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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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My DD has been training in a pre-professional company but would like to pursue a college education next year, minoring in dance. We visited Washington University and she participated in a dance class. The instructor was good and very helpful in giving us information about their program. Does anyone have direct experience with this program that they could share with us? Thanks.

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  • 2 years later...

My daughter and I just returned from a visit to Washington University, and I wanted to add a little info to this thread. WashU offers both a dance major and a minor; for the minor, students elect either a ballet or modern focus. The dance classes are open to all students, not just major and minors.


My daughter attended Classical Ballet III (highest level), but since this was the first week of classes, it consisted of an information session only, and a chance to go over the syllabus. Despite the lack of dancing, it was time well spent. Placement classes had been held earlier in the week: there were around 20 students placed in Ballet III. Since it was a day of introductions, my daughter learned that there were no freshman in this level, and while there were a number of students minoring in dance (presumably ballet), there were no dance majors in the class.


Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, the woman heading the ballet program, was very welcoming and open to student initiatives. 4 levels of ballet are offered, along with pointe as a separate class once a week. This fall, James Jordan, from the Kansas City Ballet, is coming to set Tudor's Dark Elegies on the Washington Ballet Dance Theatre, the student group.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 8 months later...
Any news or updates on this program?


I'm a dance major at Washington University. The program here is pretty strong as far as non-conservatory schools go. As someone mentioned, you can do a dance major, or a dance minor with a modern or ballet focus. The dance major is very credit-heavy: it has one of the highest credit requirements in the entire university. That, in conjunction with the other requirements for graduation, would keep anybody busy. :D But I love it here. The pressure to be the best dancer you can, not just to meet requirements X, Y, and Z. I recommend it for anybody who wants to keep up with their dancing while pursuing a degree.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are looking into college options for DD who is a senior. We are wondering if you can give more information on the program such as:


1. Is it possible to train at a high level with or without being a major/minor?

2. Do you have to be a major/minor to be in the student company?

3. How often is technique and pointe offered?

4. Is it possible to double major?

5. How many hours are you able to dance a week?



also, we would love any other information you can give to us.


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  • 1 month later...

We visited a few weeks ago. Everyone was very friendly and very informative. There seem to be a lot of performance opportunities, and there appears to be classes daily. The program seems to be more academic than others in that papers or journaling are required in each class.

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My daughter visited last spring and took a ballet class. On that particular day the only class offered was designated intermediate. She did not form a very good impression of the teaching or the caliber of the dancing, but this was just one class on one day, and not at the advanced level. All classes are open to any student with permission of the instructor. The school was beautiful, the students friendly, and the academics impressive, but she decided not to apply.

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  • 10 months later...

I see from a post back in 2008 that pointe is offered only once a week. Is this still the case? I've heard that this university is wonderful, I would love any further, current, information. Thank you!

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  • 1 year later...

This school is on the list formed with input from our DS high school guidance counselor. Any information on male participation in the dance department?

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