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Ballet Talk for Dancers

college in NYC or not necessary?


Guest iwonder

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Guest iwonder

My daughter is a junior and we live in NY state. She wants to only look at colleges in the nyc area and feels that it is important to be near or in NYC to attend college because of all of the opportunity. I have read that some NYC area colleges discourage auditioning and some even prohibit it during the college school year. She wants to atend a college not more than 4-5 hours from home. She is not strict Ballet and dances in all disciplins with her favorites being modern, jazz and tap. Ultimately she will attend where she chooses and is accepted, but should she look at other colleges that offer dance such as Brockport, University of Buffalo etc? What is everyones opinion on this topic? NYC or not?? THANKS!

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Within the state of NY, a restriction on taking auditions would be not only unenforceable, it would be illegal under the "freedom of association" clauses of the state constitution, never mind the federal one. Such a regulation would also be in opposition to the "restraint of trade" provisions of the law, and several other things you can't do in New York State. Well, you can, but then you can have a nasty long trial and penalties.

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If she is hoping to dance on Broadway, it might not be a bad idea to be in the city. But make sure that the program she chooses will allow her to audition for things outside of the school. But I would think that she might also consider colleges elsewhere with good musical theatre programs, where she would get a lot of performing experience. She would also be able to study acting and voice, which is very important if she wants to be a musical theatre performer.

 

And welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :lol:

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Guest iwonder

Mel and Victoria, thanks for your advice. I am really enjoying this site. I am learning that there is so much to consider when looking for dance programs that fit the student. It seems that there are many different programs and levels. I am glad that my daughter is starting to look now because there is so much to learn. We are planning to go to as many college performances as possible to get a better idea of each programs focus, as well as tour the school and talk to people in the dance depts. At this point my daughter hopes to perform after college and eventually open her own studio/Company. Thanks again! :)

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From Marymount Manhattan College's FAQs page:

 

<<16. Does the dance department allow dancers to attend outside auditions?

 

Outside auditions that interfere with the training or academic schedule of dancers are strictly prohibited. Seniors who are in their last semester of work are given permission to audition; beyond their own initiatives, students receive supplemental information about auditions from the department in accordance with individual career goals.>>

 

Dance majors' schedules tend to be extremely full, starting in the morning and often going well into the evening, with rehearsals on weekends. Attendance in class is a huge part of a dance major's grade, so it is common for attendance policies to be very strict. It doesn't matter if it's NYC or Arizona, dance majors might have time to take some outside dance classes, but there is no way to fit an outside rehearsal schedule, including all-consuming tech weeks, around a BFA dance program.

 

In answer to the question, "NYC or not?", my daughter, who is aiming for a career with a contemporary dance company, turned down MMC in favor of the University of Arizona because she loves all forms of dance too much (ballet, modern, jazz and tap) to have to choose just one style to major in.

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*knock knock* Here's the point of view from a UK university performing arts professor here - although we don't teach (much) dance in our department - it's theatre mostly - we do advise the students about prioritising. While we don't prohibit outside performance involvement, we require strict attendance at all University scheduled lectures, seminars, training workshops, and rehearsals as officially called by directors/stage managers during term time. We also include a "process" component in their performance marks, which is based on contribution, work, collaboration etc, and of course physical presence is an essential part of that!

 

Naturally, we require that university work must take priority over extra-curricular performances or part-time jobs, and we advise students not to get involved in outside performance work at certain points in their degrees which we know are very demanding - eg the beginning of their first year when they're adjusting to university life, and the second half of their final year when they're preparing final performances, as well as certain other times within each teaching year - particularly when they're involved in rehearsing group work which is assessed through a live performance at the end of each semester

 

So although we don't prohibit outside auditioning (well, we couldn't, legally!), we do advise against it at certain times, and most of all, we enforce a strict attendance policy, with only illness or compassionate grounds as reasons for permitted absence. Logical really - physical presence for your training and contributions to the ensemble rehearsals/performances is absolutely fundamental to all forms of the performing arts.

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Guest iwonder

This all makes perfect sense to me. I have a daughter who always wants to do it all! That is a good thing but also can make for little sleep which is not healthy! I can understand how intensive schedules at college would require more focused concentration. That brings to light the major/minor or double major conundrum. Again, a very difficult thing I am discovering. Again the committment to dance makes it very difficult. She is set on NYC right now but that does limit her. She is now talking about "looking" at schools in other locations but NYC is her dream. I am glad she started to look into things early. If it were a year later panic would probably be setting in! :pinch:

Thanks for everyones info. This board is great!!

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