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Dominican University/Lines Ballet: BFA Program

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CreativeMom

DanceMaven is absolutely correct. Dancers in no way graduate with an automatic certification in Gyro. I did not mean to imply that. It is an opportunity which is available to them. One that some take advantage of and some do not. It is a lot of work and money to complete the certification. What I like is that the opportunity is available to the dancers. :)

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lizzyhults1

Creative mom, that information is extremely helpful. Do you have any knowledge on if the school is supportive or helps with company options and auditions senior year for after college 

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CreativeMom

This is an area which is harder for me to write about since my daughter has not reached this stage yet. I know that the students are informed about some auditions in the area, but I would say mostly it is their responsibility to arrange auditions. Most of the dancers are interested in very small contemporary companies (20 or less dancers) or even project based work. My understanding is that finding this kind of work has a lot to do with the contacts you have as well as one's audition performance. As I think I mentioned before, the dancers do develop a number of contacts through this program, and not all of them are in the SF area. Guest choreographers from all over are brought in throughout their four years. Students do get a little bit of help with things like resumes and videos.

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dancemaven

When DD was there, there was a specific faculty member who worked with the students to help them formulate, crystallize, and implement their career goals.  I can’t remember what her title was, nor can I remember what they actually called the program.  It was a class that met periodically over a several years.  In keeping with some other similar classes, I’ll call it ‘swimming’ class.  

The teacher would meet with the students (as a class) and they would have assignments.  Some I recall would be to research companies (e.g., AD, size, budget, union or not, repertoire, season, weeks), make lists of things you want in a company (size, location, weeks, choreography, repertoire), what kind of company structure you’d prefer (ranked, single-choreographer, etc).  The intent and goal of the “class” was to help the students learn to do research on companies, learn more about the various companies and types of companies out there, and to progressively get them to think about what types of companies they would be interested in, and by senior year, have identified compatible companies and have a plan for auditioning.

As is typical, only a very few took the assignments seriously and put in the actual work.  DD was one and by senior year, she had a pretty good plan as to what specific companies (and types of companies) she was interested in, and had planned out an audition tour.  (Then she had an injury that derailed it all).  Most of the dancers had not really prepared and were auditioning willy-nilly and following any audition they heard anyone else was planning on.

At the time (remember, DD’s was only the third class), the teacher’s intent was to build a bank of information for the dancers to share and use.  I don’t know that that really materialized because not many dancers took the assignments to heart. They did only precursory research, which really didn’t help anyone, including themselves.

So, even with the help of the faculty, the dancers ARE responsible for themselves——and that is a major theme throughout this BFA.  

The faculty does help in terms of being there with information, if they have it; recommendations, if they have it; and support always.  They also arrange for professional photos for seniors and help with the photo shoot.  (At least they did when DD was there).  The faculty does have a lot of contacts, but it doesn’t mean they can get anyone a job.  

Many of the dancers audition and dance in Europe.  Many work in small contemporary and/or modern companies in the States.  Many work in pick-up projects.  Some create their own pick-up companies and pick-up projects. Some work as choreographers for small projects and companies.

Marina will tell you that the focus of this program is not a dance contract.  The focus is on creating the next generation of dance.

I would encourage a student there to not hesitate to form a connection with any (and all) member of the faculty.  Their mentorship is invaluable and very rewarding.  They were all always more than willing to help DD with anything she needed.

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CreativeMom

As I said before my daughter has not reached this stage yet, but I think DanceMaven's description/explanation is probably a fairly accurate description of what is still going on. I'm not sure there is still a formal class, but I know there is always an eye on the future and discussions about what life may be like after graduation. Sorry I'm not more help with this one! 

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lizzyhults1

Our DD visited last week, traveled to Lines with the BFA students to attend a class then observed classes the next day at Marin. Deposits were paid last night. She is officially attending Dominican as a BFA student in the fall!

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tutumama

lizzyhults1,  wohoo! Congratulation to your daughter on making a decision and good luck to her next year:))

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Amie

Congratulations to you and your DD lizzyhults1! 

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Lady Elle

Lizziehultz1 - yay!!! I'm looking forward to reading your dd's journey through this program.  Really fun!  

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dancingjet

I missed this when you originally posted it, @lizzyhults1. Congrats to your DD!

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