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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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I was looking through past threads, and it was mentioned that they have a very well rounded program. How intense is the ballet, though? I'm looking for somewhere where I can get at least one technique class a day.

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This is from the FAQ section of the Muhlenberg Dance Department:

 

How much might I expect to dance each week?

 

This is a personal choice, again determined with a faculty mentor in advising. Students interested in performing careers are likely to find themselves in two or three classes a day plus several hours of evening rehearsal. Conversely, a student interested in becoming a dance therapist might choose to only take one class a day and not be involved with performing at all.

Note that it doesn't specifically mention a daily ballet class.

 

Maybe you can e-mail them and ask to see a copy of the class schedule in order to determine what's offered.

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Check out PA Repertory Dance which is just down the street from Muhlenberg. My daughter deferred from Muhlenberg a few years ago, and ended up dancing professionally so she never went there.

 

It was never her intent to get all her dancing from Muhlenberg's program, but it offered plenty enough, and she was able to figure out a schedule that would let her take advanced training at the ballet school. She knew a few people in the company at the time too, which made her more interested.

 

Muhlenberg's a gem of a school. Their commitment to the dance program seemed solid at the time we were looking. Their fine arts center stands out in the middle of the campus. At the time the dance dept. was sharing the Pilates center with the sports dept. but that was soon to change and they'd each have their own facilities. The school had spanking new dance studios, PT people, etc. The head of the program (a ballet teacher) was intent on increasing the ballet training. I have no idea what's ensued in the 3 or 4 years since we visited, but the school was perfect for my daughter's needs, offering enough classes that she could combined with more training at the ballet school nearby.

 

Edited to add that Trinette Singleton, former Joffrey dancer, is now on staff at PA Repertory Dance. My daughter has had her as a teacher at SI's; she is a very gifted teacher.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, Mr. Johnson, we do have a turtle too (a statue at least) :D

 

I am a freshman in the dance major program here. What was most appealing to me when I did not know what my focus was for college was that one can dance as much as they like without majoring or minoring in dance. The freshman class consists of 2 days modern class, 2 days ballet class, and 1 day of dance lab. The work is supplemented with outside reading and journal entries each week. Besides that class, one has the option of taking additional half credit dance courses that meet 2 or 3 days a week in ballet, modern, African, tap, or jazz, as well as pilates. The number of classes you take depends on your major and how many credits you can fit in each semester. There is also the option of taking classes from the Muhlenberg Community Dance Center in the evenings or weekend with a 30% off discount for students. This is how i fit in my Saturday ballet/pointe class. The facilities are excellent, and the teachers are professional and care about the students. My freshman class was split into 2 groups of about 25 dancers each, but most of the technique classes are smaller than this. The Muhlenberg Dance Association puts on 3 concerts a year and includes student-run activities for dancers. I am very happy here! I can dance and still get a good liberal arts education. The campus is small but picturesque and the area offers safety but is still the third largest city in PA!

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  • 5 months later...
so you can't get ballet everyday then?

You definitely can if you work the classes in your academic schedule. Each section meets 3 days a week (Accelerated Intermediate level and higher), but one can easily take more than one section. I am currently taking a Monday, Wednesday, Friday section of accelerated intermediate ballet, a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday section of the same level ballet, as well as a modern class additionally on Mondays and Wednesdays. While most students here do not choose to take ballet every day, it is possible. The program is very modern focused by choice of the students. The faculty choreographed concert features ballet, however the student choreographed concerts are often entirely modern. The director of the dance program, however, is the head ballet teacher, and a wonderful asset to the school. I currently have two ballet teachers, both professional and with very complimentary styles.

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  • 6 months later...

Bumping this. I would also be interested to hear a more recent report of the dance program. My DD visited a couple weeks ago and was impressed by the school, the facilities, and the people, but is concerned about the quality of instruction and the amount of dancing. Thanks!

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  • 1 year later...
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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry I was so late in posting, but the college tours have kept me busy....

 

DD has visited this school 3 times in addition to auditioning for their dance program . Muhlenberg has an open admission policy, so you do not have to be accepted into the dance program to attend the school. At the audition, the Director of the Program also stated that non-dance majors are able to be cast for pieces in the dance concerts- provided they are selected at the audition for the particular piece. This seems like an excellent school for a student that is studying a major whose time may not allow for a double major, but may still want to be involved in dance.

 

DD and I were very impressed with this school in general , and particularly with the dance program . The Theatre and Dance program is located in the center of the campus, and it is clear that the school is very supportive of this program. The facilities are beautiful and the teachers warm and caring. This is a small school, with a freshman class of about 600 students.

 

The audition day consisted of a ballet class followed by a modern class. Solos were performed by students wanting to major in dance, but the purpose of the audition was more for placement and a potential scholarship. DD auditioned on the last available audition day, and the class had to be split up during the solo performances. Although there were two evaluators for each solo, DD was disappointed that The Director of the program didn't get to see her solo performance, as she was in the other room evaluating the other group of soloists. DD was the first soloist of the day, so we were done early and had a chance to walk around campus and have lunch. We also chose to attend the dance concert that night, which was very important to DD, when making her final decision.

 

The dance concert featured works from guest choreographers, as well as, Muhlenberg faculty. DD and I were impressed with the concert that night. DD and I thought the dancers were well rehearsed, the choreography was interesting and innovative, and the dance genres very diverse. We saw various works in : classical ballet ( The Ballachine Trust set a piece on the dancers), contemporary ballet, modern, jazz and tap. DD, who grew up in a competition type studio ( with a clear focus on technique via ballet class), was very impressed with the jazz and tap pieces. Many of the outside choreographers are from the NYC area, and DD had worked with the jazz choreographer in the past. Most of the other college programs DD auditioned for focused on ballet and modern, so having excellent jazz and tap training as an option, was very appealing to DD. We left that night feeling as Muhlenberg was an ideal option .

 

Tips for DK's interested in this program would be to make sure the academics are at/higher the schools threshold and to apply early. This school is very clear that they want to accept students that want to attend their school, so schedule an interview with admissions( they will do skype interviews), and go on at least one college tour. Applying early decision is the best way to be admitted ( especially if the academics/standard test scores are lower than the school's averages), and they will give you an early read on financial aid- prior to the ED deadline. This is an expensive school, and applying early is the best way to get the best package. As has been stated by many on this board, try to attend a dance concert while you are at the school for the audition. This really does help put things in perspective in terms of whether a school would be a good "fit" for a particular DK.

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Looking for current info from anyone who has visited recently! Thanks!

Seems to be a program full of students who love to dance and are there because they want to be. Great academics though perhaps better regionally known than nationally. All of the dance students I met were very happy there and enjoyed the faculty interaction and the number of performance opportunities.
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  • 1 year later...

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