Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dance Major,pre pro training,or company program


Recommended Posts

I am 17 years old and a late starter at 15 teachers have told me I have a talent for ballet and I love it with a passion.I'm taking a year off from school(graduate in june so my year off starts in september)and am hoping to spend this year training with cpyb my question is after my year off do you think I should go into a college dance program,continue for another 1or 2 years at a pre pro school then do company auditions,or go into a company certificate program(like DTH has a 3 year program for high school graduates aspiring to be pro dancers).I know that it would be hard for you guys to tell me what to do but I would like your opinions.Thanks in advance for answers

Link to comment
  • Administrators

I think it's way too early to make that decsion, and not one that should be made by people who cannot see you and have not worked with you. About this time next year, at CPYB, would be the time to talk to your teachers about that. There are so many factors involved, and, as you list, many options. It will depend on where you are in terms of company readiness, and also how you and your family feel about education. There are several roads that lead to Rome, and you have to choose the one that is right for you at the time. This is not the time, however, being college prepared is important, so that the option to go to college is there. Next year you will probably want to apply to several places and audition for some, and have the option to go that route the following year. :offtopic:

Link to comment

While it may be too early for you to make any concrete decisions, it is NOT too early to start visiting any colleges that you can and exploring any other programs or companies that interest you. Typical college application deadlines range from November 1st to February 1st and in most cases, your chances are better the earlier you apply.


Using your list of "dance major, pre-pro training, or company program," we could play the game "One of these things is not like the other." Although being a dance major is one way to continue your training, keep in mind it's still college. Unless you visit some college dance programs, you won't know whether such an environment would be right for you. My daughter goes to school with several fellow majors who continuously complain about the academic side to the program and fret that they made the wrong decision. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the drop out rate for college dance majors is higher than the general population. We certainly know this is true for the men.


I would hope you've at least taken your college entrance exams, or plan to before the end of this school year.

Link to comment

Yes I've taken the Sat and kept my grades up while dancing so it shouldn't be hard to get into a college if I decide that's what I want to do.Although I know you can't make a definite decision seeing as you don't know me I really do value and appreciate your opinions.Thanks.I'm so glad I refound this site(my computer was out of commision and when I got it back I totally forgot about this site) :)

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

i am also about to graduate this year and am still contemplating exactly what i want to do. i didn't start late, but i was stuck in the worst place to study ballet (seriously, i feel bad for the people still stuck there not knowing what ballet even looks like...only 1 and a half hours of ballet/pointe a week, not even as seperate classes) and this summer i just recently started at a pre-pro place. i have improved a lot fast, but not good enough to just go straight to a company and become professional.

i like the idea of taking a year off for cpyb, i was actually thinking about trying that out for the summer but i don't know if i should. i have already got accepted into the college i wanted to go to...the university of akron, where i would want a BFA in dance. when i visited akron, however, i was not very impressed. in fact, we had a sub teacher today who used to dance at my studio and now is getting her bfa from akron, and she gave us one of her combinations and it really wasn't that hard. maybe i am not that advanced, but i don't think i will be challenged enough going to akron. that and, i never did do too well in school academic-wise.

should i just go to akron and see how college goes? can i just drop out after one year and go to a place like CPYB?

i am also young for my grade (graduating at 17) so that gives me a little extra time i think, if that helps.

Link to comment

I advise getting good training sooner rather than later. A year at CPYB makes sense, but if your current school regularly produces professional dancers then I see no reason to leave unless it is not connected to a company. Your two best options, IMO, are 1) train at a school known for producing strong, company-ready dancers or 2) attend a school with a strong connection to a company. Both options will give you an idea of where you fit in with other advanced, company-ready students your age, and there will probably be a community college nearby where you can take core classes so that if/when you decide to go to college full-time, you will not have to start at the beginning.


One thing a very strong college dance program could potentially do for you is give you time. I know two dancers who, while talented, were not particularly strong technically and nowhere near ready for a company, but after four years at Indiana University, they are now both dancing professionally. However, that would only work at a very intensive program known for producing professional dancers. As you are so young, what you might want to do is take a year off to train intensively, and if you still feel you are not ready for a company, attend an intensive college dance program. If you still cannot get a job after that, at least you will have a degree, and you might even still be able to work in the ballet world, if not exclusively as a professional dancer.

Link to comment

dance7rim, if you were my daughter -- and I do have a HS senior -- I'd want you to sit down and think hard about what you really want, both at this juncture and in the future, and what pathways are realistically open to you.


I'd ask you to think about the professional companies you have seen. (Have you had a chance to see many?) Which type of company do you have in mind? Where do you see yourself fitting into the dance world?


Next, I'd suggest you look at the graduates from the college program you are considering. Do they generally find employment with the type of company in which you envision yourself?


I would also ask you to come up with some positive reasons to attend an institution that you were "not very impressed" with. What do you like about Akron that made it your first choice? Does it have other attributes that attracted you? Even if you have not done very well in school to this point, are you eager to attend college and willing to try your hardest in your courses?


There is no law that says you have to go to college, and of course you can "stop out" if you find it isn't right for you after the first year. But, I'd caution you to always think about what you will gain from any particular course of action. Do something because you have a purpose, not because you can't think of what else to do. (Here's my story: about three weeks shy of starting my junior year of college, I remarked to a friend of my mother's that I didn't have much enthusiasm for going back. "So why go?" she asked. After a couple of intense days in which she guided me through some explorations of myself and my alternatives, I decided to take the year off. After spending the year in a couple of different internships, I returned to college -- recharged personally, with a different career goal, a new major, and a sense of purpose.)


I would ask you to take a hard look at your dance training. You really only started serious ballet training six months ago. How many classes do you take a week now? How does your program compare to some of the ones described on this board, in terms of training quality and intensity? What do you hope will be the outcome of time spent at CPYB -- getting you company-ready in one year, or bringing you up to speed with others your age, or ....?


Attending CPYB for the summer might be a good start to gathering some of the information you need, and testing the waters. In fact ... just taking some weekend classes at CPYB might help you in this regard.


Good luck. It's hard figuring out what to do next -- and this will be true many times in your life. This is as good a time as any to get started on learning how to do it.

Link to comment

ah, so many decisions! i dont wanna grow up :shrug:


say if i decided to do the intensive program instead of go to college, would i be able to go to college still? and what is an intensive program other than CPYB that the age limit is not 18 at? or are there age limits?


i chose akron because at the time i thought the dance majors went on to ohio ballet, upon visiting a few months ago i was told very few actually get in to a place like ohio ballet. also because, though it's not as professional as i'd like it, for most other colleges you need high grades and gpa to get in and i was a slacker my freshman year and now have to deal with a low cumulative gpa of about 2.5. i know of dance majors there that have jobs at local dance studios, but i want to be able to perform and dance with a company or just however i can before i decide to teach (but i would like to do that someday). i actually looked into indiana university, do you think its possible for me to take a year off and then make it in? or would i have to attend a community college? and if so, is there a community college around CPYB that i could go to, or maybe an intensive program in ohio...i live arund cleveland and could take classes at tri-c or lccc.


all the help is much much much appreciated, this is probably the time to make any decisions to what im going to do next year.


i dance 5 days a week, about 19 hours (not including rehearsal times), it doesn't seem that many girls go on to a company, i know three that take class at ABT now and go to broadway dance center, theres one that got $32000 scholarship for dance from mercyhurst (and i think some other girls went to mercyhurst), a few went to akron, and one is at nutmeg right now. they have been to summer programs like CPYB, nutmeg, and balletmet.


if i were to go to CPYB and take a year off, i would hope to not only catch up with my age group but be as close to company ready as i can, which i don't think is possible.


right now, i am thinking my best bet would be to take a year off and go to CPYB, then maybe try for a place like Indiana University where I could get good enough training to become professional. the only issue with this might be that i have to move to pennsylvania. not far from home (cleveland), but i've never lived on my own :flowers: if this is definitely the right decision, i don't think it would be that hard if i got a job and i'm sure my parents would help me out.



**edit: i just realized any age limit of 18 wouldn't matter because i will be 18 all next year (until june).

Link to comment

Treefrog suggested:


"I would ask you to take a hard look at your dance training. You really only started serious ballet training six months ago. How many classes do you take a week now? How does your program compare to some of the ones described on this board, in terms of training quality and intensity? What do you hope will be the outcome of time spent at CPYB -- getting you company-ready in one year, or bringing you up to speed with others your age, or ....?


Attending CPYB for the summer might be a good start to gathering some of the information you need, and testing the waters. In fact ... just taking some weekend classes at CPYB might help you in this regard."


Treefrog, as usual, wonderful, well-thought advise!


dance7rlm Wrote:


"if i were to go to CPYB and take a year off, i would hope to not only catch up with my age group but be as close to company ready as i can, which i don't think is possible."


dance7rlm, your plan is filled with youthful hopes and dreams, and while I will not discourage you in them, please take Treefrog's advise and have a look at the pre-pro school before you leap. You are coming into the field at a huge disadvantage of time spent in studying and you are correct in thinking that one year, at any school, could get you up to speed. However, that said doesn't mean it can't happen. Please go out and have a weekend, and then perhaps commit to a summer there and then step back and reassess.

Link to comment

And not to be unduly discouraging, but do take time to investigate the admission rates at the various collegiate dance programs. Indiana University is extremely competitive and accepts relatively few dancers/year into its dance major program. In addition, GPAs and SAT scores will figure into these admissions as well.


It will take some time and serious evaluation and investigation of the various collegiate programs in order for your to figue which programs are best suited to your needs and accomplishments.


Best wishes!!!

Link to comment

Yes, Just to second that about Indiana. My daughter just auditioned a couple of weeks ago. We observed the freshman and sophomores taking class and did not see any dancers who were not already technically very strong. I think this program has become increasingly difficult to get into. There are other college programs, such as Cincinnati, that might be an option in Ohio. I'm not sure about GPA requirements at Cincinnati, except as it relates to academic scholarships.

Link to comment

Does anyone know someone who has done a training program with a company?Alvin Ailey has a year training program in ballet and modern and Dance Theatre of Harlem has one in just ballet they are only for high school grads and they're both 3 years.I was thinking instead of doing the four years at college I would do one year at CPYB then audition for the Dance Theatre of Harlem pro training program.But I wantes to know if anyone has more info or knows someone who has been in this kind of program before.

Link to comment

well i think i've made my decision....i will probably just go to akron and start off with that and then transfer to a better school that will make me company ready. i will have to take my SAT's probably, and just keep my grades up. also, to catch up to my age level hopefully ...i will take extra classes at the university of akron's dance institute. has anyone heard of it? i am pretty positive it is affiliated with ohio ballet and a lot of dancers from there go straight to ohio ballet. i can also probably take a class or two with my current pre-pro school.



** edit....

i have been researching recently, and i am really interested in balletmet. i'd really like to hopefully make it there one day, but how can i get the necessary training while i am at college? should i go all four years? then by the time i even try out for balletmet i will be 21 years old.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

my dd's pal is at a fab east coast college. she loves it and has grown in dance and academics. she was offered a wonderful spot at an SI last summer in their 2nd company; thought it over long and hard. she returned for one more year of college [after the company agreed to defer her joining them for as season] and this fall she will go to the company 2 years of college behind her. on elaving for college, she was not at an elite lvel, but she improved greatly there [its a top place]. everone's road is different. this gal felt she needed time to grow up before company life and is now feeling 'ready'.

Link to comment

I know people who've dont both DTH and Ailey's programs and both are very strong, plus of course you are in NYC and surrounded by great dance. My Ailey friend did college courses at the same time. have fun!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...