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Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

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I am wondering if anyone frequenting Ballet Alert knows anything about this dance program, not just the ballet, but modern and jazz, as well?

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It's been a long time since anyone posted about UMN, but does anyone have updated information about this program? How selective is it? What kinds of performance opportunities are there for students? Is it possible to double major, or if not, is there a minor in dance available? We'd love to hear from someone with information. Thanks!

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geigebratsche, I know just a little about this program---I believe that this program is still VERY modern based---in fact, mostly in Post-modern dance. I'm fairly sure that if your daughter wants to major in dance and concentrate on ballet, it will be difficult to do so at this program---she would need to supplement with other ballet classes in the Twin Cities (of which there are many).

Re, it's selectivity, I would say that it is moderately selective.

Am not sure whether it is possible to minor in dance or double major---this information could probably be gleaned from the U of MN website.

Re: performance opportunities. The students do a lot of choreography and have quite a few performance opportunities. A work choreographed by the chairman of the Dance Department, Carl Flink, (who has his own company in the Twin Cities---Black Label Movement), was just recently performed at the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in DC.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the information. Actually, we're not at all sure DD wants to major in dance *or* specialize in ballet; honestly, I think she may be better suited to modern, seeing as how she's so tall. The school's website says that approximately one in four auditionees is accepted--I missed that on first reading. We'll probably have a look, anyway!

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I see that there haven't been any updates to this thread since my last post, but thought I'd provide more info that I know now anyway. My daughter was accepted to the University of Minnesota last spring, but hadn't auditioned for the dance program at that time. She took the major audition in August, during Welcome Week. At that time, there were 28 dancers auditioning. The audition consisted of a modern warmup, followed by half-hour classes in ballet, jazz, African, and modern. After lunch they posted the list for the first cut... 6 dancers were invited back. They each performed their self-choreographed solos (in front of each other and the faculty) and then had one-on-one interviews. They also had to provide a writing sample. As it turned out, all six were accepted to the major. DD was accepted for either the BA or the BFA. She has chosen the BFA and absolutely LOVES everything about the program.


Yes, it is a modern-based program, but the ballet classes are very high quality as well. They have (I think) ten levels of modern, 8 of ballet, 6 of jazz, 6 of African, plus other electives such as tap, hip-hop, swing, Pilates, and many other courses in various world dance styles such as Flamenco and Argentine Tango. Last semester, DD took Modern 3 and her teacher is a former member of the Alvin Ailey Company. Her ballet teacher for Ballet 5 last semester is in a contemporary ballet company in Minneapolis. The teachers are all EXTREMELY well qualified.


My daughter is absolutely thrilled to be there and feels honored to have been accepted. She loves her classes, her teachers, the facilities, the city (even though it's FREEZING), her dorm, her friends... we just couldn't ask for a better experience.


So, unless your *only* interest is ballet, you should give Minnesota a serious look! It's a wonderful school. :-)

Edited by geigebratsche
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