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Cordelia

It seems that there are no current students or recent grads of this school that contribute to BT4d as evidenced by the last two poster's requests. I have been watching this thread hoping that someone would have something to add. The school's website is interesting and they sent info with a DVD to my DD. We were looking over the faculty and their bios are impressive. I see that Kitty Daniels is still the Dept. chair. I guess I'm just hoping that there is still the chance that someone with recent info will have something to say. I'll keep my fingers crossed~

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julip

While I'm definetly NOT a recent grad from Cornish, I do run in the same circles are others who are. Their opinion on Cornish is still pretty much the same as mine was from my experience ten years ago.

 

The biggest thing to understand about Cornish, is that the most important thing there is placement (as in correct alignment and rotation). This is a really, really great thing...however, when you're a student it's easy to get frustrated by that fact. There's a joke that goes around saying that if a principal dancer with PNB started going to Cornish, they would be put in Level 2 because they lifted their hip in ecarte. Maybe that's an exageration just a bit, but when you're in the moment it feels very true. What this all comes down to is that just because you might come from a really well known professional ballet school, doesn't mean that you're going to be put into the highest level of ballet. If your alignment is off (like mine was) be prepared to spend a few years in a lower level just working on hip alignment.

 

This, however much it is annoying as a student, makes for great future teachers. All that work on the way the body truly works, creates very smart teachers (as well as dancers).

 

The reason that I went to Cornish was because of the comprehensive choreography program. It's three years of movement analysis (through Laban), improvisation, composition, and choreography. Every year there are opportunities to create for performances (For myself, I used a junior year graded project to choreograph for a RDA company and was adjudicated). What you need to know about those composition classes, though, is that it is at an art school. Just like in any art program, the jury of peers can be brutal. After presenting, you will have to stand up and defend your work--if you don't think you could stand up to a wall of peers and defend your creation, then Cornish is not the place for you. However, it will make you a great artist.

 

People who are in my circle all say about the same thing, the time spent at Cornish was tough and on many occasions they hated it. However, all those people say that it was one of the greatest decisions they ever made, to go there. We all use the lessons learned there every day of our professional lives.

 

--I tend not to come onto this website much, but if you PM me I'll get the notice. I'd be happy to ask questions of people that I know who graduated more recently.--

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DQwannabe

I just graduated from Cornish in May. Cornish is a great school. Like someone stated earlier the level of dancing is increasing each year. Each year the freshmen coming in are more talented. It is not the school for you if you are looking for something strictly ballet as you spend as much time in the studio in modern classes. But the age in specialization in dance is gone right? Ballet dancers in my opinion need to do modern as well. It is a conservatory type school so you spend a lot of time dancing and in the studio where in a more liberal arts type school you would spend more time in academic type situations that you do not at Cornish. There are different tracks you can go on. You can focus your senior year on teaching, performance, or choreography but this is really done by taking the advanced level in one of these classes and you can focus on more than one if you want. Cornish turns you into an artist and you work hard at it. In addition to the talk about the hip alignment not getting you moved up in levels there is also your core. They will keep you in level one if you cannot dance the entire class with your core engaged properly. No matter how great of a dancer you might be. People get really emotional about not getting moved in levels. It happens so publicly and you work so hard that you feel that you should be moved and then someone doesn't on these days there are always tears. But your dance should not be about levels anyway you would be working on the same thing wether you are in level three or level four.

 

There are daily modern and ballet classes. Then in addition to this there is dance history, music for dancers, kinesiology, laban movement analysis, choreography and improv classes. Then you have the option to take jazz, world dance, yoga, pilates, bartenieff, pointe, partnering (both modern and ballet), kung fu, modern rep (where you learn modern rep like you would a ballet variations class, we had a student that was from Bill T. Jones and she taught us a piece for example). Then there is performance. There are two faculty/guest choreographer (ex Diversion of Angels, Donald McKayle and Bebe Miller) concerts a year, these are the hardest to get into but you have an opportunity to be paid for your work. There is the BFA concert. Each senior choreographs a piece and uses student dancers for this, and then asks someone from the dance community to choreograph a solo on them. There are also two more shows that are for student choreography that are not just for seniors, New Moves and Terpsichore's Landing. Freshman are not allowed to be in CDT (the faculty concerts) but you need to be in these other shows so that the faculty/guest choreographers can see your performance ability.

 

You are really busy at Cornish. The last semester I was in the dance studio about 36 hours a week. In your first year at Cornish you discover if you really want to pursue dance as a career. The instruction is intense. The faculty is there for you. If you take advantage of this you will find yourself moving quickly through the ranks of the school. There are times where you want to scream and pull your hair out. There are other times where you finally pull your bones together enough that Pat Hon (she is always telling you to pull your bones togetha) gives you a good and a smile at the end of class.

 

I could go on forever about this really. I don't think I am able to receive PMs from this site yet, I had an account a while back but posted once maybe. If you have any other questions ask away. Otherwise I could see this post turning out to be way too long.

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dancer449

I am a senior in high school and am considering applying for Cornish. An admissions representative told me that most people go to Cornish to study modern dance, so I was wondering how their ballet classes are? I know that you take a modern and a ballet technique class each day, but other than that, is it mostly focused on modern? I really do want a college program that has good modern classes because I think that it's important for ballet dancers to be versatile and well-rounded, but I do consider myself a ballet dancer first, and so I would like to be able to focus more on ballet. Would that be difficult for me to do at Cornish?

 

I am also wondering if they help their students find jobs and about what the job placement rate is for graduates in the dance department. Do most perform professionally, teach, choreograph, or do other stuff?

 

And also, I believe that their overall acceptance rate is around 50%, but I was wondering if anybody knows what the acceptance rate is for just the dance department?

 

I know there are kind of a lot of questions in there, but any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Edited by dancer449

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cupcakejete

I'm a new freshman at Cornish (and I love it!) so I can answer some of your questions...

 

The program can be tailored how you want it. This semester, I am taking Ballet, Modern, Pointe, Ballet Partnering, Creative Foundations (Intro to Comp/Improv), Movement Foundations (anatomy/kinesieology), and an academic course about Seattle's history and nature. I consider myself primarily a ballet/ contemporary ballet dancer, but I chose Cornish because of the overall strength of the program. I think versatility is very important in today's dance world, and Cornish will give me that.

I came from a pre-professional residency program that focused primarily on ballet. I am in upper level ballet and pointe classes. I love the faculty at Cornish. They are all spectacular and come from all sorts of backgrounds.

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taximom

My daughter danced at Cornish last year as a Jr. in their summer program and loved it very much. She seriously considered taking their prepatory program instead of returning to her home studio. She will be returning this year for the summer also. The faculty were wonderful across the board. Very caring and committed to the individual student. My daughter was at an awkward place between levels and they designed a summer program that allowed her to take Jr classes where she needed more strength and foundational work and Sr. classes to push her in other areas. We had the opportunity to meet many of college students who were working through the summer and the only complaint any of them had was finances, there is very little aid money to go around and it's a rather expensive school. The focus is modern but the ballet program is still very strong and the emphasis on dancer safety impressed me greatly. They don't just want them to leave school to have dance careers they want them to be able to have long careers!

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catlover

On CollegeBoard is states that the average Merit Aid is about $17K. Is this not the case?

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taximom

I have no idea how much the girls we spoke to had acutally received except that it was perceived to be not enough in general. Keeping in mind tuitition is 30k+ and living in Seattle can be expensive, to graduate with $80k or more in debt and and dancers salary could be quite daunting.

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dancemaven

Unless someone here is in that college's Financial Aid department, no one is really going to have a good feel for the 'average' aid given out. The College Discussion board probably has more people with more ways of discerning that information.

 

The college website might have that type information 'in general'. Also, if you locate the Common Data Set for the school, it may have that kind of information. Those can be kinda tricky sometimes to find, so be ready to be creative in searching for it.

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Plesacica

I'm attending an audition at Cornish this Thursday and I am wondering about the whole process. Has anyone auditioned recently? I know there is a ballet and modern class but is it for sure that you will be interviewed? And when are you notified if you are accepted or not??

 

Thanks

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dancefam

Daughter auditioned and was accepted. Visited and liked the school a lot. felt like good training in a warm friendly setting. Any more recent feedback on the program?

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Abbylovestodance

There hasn't been a lot of talk on here lately. I know that the school's overall acceptance rate is around 50%. Can anyone tell me how exclusive the dance program is? Or even what the dance programs acceptance rate is?

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ballerinabunhead13

I am currently at the college prep summer intensive at Cornish. I don't know the exact acceptance rate. Based on my conversations with current faculty and students of the college, it is somewhat selective but not extremely difficult to get in to. The audition involves a ballet class and a modern class (the modern audition also has a small improvisation section). One of the modern teachers and main recruiters of the school told me that the inability to maintain turnout from the hips is something that would lead to automatic rejection. She said she doesn't expect people to have a lot of turnout but she excepts their knees to be over their toes at all times. She also is very big on floor work.

Edited by dancemaven
Added proper capitalization as needed.

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