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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fordham University/ Alvin Ailey Affiliated program

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Yes, my class size number is pretty typical for each year. I believe that one of the bigger freshman class sizes was around 25 or so. The size of my actual dance classes tends to fluctuate by the week. My Horton classes tend to be bigger than my ballet classes. My ballet classes on Monday and Wed have around 20 people in it but Friday there are only about 12-15 people in it. My Tuesday and Thursday classes have about 15-21 people in it depending on whether or not company members take class or not. My 5 Horton classes have about 30 people in them each again depending on whether or not company members take class. Even with big class sizes I still feel like i receive enough personal attention in all my classes. Especially with my Horton teacher on Mon, Wed, Fri. He really pays attention to us all and makes sure that everyone understands the Horton technique and you can just tell that overall he cares about his dancers.

kdr- you are right to think that the classes consist of certificate, BFA, fellowship, and professional division students including independent students.


Hope this helped!!!

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All of the BFA students have different schedules that are created so that each student gets the most out of the program. There are certain classes that we are are required to take at Fordham and sometimes certain time slots are reserved just for BFA students to take class so that we can fit in academics with our dance schedules. Even though I said that everyone has a different schedule I'll post my schedule as an example.


Spring Term 2008


Monday: 8:30-9:50am Horton, 10:00-11:20am Ballet, 11:30-12:45pm Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 1:00-2:15pm Faith & Critical Reason, 4:30-5:50pm West African


Tuesday: 8:30-9:30am Ballet, 10:00-11:20am Horton, 1:30-2:50pm Anatomy & Kinesiology


Wednesday: 8:30-9:50am Horton, 10:00-11:20am Ballet, 11:30-12:50pm Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 1:00-2:15pm Faith & Critical Reason, 3:00-4:20pm Anatomy & Kinesiology (Lab), 4:30-5:50pm West African


Thursday: 8:30-9:50am Ballet, 10:00-11:20am Horton, 1:30-2:50pm Pointe (possibly)


Friday: 8:30-9:50am Horton, 10:00-11:20am Ballet, 11:30-12:50pm Improvisation, 4:30-5:50pm West African


Rehearsals are thrown in randomly and choreographers come in to audition the students for their pieces all the time. If you are chosen to be in a piece but the rehearsal time interferes with your dance schedule then the adminstration temporary changes your schedule to fit in the classes that you are missing at a different time. The Freshman and Sophomore classes have specific choreographers picked for them that come in and audition the students in those years and then pick who they want. This past semester I have had rehearsals Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30am and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm


So that's my Spring Schedule and it is a little different from 1st semester because of the addition of Improvisation and West African and of course my academic courses changed. I'm happy to be dancing more this semester!


If anyone has anymore questions I promise I'll answer them as soon as I can. We have performances next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I'll be really busy. Hope this post was helpful :)

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During the summer BFA students are expected to do summer intensives at other schools. You can do the Ailey School's summer program if you want but they rather you go to other places and get exposed to different styles of teaching, technique, etc. Most of the upperclassman BFA students that I have talked to did summer programs at places like Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Jacob's Pillow, and San Franscisco Dance Conservatory. Some even went to programs overseas. Hope this helped!!!!

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Acceptance letters for the Class of 2012 should be going out sometime next week!!!!! Good luck to everyone who auditioned!!!!

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Balletgirl - how often are you on pointe at Fordham-Ailey? I know it is not a ballet-focused program, but so much contemporary dance is also on pointe - are you able to be on pointe as much as you would need to if you are interested in contemporary ballet companies? Thank you for the information!

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Unfortunately for me I have not been able to take pointe this year because of my academic schedule and because I am in level 4 for ballet. Ballet 4 can take pointe but my theology class is during the time my level's pointe class is offered. I have been doing some pointe work on the side to stay on top of it though. Once you get to level 5 and above pointe is done a lot more often. Levels 6 and 7 usually take their ballet classes on pointe at least twice a week in addition to pointe class. Ballet partnering is also offered for the girls in levels 5-7. So yes I would say that you would be on pointe enough if you are interested in contemporary ballet companies once you got to level 5.

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Thanks Balletgirl for all the info! A few questions, if you are placed in level 4 or above for ballet, can you take your daily ballet classes on pointe if you want to? Or do they only allow the 6 & 7s to put their pointe shoes on during regular ballet class? Also, would you say that all of the incoming freshman are already at an advanced ballet level, or are some more advanced in modern and at beg-interm level ballet? Sorry for all the questions, I guess I'm just trying to figure out which ballet level I would be placed in, since I am strongly considering this program for this fall 2008. Thanks!!!:shrug:

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Sorry if this is brief but I am in the middle of tech rehearsals and dress rehearsals for the Global Harmony concert that is tomorrow and Wednesday. But to answer your questions I know that one of the teachers makes her level 5 girls put their pointe shoes on for ballet class but as for level 4 girls I cannot think of any that do. But if you are in level 5 or above and the teacher allows it then it would be fine, it just depends on the teacher. All of the incoming freshman are at different levels. In my freshman class there are 4 girls in level 6 for ballet, 6 girls in level 5 ballet, and the rest are in level 4 with two also being in level 3. Their are a few people more advanced in Horton and Graham but I would say that like 95% of us are in the beginning levels of modern but more advanced levels of ballet. I like answering questions about the program so don't worry about all the questions. I wish I had someone to answer all the questions I had last year before I attended the program. :dry:

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To Balletgirl19892003 and anyone else:

Do the BFA dancers mainly socialize and study with other student/dancers or are they integrated into the whole Fordham LC student body?

Do you/they take any classes at Rose Hill campus?

Looking through the Ailey/Fordham brochure it seems like the dancers are mostly from minority groups. Do you think the photos accurately represent the students in the BFA program?

Do most dancers live on campus at LC or are there a lot of commuters?

I know there is no dance minor, but can other students take the Ailey classes as an elective?


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Yes, the BFA dancers do tend to socialize and study with other dancers although our academic classes are with the whole Fordham LC student body. It just works out that way with our schedules but there are plenty of opportunities to socialize with regular students. This past year most of the freshman dancers were placed with non-dancers as their roommates so I tended to meet people through my roommates.


Dance majors do not take classes at Rose Hill typically just because there really is no time.


For the most part I believe that the photos accurately represent the students in the BFA program for some of the classes but not all. For example in my class there are 7 African Americans, 2 Asians, 1 Dominican, 11 Caucasians. It really just depends on who auditions and who accepts the invitation to attend the program from year to year.


Most dancers do tend to live on campus at LC but there are some who commute. In my class there are 2 girls who commute, one from New Jersey and the other lives 5 blocks from Fordham with her family. It's a lot easier to live in the dorms especially freshman year when you are trying to get used to everything and I'm glad that I only have to walk 5 blocks to get between Fordham and Ailey.


Yes, other students can take Ailey classes as an elective. Depending on how many credits a students comes in with he/she could either start 2nd semester of freshman year or 1st semester of sophomore year. There were 2 girls who were in my Horton class this year during 2nd semester who were regular Fordham students and they got the same attention that everyone else received.


Hope this helped and if you have any more questions feel free to ask :shrug:

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