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Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of North Carolina School of the Arts/UNCSA

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Guest Vicarmac

My daughter is also a junior at NSCA, but she just started there this fall, so far she loves it, especially the diversity of arts being studied there. The dance program is just getting in full swing (for this year) so what it will bring for mine I don't know. Thus far she feels fairly placed and likes her regular tech teachers very much. I will post more as the year goes by.

Auditions are held all over, but I would suggest that if it becomes a major consideration that your student visits the campus, and ideally while the year round school is in session. They make it easy to check things out. You can get a schedule and sit in during dance classes etc.

And also if your student is accepted her parents should hurry up and fill out their FAFSA like they would for a college student. Even if they are not sure if they will send her or not it will be good to have on file if they do decide to pursue it, NCSA will use info from that for considering both merit scholarships and financial aid. The sooner it is on file the sooner you get your hat in for money being given out. NCSA will suggest this and give you the code to put in when it is filed. The info is with admission info and also usually given out at auditions.

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  • 1 month later...

Any students or parents at NCSA -


I was wondering how many students NCSA takes in each year? or at least the approximate size of the classes? And do they give a preference to students from NC? Do people have a sense of whether it is better to audition earlier than later?

We would like to audition at the school, since it would give us all an opportunity to see what the place is like.


I am arranging an interview for a job in the Raleigh area and wonder about having DD audition for NCSA. Currently DD does not know that we are considering moving but this will hvae to be brouched prior to her auditioning.


I have no real assessment of how good she is or is not beyond her local school and even there I have limited knowledge of what any of it means. DD is 13 and would be entering 9th grade next year. She started dancing at 9, but has always had dance 5 days a week. Her commitment and interetst in ballet has increased dramatically this year as she knows (and we can see) that she has improved immensely and her body is reshaping to a more classical - but powerful look. (She will never be a waif like dancer, but she is also gaining the long and toned look of many dancers.)


And if we opted not to do NCSA or she didn't get in, are there suggestions for schools in the Raleigh area that we should look at?

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Raleigh is about 1-1/2 hours from Winston-Salem, where NCSA is located. NCSA is a state-supported school and is part of the Univ. of North Carolina consortium of schools. The legislature sets its budget and the associated restrictions on admissions. At least 50% of the students at NCSA must be NC residents. The percent is usually just above that at 51-52%. NC residents attend the school completely free. Room, board, tuition, books and all fees are covered. Out of state students pay around $17K. You must be a resident of the state for at least one year before applying for instate status and you must meet some very specific requirements to qualify.


There are approximately 30 students (more students in the 11th and 12th grade classes than in the lower school grades) in each grade in the school. Students in one grade, could be in one of four levels (four levels in the lower school-8, 9, 10th grades and four levels in the upper school-11th, 12th and college). The levels range in size from 12-22.


It is best to audition as early in the season as possible. Students who audition too late are often placed on a wait list. It is a competitive audition process. I don't know the stats on number who audition and number who are accepted. They do auditions in several cities throughout the US and also do a number of local auditions. We know many NC residents who have auditioned for the year-round program numerous times without success. But, I can't give you percentages.


Visit the school and watch classes. You will know better then if the school is a good match for your dancer. Be sure and watch a class with students the same age as your own. It will give you a good idea of what they are looking for in that particular age group. Best of luck to you!

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Calamitous - I think that Balletbooster has given you some very good factual information about NCSA. I am going to give you my personal opinion about your situation as perhaps a little food for thought. In my humble opinion, NCSA is not that difficult to get into as compared to some of the other year round schools. However, once in, it is a pretty competitive environment. It requires a lot of social maturity and emotional stability to be a dancer in the school. This is the nature of being in the year round school environment. I am not suggesting that it is worse than other schools you may have to chose from. Since, your daughter would be entering the school in the 9th grade, I think you have an advantage because at this age, the dancers are not "over the top" competitive yet. She would have a year or two to adjust to her new environment. Another huge plus, is that you will be relatively close by, in Raleigh. Your daughter could go home on weekends and spend time with her support system, her family! I am way on the other side of the country. Despite the distance from home, my daughter is doing very well at the school, but she entered in her junior year. So, do visit the school. I think the training is very good. We will see just how good, as my daughter auditions for companies and college next year! The schedule works very nicely with academics. My daughter is a senior this year and she has no regrets about her time spent in Winston-Salem. Good luck and feel free to pm me for any additional information. Oh, one more thing, my daughter auditioned by video tape and was accepted shortly after submitting the tape. We visited the school in the spring before making a final decision. I am amazed at how many dancers made the decision without stepping foot on campus!

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Thank you balletbooster and ddm3.


I am trying to gather as much information as possible across all sorts of issues as we (DH and I) consider if we should move. We want to have as much information about adjustments DD might have to make before we even discuss moving with her. She will not be in favor of it.


One good thing is that we would have the opportunity to visit NC prior to my needing to accept a position if it is offered. Your input helps us to know where and what we should look at in this portion of our lives.


NCSA was recommended as a place DD might consider from her SI last summer, but I believe that was because of its modern program whcih she would not be old enough for anyway at this time.


The whole process of even thinking about moving is overwhelming, and finding a way to settle DD in is just one portion. It all makes staying put seem so much better.


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If you do end up making the move and modern is still a key interest, have your daughter attend the NCSA summer program for a year or two to get to know the teachers and the school (almost all the year-round teachers teach during summer) and then apply for the modern program. They do accept some 10th graders in modern. Last year there were 3, two of which are from Raleigh and nearby. I believe there are about the same again this year. There are several good ballet schools in Raleigh (Raleigh Ballet and Cary Ballet are two) and Carolina Ballet is the pro company there. So, your daughter could stay at home, continue with good training and wait another year or two to attend NCSA full time. By that time, you would be an instate resident too, which makes it a really fabulous value (free)! :wub:

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Thanks for the straightforward information and helpful suggestions. Knowing that you need a year in NC to be considered a resident for NCSA is helpful since it allows us to pretend that it is not a decision we have to make immediately. We have been very spoiled by DDs current school since it rarely requires us driving her to and fro for classes, so of course this is something we want from all future places. I know this is a dream world but we keep thinking we can find a strong performing arts school for free and no driving!


I will be in NC in mid-December for a site interview. I guess depending on that and other jobs that come up, I will know if we really need to make a decision.

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  • 1 month later...

You may audition for year round and summer at the same time.


The hours per week depend on level and whether there are rehearsals or rep. Technique is 1 1/2 hours per day, pointe...an hour each day. Pilates, perhaps once a week. Rehearsal, rep., and pas classes depend on level and casting. One could be dancing veryyyyyyyyyyyy much or perhaps, not enough for some.

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I believe on their website they list a July audition for year round, which would be during the SI, but there may not yet be places available. Ylu have to have the application materials in before that however.

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I attend the North Carolina School of the Arts year round... I am in 10th grade and in my 2nd year attending the school. I highly recommend it! Its a great school and there is no place I would rather me. If you have any questions no matter how silly you might think they are... feel free to ask me.

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