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Univ. of Calgary and School of Alberta Ballet

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Hey everyone,


I'm new and I will most likely be making most of my posts in this forum. I am in my first year of the B.A. program at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta. I am specializing in ballet through the School of Alberta Ballet. If anyone has any questions about this program feel free to ask! (I'll do my best to answer you)



Edited by Canadian Dancer
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Canadian Dancer,

Welcome to Ballet Talk! We are glad to have you. It would be great if you would go to the sticky at the top of this forum and cut and paste the questionnaire into a post here and tell us what you know about this program. I'm unfamiliar with it and I'm sure many here would very much like to know about this collaboration. :sweating:

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At the University of Calgary there is a contemporary program as well as the ballet program- I am answering only from the ballet perspective.





Describe the audition/application process. After you have sent in your dance photo, essay and application form, there is a two day audition. The first day there is a ballet class audition at School of Alberta Ballet and a modern class audition at the UofC(in case you don't make it into the ballet program). Day two is another modern class audition and a group interview. You must also meet basic University requirements to be considered for acceptance.


How many dance majors? Ballet first years-9, Second years-3, third years-4 or 5, fourth years-4 or 5


How many dance minors?No Ballet Minors (you can minor in contemporary though)


How many applicants to the dance program annually? ballet- 8-15 (first years)


How many Freshman are accepted? 8-15


Of those, how many are 1st year post high school Freshman? (separating those from ‘older’ freshman) 6-8


How many men in the program? none right now


Must students be accepted to the college or university before applying to the dance program, or vice versa? vice versa- yes


If admission to the school is not required before applying to the dance program, must ANY paperwork be in process, before auditioning? Yes there is an application form as well as an essay of interest in the program. You must also submit 3 dance photos.


Are the entrance requirements for dancers the same as all other applicants to the school? The same as the Fine Arts Faculty


Does the program seem to have stringent body type requirements? No.

Are there scholarship/financial aid opportunities specifically for dancers?No. (but the Government of Alberta has bursaries for the arts)





Describe the studio/performance facilities. School of Alberta Ballet studios, as well as large gym-type studios at the University.


What is the approximate number of performance opportunities each year? 3 main shows


Who choreographs/directs the above performances? Students as well as Faculty


What ratio of ballet, modern, jazz or other forms of dance are included in these performances? alot of modern, some ballet.


How is casting done? auditions


What is the climate of this program (supportive/friendly or highly competitive)?

Is there an elite upper division touring/performing company within the department? supportive/friendly


Are there choreography projects available for students? yes.


What opportunities are there to see dance performances or teachers from outside the school on a regular basis? lots. ('Live Rush' card allows students to see ballets (Alberta Ballet, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks..... for around $12). Teachers also have performances at the University. (part of our grades comes from watching and writig about performances)


What nutrition/health counseling is available? there is a nutrition center on campus


What medical facilities/physical therapy is available? Full medical staff- access to all the sports team's medical staff


Describe the culture at this program (warm, cold, competitive, nurturing, professional, etc.) nurturing and professional


Is there anything unique or that might be helpful regarding the audition process or the audition itself? all ballet applicants must also audition for the contemporary program



List ballet faculty members. Ms.Shietze, Ms. Wright, Mr. Kilgour, Mrs. Kilgour, Ms.Jones, Ms.Proust.


How often does each teacher actually teach class? They all teach the B.A. students, just different years.


How many hours of ballet classes per week are required? 10ish


How many ballet classes a week are offered? 5-7


How many technique classes are required of those in other forms of dance (such as modern)? 3 per week- one semester (modern)


What style of dance is the focus of this program (modern, ballet, other)? ballet


What dance requirements are there other than technique classes? none.


What degrees are offered within the Dance program? B.A. emphasis ballet


Is there a separate Dance department? If not, from what department are the dance classes offered? Fine Arts


Is Pilates certification available through your program for dance majors? Yes, put it is not creditable








How rigorous are the academics in dance-related, non-technique classes? fairly


How rigorous are the academic courses? depends on individual's science/art options they choose.


What is the ratio of academic requirements to studio hours? almost half-and-half (more studio tome though)


Are double majors allowed for a dance major? If so, is it practical to double-major? Generally not for ballet majors (schedule conflicts). Not very practical


Can a student double major in one program in the dance department and another from a different department? Yes if the schedule permits.


Is there a dance minor? If yes, please complete these questions: not for ballet


Are minors allowed to take major classes?


What is the ratio of first time or beginning dancers in the minor classes?


Are the minor classes significant enough that a minor can still dance after college?


Are non-majors allowed to take technique classes?


As a practical matter, can non-majors get into technique classes (or are they filled with dance majors by the time non-majors can register)?






Is career counseling/job placement assistance offered? Yes.


If yes, at what year does that counseling start? Right away (first year)


What does the counseling include? Talking with dance instructors of various backgrounds.


How often do company director's visit the school for viewings? Once in a while.


How common is it for students to leave the school to join companies prior to graduation? Not very.


Do any dancers from this program go on to professional performing careers? Teaching careers? Mostly teaching careers.


Who are recent guest artists or companies who have been in residence at the school? Alberta Ballet


For students graduating from this program who do not go on to dance professionally, what kind of jobs/careers do they go into? Teachers, Open their own dance schools, arts writers.

Edited by Canadian Dancer
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Thank-you very much, Canadian Dancer! Since most grads find careers in teaching, I was wondering how many courses focus on teaching or related subjects such as anatomy or child psychology? Are there opportunities to assist or observe in children's classes? Can grads obtain any teaching credentials? Also, it seems from the numbers you have posted that the program accepts most if not all applicants, is this true?


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I believe there is one dance teaching/related course per semester. Right now for first years it is Laban Analysis. At the School of Alberta Ballet students may assist teaching younger students. I believe you can take some education classes through the faculty of education. Some students choose to major in education and then minor in the contemporary program. Not everyone who audition did get into the program- they look for a certain level. However, since the ballet audition was small most did get in this year. The contemporary program was cut from 60 to 25.


Hope this helps,




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Are there any opportunities for the students to dance fill in roles with Alberta Ballet? Is this considered a trainee program for the company? The way you put both schools into the name of this program, I was wondering what the relationship was between this program and the pro company? Any opportunities to audition for the company? Is this considered a feeder program, etc.?

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The pre-professional program at the School of Alberta Ballet is considered the 'feeder' program to Alberta Ballet- so they get all of the opportunities with the company. The B.A. program uses the School of Alberta Ballet's studios and their techers. But I am a first year (2 weeks into the program) so we'll see what comes up!



Edited by Canadian Dancer
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  • 1 year later...

Just want to say that I am a second year contemporary major at the University of Calgary program so if anyone has any questions about the contemporary side just let me know!



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