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Dominican University/Lines Ballet: BFA Program

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Elaine--I would suggest you have your daughter write or call someone in the dance department to see if they are willing to answer that question if she is interested in re-auditioning. While we can give you general suggestions, since we haven't seen your dancer nor do we know the reasons that she did not meet their specifications this particular year, the answers could only be general. I have no idea if the folks there would entertain the question, however, it is worth a chance to ask and see if they might.

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Elaine, the person to whom your DD (and it really must be your daughter who inquires) should address this question is the program's director, Marina Hotchkiss. She is a very gracious, caring director (although a bit shy). They are just finishing up the semester/year, however, so she might be pre-occupied at the moment .

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Thank you for your reply. What I was wondering is if anybody has recommendations for what she could do this summer if she really wants to pursue ballet. She has had ballet training for about 7 years, with more serious training throughout high school. Right not she is at the crossroads as to whether to pursue ballet or just continue college.

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Did she audition/apply to any of the ballet Summer Intensive programs, either locally or elsewhere? The only way to improve her chances for a college dance program acceptance like the Lines BFA program is to dance, dance, dance--with well-trained teachers who impart excellent technique training.


The Lines program has a SI; so does the San Francisco Conservatory. There are wonderful classes available through out the summer at the ODC Studio in San Francisco. There are excellent programs around the country, as well. CYPB is well-respected and does not require an audition. Not knowing your circumstances, it is hard to really point you in any particular direction. Perhaps her home studio teacher(s) would have good advice for her and suggestions for this summer.

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  • 5 months later...

My daughter will be auditioning at Dominican/LINES Ballet over Thanksgiving. I haven't see much discussion about their program recently. If anyone that is part of the BFA program has information or advice they could share with us, it would be much appreciated. I'm also interested in knowing where the graduates of the program end up after completing their degree. Do you know where they are dancing at present?

Edited by tutu2you
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The current senior class is the inaugural class, so there have not yet been graduates to place and follow. One of those seniors is a Princess Grace Award winner this year.

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  • 5 months later...

Does anyone have any updated info about Dominican? Any graduates or current students willing to share their stories? I'm a junior this year, so I'm beginning the college process. One of my teachers had never heard of the Dominican program and therefore advised me not to look into it because he did not think it could be very good, but I don't really want to discredit the school just because he has never heard of it!

How strong is the ballet training? Do you feel like you're being prepared for the professional ballet world?

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dolphingirl792, as I said in the post immediately yours--- the current class of seniors IS the first graduating class. That means, the program is only four years old. Thus, there are no alumnae yet to track, senior placements to report, or any history. The dancers in the program, however, are very good and it is a rather selective program. One of the seniors this year is a Princess Grace Award recipient.


The school provides very good training, but like all college programs (or any other training program), the dancers get out of it what they put into it. The LINES program(s) has a philosophy that originates with Alonzo King himself and it is centered around self-discovery, self-motivation, self-reliance, and self-awareness. This program does not coddle students, does not save students from themselves, but it is a nurturing and caring program. However, the teachers expect the students to do things for themselves and will NOT spoon feed them. Students will be prepared for the professional world, however, no one is going to hand anyone a contract on a silver platter. The student must work, not only on their own dance technique and artistry, but work to take advantage of the networking that is available to them.


The program is centered around excellent ballet technique, but if you are interested in joining a classical ballet company or looking for classical ballet rep, the LINES BFA program probably won't be your cup of tea. Too many students come to the program (apparently) having no idea what LINES Ballet Company represents or what their type of rep is and then are surprised and/or complain that the program is not as classically focused as they would like. It would behoove the prospective students to do some research. The company itself is reflective of the type of choreography and approach to dance that is typical of the BFA program.


This is a contemporary ballet program. Contemporary ballet and modern companies would be more likely the focus of the graduates' company searches and matches. Pointe shoes are used; classical tutus are rarely (if ever) seen.


The BFA program also should not be considered a 'way in' to the company itself as motivation for attending the program. That company is very small (currently 9 members) and cannot possibly absorb the number of student who go through the BFA and the LINES Training Program (formerly LBSET).

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Sorry dancemaven! I read the date at the top of your post wrong and thought that it was written in early 2009, as that class would have graduated in the Spring. Sorry about that.


Thank you for this information. I'm trying to gather as much knowledge as I can about the many programs around the country so that I can make an informed decision when the time comes to apply to schools. I'm still slightly on the fence on whether or not the dance career is for me. I love it and I've always wanted to pursue it, but now that it is getting close to the time to truly make my decision, I have some deep thinking to do. I'm not sure how far I can make it and whether or not I have another calling. I'm also still exploring whether I'm more of a classical dancer or a contemporary dancer, and I know that the school that I choose may have a large impact on that.

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To get a feel for the type of dance this program is, I would definitely recommend, at the very least, auditioning for the LINES Ballet SI. Attendance at the summer program would also help introduce the dancer to the type of focus one would expect at the BFA program. It is not required at all, but I would say it is very helpful and makes for a better informed dancer.

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  • 5 months later...

Dianeronomo , my daughter was able to audition here in an ad hoc audition over her Thanksgiving break. She was visiting a relative at the time, so to save money, she did the audition then. My daughter would not have chosen this university, however. It was small, not orthodox enough in its religious practices for us, and required a great deal of time commuting between SF studio and the campus. They are, however, a very contemporary ballet program if that is what you are seeking.

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When you say "contemporary ballet program", does that typically mean contemporary pieces en pointe?

Yes, that's what it means. Research the LINES Ballet Company and you will see the type of work this program focuses on. :)

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  • 4 months later...

Any LINES/BFA updates ? I am wondering about the non-dance academic classes required for the BFA. The two websites (LINES & Domincan) give "outlines" of courses - 83 core dance credits needed and then a list of liberal arts courses and a total needed listed as 132-134 "units", so maybe about 50 non-dance university courses required. Also would love to hear an insiders view of the academic climate in general at Dominican - it has the lowest SAT scores of any of the other programs we are looking at.


If there happens to be a current student or parent of student out there on BT4D - What does the daily schedule look like? Ballet & modern technique every day? frequency of other dance classes such as pointe, partnering, etc...Another thing not clear on the websites were regular performance opportunities.


I have noted that there are two BFA graduates listed as part of the LINES company of 10 dancers (both male) and one company member who was in the training program (also male). So that's 2 out of 15-30? BFA students that have gone inot the company (one is listed as due to graduate this year I think so I am guessing that they are from two different classes). Would love to hear where the other BFA graduates are headed.


Is transportation to and from the LINES studio still provided on a shuttle bus?


Also any merit scholarship information. One previous poster mentioned 'hefty academic scholarships' available at Dominican. There was mention of need-based finaincial aid for dancers, but not really performing arts merit scholarship money.


I am sure that several of these questions can be answered by the LINES/BFA coordinator or director and I will ask - but its nice to hear from the perspective of student/parent as well.


Thanks for any information!

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Academic load is typically 3 non-dance classes per semester. Small class sizes are nice, and the faculty do love the dancers, however it is not necessarily a particularly challenging academic environment. However, there are a handful of professors that are absolutely fantastic and many dancers take multiple classes from this group of teachers. Also, many dancers, due to the dance schedule, are enrolled in the "pathways" classes which are usually early evening and made up mostly of adult students, which can also be interesting.


Daily schedule: Mon/Wed- Ballet 9-10:45am, Workshop (ie repertory, creation of new work, changes throughout semester) 11-1. Sometimes extra class 1-2:30

Tues/Thurs: Ballet 9-10:45am, Modern 11-12:30pm, Gyrotonic/Gyrokinesis (each 1x/wk) 1-2:30

Friday: Ballet 10-11:45. Workshop 12-2 or 2:30.

Also there are rehearsals for senior pieces in the evenings and on weekends, but these are scheduled by the seniors and vary.

Pointe classes occur randomly throughout as part of workshop, but are not consistent. Those who do wish to do pointe are encouraged to take technique class on pointe. Rep is often on pointe.

Performances: 1 show of faculty-created new works in both fall and spring semesters. This fall, the juniors and seniors also performed with the training program at the Cowell in addition to the new work show. Senior project showcase is in the spring--all seniors have to choreograph a piece using the rest of the students. Seniors also perform at a big theater in the city in the spring each year featuring group works, as well as a smaller performance of solos commissioned for each. Juniors have always gone to ACDFA each year, regional and nationals. There are other random, smaller performance opportunities that pop up.


1 BFA graduate is in the company as well as another student who is currently a senior. Class size is between 8-18. This year, juniors and seniors each have 8 students, sophomores have 18 I believe, and freshman are 13-14. Of the 1st graduating class, 1 is dancing with LINES, 1 Hubbard Street 2, 1 Compania Nacional de Danza (Spain), 1 is in Israel doing the Kibbutz Dance Journey program, a few are dancing for small companies in the Bay Area. The rest are still looking for work, or moving on to study other things (ie law, photography).


Transport to and from Lines from Marin is via shuttle bus.


Most dancers are on academic scholarship, which is hefty. The vast majority receive half of tuition each semester in scholarship. There is no specific dance scholarship though, it is all academic.

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