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Ballet Talk for Dancers

College versus full time ballet schools


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WHat are the differences of a college based school with a ballet department with a full time ballet school? Like Wlnut Hill versus SAB? Except the fact that there's more dancing in the full time ballet schools, but what are other differnces? Are there BA or BFA in full time training? Do you have to attend college to attain those? Also, are the students more into performing and become professional dancers in full time ballet schools while those in college only want to become teachers or other jobs? Like can I be a dancer after I go to college? Or I will b better in full time training schools?


I hope you won't get confused about my questions , but I wish you get what I mean. Thanks.

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catherinewinnie, if I understand your post correctly, I believe you are mixing up residency programs with college ballet programs. Both can be quite intensive, but not necessarily more so than full time professional training programs connected to ballet companies. It all just depends upon placement level and each individual program. Residency programs tend to be high school programs where students may or may not live in residency at the school, where as collegiate programs are for those who have graduated from high school.


I am not familar with Walnut Hill enough to discuss their policy on post graduate work, but perhaps Major Johnson or Ms Leigh can give you further insight into this. NCSA is a high school and a college program.


Today, thank goodness, dancers are finding employment after graduation from college. It is not the norm, but it is happening more regularly.

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I think you will find that the college programs vary greatly from school to school. At NCSA, they offer both a degree program and a diploma program. In the degree program, students must take traditional academic college courses, outside of ballet, in order to receive a college degree. They also take the same ballet courses that the diploma students take. Those taking the diploma track do not take any academic courses and concentrate solely on ballet training.


There are several company schools that offer a structured training program specifically for post-grads. Some that I have heard about are Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg and there are many others. Each of these will concentrate solely on ballet training, with no academics. This would be the biggest difference between a college program and a post-grad training program. There are also more companies than ever before who are hiring dancers as 'trainees', where the dancer is usually taking classes in the company school, in the highest level, and rehearsing and performing some with the company.


It is not fair to say that all those who take the college route are interested in teaching only. Many dancers (and it seems to be more each year) are opting for a year or two in a college program, before they find a job. More and more seem to be completing a college degree before venturing out to a pro career. But, by and large, the typical 'track' for a ballet student is to go directly into a company position (apprentice or corp) after high school or into a trainee program of some type.

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Sorry to jump in but can I ask... Are there any other school like NCSA that have a similar program for people who are going into college? I was going tot ry for Interlochen or Idyllwild for senior and then go into their 1 year post-grad program. I'd be interested in just ballet training without the academic aspect because after that U of Utah was my goal. Let me know please, thanks! Oh yeah they have to have housing for the non-high schoolers also..

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