same great information, contacts and insights available here on BT. But, it is up to each of us to FIND the time to ferret it out, make connections with other users, follow up on what we learn and fully utilize this great BT resource.

Link to post

Passion4dnc- the information given was helpful to know since you had just been at the meeting, and got it first hand. In addition, the cost of a plane ride and everything else involve.

I do believe you were trying to help.


However, the tone could influence already apprehensive parents who have eager students who are willing to try, and in turn be accepted. There are many factors involve in college admissions.

Link to post

Let us not forget that the terminology "company ready" is subjective or at least leveled in nature. While there are many things that any qualified teacher or director can qualify, company ready for what level of company comes to mind and for which director. Each dancer along with their trusted dance teachers at home should determine whether the student is company or if their home school produces company ready dancers and relay that to the parent who then helps the student decipher the wide range of options that there are out there.


With that said, even if "company ready" is stated by IU and I'm sure many of the other top colleges also, I encourage any dance student to audition as long as they understand that an acceptance is not guaranteed at this one and in fact is a long shot. But still, shoot for the moon if you'd like. There's nothing at all wrong with that!


The "company ready" statement will encourage some to shy away and others to go for it in general and still others to go for it just in case. We as a board can't determine who anyone's dancer really is or how they will react to a statement like that. Nor any parent. It's nice to have is stated so plainly with a new administration in place there, but the inference has been here for a while that this was the case.

Link to post

Yes, thanks, Passion4dnc, for passing that first-hand info about "company-ready" along. I had no idea that was IU's criteria! Am actually scratching my head in bemusement.


:yes: If someone is company-ready and has other offers, it seems to me that if they want to be ballet dancers, they'd better take one of those offers rather than bank on a few years down the road when you just don't know what the ballet world will be like, and whether you've remained injury-free in the interim.


I hasten to add that I'm not asking for an explanation of IU's policy; I get it. I'm just fascinated by, and yes, enjoying a bit of the incongruity of it.

Link to post

The dancers at IU are encouraged to accept a company contract if offered. The fact that their future in the ballet world is unknown is one of the reasons many of these kids decide to continue their education over taking a trainee or apprentice position with a company right out of high school. They are able to keep their ballet skills top notch and get a degree that will help secure employment after their dancing days are over. I'm not saying college is the only way to get there, there is no, one right way, it's just another option that dancers can take advantage of.

Link to post

I guess my levity was too subtle. As I said, I really do get it. I happen to enjoy their placement stats in view of the fact that their dancers are already company-ready when they arrive. :yes:

Link to post

I agree that "company ready" can mean so many different things. There are over 70 ballet companies in the country that pay full time dancers, if your not going to be at ABT next year, don't think you cant get into IU :yes:


vagansmom - It is sort of perplexing that a "company ready" dancer would chose college over company. I rationalized the choice to go to IU this way and didnt feel alone in doing so. When I left high school I was offered a minimally paid stipend position at a regional company. I chose to go to IU for a number of reasons.


The pay wasnt going to be enough to live on. If I was going to pay to dance I thought I might as well go to a place where I would be guaranteed something after a few years that would allow me to do graduate work in career transition. (I do think that dance degrees are largely a useless creation of the academic world to create a market to sustain itself, thats another post) I thought better to work in an environment where the goal is more or less the betterment of the students and not an artistic staff and board trying to meet a bottom line with a disposable labor force. Artistically I'd always wanted to work in a corps, I didn't feel like a regional company without a male corps would be able to prepare me any better than attentive collegiate faculty would. I also simply wanted, to some degree, the collegiate experiance. Those are some of the factors that lead to my decision to enroll at IU. There was the general social pressure to go to college after high school, too.


In the end I think it worked out fine for me. While I fit fine into a corps now if I had chosen to go to a regional company out of high school I think I would still be a misfit trying and failing to fill a smaller companies soloist needs.


I happen to enjoy their placement stats in view of the fact that their dancers are already company-ready when they arrive


That is the saddest dynamic of IU's program. There are people that come job ready that dont leave so. I treated my time at IU as if it were my job, not everyone gives it that respect. It's easy to get distracted, thats the devil of it. But I think we're allowed to wonder if those with a lack of focus would make it in the job market. Unless I'm out of touch with other employers most trainees and apprentices don't get promotions into self sustaining positions.

Link to post

Ed, like I say, I get it :) My daughter was also offered trainee and apprentice positions at the end of high school, but chose to study ballet more so that she could get a real paying job instead of one of those "job offers." I think there's still a sticky somewhere on one of these boards of a post I wrote cautioning people to look at those offers carefully.


Let's put it this way: We all are taught to believe the wisdom of looking at the grads of ballet schools and college s with dance degrees to see where they've gone. Well, don't you think it's funny to apply that conventional wisdom to IU given the circumstances of how they grant admittance?


You're an exceptional guy, Ed, with an awful lot going for you because of it. I have no doubt that you always use your time anywhere to its greatest advantage. :D

Link to post

I agree!


Ed, your insights are so wise, I always learn something when reading your posts. My daughter is away at residency and also preparing to choose between college or post-grad placement. I will email her your last paragraph as I think it's a very valuable ballet business lesson.


I have the same crappy wireless laptop.


Maybe when my kids stop sucking the life and money out of me I will finally be able to afford a good one!




Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...