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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Guest la florida



I am considering taking a ballet class with Jon Sherman at Swarthmore next fall as they have a reciprocal credit agreement with my school (which does not have a dance department). I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything about their dance program. Any thoughts at all would be great since I am trying to decide whether the train ride out there twice a week is worth it. Thanks in advance!

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Hi la florida,


I took that class several years ago. Jon is a very good teacher. I recall the class being fun and "dancey" but not too intense. Some students chose to wear pointe shoes for an extra challenge. Jon also teaches at the Rock School, where I took his adult class during the summer. Being an open class, this was more mixed level, but also fun.


Depending on your situation, you might want to look into some additional options. The local ballet school in the town of Swarthmore is very good, I would recommend it if you are looking for pointe work. Swarthmore students have the option to cross enroll at Bryn Mawr and Haverford, perhaps this is an option for you as well.


The Swarthmore dance department is focused on modern, but the ballet classes have some very good dancers. I would place it at an intermediate level, using NYC studio standards. One of the advantages of the Swarthmore classes is the excellent live accompaniment. There are usually some very impressive guest teachers for modern dance which would be worth checking out.


I'd love to hear more about yourself and where you are studying, if you'd like to share.

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Guest la florida

Thanks so much for your informative reply! I go to school in West Philly, so I would probably not be able to make it out to the other dance school in the Swarthmore area. The only reason I'm considering their program instead of Koresh or something else in the city is because I'd be able to get academic credit for it and its cheaper than paying $13/class. I've taken a very long break from dance (like 8 years) and just got started again about a year ago, so I'm nowhere near ready to go back on pointe (although I'd love to eventually...). Thanks again for the info!

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Hi la florida!


The one thing that you might want to consider is how much the train to Swarthmore will cost and how long it will take for you to travel from school (Penn or Drexel?) out to Swartmore. It may turn out that the convenience of a place like Koresh or the Rock adult division will outweigh the travels.


All the best to you.

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It sounds like the Swarthmore ballet class would be perfect for you! You can use the train ride to read, so it should be a low-stress commute (20 minutes). The train station is right at the edge of campus. And the grounds are gorgeous, being an arboretum. Good luck!

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  • 10 months later...

Hi balletguy,


It's spelled Swarthmore, just to avoid confusion.


I do not dance there, but I grew up just down the road from Swarthmore College. The link to their dance program is here.



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Guest balletguy33

well thanks, I am a very bad speller, thanks for the link


[edited by moderator to remove unnecessary quote of immediately preceding post.]

Edited by dancemaven
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  • 4 months later...

Forgot to mention, Swarthmore "gets" ballet. They appreciate the effort and dedication as well as what it takes to maintain high grades in the process. Younger dd's interviewer fondly remembered older dds performances at the local high school* several years earlier and sent regards. :excl::D:yes::)


A substantial part of the alumni interview was spent discussing ballet specifically and dance in general. Overall a very pleasant experience. Given the dance opportunities described elsewhere in this thread, I think this is a school worthy of interest. If you are still trying to make a college/company choice, remember to ask about their deferrment policy for newly admitted students and their leave of absence/stopout policy for students who have attended for some time already.



Good luck to all


*younger dd never performed in the high school dance program

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Bryn Mawr College is right across the street from the R5 Septa Train stop in Bryn Mawr and has various dance classes, ballet among them. They have an independant dance major and a dance minor option for their students so you might be able to get credit. I believe they collaborate with Swarthmore and Haverford College too. If you can get to 30th street station easily, then you could get to Bryn Mawr as well.

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  • 3 years later...

There is also a van from swarthmore to bryn mawr but it will not come at convenient times to get to ballet class. The ballet classes at bryn mawr are pretty good. They work with haverford on the dance performances but bryn mawr and swarthmore hardly ever coordinate, except for one tri-co dance group, Rhythm and Motion, which apparently is difficult to be in if you don't go to swat (because of the commute). I go to haverford, so if anyone has more questions about schools in the bi-co I can probably answer them :yucky:

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