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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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A and B Plans: College & Company together

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Momof3darlings

Sorry marigold, I don't know anything other than he was doing it all along and many of the younger dancers didn't know it until he shared how far along he was in law school because of the classes he had been taking simultaneously and how much longer (not much) it would take him to finish now that he was retiring. I will see what I can find out in this specific case. Another dancer we know with a company position retired after 7 years because she had a full ride to John Hopkins that she could not pass up. She already had her college degree prior to starting to dance professionally but did Master's work while dancing and then applied for the scholarship and got it.

 

I do know that in the area they both were, the colleges have the same offerings in night classes as they do in the day. So possibly these communities are larger and more geared to working professionals from all types of work needing degrees. Possiby what can help is some listings of colleges that work with dance companies to help dancers get degrees. Besides Fordham, Lines, Ballet Austin and University of North Carolina's Partnership with NCDT, what are some others member's have found that are currently available? Houston used to have an arrangement with University of Houston do they still? Orlando used to have company class later in the day allowing for morning work and classes do they still? Obviously with a short train ride ifrom NYC there are a few options.

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marigold

I see. Well, it's good to hear the many diverse routes professional dancers can to take to prepare for for a career after dancing. Since dance is so relatively short-lived and so full of sacrifices, putting options for all of high school and the few years after in one viewfinder seems necessary.

 

Maybe this question has already been covered, so forgive if repeated! Has anyone heard of guidance counselors specifically for high school aged dancers/students? I mean similar to a guidance counselor at a high school who is specific to college admissions? I am sure an AD at a student's dance studio could be very helpful, as they may have seen so many high schoolers go through. Nevertheless, they may have a views colored by their own experience. Perhaps only in a residential dance program would that sort of counselor exist. This would be a specialist in dance career/college guidance who would be invaluable.

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Momof3darlings

I did a search hoping to find the ladies who do College Counseling in this area but also have dancers in college. They joined a College counseling team and focused on dance admissions and colleges while dancing, but so far I can't find them. I had their info when DD was graduating because they presented a forum at RDA but am not sure I still have their card. If I do, it will be in her college file box.

 

I did not find them, but did find a link to this Creative College Counseling. I know nothing about this company or Ms. Drumwright other than reading her bio on this site itself which includes "professional ballet dancer with schooling through SAB and PA ballet" but if I found this with a quick search for "college counselors for ballet dancers" there must be more for the taking out there. You're right marigold, there must be more people "giving back" in this capacity than just the school ADs. If not, I see a job in someone's future here. There were a couple of others that popped up in London as well. A huge disclaimer though, the local ladies I referenced above charged a quite hefty fee and the ADs at our RDA that year discouraged seeking them out because of it since that fee didn't guaranteed entrance into the college of choice just a stronger presentation for your application with inside help from parents who'd been there. Those ADs at RDA felt the same info could be found at all places.................here and College Confidential for free. :shrug:

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gogators

A small group of parents at my dd's ballet school held a College Night for Dancers event. It consisted of parents and their dks in a discussion panel format, in which they shared their experiences on the college search and application process. What was esp. interesting is each parent & dk chose a slightly different path - some chose to go straight to college (one as a non-dance major, others as dance majors), while others chose to defer college for ballet. But it was helpful to hear these different perspectives & points of view and to have the opportunity to ask questions & gain information in one sitting.

 

I suggest before the dks at your local ballet school who are HS seniors and will graduate & leave, that they & their parents be asked if they wouldn't mind sharing their experiences thru a similiar format that maybe your school's AD could help organize?

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marigold

RDA would be a great location to offer a seminar, at least. Curious to follow up on that one. Not that your average guidance counselor is the most popular with students or parents (sometimes they know nothing!) but would be an opportunity to be a guidance counselor who would be popular.

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Momof3darlings

That was a wonderful idea gogators! A very good idea that could grow to be wider than just your studio. Very cool! Our studio had a big notebook that dancers braving the path were asked to add to. It could not be taken from the studio, but you could go in and take a look at it to see what they found. One parent before us brought in her own notebook and left it the year before DD graduated, it was a lifesaver.

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marigold

I suggest before the dks at your local ballet school who are HS seniors and will graduate & leave, that they & their parents be asked if they wouldn't mind sharing their experiences thru a similar format that maybe your school's AD could help organize?

 

 

That would be a great idea. I'll suggest that. Alums would be helpful to have back, as well. Thanks, gsmom!

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marigold

Excuse me, I mean THANKS, gogators!

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gogators

>> "A very good idea that could grow to be wider than just your studio."

 

Actually the college night event that was held at my dd's ballet school was, in fact, open to everyone in the community. They did an email blast to everyone outside of the school and invited them. I remember there were a fair no. of parents & dancers from other studios who attended the event.

 

I forgot that the group of parents on the discussion panel also included two parents whose dks are now college juniors, and it was nice to get their perspective too -- one was a double major (dance & something else); the other was a non-dance major but still was into ballet on the side.

 

From my point of view, everyone gains from an event like this, and it's a nice way "to pay it forward" when the time comes when your dk has graduated HS, or is about to graduate! :-)

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Pasdetrois

Momof3, I believe you wrote you were talking about trainee situations after HS. I have to say, I think this is the way to go and I really hope the pendulum starts swinging more in this direction. A decent HS education is essential. My DD's took both AP and IB classes but neither got a full IB for the reasons I stated in previous posts. As graduates they got honors with all the cords and sashed the school had available. They graduated well and I think we are totally on the same page as regards the importance of a good graduation rather than scraping through with minimums. I'm sorry I'm not always clear when I write, so much is in my head but you can't read my mind, it's not exactly good communication on my part. Dancers are very bright people, it does not surprise me that they go on to be doctors and lawyers. I actually know a couple of MD's who had professional careers.

 

For the dancer who has to move away because their area offers insufficient training, or the dancer sought out by a program during an SI, being made an offer that just can't be refused, HS becomes a moot point. For the rest there are so many decisions and that really is what the focus started out to be on this thread.

 

For the HS student, taking HS seriously and having a ballet career as the primary focus there can be a really heavy schedule awaiting them in the studio. It's six days a week and almost as demanding as those of company programs (trainee's and those with school associated II programs). It's these kids I have experienced.

 

Here's something I was privvy to, a lovely dancer torn between Ivy League and a ballet career. She took more AP exams with top level passes (all 5's) than I knew existed. In the studio she never missed a class, never. She studied and danced and burnt the midnight oil. She worked hard. At least she thought she did. Academically she was a star. In the ballet studio she worked, but she didn't grow as a dancer. She thought she was working hard, but in reality she was not. She was called lazy. She didn't get the expected roles in productions and this poor kid wept. Her fellow dancers hurt for her but knew that other dancers were passing her by. She hadn't seen it. She auditioned for companies but with no offers and she decided academics were a better fit. She's a brilliant girl, she is very happy and she is still dancing. Her God given gift in ballet will never go away. I think dancers somehow can self select themelves out and we have to let them do it. It's their life and we may think they are making wrong decisions but for them it's choosing a path even if it isn't a conscious choice. My dancers chose not to do as many AP and IB exams. For them it was a very conscious decision. They got good university offers, no parent could complain. They are happy.

 

Just because you have a gift doesn't mean you have to use it. We all have many gifts and how many did each of us never discover or choose not to nurture. In many ways this girl decided not to pursue ballet years before. Did she know as she entered HS that was her goal, I don't think so but she never put into her technique classes what she put into studying. She chose another gift to nurture, her brilliant academic ability. She is a winner as much as the dancer who gets the contract. She is pursuing a different dream but a dream none the less. She misses the intense ballet she used to have. Really, you can't have it all, at least not all at once!

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mydarlindancer

Wow, great thoughts, Pasdetrois.

And Gogators, what an excellent idea for the students. Thanks for sharing.

This has been a great thread, thanks all, for participating.

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spazcyn

Coincidentally to my starting this thread several days back, I just got the latest issue of Pointe in the mail, and it has an article on dancers dancing professionally while taking college coursework and also an article about dancers choosing to attend college dance programs and their various experiences and reasoning for their choices. Very interesting reading.

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Momof3darlings

Here's an older article in NYtimes.

 

Pairing Ballet with a Bachelor's

 

and also found this, I wonder if anyone here has read it and if it's worth the heavy price?

 

Dancers in Career Transition: Sixteen Success Stories

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spazcyn

Thanks for sharing those, Mof3. The NY Times article was very interesting in talking about how many of the dancers who have paired getting a Bachelor's with a professional career (chipping away at the degree) have gone on to get Master's degree. (Very timely indeed since DD now informs her long-term goal involves a post-graduate degree.) :speechless:

 

--Methinks we'd better be finding that money tree really REALLY soon-- (or maybe I'll just start buying Lotto tickets.) Pretty lame, I know....

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Momof3darlings

Another member who couldn't get a link up sent me this one. This is an older article so not sure the program is still in place.

 

PNB/Seattle U

 

The Sept. issue of Dance Spirit is also a College/Dance issue. There is an article in it about Lauren Fadeley who it appears danced with NYCB for two years, then after that went to IU and graduated and now dances with PA Ballet.

 

If you dig far enough, you figure out you can stir the pot in anyway you'd like. That doesn't make it easy, nor does it make a fast journey. But never say never until you actually get to the locked door!

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