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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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In case anyone was reading about meal plans, I thought I'd share an update. DD got advice from older dancers over the summer to go with the fewest meals, so that's the plan she chose. She never gets back to the dorms for lunch. I think she occasionally does a takeaway meal at breakfast for lunch but mostly eats at the union or brings along her own small lunch. She usually eats dinner back at the dorms. She has been shopping at Smiths and Trader Joes on the weekends so that she has some simple and healthy options in her room (hot water kettle and frig, but no microwave). Rehearsals for the fall performances were done by 6:30pm, but for the past couple of weeks they've run later and she had to be available on campus until 8:30pm. I think it's because they had a guest in residence to set the February choreography (Tauna Hunter was in to set La Fille Mal Gardee). Those late nights made it tougher to go to the dining hall. Even if she could technically get there, psychologically she was just done for the day and ready to go to her room, having started the day on campus at 8am. 

She's almost through her first semester and very happy with her choice to attend school at Utah. She feels she's getting helpful corrections and attention and that her teachers are genuinely invested in helping her improve. She knew she wasn't company-ready when she left her home program but feels she's getting the additional training now that she needed. And, she just really likes most of the people she's working with (dancers and teachers).

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Thank You Dancingjet for the class size update as well as meal plan and day in the life sharing!😊

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just spoke to someone in the department to find out what the general schedule for audition day is. I'm glad I called, it completely changes our plan. I'm posting this in case it's helpful to anyone else.

Audition day: 8am check in; 9am audition followed by small group interview/Q&A session. There is an optional master class at noon; if you are interested, register online in advance.

If you happen to be there the day before (this is what changed our plan): 9am building tour. After that you are welcome to observe class. You can also schedule a campus tour in the afternoon, but undoubtedly the calendar doesn't go out that far so you can't really schedule that right now.

There is also a performance that you can attend. Tickets are complimentary (at least for the student). You can go Friday night, Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. Just pick up the tickets at the comp. ticket table 30 before the show.  

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That seems correct. I would highly recommend attending the show to get a flavor of breadth of choreography and such. We attended right after the audition and the day was over by 330pm. I did not have to pay for a ticket to attend with my DS.

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I would also encourage you to see the show, and I believe that my daughter and I both got free tickets when she auditioned. When we watched the fall performance last year, I left kind of scratching my head and wondering if this was going to be a good fit for my daughter (mainly based on a guest choreographer's piece which was very far from classical ballet!). Had I seen this fall's performance I would have felt more assured that it was a good possible program for her. In February they're doing La Fille Mal Gardee. I'm not sure how many seniors participate, given they may also be preparing to audition for jobs and such. I do know a fair number of freshmen and sophomores are in it. Susan Jaffe taught the master class last fall and DD thoroughly enjoyed that. We did not do the tour last year, but my daughter visited another time and toured then. She also observed classes at that time. Her second visit and doing a lot more research on the school helped her make up her mind about attending.

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  • 1 month later...

In case anyone would appreciate another update: La Fille opens up in two weeks. Any high school seniors auditioning that first weekend should try to watch a performance, too.

Students who want to perform in the spring Gala have auditions next Thursday. DD thinks she knows what they’re doing but I’m not sure if it’s public yet. She’s going to audition. She has very full days between classes and rehearsals and thoroughly appreciates time on the weekends to rest, do homework, get a few groceries, do laundry, etc.

Ballet West and the U both host summer intensive auditions for visiting programs so that makes it easy for students at the U. DD has been considering a double major, a minor, and/or a teaching focus for ballet; trying to fit in additional classes is not going to be easy. We knew that going in, so at least we’re not feeling surprised. 

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Can anyone comment on what recent graduates are doing? Also, what does it look like if students are accepted as a trainee at Ballet West while still at the U?

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Current engagements of which I am aware for recent graduates (2016-2108) - plus a few others that danced at the U during that time, however I am unsure of their graduation status:

Avant Chamber Ballet - Dancer

Ballet 5:8 - Company member

Ballet Idaho - Apprentice

Ballet Theatre of Maryland - Demi-soloist (male), Apprentice (x 2), Trainee (x 2)

James Sewell Ballet - Artist

Kansas City Ballet - Trainee

Minnesota Ballet - Artist (male)

Nevada Ballet Theatre - Trainee

Oklahoma City Ballet - Studio company, Trainee

Oregon Ballet Theatre - OBT2

Richmond Ballet - Company member (was in 2nd company at time of graduation), Trainee

Rochester City Ballet - Apprentice (male)

Sarasota Ballet - Corps de ballet (was joint BalletWest Trainee, promoted to BW II, then hired by Sarasota)

US International Ballet - Intern (odd term - but it does mean dancing, not administrative)

Utah Metropolitan Ballet - Apprentice

Wilmington Ballet - Dancer

One dancer has her own custom dance wear company, OllyDesigns (can be found on Etsy)


Older graduates can still be found dancing with many companies, including Ballet Tucson, BalletWest, Oakland Ballet, and Oklahoma City Ballet.


My DD is a graduating senior this spring, auditioning for companies - such an uncertain time for her and us!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My DD’s friend just got waitlisted for the ballet program.  Does anyone know how much movement happens off the list or have experience with the U of U?  Friend is devastated and does not know if she should continue trying to chase this dream or stop.  


Edited by MKBmom
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We are watching and waiting as well but at another school. Unfortunately,  we have no way of knowing how many are on the waitlist and how far down the list anyone is actually listed. My daughter is in at Utah and Butler but we are waiting to hear from Oklahoma. Utah finishes their auditions this weekend and IU, Butler, and Oklahoma finished by the first weekend in March (I didn’t look up others such as AZ, CCM, SC, FL). Maybe things will start to shift shortly after they send out their last acceptances/rejections. At an audition for a different school, a mom told me her older daughter was on a waitlist and eventually was invited to the program (This was several years ago – she was just telling me to let me know how fluid this all can be). I think a lot of shifting happens after auditioning is done and people start making their final choices. 

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She should audition again if possible. They allow it. If not it’s still possible to get in from the waitlist. I know personally of two dancers who were accepted after reauditioning. DD also knows current dancers who were first waitlisted. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

MKBmom - one or both of us are too new to utilize the message feature.  Would you be willing to share your email?  I'm fairly certain a moderator erases it after a short time so it's not on the site for eternity.

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Thank you.  Sent an email.  look in your spam box if it doesn't show!

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Is there anyone who was able to get into the program at  after being on the waitlist and attending the SI?

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DD was accepted off the waitlist. She emailed Glenda Staples at least once a week regarding her status and expressing her desire to be accepted. The morning after the decision deadline, she received her acceptance vie email. 

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