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So I have recently become aware of Tulane University and the fact they have a dance program, I am starting to look seriously at schools since I am going to be applying in a year or so and want to have a lot of options. Could anyone tell me about it? I can't find information anywhere as to whether or not they are more Modern or Ballet focused or how good they are.

Any information at all, including just the area or overal the school, would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi, Spice and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :yes:


Remember, Tulane is located in New Orleans, LA, and they've had some few little problems there in recent months, which you may have heard about.


At present, all I know is that dance students at Tulane are continuing their studies, probably for the rest of this academic year, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. SMU offers both ballet AND modern, so they are able to do in Dallas what they were doing in New Orleans, but what the plans for the upcoming academic year are for Tulane, I don't know. It will be highly dependent on recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of buildings on campus.

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One of the teachers from Tulane is here in Baton Rouge. She subbed for my modern class a few times. I really enjoyed her class.


I'm not sure if the program there is more ballet or modern focused, but they aren't in session right now because of the hurricane.

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Another school right down the street from Tulane is Loyola, and I believe they have a ballet program, but I don't know much about it. They're in the same post-storm condition, though. Anyway, if it's the area you're interested in, might be worth looking at, even though we're not what we used to be.

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Guest sehoy13

Loyola offers a minor in ballet. The department is under the school of music. It's classical and Russian-based I believe. My DS interviewed there a couple of years ago. Tulane and Loyola are right next door. It would seem like one campus to an outsider.

And school starts back in January at both campuses. Despite what nasty Hasterts might desire, New Orleans is not gone. :party:





Edited by sehoy13
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Very good news on the recovery at both institutions! Thanks, sehoy, and also thanks for the links! :party:

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Loyola offers a minor in ballet. The department is under the school of music. It's classical and Russian-based I believe. My DS interviewed there a couple of years ago. Tulane and Loyola are right next door. It would seem like one campus to an outsider.

And school starts back in January at both campuses. Despite what nasty Hasterts might desire, New Orleans is not gone.  :party:







*nods* New Orleans is definately coming back! Many of the businesses on Bourbon are open and things are starting to get back to normal here, aside from the pesky "Katrina Cough" thats going around.


I did talk to the lady, Alice, who subbed for my modern class briefly about the program about Tulane. I was more interested in the graduate level, in choreography. She said Tulane only has a BA level and not a Graduate program. Thats the only other thing I know about it, but if she subs again, I'll ask her more about the program

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My daughter, now a student at SMU, visited Tulane and the dance department. This is a wonderful university with outstanding academics but she didn't know if the quality of the dance program would satisfy her. She's a ballet dancer, not so much a modern dancer (although she's come to enjoy that too--quite a surprise to her).


When there, she was able to peek in on a ballet class. She also spoke at length with a ballet student. This student had danced at SAB in the summers so had a fairly high level of technique. This student really loved the dance program there, but her interest was primarily in choreography. She was very happy with the quality of ballet.

She was also a double major (most of the dancers are, at least according to her).


In the end, my D wanted a program that had more stature within the university community so went with SMU. Both schools offer significant academic scholarships to many students--my D among them. She very nearly picked Tulane--it was her first choice for her other potential major--neuroscience.


Our overall impression was that it was a better dance program than we had expected--it doesn't get much press. However, my son will be a returning freshman at Tulane this spring. As a result, I keep up on lots of info about the school. Some program cuts are inevitable.


If you do pursue Tulane, it would be important to ask about the expectations re the longevity of the Dance Program. I don't know that it will be in jeopardy. However, the Performing Arts program at Tulane has not been one of its crown jewels, so I'd be sure to inquire about how well protected it might be.

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Thanks everyone, the reason why I even brought it up was because Tulane sent me some information a few days ago but anything I could find about their dance program was really vague. I guess I should just e-mail them once they get their sites back up and running propperly. So many colleges to choose from, such a lacking of detailed information :thumbsup:

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I'd also go ahead and call with any questions you might have. I believe

that most of the faculty and staff are either on site or will be soon.


Also, the Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance is Barbar Hayley, email is bhayley@tulane.edu

My experience is that everyone at Tulane is really wonderful about responding to questions. I wouldn't by shy about asking her whatever you need to know. She would be able to forward it to the right person if she can't help.

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  • 1 year later...

I received my dance degree from Tulane University. I did post a little about the program on another thread several years back (pre-Katrina).


I began my dance major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee many years ago when the ballet program was fantastic. They had equal emphasis on ballet and modern, but the ballet department was actually stronger. Lupe Serrano was on staff at that time, and one of my teachers, Jury Gotshalks, had strong personal ties to ABT, so there were opportunities for students to perform with visiting ABT principals.


Many, many years later I visited the school, interested in picking up my dance degree where I left off, but the program had gone 95% modern. I hardly recognized it. The chair of the department also gave me her theory as to why so many college programs have gone modern, but that's another topic for another day.


Meanwhile, Tulane had just officially started its dance major. I was friends with the chairman of the department; we had taken classes in the community together. She urged me to audition for the program, which I did. The program offers equal emphasis on ballet and modern. You can take equal amounts of training, or if you're like me and cringe :blushing::blushing::ermm: at modern, you can omit modern once you have achieved at least one semester at the advanced level. Same holds true for those who'd rather concentrate on modern instead of ballet. That was for the BA, which is a pretty darned challenging BA. There's also a BFA, but I'd already had a performing career, so didn't go that route.


The faculty is nurturing, the facilities are wonderful, and there are also lots of guest artists that do residencies, such as members of the Limon company, Doug Varrone, Alvin Ailey, etc.


When I returned to New Orleans after Katrina, I went to see a multi media dance concert set on the students entitled "Love Letters to New Orleans" -- it has been traveling through the U.S. since and you should see it if you get an opportunity. I was amazed at how virtually all of the majors had returned after the storm, and what an electric kind of energy I felt from them. During the concert, a man who was sitting next to me asked me some questions about the department. This particular concert was held in one of the studios (very large) that is also set up to function as a small theater space. He said it was the first time he'd been in that studio and seen a student dance concert. It turned out to be the college president(!!!) Needless to say, it's a never ending struggle to elicit the same kind of recognition/money for the arts that's always there for athletics ...

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I did a google search and found this listing of venues for "Love Letters from New Orleans:"


Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington DC, May 18, 2006 + September 16, 2006 • Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, February 16+17, 2007 • Seven Stages, Atlanta, GA, September 2007 • Dance Place, Washington, DC, October 2007


As you can see, most of the dates have passed, but maybe some of you in the Atlanta and DC areas will be able to check it out.

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Thank you -- maybe we can get this post placed somewhere else, because I'd love for as many folks as possible to see this performance. It's amazing.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm currently auditing classes at Tulane just to get some modern work. The program is, in my opinion, geared more towards modern dancers. Lots of modern faculty so a nice range of styles. I take ballet with one of the advanced ballet teachers at Tulane, but at an outside studio, and from what I can tell, the studio ballet class is more challenging/fast-paced than the Tulane class. Also, regarding physical space, there are a few studios at Tulane but the really big one that they tend to hold class in has no mirror, which I can deal with in modern (though it's not my preference) but I think it's awful for ballet. No pointe class, no partnering class, I don't know if any of the girls wear pointe shoes in the Ballet IV class. From dancing with them in modern I get the feeling that on the whole, the dancers have not come from intensive ballet backgrounds. Performance mostly features modern choreography.


We do get a lot of master classes in both ballet and modern at Tulane, which is pretty sweet.

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