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Dallas- Ballet Advice


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18-year old daughter will be returning from SMU Audition this weekend. She loves the University and is excited about their AdvertisingProgram. She scored very well on SATs and is academically accepted. She was very sad and perhaps a bit surprised not to have made the cuts for the Meadows dance program. She is currently a Senior Company Member with her preprofessional ballet company many of whom have gone on to major in ballet at Indiana and Butler. She was hoping to minor in dance. She has only had classical ballet at her home school other than limited modern/ summer exposure at various Intensives. Though she does not wish to dance professionally, she is not really ready to relegate ballet to the twice a week, non-major classes only somewhat available (if you're lucky enough to get in) at SMU. Furthermore, their highest level appears to be Intermediate Ballet, Modern Dance, or Jazz. It doesn't even appear that they offer pointe which is her strength. Any ideas for good school(s) easily accessible to SMU? She will not have a car with her freshman year. (Any other advice regarding this - other than go with a second choice University where she has been accepted, which is not an option due to the desirability of the academic program at SMU...)

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Hi pastpointe,


I think perhaps your post is in the wrong place, as you've put it in parents of dancers under 13 and your dd clearly is over 13! I will have to see how we can get that situation rectified.


In the meantime, you will likely get others responding to you. I'm sure we must have others with SMU experience here, or at least people who know the area well enough to suggest a dance school.


As a mom of a University student, I can tell you that a full academic load may in fact not be conducive to daily dance classes...in the fall your daughter may in fact change her mind regarding what is do-able dancewise. If she is not wanting to pursue dance as a career and she likes SMU from an academic perspective, I would focus on that.


All the best,



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Dallas Metropolitan Ballet is within walking distance on Hillcrest Avenue right across the street from campus. The directors are older (I took class from them when I was little and I'm not going to mention how long ago that was!) but they produce good dancers. Very small studios but evidently good teaching. Sterling Hyltin of NYCB trained there as well as others who have gone on to dance professionally. Good luck to your dd at SMU!!

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Just to add to sqcma -- it is called Etgen Atkinson - at least that is what it says on the building. I think Metropolitan ballet is the name of their company.


One question - what did you mean that SMU made cuts in their dance program?

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May we please direct any questions or information about the SMU dance program itself be shared on the College forum thread for it. :wacko:

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Ben Stevenson, former Houston Ballet AD, is now in the DFW area. He has two studios in the area - one in Fort Worth, the other in Dallas/Richardson area. It's called Texas Ballet Theater School.


Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how close the dallas campus might be to the SMU campus but it's at least worth looking into as an option. I don't know how comfortable she'd be on public transportation but it's an option as well as taxis. I looked it up - it's showing it's almost 9 miles from campus but takes 20 minutes to get there (ah, lovely traffic). So, I don't know if it's actually feasible for her.


I know there are a couple of other moms who are more familar with the DFW area so hopefully they can help shed some more light for you.


Good Luck.

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I'm an SMU dance major. Sorry your daughter didn't make the audition cut! They can be really picky about what kind of dancer they accept. Etgen Atkinson would probably be your best best. It's just a few blocks from campus (easy walking distance). The training tends to be pretty Balanchine heavy there though so if your daughter isnt used to that style it could be an issue.

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balletboyrhys, this is a Parents forum, so the proper protocol would be to either contact a Moderator and ask permission to post here or send the information and request a moderator post it for you.


As it is helpful, I will leave it this time. :)

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TBT Dallas is in Richardson and not really realistic to get to from SMU. There is another studio somwhat close to SMU (at least it is still in University Park) called CIty Ballet.

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Non DS attends SMU and we have lived in University Park. Etgen-Atkinson is the tried and true ballet training facility in the area. They are literally across the street from SMU (on Hillcrest). Our son loves SMU! Balletnast is correct, without a car Richardson is not easy to reach. I hear great things about TBT though. If she brings a car during her sophomore year, maybe she could try them too....

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Even with a car, it would be difficult to get to TBT in Richardson. We lived a mile or so from there when I worked at SMU - certain hours can be a real nightmare. And the public transportation is not always logical in terms of the routes. There are some smaller studios in the neighborhood - once she gets a car - that she might try if she doesn't like Etgen-Atkinson. Perhaps they have adult classes that might meet her needs. They may seem Dolly Dinklish, but some of them have some ballet teachers with great credentials. One thing she might try doing is watching for local performances at McFarlin Auditorium. Start looking in a month or two - it is used quite a bit for recitals for local studios. This could give her some studio names to research. Another thought might be looking at Dallas Community College. DS had a teacher/studio owner whose grandson danced up until college. He went to DCCC and, for exercise, enrolled in ballet classes there. Not sure of the quality. Another option would be to look at SMU's community based program. In the past they offered different levels of ballet to adults (18 and up) only - classes were open to the community.


Edited to add: The website for the Meadows Community Program is http://smu.edu/meadows/community/courses-performing.asp. Looks like they only offer Ballet I and II, but it's a start. But at least it's something. Plus these might be good resources where she could find additional programs that are closer to her skill level.

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It may not be what she's looking for right now, but if she were to contact them, and enough interest could be garnered in the community, then they might consider offering a higher level class. This was how they worked before, anyway. I haven't been there for five or six years. Honestly, back then it was hard to get enough people to even offer the basic ballet class. But these are still good starting points.

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