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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Ed McPherson

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Thank you so much DancesInHerSleep. I am so very sorry for your loss. How devastating for your family. No need to apologize at all.


Interlochen has been consistently great about communication, and despite being a very long way from Virginia, we feel like part of the family there already. The visit to campus was key. I'd welcome the chance to email directly about Interlochen, but have no idea how to get a moderator to pass along your email! I can't message anyone here. You have been incredibly helpful in making this difficult decision and I am so grateful for your words.

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  • Ballet dragon


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There is an Interlochen parents group on Yahoo and we can correspond that way....plus it's an EXCELLENT source of information and so I highly recommend you join as soon as possible. We parents are constantly arranging transportation for our kids for academy breaks and for auditions, asking general questions, finding hotel buddies to split costs when visiting our kids, selling items that are no longer needed, supporting each other....the list goes on.


Even though she isn't a current student, mention that she is an admitted student - give her name and major and that she will begin Fall 2012. Let them know you're hoping to get answers to some questions and get some support before school starts in the fall. That's what I did the summer before my DD started. They'll just need to verify information.


When you become a member, post an introduction email and mention that you were directed to the group by a parent of a graduating dancer via BT4D. I'll know it's you! :)


This seems so covert, doesn't it?? :whistling::shhh:



Parents' Yahoo! Group

Join the Interlochen Arts Academy parents Yahoo! Group: The IAAparents Yahoo! Group is a forum for parents of current Academy students to network and discuss issues of common interest. Membership in this group is monitored and limited to Academy parents.

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Thank you! It does sound covert, but hopefully it will work. I sent them the request. See you on Yahoo...

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  • 10 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Yes you can apply as Junior, I believe they will accept seniors but I believe the cost is different.


DD has had several friends go for other arts to Interlochen as Juniors.

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  • 11 months later...

Ballet dragon, can you provide a link to the announcement? We don't permit extensive quoting of source material. :thumbsup:

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Oops, sorry, dancemaven. I received the announcement via an email from Interlochen. I will wait until they announce on their website.

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If it is the announcement about the new director for dance, that is public information and has been published in the press. I saw that earlier this week.

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  • 9 months later...

Hi Balletart -


Yes, I believe that they accept late applications, if there is space. I would call the admissions office. We typically talk to Kirsten Gamb in admissions. She has been extremely helpful.


Feel free to ask questions here on BT4D, or you can message me privately.


My DS is a first-year sophomore dance major there. I have been waiting to write a full review at the end of the school year, but am happy to respond to questions now. It has been a life-changing amazing year for him there.

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We really ask that folks ask and share information publicly on the Board so as to benefit all our members interested in the school. :thumbsup:

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Hi Ballet dragon-


Thank you very much for your response!


Any detailed information you could provide about the dance program, the school, as well as their academics would be appreciated. We have learned that the dance program is much smaller than other majors such as the music program. Do you find that the other art disciplines co-exist well together and are generally friendly to each other? Are the other programs at the school stronger than the dance program? Specifically curious as to how challenging the dance program is.
Edited by balletart
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Hi Balletart -


You are correct that the dance department is much smaller than other majors. There are about 40-45 dancers in a whole student body of 450 students. So, the dance department is about 10% of the student body. The dancers are a very close knit group. I have been pleased to observe that they do a good job taking care of each other.


From what I have observed, the other majors co-exist well together. My DS has a musical theater major roommate, and all majors are integrated in the academic curriculum. So, while my DS's closest friends are other dancers, he has a very friendly and amiable relationship with other majors who he has classes with. I have not hear of any type of rivalry or competition between the majors. This past year, the musical theater majors baked treats and gave "good luck" presents to all of the dance majors just prior to Nutcracker. They all cheer each other on prior to big performances. And, there are a ton of performances. My DS says that a weekend never goes by without watching a performance of some sort. The performances are so much more personal since he knows the performers.


One unique feature of Interlochen that we found was missing with other boarding pre-pro programs was the integration of the different majors during performances. In their most recent Winter performance, dancers performed a piece accompanied by four harpists on stage. My DS performed a piece accompanied by an opera singer and cello ensemble. It was very cool to watch how the teachers/choreographers collaborate to provide these unique opportunities for them. It was important for us that DS was exposed to a well-rounded education, where he could learn to appreciate the other art forms, while also getting rigorous dance training. Which brings me to your next question.


How challenging is the dance program? I'm not positive that I am able to succinctly answer your question. I can say that all of the dancers that I have interacted with are dedicated to their art form. They go to competitive summer intensives and most dancers want to attend a college/university with a strong dance program upon graduation from Interlochen. We started looking for boarding pre-pro programs because my DS was looking for strong male dance training. And, I can say for certain, that he has received everything that he has hoped for. The new dance director, Joseph Morrissey, has been really terrific. There are two other male teachers, Justin Koertgen who teaches ballet and Matt Lindstrom, who teaches modern. Having three male dance teachers has been like a dream for my DS, compared to NO male teachers at his previous home studio. His dancing has improved significantly, not only in his technique and artistry, but also in looking like a strong male dancer. So, for a boy, I do not hesitate that the dance program has been challenging and we are completely satisfied with his training there. My DS was invited to compete with another male dancer at YAGP this year. Both scored very well. In years past, Interlochen has brought dancers to YAGP, and I believe they have also done well. However, I don't have enough information specifically for female dancers. Hopefully someone else on BT4D can post about their experiences from the female perspective.


I do know that Joseph Morrissey is building on the amazing foundation that Cameron Basden left him. He has discussed plans to revise the dance curriculum and make it more rigorous.


Please post more questions. I'm happy to help.

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