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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hartt School/University of Hartford

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Would love to hear some recent feedback on this program. We visited University of Hartford/The Hartt School with Dd right before Thanksgiving. It was the fall performance weekend and we liked much of what we saw especially the piece choreographed by Mr. Pier. We also had the opportunity to tour the Performing Arts Center and meet Stephen Pier and Amy Lesko who were wonderful. Dd's first college audition is with Hartt next weekend and the auditions do not end till mid-march. As parents, my Dh and I felt VERY comfortable with Hartt and with everyone we met including many of the students who were welcoming and warm. (This was not the case at several of the other schools visited)

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Dd's audition was this past Saturday and it was an extraordinarily positive experience. This was Dd's first college audition so she was somewhat nervous...more excited though. The day started with an interview then classes and finished with solos for those asked to stay. Dd loved the classes and felt the teachers gave excellent corrections. I picked her up after her day was done and she was so wonderfully positive and happy. I really feel this program is heading in a very exciting direction and would be so pleased if this is where she lands when auditions are over.

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  • 2 months later...

Daughter has made final decision. She was offered scholarships at several programs including a really lovely one from Hartt. She ultimately chose Hartt for the atmosphere and the positive interactions she had with Mr. Pier and the other faculty...they are very passionate about their program. I think she has made a very good choice and I believe she will get a solid education. Personally, I am so glad this roller coaster of the past eight months is OVER and we can just enjoy her last month of high school. She has one last ballet performance at home which will be so bittersweet and her senior project in which she choreographed and is performing in musical numbers for a "Cabaret for Cancer" to benefit two Children's Cancer Programs. It will be a busy month and then it will be getting ready for the next chapter of her life. Wish I could go back in time to those first ballet classes just for a moment...I'm going to miss her like crazy.

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Congratulations to you and to your daughter! I can totally relate to the “bittersweet” feelings of those final senior year celebrations and performances. Best wishes to your daughter, and I hope that you will let us all know how she enjoys her experiences at Hartt.

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  • 2 years later...

Just wanted to bump this one up...would love an update about this program - especially if FairyofMine might have one! I am very interested in this program for my DD who is a rising Junior in high school.


Thank you!

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Also,does anyone know if it is possible to complete both the performance Major and the Pedagogy Major?

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dancermom5, DD looked seriously at the Hartt School for entrance into this past years freshman class. She did not end up there, but our understanding was that all students participate in the performance track, pedagogy is an add on and quite doable.

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  • 2 months later...

Giving an update now that Dd is soon to start her Junior year at Hartt. (sorry Mombadt that I am just now seeing your question!)

Dd has had a wonderfully positive experience the last two years. The faculty is excellent and very involved in the care and success for each student. At every performance, all the faculty attend and make a point of connecting with parents for which I am pleased and grateful. Dd has had fabulous opportunities and has been cast well in pieces. She has grown as a dancer AND as an person due to this program. They really place a lot of emphasis on personal growth and development of skills you will need once you are in the "real world" and looking for a position. Networking being one of the most important skills. They have had terrific guest artist in different genres of dance. The latest being Doug Verone and Gemma Bond (ABT) which set pieces for them for the Spring Performance. Master Classes this year from Misty Copeland and Wendy Whelan among others. It has been just a great experience all around...so happy this is where she chose to attend. The classes are small, intimate and focused. Dd's class in particular is very, very close for which I am greatful as they are a wonderful support for one another. The days are long and intense but I believe they are ready once graduated. There has been wonderful placement from the graduating seniors, many going on to dance with well known companies which bodes well for the upcoming classes. If anyone has specific questions, i'm happy to answer them.

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Can you tell us where the graduating seniors are going? I had checked their website but couldn't find that information.

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Oh that is great to hear, FairyofMine! I really appreciate all the info and I am very glad to hear your daughter is having such a positive experience. I definitely got the impression they were a small 'family' if you will and thought that was a great reason to look at them closer. Great to hear about the relationships part too (nice to have someone actually WANT to talk to a parent!). Thanks so much and I second the question about graduating seniors, if you know where we can get that information. Best of luck to your daughter too!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, FairyofMine -


I'm also interested in any current information especially regarding placements. Hartt is on the list of my daughter's "schools to visit".

Also, I'm trying to figure out if its possible to combine and Arts Admin minor with a performance major.


We are having a hard time getting to actually speak with a person at the school. Have not gotten any response to calls.


How is the campus? How far is the dance center from the rest of the campus? I was wondering if you need a car. What is the feel of the the area regarding safety? I have seen reviews on U of Hartford saying it's not in a great area.


Thanks for any info.

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  • 3 months later...

DanceMomLAS - DId you ever hear back from University of Hartford? My DD is looking at this school as well and I don't like to hear that they are unresponsive. Have you learned more about the program? I'd be happy to hear any information you can share!

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Hi SewRibbons -


Yes, we have now been to Hartt 2x, once for a generic college tour, and last month for an audition. In the end, the dance division coordinator, Amy Lesko, got back to us, and was able to arrange for us to observe a class, and meet with us for a few minutes. I am not sure why we originally had a hard time getting a hold of her. She was very helpful and encouraging.


The audition experience was good. My daughter was not sure about this school but had decided to do the audition for the experience. By the end of the day, she told me Hartt had moved up on her list of options. She found the ballet audition class quite do-able, pointe audition very basic, and modern more challenging. They also asked her to perform her solo (a classical variation). Everyone was very encouraging, and they had a full day of presentations, current student demonstrations, and parent information sessions as part of the day. The focus of this program is still more modern oriented, but my gut feeling is that they are trying to increase the level of the ballet component. Dance facilities and general campus were good and nicely maintained.

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DanceMomLAS - Is a practice tutu needed is a dancer is asked to perform her solo and its a classical variation? I expect not, but wanted to check. Thanks again.

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