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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hartt School/University of Hartford

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Here is the Dance Department's website: Dance Department


Click on which ever degree you are interested in and it will take you to a new page. On that page, click on "View Curriculum" and you will see the courses expected for each year of the degree program.

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  • 7 months later...
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  • msfifiroxsox


  • twiga


  • Tom


I'm interested in their BFA in Ballet Pedagogy. Anyone have first-hand experience? I've viewed their courses on their website only.

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  • 5 months later...

Does anyone have any updated info on this school? I met a graduate last spring who came from this school and got a trainee spot at Lines. She had good things to say, but I'd love more info.

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  • 1 month later...

How about a 2010 update :)


Specifically I noticed on thier website that they have a dance minor (by audition) - wonder if this might be a way for my dd who is interested in continuing a high level of ballet training and performance with an academic major - at a "conservatory style" program...



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  • 1 month later...

Went back an poured over the website to glean more information - it certainly appears to be a strong program and dd will add to her list.


According to the web site Dennis Price is not listed; there is an interim director listed (Stephen Pier).


Seem to have outstanding faculty and there are some nice videos of their performances on the website - both classical ballet pieces and modern/contemp pieces.


Still there is not any listing of alumni (webpage says it will be updated soon/under construction) and there does not appear to be a "departmental" contact. There is also no information about specific daily schedule (credits & courses are listed, but not sure how this translates into which classes (technique for example) meet & how often they meet.


Am hoping that someone out there can give us some sense of the program and the academic climate as well. ANy BT4D with experience at Hartt out there ???

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update as announced on their website...Stephen Pier is now officially the Director of the Dance program. I have emailed the dept contact with my questions in above post, haven't heard back yet - but I know Spring is a busy time for "admissions type" things.


Any BT4D folks out there have any information about this program??!!



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  • 4 months later...

BUMP! Still interested in this program and plan to visit this year (dd's Jr year)


Any BT4D members out there with recent experience with this program? The website still has no list of alumni placements - We are really curious about this and so far have not received reply to my email inquiry.



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  • 4 months later...

DD and I finally visited Hartt :( We were able to observe class and talk with some students and the program coordinator as well as the general campus visiting. DD would have likely been able to take class, but she was fighting off a wicked cold and so we only observed. Hilda Morales (a CPYB summer faculty member as well) taught the level 4? (advanced) ballet class we observed and dd thought it was a good class.


(To my untrained, but ballet parent eye, DD would probably be towards the top of this advanced class, she certainly could have hung with them now as a hs jr. - and that remains a question in my mind - would she continue to be challenged and pushed in such a way to best prepare her for professional company...but bear in mind this was first college program we've visited and I recognize that part of the transition from pre-pro school to the more adult world of college or trainee is that the dancer must push themself and is responsible for their own growth, provided they are getting some actual training/instruction/guidance)


We both thought there was great comraderie among the students and between the instructors & students - so a serious program but a supportive, "family" one too. There were about 18 students in the class, two were men. (that is one question I forgot to ask -- how many males in the ballet program -- will ask when we audition next year). They take all of their dance classes at the new performing arts center and then are on main campus for non-dance academic/gen. university classes several afternoons a week after dancing all day - a solid conservatory model for training.


Overall dd felt it was a good, up and coming program, and she could see herself there. The faculty are excellent and we talked briefly with Mr. Pier, the new director, and can see lots of new things are happening - such as a summer trip/tour?program in Europe. She liked the small but diverse campus, the Hartford area, and the dance department's friendliness in addition to the prospect of training with Ms. Morales, Mr. Pier and the other faculty.


DD will definitely audtion there next fall. Anyone interested in more specifics of our observations please feel free to PM me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

DD auditioned at Hartt in November and was really impressed by the whole audition process. A really big deal for her was that the dancers/students she met made her feel very comfortable and welcomed. She also knows a dancer there (from Bossov) who is a junior and is very happy with the program. Although DD has only auditioned at three universities, Hartt is her favorite, and she was accepted. She still has an audition at SUNY Purchase, but she's hoping that Hartt will offer enough financial aide to allow her to attend. Unfortunately, we won't find out how much aide is available until early April, so we're still planning a drive to New York from Michigan. As I learn more, I hope to add to this discussion.



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Twiga - If your DD can already do the advanced class, how much room for her to improve is there over the course of the four years? We found out there is a great difference in the strength/talent of the programs. In one respected ballet Conservatory, my DD was admitted and was to be placed in Sophomore classes. At the University she chose to attend, she feels she is at the bottom of the freshman class. She wanted the strongest training possible, so thought that the lower she started, the greater the chance to learn.

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Good question tutu2you. Again I think my own assesment of ability probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt and think we'll have a better feel for things as we complete visits to the other ballet college programs on our list.


Not sure if the bottom, middle, or top are the right "spot" to be in for dd when beginning a college program? Am sure that want dd to improve, strengthen, grow and be best prepared for professional compnay auditions/work.


What would be a good way to sort of "Ask" that question of a program I wonder? In other words, if accepted at a program, how could one approach an "individual" based question on how the program would prepare/challenge an individual student based ont heir particular ability/skilllevel coming into the program.


Tom- good to hear of some others' experiences - please do keep us posted !

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twiga - I think I would tell them what your DD's goals are for her dance career, and ask them how many of the dancers in their program (or the percentage of dancers) have achieved this same goal. Then, if their placements line up with your DD's needs, I would ask at what level of the program, do most of the dancers begin. After your DD's audition, she might have a much better idea of the level of the program and her own place. After taking a class or two for observation, she/you would definitely get an idea of where your DD fit into the program.


My DD is planning on staying in college for all four undergraduate years and was not intending to audition for a company after her first year or two. So she chose a program that could provide her with four serious years of continued training. And even if she had placed a year ahead, she wanted there to be enough class offerings in the program to keep her busy all four years to keep up her technique.


She doesn't necessarily have to be at the bottom of the freshman class, but we certainly thought the top was not the place to be either. Part of it comes down to assessing your DD's skill and talent. We felt like my dd's technique was not as good as it should be - good enough to get into some of the top programs - so that if she was being pushed ahead, the program in general must not be advanced enough to help her improve as much as needed for an eventual company position. In hindsight, we should have asked more questions about this. Because feeling you are at "the bottom" did not help her self-esteem when she found herself going through all the adjustments to college life that have to be made even without dance. Hope these thoughts help you work through your choices. I sound repetitive; it is a little hard to explain our thought process.

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With regard to wanting to be at the top, middle or bottom of a program, I think the most important thing is make an honest assessment of yourself as to how you will feel and thrive based on your relative ability compared to others. Our DD would rather be toward the bottom and try and push herself toward the top. But for that to succeed, it is important to find a program that supports that type of dancer with encouragement and positive feedback (and honest critique)--from both the faculty and classmates. To the point, I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer for everyone, it's what's best for the individual. Good luck to all who may be struggling with that decision.


Yes, we will keep you posted as final decisions are made.

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  • 1 month later...

My DS auditioned at Hartt in January and expects to receive a decision in the next couple of weeks. He was very impressed with the studios, and how current students were available during the Q&A. They seem truly happy with the school. We were able to see a performance and were quite impressed with their Modern work. We also had a chance to hear Stephen Pier speak (he conducted my DS's interview as well) and we liked the direction he seems to be taking the program. I can say that at the January audition, there were 3 boys. One of them had auditioned at Tisch and Julliard as well and felt that Hartt was also a viable choice for him, so that seems to be a good sign about the program. My DS is looking at the Pedagogy major. We were told that they are the only nationally-accredited Pedagogy dept in the country. We were also told that the 2011 incoming class in the Dance program would be around 20 students, so the odds for my DS are pretty steep but it is his first choice.

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