Pierrette Posted August 29, 2006 Report Share Posted August 29, 2006 I'd like to echo Treefrog's suggestion that you not limit yourself to colleges with strong ballet programs, but consider colleges where you can attend a good, local studio. Given my daughter's experience at the University of Arizona, I'm getting a sense that colleges with strong ballet programs are not only becoming very competitive, they're becoming almost cutthroat. I'm seeing a growing trend for the programs to seek out freshman dance majors who can be placed directly into the top level of ballet. This way, the programs have the widest selection possible when it comes to casting Big Name Pieces by Big Name Choreographers that influence the local Big Donors to cough up Big Bucks. Some of these top college dancers soon realize that the only thing they're getting out of the program is lots of performing experience (overlooking the benefits of a college education, in general) and start to wonder why they aren't "out there" being paid to do the same thing. So they leave to go perform professionally, whereby the dance programs then benefit, again, by listing them with their successful "alumni," thus bolstering their prestige. So in the case of the University of Arizona, I really doubt that you'd want to be a dance major there if you aren't seeking to dance professionally after college. They do offer students the option of pursuing a minor in dance, and all students have plenty of opportunities to be cast in student choreography pieces, but you shouldn't expect to get too much attention from the faculty, or even much bonding with the dance majors. My daughter's roommate is a dance minor, but she's mostly focused on her academics, still deciding between majoring in education or foreign affairs, so this lesser focus on the dance program works for her. I think you'd stand a better chance of getting strong ballet at a good dance studio than trying to get it through a college as a non-dance major, even one with a strong ballet program. Quote Link to comment
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