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Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of Cincinnati

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My DD was most impressed with Cincinnati's program, and would have attended this fall if not for a very happy result from her SI this summer. (Big smile - I can't figure out how to get the smilies!) The program is small and the faculty seemed very attentive and encouraging. There are relationships with Cincinnati Ballet, Dayton Ballet and Joffrey and the school is very flexible about allowing time and even college credit for training/performing with professional companies. It is not a great part of town but the dorm is just yards from CCM and we did not feel unsafe at any time while visiting. The facilities are absolutely gorgeous.

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This school was my dd's first choice from the moment she walked on the campus. My husband attended the audition with her and since she loved the school and received such favorable feedback after the audition we went back for an academic competition a week later. Happy to report she received 2 partial scholarships; one for academics, one from the conservatory that was based on her audition.


I must confess I was a bit leery about the location from reading so many negative posts, but my nervousness was put at ease when we visited for orientation a couple weeks ago. What they've packed into a relatively small campus for such a large University population is unbelivable. The new "Main Street" complex and "Varsity Village" are amazing and provide for so many student activities. Being a large University, there's also quite a variety of other schools to explore for a second or double-major or minor.


The staff and administration on hand from the Conservatory of Music made us feel welcome and at ease and gives the "small-school" feel with their genuine enthusiasm and concern for the students. They didn't just give a "glad to have you here speech" and move on; the deans and assistants were on hand and participated in the sessions for 2 days with both students and parents, even assisting the new freshmen with registering for classes, making sure they were meeting their major requirements.


The urban-ness of the campus makes it unique - not unsafe or scary at all. There is also urban renewal in the neighborhoods around the campus with new housing and shops, combined with other small businesses like any other "neighborhood" you'd find in cities like Toronto or NY. I think it would be a very exciting campus to be a part of for any young adult.


At the audition, my husband was told that they were anticipating 7-10 openings for fresman dance majors, but would offer more acceptances because statistically about half of the students actually accept. Surprisingly we found at the orientation that all the dance majors offered admission accepted - 22 incoming freshmen! Obviously this program is growing in reputation. Only 16 incoming dancers were at the orientation, so possibly some have changed their minds. e'smom, you make reference that your daughter would've attend this fall if not for good news from a SI. Can you please elaborate?


We are fairly confident that our dd will have many opportunities in her tenure at UC-CCM artistically and academically.



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Vita Luna,

My DD was offered a ballet company apprenticeship and will be deferring UC, so she is one that originally accepted but will not be coming after all. I would imagine a few students will be doing orientation late since it is right in the middle of the summer when a lot of kids are off to summer intensives. Good luck to your daughter.

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Thanks for the additional information e'smom. The orientation several weeks ago was solely for incoming CCM freshmen so I assumed almost everyone would attend that special orientation. The administration spoke at orientation about the school's flexibility for students getting time off for professional opportunities and during one conversation with my husband Michael Tevlin told him one student will be dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago for a year and will still be on track for their BFA. Professional experience plus college credit as an added bonus. Maybe your dd can use her professional experiences towards credit somehow if and when she decides to attend CCM. Congratulations and best wishes to her!

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My youngest dd will probably audition in Feb. 08. Does anyone have information on the program- how much dancing per day, freshman allowed to perform, etc. Any news will be appreciated.

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My daughter auditioned for this program, was accepted, during her senior year in HS and came very close to attending but postponed college. At the time (two years ago) the casting (including leads) was based on talent rather than age or seniority. The program has grown in the last two years but I don't believe there has been any change in faculty since then.


I do not recall the number of hours per day but it was significant. Several of the dancers wore pointe shoes for center during technique class, in addition to pointe class. Some are trainees or apprentices with Cincinnati Ballet or do Nut with Dayton. The student referred to in a previous thread who was dancing with Joffrey for a season would have been able to continue at CCM I believe but has left for a second company elsewhere. They are most accomodating about allowing college credit for professional company class as long as the student maintains a certain number of credit hours.


The Conservatory produces a thick book that details the schedules and requirements but if you have questions I would encourage you to pick up the phone and call the dance department as they were very helpful and friendly.


I liked the fact that their BFA seemed to truly be a fine arts degree - with requirements in foreign language, art history, etc as well as dance.

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I'm planning a "college visit" trip this spring with my DD who is a junior in high school. One stop on our Midwest tour is Cincinnati, and DD is scheduled to participate in a Level III Ballet Technique class. The woman in the admissions office, who was very nice, said that she is also welcome to take the "Women's Pointe and Variations" class.


Any pointers for taking a college ballet class as a visiting junior in high school? Any thoughts on whether or not it makes sense to take the Pointe and Variations class? It seems to me that if the class is working on variations that they have already been introduced to in earlier classes, DD may end up at a bit of a disadvantage and feel uncomfortable. Thanks for any input!

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Last Feb, my dd and I visited CCM, she was a junior at the time. She took a ballet class and could have taken a modern class, though chose not to since she hasn't had much modern, plus we wanted to do the general campus tour. I can't remember what level the class was, but there were Freshmen and Sophomores in it. It was a challenging class, but she held her own and she really enjoyed seeing first hand what college would be like. My dd approached it like a regular class and all her SI auditions helped prepare her. I can't comment on the pointe/variations class--I guess it depends on your dk's personality. Since they are allowing visitors to take the class, they can't expect them to be at the same level as the rest of the class. We found Shellie Cash to be a very welcoming and friendly director and the CCM students were also friendly. It was not an intimidating experience at all for my dd.

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My daughter and I also found this to be the most welcoming school she visited. Shellie Cash and also Michael Tevlin are very personable and accessible. If you have questions they are available by phone as well. (In contrast, my DD has been trying to schedule an audition at another school for three weeks now and cannot get anyone to call her back or email and it's not one of the Top 6 or anything like that! She is about ready to withdraw her application for that one....)

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My dd is auditioning on Feb 16 in NY. She wanted to see the school, but we are a lot closer to NY.

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for those of you auditioning in new york...have you mailed in your videos yet? i was under the assumption that we just brought it to the audition however i recently recieved an email stating that i should mail it two weeks in advance...just wondering what you all did!

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for those of you auditioning in new york...have you mailed in your videos yet?


We mailed my dd video last week. The email confirming the audition date was not well worded and it said in one place to bring it to the audition, then buried several paragraphs later they requested it early. (I think it was a function of too much "cut and paste" on the computer)

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