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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University

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We went to the accepted students day for Tisch dance majors. It was clear to us that dance majors are allowed to double major (as a matter of fact, there was a Tisch dance student there who was double majoring in English). It seems as if a decision to double major does present some challenges in terms of scheduling, but it is definitely doable (especially if you're willing to take some of the non-dance courses that didn't fit into your schedule during the academic year over the summer). It seems that it is much easier to take on a non-dance minor since fewer courses are required to complete a minor.

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Hmmm, interesting...I'm not sure how she left the session with that incorrect info but I will let her know your first-hand knowledge. Thanks, notathome.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm going to say one more time that I am absolutely positive that dance majors are allowed to double major. In fact, I am doing so and am on track to finish two degrees in the three year program.


It takes some careful planning and dedication, but is completely doable depending on what your interests are.

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My brother is one of the professors at NYU, specifically Tisch. The dance majors can double major, he says it is just up to them to work their schedules so that the dance schedule comes first. Most people that do it take summer classes also, or an extra year to graduate.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi. My daughter who is a high school senior is thinking of applying to the NYU Tisch dance program this year. She is trained in classical ballet (and in the past was at SAB summer intensive, SFB year round for 2 years, Miami summer intensive and Kirov Acad. summer intensives.) While still dancing, she has done relatively less dance over the past year, due to the very demanding AP course loads in high school. She has performance experience primarily in dance competitions.

With respect to auditions, she is wondering about the fact that she has not had any modern dance experience, (e.g., how this will affect her chances, and what is expected in the modern dance section of the audition.) Further, any specific information anyone has about the entire audition (ballet and modern), how competitive it is, what is looked for, whether there is a difference if one auditions at NYU or in satellite auditions near home town, etc. etc. would be very appreciated. Thanks!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, on average, what is the average age on entering NYU Tisch dance program?

Is it a must to take SAT or is it possible to enroll earlier?

I am currently 15 and is planning to audition to dance colleges when I am 16, which means I will be enrolled when I am 17.

If I take the SAT exam, I would be graduating when I am 18, which means I will be enrolled when I am 19.

I am not entirely confident that I will get in my first try, so I was thinking if I tried earlier, I would still have time to try again the following year.

However, I believe that one of the requirements is to have taken SAT.

Does anybody in the school is age 17? Thanks!

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pliare, you can find most of that information on the college website. The school's requirements for admission are there. I would be very surprised if an SAT (or ACT with writing) were not required. NYU is an upper tier college, meaning it is competitive to get in---especially in the dance program. The Admissions department will not give 'brownie points' for applying as a younger freshmen (age 16 or so); you will be compared/contrasted with all freshmen applicants and considered, along with them, in categories such as maturity, leadership, etc. Different states have different kindergarten cut-offs, i.e., the age a child must be to start school. In the State I grew up in, the age was younger than the State where I now live. I started college as a 17-turning-18-within a month old as a result; my kids, however, will be 18-turning-19-within-months for no reason other than our State starts kids later age-wise.


Please take some time to read through this thread and to visit the college's website and read through all the Admissions information---both for the University in general and the dance program specifically. It is good that you are beginning to investigate the colleges and programs early. :)

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I cannot speak to applying to college for dance or as a younger student, but your post implies that you think you need to be a certain age to take the SAT. For various reasons, many students take the SAT before their senior year. And many students take it more than once, in hopes of improving their scores. The College Board website has a lot of useful information, including a schedule of dates on which it is administered. The SAT part of your decision should be easy to solve. Best of luck with the rest.

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Sara3, I know several students who were accepted to Tisch in the last 2 years with a background similar to your daughter's. They attended a pre-professional ballet school that did not offer much in the way of modern. They were very strong ballet dancers.


Their experience is similar to that of my daughter's who was accepted to Tisch several years ago. She too was a pre-professional ballet student who had some well-known SI's on her resume: SAB, Harid, Boston, Joffrey, Washington. For her solo, she did the turning variation from "Etudes". Nearly everyone else did a modern variation. In the interview, she was asked if she'd be disappointed by all the modern classes at Tisch. She said she was looking forward to learning modern. She thought it was a great interview, and she was accepted. At that time, Tisch wasn't her first choice school though, and she accepted elsewhere. The irony is that she never did go to college, but joined a contemporary company when she graduated high school, and has been dancing professionally ever since.

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Ah, I see, thank you!

In singapore, secondary school and junior college combined are equivalent to high school in America. xD

Does anyone know what is the maximum or minimum age in applying for tisch for international students?

I am contented to know that they do not give priority to younger students because I would prefer to have at least an A level cert (equivalent to SAT) as well as the time to improve myself. xD


Do they accept A level certificates? O:


Thanks alot!

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I am a student at Tisch and had a much stronger ballet background than modern before coming here. I came to Tisch from a ballet residency program with little modern experience. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the program: the atmosphere, the faculty, the quality of dancers, the academics (NYU)...everything is just outstanding.

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  • 3 months later...

I was definitely a ballet student before I came to Tisch. I spent multiple summers at the Joffrey Ballet and the Boston Ballet and did mostly classical work all year round. I did have some exposure to modern (some graham and cunningham) and a small amount of jazz training before I came.


Tisch is not for you if you want to focus on classical rep. If your dream rep list includes mainly the classics, this probably isn't the program for you. BUT, if you love ballet and pointework and want to take a more contemporary route I wouldn't discourage your application. The chair of the department has her own contemporary ballet company and was a dancer in the Pennsylvania Ballet herself. Pointe work and pointe partnering is offered (and optional). It's a great contemporary school where you can taste everything dance has to offer. Everyone has interests all over the board...joining a contemporary ballet company, modern dance, experimental dance, broadway, commercial work, choreography in all these areas, arts administration...etc.


Also, if you're planning on apply early decision...the audition process is much different from the regular decision candidates.


Auditions in NY: I didn't attend mine in NY but I've seen them occur at school. Most of the faculty is on panel and watches a full ballet class taught by a member of the ballet faculty. A modern class follows of mixed techniques in which you will learn combinations from various modern teachers on faculty. A cut is made. Solos are seen. Sometimes another cut is made and then interviews are conducted.


Regional auditions: These are done the same way as the NY auditions except that only two professors attend. One will teach the ballet portion and one will teach the modern. Only these two will decide the talent portion of your "Tisch Dance fate".


Early decision auditions: These look scary. I can understand why they discourage ED candidates. Basically...if you are auditioning ED you will come in and take an hour and a half ballet class followed by an hour and a half modern class with first and second year students. My first year, they would throw these students in with the 2nd highest level classes, but last year they took both techniques with the most advanced level students. Scary! I would never want to do that...especially in modern because that's the area where most people seem to have trouble jumping into. I'm not sure what the process is like past the two classes.


Hope this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...


32fouettes, I will be auditioning for Tisch this weekend and am wondering if you can tell me what would be appropriate attire.

I have a stronger background in ballet as you stated you did as well prior to auditioning. The confirmation just said to wear "wear clothing that does not obscure body lines." Since you are a student and have observed some auditions, what would you consider acceptable. I don't want to wear tights and a leotard and appear to be a 'bunhead' so to speak, but I do not want to wear cut-offs and appear unprofessional. Thanks so much!!

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I showed up totally looking like a bunhead. I wore a brown leotard with pink tights and changed into black tights for my solo.


I would say go for the leotard and tights during ballet and definitely pull your hair off your neck (bun, clip, whatever). The chair of the department likes the classical look and if you're auditioning in NY, she'll be there. If you want to put on short of black tights for modern that will be fine. Honestly, for classes here the dress code isn't strict...but for an audition they will probably prefer more professional looking attire.


Try a leotard that isn't black maybe. And if you do prefer black tights...they shouldn't have a problem with that at all.


All in all, the way you look affects the way you feel. Wear something professional that you feel your best in!

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Thanks 32fouettes.

I actually ended up wearing pink tights and a yumiko leotard completing the bunhead look with a frech twist. haha

There were a variety including leotard and shorts, unitard, black tights, and some with outfits that were more appropriate for the gym. :( I just ended up rolling up my tights for the modern portion and my solo. I felt pretty comfortable and the faculty was great!

Hopefully there's a chance of me joining you next year.

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