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Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of North Carolina School of the Arts/UNCSA


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Since you live nearby, I would strongly urge you to do your audition in person. I also hope that you have had the opportunity to visit the school and at least observe some classes. My daughter auditioned by video and the classical variation she chose was La Esmeralda. I don't think it matters too much what variation you choose, but rather that it is one that best shows your talent and who you are as a dancer. If you don't have a lot of time to prepare a variation, then choose one that might be a little less challenging, but that you could work on performing to a very high degree. The training at NCSA is excellent. Good luck.

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If you are seriously considering NCSA, I also urge you to come and see the Winter Dance performance next week! It will give you some idea of the level of dancing at the school. Yes, it is very competitive and the top dancers at the school will be performing along side the ABT Studio Company members. I think it will be very interesting to see these dancers perform side by side.

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dancerboy90210

I attend NCSA year round. I am a 16 year old male ballet dancer. I would be happy to answer anyones questions about the school. I know a lot about both the male and female aspect of the school.

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This is my first time posting and I hope I do this correctly! I have read the thread on NCSA and I did not see this info. How many dancers are in each grade level for the ballet program. Specifically, my DD has applied by videotape for 10th grade for the fall- how many new students would they normally take for that grade?

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dancerboy90210

The number that they take is different depending on each year. The dancep program begins in the 8th grade and goes on to college. Each year the class size increases, til the 12th grade, in ballet that is. The college program is very small. 10th grade is a great year to go, in my opinion. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Edited by Victoria Leigh
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Well, glad to hear you think 10th grade is a good time to enter. I called (because they say on the website not to hesitate to call with any questions (and they were so nice) They said that the earlier we applied the better the chance to get it. We sent a videotape because DD could not attend the April audition. I thought I read that it take about a month to hear result? How many levels are there? Are the levels done by grade or age or just ability? What is the ratio of male to female dancers? Do all levels do pas de deux?

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Juniors, seniors and college students are split into levels B1, B2, B3, and B4. B1 is the highest and the classes are mixed into all the levels including the college students. There could be a junior in B1 and a college student in B4. Freshmen and sophomores start with B5-B8 I think, I'm not sure how many levels and that may include 8th grade.

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balletbooster

Yes, the lower school (8th-10th) has four levels (although last year they only had three). B5 is highest, B8 is lowest. Dancers in those grades could be placed in any of the four levels.

 

I think that sbadesch would be the best to give you an exact number of boys in the upper and lower school this year. HOpefully he will be back online soon and can answer that question for you!

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Thank you! That's just the info I was looking for. But, still wondering-- what is the average number of dancers in a class? 20 to 30? 10 to 20?? I'm sure it varies but what is the max?

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balletbooster

Here are the stats for the class sizes for this year: B1 - 16, B2 - 18, B3 - 20, B4 - 22. I don't have the exact numbers for the lower school, but they are similar, although I don't think that any class in the lower school is quite as large as B4.

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dancerboy90210

There is a large number of male ballet dancers. There is four partnering classes, b1, b2, b3, and b5 all have partnering. There is about 25 males in the ballet department, that I can think of off the top of my head. All Ballet men have partnering, no matter which level they are placed in. 11th, 12th and college males have partnering 3 times a week, and 8th to 10th grade males have partnering once a week.

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lovemydancers

My DD will audition for the year round program by taking a class on campus in May. The class she will take is at 8:30 a.m. on a Thursday--can anyone tell us what age or level this would be? She will be entering 10th grade next year.

 

Also, can anyone tell me what we will see during our "tour" (later the same day)? Are visitors permitted to observe classes other than whatever we will see during the tour?

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balletbooster

Classes at that time are all Lower School classes (8-10th grades). It will be a technique class. There are four levels she could audition in (B5-B8, with B-5 being highest). They place them for auditions based upon age and experience, but the level she auditions in is not necessarily the level she would be placed in next fall. So, don't stress about the audition level.

 

When you check in at the Dance office in the morning, be sure and ask for a daily class schedule (they don't always remember to give you this). Once you have it, you can choose to watch any class you like. You will be on your own to determine which ones you want to try to see. The upper school (11th grade - college) will have classes beginning at 10:30, with technique and then 11:50 for pointe. There are again 4 levels (B1-B4, with B1 being highest). Each of those will have a technique and pointe class during the times listed above, so you will have to pick one for each class or you can also watch a bit in one level and then go watch another portion in another level. When you enter the classroom, just introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know that you have an auditioning student. Depending on the day, there may be rep, partnering or modern classes in the afternoon.

 

If it is before Spring DAnce (May 11-14), you can also ask individual teachers who are setting dances if you may watch their rehearsals. Hayden, Cordell and Conover have pieces in the show. Sometimes they allow visitors to watch. If it is the week of Spring Dance and you are not attending a show, you can ask the Dean to come to the theater and watch a rehearsal on Monday-Wed. nights. If it is after Spring Dance, there will be rehearsals going on for those not in Spring Dance, who will be preparing for Spring Workshop. (For rehearsals, it is not a good idea to just show up. You need to ask permission to view a rehearsal.)

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lovemydancers

Thank you so much, balletbooster--this is great information.

 

Do you know whether the "tour" covers academics or housing?

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balletbooster

The tour we took on our campus visit was to academic/arts buildings and the Commons/Student Union. You can visit the dorms on your own. Just check in at the desk in the Connector building and ask if someone can show you around. There are usually plenty of students in the area who will be happy to give you a tour. :)

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