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I'm a SENIOR and running out of TIME!!

Guest twinklehooves

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Guest twinklehooves

Ok, I will be a Senior in high school once school starts up this month. I am from the state of Washington. I have danced for 10 or 11 years now, and I am in the upper level at my dance studio. I'm not interested in dancing professionally when I graduate HS, but I've been told that I am good enough to do that. Around 3 or 4 years ago I auditioned to The Rock SI and PNB's SI and I got into both. That's probably not saying much, and I have no idea where I am at now, but I know that I'm not interested in performing professionally for a company when I graduate.


I am going to college however. And I really want to attend a college with a strong ballet background. We are not wealthy, so I will be going to college on financial aid and hopefully scholarships. As well as being a dancer, I have pretty good grades, and I'm also involved in horses. I come from a strong rodeo-oriented family, and I do that as well. I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I think I want to get into Business or Education. I like the idea of owning my own business, plus it's what the world revolves around. However, if I was a teacher then I could work 9 months out of the year and pursue rodeos during the summer [where you can actually win money.] I've been reading up on the thread with all of the talk about colleges, but I was wondering if some people could maybe have somethig to say about the colleges I'm interested in.


Central Washington University This is located in my hometown. I could go to college here, and continue my dancing at my studio taking adult classes; but I kind of want to get out of town.


Washington State University Doesn't have a ballet program but does have a rodeo team.


University of Arizona I read that this has a very strong ballet program.


Utah Valley State College Mom tells me that they have both ballet and rodeo there.


University of California: Irvine I've read about this on here and it sounds great. Scholarships though?


Stanford? It's huge, lots of students, Ivy League...again...scholarships?


University of Portland Got a brochure from them, looks great academically but I'm pretty sure that they don't have ballet there and I'd have to take classes on my own time out of school.


Any other Oregon colleges...


Any suggestions, comments, hints, tips, concerns, ideas....ANYTHING would be appreciated because I really have to start narrowing things down. Thank you.

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I’m an old guy whose kids have long graduated from college and I’ve seen how both they and their friends have gone through educational systems and assumed their respective places in life. What follows is my absolutely biased notions about deciding where to go to school.


First, don’t panic. Enjoy the process of selecting a college. It is actually a fun thing to do.


Second, trust your intuition about schools. Visit as many as you can. Yes, it’s good to listen to and ask for advice, but in the end you have to feel good about your selection. We people who advise are advising from our perspective, and our perspectives are not yours. Ultimately, I do not think you can go wrong no matter what you do. Quite frankly, I don’t think it makes much difference where one goes to school. Every place has advantages of some sort. Besides, today it seems that changing schools is becoming the rule rather the exception in many instances.


Third, don’t worry or think much about your major from a job point of view. Few of my kid’s friends (and neither of my kids) are employed in fields directly relating to their majors in college. Think of going to college as getting an education rather than as a pathway to a job.


On a practical note, I think finance should play a role unless your parents are rich. Personally, I’m opposed to a young person graduating from college with a big loan hanging overhead. In my opinion repaying loans is no fun, especially when you start earning money for the first time.


With finance in mind, the first decision point is public vs. private. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Public is obviously cheaper. Yes, you can get some scholarship money from private schools, but even then they are more expensive than public schools. I admit a bias toward “big state Us.” They just have more opportunities for students. Impersonal, yes, but then I think that develops self-discipline. It does tend to take longer to graduate (getting the courses you need is often difficult), so that becomes something of a cost factor.


If you can afford it, I’m a big fan of getting as far away from home as possible. I think learning to live away from home is an important part of getting an education.


If I were reliving my life and just starting college, for what it’s worth, here’s what I’d do. I would go to my local community college and work part time. And I’d take 3 years to finish. Why? Well, I think working is good for you. You make money (which you should save), get more life experience, and, I believe, become more responsible. You will also find some remarkably good teaching there too. University professors, in general hate teaching freshman-sophomore classes I assure you. I would take 3 years because I think you gain maturity, something that is lacking relative to what students had in the old days. After the 3 years, I’d transfer to big state U. At that point I’d have a much better idea about what I would want to study.


But that is just me. I don’t suggest that anyone should do what I would do.


As I said, I don’t think it makes much difference where one goes, but I do think it matters a lot what one does once one gets to school. Many kids goof-off (both of mine did) and do terrible that first semester. It is their first real taste of freedom from parental supervision and they take advantage of it. You are asked to do more school work than you have been asked to do before and many assume that college is just the 13th grade of high school. It isn’t.


In any event I see I’m preaching and didn’t want to do that.

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I enjoyed your insights. Although I have a some different ideas on some points, the overall is sound thinking for others to tests their ideas against.

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twinklehooves, I don't really have any specific advice for you, but who can resist such an open invitation? :unsure: Seriously, though, I do think Garyecht has given you some real jewels to think about. Like calamitous, I don't know that I'd go along with all of it if I were doing it but that's only because of my make-up, but I certainly do see value in his reasoning and it is very practical.


We have always told our girls "go East, go West, but get out of your own backyard!" You already live West, so not much farther there you can go, so come to the Midwest, go South, or go way-East. I, personally think there is great value in living in a different area of the country than what you grew up in. There are different 'feels', paces, and values in different areas. I think it is beneficial to experience that and to have the opportunity to recognize it and appreciate it.


I 'knew' exactly what I wanted 'to be when I grew up' as of 8th grade. I geared my high school electives around it; I took part-time jobs in that profession; and I went to college specifically for it. I graduated and worked three months in that area, found I was more than bored, and then made plans to go back to graduate school and changed professions. My mother thought I was crazy. My sister changed majors (and colleges) three times in those four years. She graduated, worked in her profession, built a business in her profession, sold it, and still works in her chosen profession.


If I had it to do over again, I would explore so many more areas and ideas---both as to what I 'want to be when I grow up' and what type or tier of school I want to attend. I am with Garyecht about the purpose of college: to grow, learn, and educate. Focusing on a specific job going into college turns it into a very expensive vocational or trade school. It you want to study medicine, great! But don't limit yourself to all science and math classes and don't decide right then and there what specialty you will practice. ALWAYS permit yourself the opportunity to change your mind!


One of my kids came home in middle school and said she wasn't sure what she wanted to be. They were discussing their 'career shadows'. I told her that's perfect! Pick a couple things you think might be fun, check them out and don't worry about changing your mind---ever. She thought she'd like sports medicine, but then graphic design sounded kind of interesting. I suggested that since she'd been to a sports med doc she had an idea about what that entailed, but we knew no one in graphic design, so perhaps she ought to go shadow someone in that field. (Unfortunately, the school's liaison had more sports med contacts than graphic design contacts, so she did go shadow the doc and really enjoyed it.) I think going into college with an 'undeclared' major is the smarter choice.


I did recently visit Stanford University and was very impressed with its philosophy of teaching and study. I was surprised, though, that it really isn't a 'large' university---although it does have quite abit of acreage, it has a rather small undergraduate population. I'm not absolutely sure, but I'm fairly sure, they said that it does not award Merit Scholarships (although financial aid for qualified applicants is available). I'm also thinking they said it does not award athletic scholarships either, but that a desired athlete can be plucked from the applicant pool by the athletic department and shepherded through the admission process with some favoritism.


So, I would recommend that you do some preliminary research on all your schools under consideration. I would think your high school guidance department would have a college liaison that could help with your evaluations and comparisons.

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I am a mom with a senior dd and a non-dd already in college. So....I've been right in the thick of things. Here is something that I've observed from watching the process. IF you are a really good student AND you have a talent, such as dancing, that a school appreciates, and you are willing to go to a school that is a little less competetive academically(below the top 50) there are some really great scholarships for you. A friend of ours is a beautiful dancer and an incredible student, who happens to be going into engineering and is a National Merit Finalist. University of Alabama offered her a full scholarship, plus an $8,000 stipend. I've also heard of dancers getting full scholarships at SMU. Schools are trying very hard to compete academically and many colleges are trying to develop their performing arts departments. Also helpful, is the discussion on this site about colleges with dance programs. Don't know what kind of student you are, but my point is, that if money is an issue, look at colleges where you have something they want and where you will help them develop as a school. They will be willing to pay you for your help.

Good luck! We are knee deep in the same process. :unsure:

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Have you tried the University of Oregon? They have an equestrian team (although I'm not sure about rodeo in particular) and offer majors in dance, education and business. I know several of the teachers in the dance department because they also teach at my DD's studio. And although I don't have any first hand knowledge, it's my understanding (from other parents and students) that the business programs are very good.


The university's website is www.uoregon.edu


The equestrian team's website is




The dance department's website is




And the college of education's website is





Good luck.

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Perhaps you are not limited to colleges with strong ballet programs? One other option is a college with a nearby studio.


I agree with dancemaven's idea that it is good to get out of your own backyard. However, since rodeo is more or less a western thing, if you want to incorporate this into your school year you may not be able to travel TOO far east.


As someone else said, it is GREAT to get out and see places. Try to visit as many as you can.

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I'm also a senior feeling a little bit like I'm running out of time. I've visited a lot of schools, seen some that I've loved and others that really weren't for me. I know that I want to dance in college and I know that I want to do something with dance after college- be it performing, teaching, or choreographing. But I'm also (like you, but I do English) a rider and my parents have become fond of telling me that I'm too smart to major in dance. Right now, I plan on going to a school with a great dance program that will allow me to either double major in dance and biology (my favorite subject, but I just can't see myself working in a lab or office for the rest of my life) or allow me to major in dance but also take alot of other courses. If a school ends up having a riding program, that's awesome and something I'll definitely take advantage of- but its not must. I figure I only have so long to dance, riding is something with a little later expiration date (and I don't really plan on doing anything with riding)!


It sounds like you're interested in pursuing rodeo later in life, you might want to check out the Intercolligiate Horse Show Association (IHSA)- many colleges with equestrian teams compete in this league which involves both english and western styles. Their website is www.IHSA.com and a map of zones with participating colleges and what they compete in can be found here: http://www.ihsa.com/IMS/IMS_HallofTeams.asp

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Adding to what Dancesinhersleep said about the University of Oregon, yes, they have a great business department and an outstanding department of education. I am also not sure how great their dance department is because I don't really know anyone that studied dance there, but they do have some good teachers.


The University of Portland will be expensive, because it is a private school--Catholic, from what I remember. Scholarships will probably be good there, and Portland is a wonderful city to live in, but I am not sure about dance or horse stuff at UP.


Another school you might look into is the University of Utah. I know they have an outstanding department of ballet there, and according to US News, their school of business ranks among the nation's top schools--number 63, I believe. They also have a school of education. I don't know what they offer in the way of horse stuff, but you could probably find that out without too much trouble.


Their website:



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Dance, biology and riding=Goucher College.


I'm going down there on Monday! (it looks like it'll be an amazing school- I'm not sure though if it'll be enough dance for me)

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Check out Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. It is a women's college but Performing Arts is co-ed. Students can take classes at the U of Missouri (co-ed) which is nearby. Stephens has its own STABLES and an equestrian program. Dorms sound fabulous, at least to this DM.

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