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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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  • 1 year later...
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  • clynwinslow


  • dancemaven


  • thedancermom



Hi my D has been accepted to Boston Conservatory for fall 2011 and is seriously considering it. Are there any parents of current BoCo students who can offer advice as to whether they feel it was a good choice: opportunities to perform, strength of program, friendliness of students, college life, etc? I would greatly appreciate it! thanks

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Kristengrace, would you be so kind as to change your profile to reflect your status as a 'parent' rather than 'student dancer'? We require that each poster have his/her own membership and identity. Thanks.

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  • 6 months later...

My daughter is a sophomore at BoCo this year. The program will be undergoing changes with the addition of the new Dance Director Cathy Young. I met her and am not very impressed. The program has a strong ballet program at present equally mixed with modern and choreography. They have not made changes to the program this year (2011-2012) but I expect changes next year. Freshmen do not perform in the November show but all others do. They have the opportunity to audition for the February show and everyone performs in the April show. There are also opportunites to be asked to perform in senior showcases (original works by seniors) but they have to be asked by the senior putting on the work. There are also other ad hoc performing opportunities. All in all they do not perform much which is one of my dissapointments in the school.


My daughter does not plan to return next year - she will be auditioning for company trainee/jobs. She was told this summer by a major company director that she is dancing at a professional level and she needs to go get a job. While her experience there has been very positive and she has a great apartment 1/2 block from The Hemenway Building, she doesn't feel she is going to get anything further from the program. It is very expensive and in my mind not worth the money unless they really change the program and give more performing opportunites on par with the MT (musical theater) and music departments. She has had a wonderful experience but it is time for her to move on. If you are looking for classical ballet, this is not your place. There are some contemporary ballet works and a great deal of modern. The new director is a jazz teacher with a degree in sociology from Harvard. Seems a bizarre combination. I do wonder if the new focus will go away from ballet/modern and into jazz/tap/theater type dance.

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  • 4 months later...

DD received an acceptance email this morning. Still not sure what she wants to do. It is so expensive. Without any type of scholarship I think she may have to pass on this program.

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My DD also received email notification of acceptance. What's interesting is that she never made it to the audition! All out going flights were canceled the weekend of her audition and because of performance commitments she wasn't able to reschedule. Her BoCo acceptance wasn't the biggest surprise we received thus far.....she received a $10,000 scholarship to another school that she didn't audition for simply because she changed her mind after she applied.

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Wow! DancesInHerSleep, your DD has fabulous karma!! I'd send her out to buy (not-buy) a lottery ticket for the next big jackpot!!! :)


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  • 1 month later...


I just wanted to post a different perspective on the school since the above opinion was written beginning of the school year and it is now the end of the 2011-2012 school year with the new director (Cathy Young). I just graduated from the program and have gotten to know more about Cathy this past year. The program changes that have been announced for the 2012-2013 school year actually gives students more options in how they wish to be trained. In the past we were all required to take an equal amount of ballet and modern classes everyday but for this coming year students have the option to have a schedule that has more emphasis on ballet or modern. They can also choose to retain the equal amount of both. Prospective parents/students should also know that even know Cathy is from a jazz background she does not push for everyone to move into the jazz/theater style, instead she encourgages versatility which is vital to employment in all sectors of the current dance world. This school year Cathy took the intiative of creating more informal showings (done in the studio) which allowed students more opportunites to perform. I would also like to point out that even without the addition of informal showings this year it is wrong to say that dance majors do not have equal amount of perfroming opportunities to the musical theater majors. Dance Majors are guranteed 1 main stage show Freshman year and 2 main stage shows for the remaining three years. If cast in every mainstage show they have roughly 4 shows a year (which is alot if you consider having to attend rehearsals on top of school workload). Theater Majors are only guranteed 1 main stage show their Freshman year and 1 in their senior year. (Mainstage shows are the big productions put on by each department. This does not include student choreography shows, senior dance shows, and shows in other performing venues). The fact that dance majors are guranteed two big performances a year (without having to audition) already gives us more performing opportunities than our theater counterparts. Personally I found myself in more shows when I became an upperclassman and now looking back this actually worked in my favor as it gave me the time and space to adjust to the rigorous daily schedule. It may seem "bizzare" that Cathy's bachelors degree is in Sociology but I believe that is a good thing as it speaks to her ability as an administrator which is something she must be able to do in addition to being an artist/teacher. Yes the cost of the school is high but the cost of the Conservatory is in the same ballpark of many colleges. The school does give out alot of scholarships. In my class of 16 seniors I would have to say more than 3/4 of us are on a scholarship. These scholarships are however based mostly on merit and not on need. There have been times where I have questioned the cost of my education but now that I am out with a Bachelors degree I can truly say it was worth it because a degree opens me up to job opportunities in and out of the dance field

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Thanks for the information, Shortet, and congratulations on finishing your degree. What are you plans now?


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Thank you. I moved to New York and started rehearsing with a contemporary company right after graduation for a performance in June. I am also interning for a company to learn a bit more about arts administration work. I also have a job in a musical lined up for August. Please feel free to ask me any questions about the school, since I have been there these past four years i can definitely give you the insiders scoop on things!

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Thank you for posting your views, Shortet! It is such a help to have experience noted directly from attendees! :flowers:

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  • 1 month later...

I was checking today to see if audition dates for the coming year were posted and I noticed that the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance is now Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance. Dd is now concerned as this was a top choice for her but she very much wanted to focus on Ballet and it seems the direction might be moving away from that...

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  • 5 months later...

Is this program extremely competitive for both summer intensive and college admissions? With regard to summer, is it recommended that one make every effort to attend a live audition vs video? I am having trouble getting my daughter to a live audition and just wondered if her chances of admission would diminish greatly if we send in a video. Not sure how competitive admission to the summer program is typically? She is 16 and has a pretty strong ballet background. Would appreciate any insight.

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  • 2 months later...

My D submitted a recorded audition to the BoCo BFA dance program. We were worried that it wouldn't be as good as a live audition but as it was a late submission, she was not able to travel to Boston in time for a live audition. To our surprise, she was accepted and received an annual scholarship based on her audition performance. Now we are trying to decide if she will enrol at Boston, as she is still waiting for decisions from other programs.


My previous opinion had always been to attend a live audition wherever possible, whether for a SI or full year program. However, my D has had some bad experiences with certain live auditions, especially if very crowded. Most have you lined up in a particular order so if you get stuck in a corner, you cannot reposition yourself. I am fairly certain that I read in the BoCo website that they encourage live auditions, so even though we were successful with a recorded audition, live is probably better. If you end up doing recorded, be sure it is an excellent quality recording and shows everything asked for.

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  • 1 year later...

Could someone describe their audition experience for this program? I am a junior and I think I may audition for their summer intensive to get a feel for it. If anyone has any experience with the summer intensive that would be helpful as well.

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