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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Online classes


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My daughter will be a ballet company trainee in the fall. She will be at class or rehearsal all day but is considering taking an online college class each semester, in order to take French (while she still remembers it) or possibly math. She was planning on IU's online program but we have discovered they only offer 100 level french on line. They suggested U of Nebraska or Brigham Young for higher level French. Has anyone had experiences with online classes, for example 1) Did they find time to do the work? 2) Was it difficult taking class without a teacher and classroom? 3) When entering college full time, were there problems with transferring the credits? and 4) Will it be a big hassle if she has to transfer credits from different college programs? She is not working toward a degree at this point, and it may be a long time before she is a full time college student.

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Many universities are much more liberal in accepting a variety of courses, including on-line courses. This is especially true over the last several years with the growth in the number of totally on-line universities. Both my graduate (private liberal arts college in Virginia) and post-graduate (major university in the Texas system) programs offered various online classes. As for finding time to do the work - I didn't have a problem, but I was older. Still, with work and family and kids I still had time. I've had very structured classes and some that just say, "Here you go." There should be many options available to her - have her look around until she sees a curriculum that really appeals to her. Don't rule out the community college where she is, either. If she's in a major city, this has been a popular addition to many of their course lists. It may require one initial trip to the college, though. It's also a great opportunity to get some of the "basic" courses completed. I know our more popular ones here include Biology (counts as a lab science) and various literature courses.

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My middle daughter has taken several on-line courses and all were approved for credit, as they were given by accredited colleges. If the student is currently enrolled in a college, pre-authorization by that college is usually the safest route. My daughter says she prefers to be in class, though she has done very well in her online classes.

 

Hard to find more advanced language classes on-line, do post if you find them.

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I have taken online classes varying from a very simple format of logging on and simply doing the work, to classes that require posting feedback and more interaction with others in the class. I think that many colleges are improving the format to help it be a richer experience.

I would look for classes that are accredited/transferable and would be standard lower division college curriculum, that way, when/if she decides to pursue academics she will be further ahead--maybe a sophmore or junior in standing. It is amazing how even one class at a time adds up!

In some classes without structured deadlines, I have ended up procrastinating and causing myself much unpleasantness as I struggle to catch up. Math would be a great class on-line if there is also "tutoring" support available to answer questions, etc.

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I took 3 online classes one summer while I was an RA at VSA. I took Anatomy and Physiology II the lecture (3 credits) and lab (1 credit), and speech (3 credits; I had to video tape and mail in speeches and show my audience the entire time. I made A's in all of my classes. Most of the work/assignments I completed while the students were at class if I skipped class that day. I ended up dancing most days though, or atleast taking morning classes and then working on school in the afternoon. But I didn't have to work on school stuff every day that I was at the SI. I only told one fellow counselor and a few of the students that I was taking classes online because I was afraid that would be frowned on! I did not let the academic classes hamper any of my RA duties, though, so I don't think anyone suspected anything. Some of the students and RAs were the audience for my speeches! I had to go to the public library in town to take proctored tests in my classes. The people at the public library in Lynchburg I'm sure have never since had to proctor tests for someone enrolled in an online class in MS but they were very accomodating to me. These online classes were accepted as part of my pre-requisites for a B.S. in nursing program. I know one girl who completed all of her pre-req's for this B.S. nursing program online and was accepted into the program the same as people who completed all their classes in the classroom. They are accepted the same as classes in the traditional classroom setting here. I was 22 when I did this. I did get behind sometimes and had to stay up until midnight a few times to get assignments in on time. But, I should not have gotten behind and then I wouldn't have had a problem. There was not enough work that I should have gotten behind. I had to take online classes or I wouldn't have gotten to be an RA at that SI; I will always remember that great experience (being an RA) and want to be an RA or nurse for an SI after I get my degree.

 

Overall, I would say that my online classes were easier and required less time than traditional classes. I also recommend visiting a local community college. In Mississippi there is a statewide organization, MS Virtual Community College, that shows what each community college in the entire state offers online. I think you must be enrolled in that college to take that class. College tuition is a lot cheaper if you are a resident of the state that the college is in. I would imagine if MS has this program that every state does. :wub: I think its a great idea for your daughter to take online classes and get them out of the way now. Especially if she is only taking one class, I think she should do fine, and she will have an easier time now than years later with the subjects you mentioned. :thumbsup:

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Thanks to all. So far I have corresponded with a woman at University of Wisconsin who heads up the independent study for French. They offer third and fourth semester French (as well as more advanced Literature classes) and she can take a test to see where she should be placed. Unfortunately one cannot "place out" for credit. You can take as much time as necessary to finish each course but I am going to encourage her to try and finish a class each semester, as she will have most evenings free.

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NSMH

 

Can you share your families experience with on-line college? We have the same thought process as you on the need for further education for our DD. I am looking into program for her for fall. I would appreciate your insight. Thank you.

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NSMH

 

Can you share your families experience with on-line college? We have the same thought process as you on the need for further education for our DD. I am looking into program for her for fall. I would appreciate your insight. Thank you.

 

Hello Cahill,

 

This explanation should probably be in the forum of Higher Education....but I will let the moderators decide that...as I am challenged enough just to post....After posing the 'Hypothetical Questions'~ What would you do if you couldn't dance?; What would you do if you got injured?; What if your company folded midseason?;

What Else would you like to do?; What will you do after ballet?....and forcing the thought process on her.... Because in all honesty she knows she will dance FOREVER~ We made her select a Plan B before we agreed to the Plan A: which was the year round program. In addition, we agreed to pay for ballet as long as she went to school....if she stopped school she had to be prepared to support herself..on all levels...including health care, rent etc...We also stated that the college education had to be something other than dance (she wasn't interested in teaching or choregraphing...) So, in this way DD got what she wanted and we got what we wanted....But, DD's first focus is ballet...as much I would like to believe otherwise...And there is some resentment on her part...I wouldn't feel right sharing the process without being straightforward...she understands the "logic"....but it doesn't rank high among her favorite activities....

 

When selecting the college...her second love was photography...so she went with that and we looked at the types: the art schools and the public/private schools. After determining the school type that was a good fit...then we looked at which offered classes online....in the art schools there is still a liberal arts curriculum that is needed for whatever field/B.S. Program you are interested in and a great many schools offer these liberal arts choices online...also, it seems every year more universities are joining this arena...it helps to retain more students, cost factors etc...So DD then picked out 5 schools, applied, just as all high school seniors do: waited by the mailbox, etc...and then made her decision based on~ who had the most online classes and who had the types of photography she might be interested in and location also factored in...which shows she was listening and gave some thought to where she might like to finish school/living on campus IF she couldn't dance.

 

Generally speaking, most colleges and university offer something online...Even if it is continuing education. Even Harvard has a program :D So once your dancer determines her interest... you shouldn't find it too difficult...also if you are still claiming her as a dependent and using your home as her permanent address...she may still qualify for home state tuition....also changes in the scholarship programs may allow her to take her merit awards with her if she chooses...this varies from state to state...but may be an option~Also, there are full degree and certificate programs, at many institutions...that can be done totally online.

 

Now, at some point, if my DD is to remain in college she will have to go to school on the campus. There is no substitute for some of the photogaphy studio classes that have to be taken for the degree...However she has two years worth of liberal arts/foundation classes to do online prior to that decision. Taking twelve credits per year...the university considers 24 full time...she qualifies as a half-time student...and since we still contribute more than 51% of her support she is still our dependent...she still gets health care. Each university varies as to full and part time so check this...against the ballet. For my DD daughter it's 4 classes a year...she takes 1/1/2 ...spring, summer, fall...in whatever order works against the lighter portion of the ballet schedule. She picks the classes. I just forward the cd roms and the dvds. I have the books shipped directly to her. And of course we get the tutition statements. :blink: This would give her 3 to 4 years to go to school while still trying to become a full company member. I'm sure there will be, at some point, a discussion about 'how long' will you attempt to try, but for now, all is well...At times college is frustrating...she has to be pushed to select the classes for the next term...she is more enthusiastic about some more than others...there are still requirements before she can get the classes she really wants...the usual...

 

But it works! The self discipline required for online classes is the same discipline instilled in them through ballet. Also, I believe that young persons who go the traditional route have to learn the same self-discpline, too ~get up, attend class, do laundry...that all of our dancers do. What the online experience does however, is provide more flexibility. There is one less demand on her time..on the flip side she has to demand it of herself. I can only speak to the structure my daughter has~ She receives the class syllabus at the start of the class/semester; It gives all the quizes, tests, papers, midterms, finals and the dates...so she knows what is coming up when (Parental Unit Nagging: does she do it early....does she plan in out....not always...does she inaccurately plan her time...sometimes...does she put her social life first...of course! :lol: but to me these are her life lessons :lol: ) She gets grades..make sure your dancer signs the release form so you are entitled to see them too...her dad didn't give her a choice as we are paying: we had the"we are investing you talk" :lol: Currently DD is dancing 3/4 to full-time with the company...still attending the ballet school when not working with the company and doing the online classes and is holding above a 3.2GPA...will her credits transfer?...yes...but within the parameters of any other institution...but not in any less capacity that a traditional class setting...one important note though...make sure the university/college is accredidated...there are schools out there that are not...you can find this info. in the university packet/website...I found many art schools that were not...these schools' credits will not transfer to a more traditional college... :shrug:

 

So Cahill, I'm not sure I gave you what you needed? I do know its a bit of a job (Oh No, Another One! :rolleyes: ) Much success to you. B)

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Well we are running into our first little glitch. DD had hoped to defer her academic and talent scholarships; however, she received an email from the college today saying she could not earn ANY academic credit this year and still defer her academic scholarship. And of course the university in question does not offer any online/ independent study above beginning French. So will contact this woman who emailed her tomorrow and find out what gives....

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e's mom-we were told the same thing when we asked about deferral. Part of the reason, we were explained is that people have tried to "defer" before to "try out" another college and hold the funds just in case. You might be able to call and explain what she is doing and they might allow it for one or maybe two classes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
In some classes without structured deadlines, I have ended up procrastinating and causing myself much unpleasantness as I struggle to catch up.

 

I can speak for that. In my case it was taking a two online classes from Brigham Young University as substitutes for a course that I would otherwise have to take in high school. I had wanted to reserve my schedule for more desirable classes (like music and French).

 

I have to say that the online courses were the most unpleasant things to which I have ever willingly subjected myself. Caught up with schoolwork and other activities, and the sheer fact that I found these classes unstimulating, I procrastinated so dangerously that by the second half of senior year, I faced the threat of 1.) the course expiring (yes, they will terminate if you don't finish in a given amount of time) 2.) not graduating high school, because the courses were part of the county curriculum.

 

The courses were a total bore. All I did was read out of a wretchedly boring textbook, answer some worksheet questions, write some cheezy essays, and take a final. There were no teacher-student interactions and depended entirely on self-motivation, which believe me wears down exponentially over time.

 

Thankfully I managed to complete the courses senior year when other workload was light. But those last months were some of the most stressful times of my life. Unless you're in love with the subject and have a lot of sure-fire self-motivation, I HIGHLY recommend taking a real class at a local college. Maybe you can look up nighttime classes for working adults. :blushing:

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Hi lamusicienne. I would just like to say that there are other online courses out there that have at least virtual student-teacher interaction. In my online courses we had to post on message boards about class related topics and our classmates replied and our teacher replied to our posts.

 

Like you said though, my online classes weren't as intellectually stimulating as a real classroom class. But they allow options that classroom classes don't. You do compromise something either way.

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to post and let you know how this ended up. DD has enrolled in a second year (semester 3) French independent study class offered through the Univ of Wisconsin extension - 4 credits. The university she deferred has given her permission to take one class each semester only. She has just received the course materials, so I will let you know whether this was stimulating or not. She did notice when writing the essay for placement that she was already losing her language skills, and the local college that is close enough for her to attend, starts its evening classes before she is done with rehearsal, so this is really her only option.

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