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I only have first hand information about the application process and the off campus ballet studio, but wanted to post and share at least (that much. It would be great if someone with first hand info would supplement here. Stanford has a dance department and a minor, but no major. Several styles of dance are offerred in the department, including modern (somewhat classically inflected) taught by a company artistic director, Robert Moses. Ballroom and swing (useful styles for contemporary and classical ballet dancers I hear :pinch: ) are also prominent at Stanford.


Most important are the quirks of the Stanford admissions process. The deadline, even for regular admission, is earlier than most—mid December—and the deadline for arts submissions is almost a month earlier. Early admission is even sooner--like tomorrow almost. The general application includes a page for supplemental arts material and requests a teacher recommendation that would supplement a dance video. That means the materials would need to be received by admissions in approximately six weeks from today—mid November mailing at the latest. This is soon. :wink: That's how we missed it last fall. Although it is not necessary to audition for the department, it could help your application to have the benefit of the dance information, and it will be considered. It's great that Stanford acknowledges the importance of the arts this way, so take advantage and don't miss out. If my two dds are any indication, these materials can make a difference. Follow the link below.





With a car and an appropriate college schedule, students could supplement their Stanford on campus classes with excellent training in Palo Alto (I think you would need a car or a buddy with transportation, but I am not familiar with the public transportation options) at the Zohar Dance studio. Their website lists ongoing classes with advanced level ballet open classes four mornings per week. Check the studio website at




Christine Elliot, who teaches at Stanford and Zohar, gives a very good class that will be challenging, with lots of attention and sufficient personal corrections without favoritism. Ms Elliot was an ABT soloist, and one of my dd's favorites from the SI. Both my dds have also taken class in the Palo Alto studio. The new teacher with the Royal Ballet connection looks impressive as well, but I don't have a dancer who has attended her class.


Maybe someone can post about public transportation in Palo Alto.


I can also say I've seen a Stanford student (very nice dancer who was at Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell) over the course of a year who maintained impressive technique with this mix of on and off campus classes under Ms. Elliot's instruction. This would be a good class for prospective visiting students to check out if they are exploring this dance minor option.



Good luck

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  • Pasdedeux


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  • 2dds


Thanks for the info 2dds. Are you saying your daughter did not submit the optional artistic material and that it hurt her chance of admission? I have been wondering just how much weight those materials carry in relation to the rest of the application process... Although Stanford does have a small ballet (dance) department, it sounds like they are hiring good teachers.

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I've ridden SamTrans busses around Palo Alto, and Stanford campus is near a hub, I believe. It's also worthwhile to note that PA is quite bikeable (and that in general, the busses are good at carrying your bike if you wish).


The bay area has long had transitinfo web site integrating all the transit systems in one place. It's now become transit.511.org: http://transit.511.org/index.asp. Any specific question about bus schedules can be resolved there.


Isn't Robert Moses one of the guys behind Pilobolus and stuff? I'd love to meet him and study with him.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry Pasdedeux for the delayed reply. I have been away from internet access.


I am saying I think the lack of that material affected one dd who was not accepted. The other dd with a similar record had a successful application that included her arts submission. Of course, Stanford is such a tough admit anyway, there is no telling what made the difference. I mostly wanted to give a heads up as it seems the arts materials may help. By the way, the admissions officers downplayed the arts submission saying it was not necessary for participation in the dance program. I think this may have been because many had problems with that deadline last year and were complaining like me. It is just a few weeks away now, so don't miss the date.


Thanks to citibob for the transportation information


Best of luck to everyone applying.

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To answer the question above--Robert Moses is the artistic director of Robert Moses' Kin, a modern company based in San Francisco. He is working part-time at Stanford. He also teaches regular classes in advanced modern technique at the San Francisco Dance Center (kind of like STEPS on Broadway, but in SF). Much of his choreography and class work is to classical music.


I don't believe he has been affiliated with Pilobolus, but I could be wrong.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks 2dds for your reply. My dd did get her dvd submitted (the 7 minute limit was tough!) and now she awaits Stanford's response. I really wonder just how many artistic submissions actually were received for review. Seems like dancers of a pre-pro level (I'm guessing) with the academic credentials that are expected just couldn't amount to all that many. Maybe I'm being naive or just inexperienced...On to the next round of applications for her, universities that have strong academics and decent ballet, preferably on campus!

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Did your dd's video for Stanford include prior performance clips or did you video anew, especially for college applications? I'm a little behind in that process. I have several college applications sent, but held off a few of my Ivy or Ivy-like reaches for video supplement. Now I'm bewildered on where to begin because union regulations at our performance venue prevented video tape of past productions. My home workshop videos are of poor quality and , of the few that I have, most would be difficult to send with proper identifying information about which dancer was me.

Suggestions anyone?

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Some of my dd's favorite performances were copyrighted as well so we used footage of the few pieces that we did have. Major Mel had a good suggestion at the beginning of this thread about videotaping some class footage. This was suggested at our school as well. My dd took one of her SI solos and rehearsed it and then we taped it in one of their studios after class. We "hired" one of her teachers to make sure it was technically and artistically clean--those tricky Italian fouettes being what they are. This studio footage of solos performed previously was decent I think and really the best we could do with a limited amount of time. Then my daughter and an advanced multi-media student friend edited it(thanks to earlier suggestion!). It most definitely was her own as we thought it should be. However, I must admit that our friends who are applying for soccer scholarships/admission had some real polished and professional dvd's. One teacher reminded me that dd was a "better dancer" than the ballet programs she was applying to, but then again she believes serious dancers go into companies as opposed to college, so that is a different topic altogether!

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The above reference should have been made to the "videos for college application" thread in Higher Education General Discussion section which I had just been reading. It has some really helpful suggestions.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello all,

Just couldn't help but report the happy news that DD was accepted to Stanford yesterday! She is delighted beyond belief and is pretty much set on going. For the record, she did submit the arts supplement. It was crazy trying to get it together in time for their deadline, but I'm glad we did it. How much of a factor it was in her admission we don't know, of course. She was also accepted to Barnard, UC Berkeley with a Regent's Scholarship, and waitlisted to Brown (which she loves -- Treefrog). OK, I'll stop my brag now.

I hope others who wanted Stanford got good news as well!

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Congrats! What a wonderful accomplishment and you have every right to brag. Please let us know how the ballet level is for your daughter as it is the one aspect that is holding my daughter back from attempting this one for next year. Maybe if she reads a few more confirming posts from ballet dancers she might give it a consideration.

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