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Colleges with best programs for Classical ballet?


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Can anyone name the colleges best known for training for Classical ballet students? For instance, some say that Juilliard trains more for contemporary ballet and modern. Then again, is college before a career considered even a viable option for a student with classical ballet goals?

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Marigold, we have done this, and also had a lot of discussion on college vs. career, college before career, and college after or even during career. Those topics should be on this forum. I will take a look and see where they are.


Try looking under Colleges and Universities with Ballet Programs, and Higher Education General Discussion.

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I know this topic has been done a lot, but I'd really like to see this as a single thread as well. Programs and staff change and the industry itself changes from year to year. I'm guessing most who will enter in the fall of 2008 have pretty much made their decision, but where in 2009 should we be sending our classical ballet student if we are going to insist on college? It's quite overwhelming to look through every college thread, and I have done that with the company threads for DD's summer intensive decision. This site is so great and there is so much information I worried about blood clots in my legs because I sat at the computer for so long trying to soak it all up!!!

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I know this topic has been done a lot, but I'd really like to see this as a single thread as well. Programs and staff change and the industry itself changes from year to year.


Which is why we can't really do this in a single thread. The best thing to do is to take a look at the college/s you are interested in first, read about them on their individual threads, then if they don't seem to be measuring up, move outwards to other colleges.


Also take a close look at threads that have lots of replies. :thumbsup:

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I might add that Dance Magazine has a yearly college issue which gives small "blurbs" about each school, and a table with some statistics about each program and what it offers. Although this issue is expensive (I think around $30), we found it to be worthwhile. It might give you a start for your research here. Good luck!

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When we were looking at college dance programs, we eliminated quite a few when we looked at the schedules for a freshman dance major hoping to concentrate in ballet performance. Quite a few had only one ballet class a day and/ or very little pointe classes during the week. Another statistic that is important to find out is the average number of boys that are in the program. Not many boys usually means limited partnering opportunities.


Also, think about company audition time. How close is the school to NYC or other popular audition cities? If it's not close, do they bring in AD's to observe classes or end-of-year performances?


These are just a few things to consider. Good luck to everyone with their search!

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I have to agree with hithere. Wouldn't it be okay to start a thread where those who wanted to offer their experiences in finding colleges with good classical ballet programs could share? Since many on the board seem to know that certain programs only focus on modern dancers, why not share the knowledge pertaining to classical college programs, as well? The list that is currently here is a very nice resource, no doubt. But weeding through every one with no guidance for a novice would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. And I suspect there are very few college programs that do support those who want to pursue classical. Ms. Leigh, I hope you understand my point of view. With no disrespect to the board. If I have missed a very obvious thread that discusses that, I apologize.

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There are actually numerous threads that discuss which programs focus on classical ballet. Users have done just as you have suggested marigold and their experiences on the college trail are chronicled both on the individual college threads and in several threads on the General Discussion forum. Please use the search function and look at the advanced search options, the variety of search parameters and try several different key words to assist you in your research. Make use of PMs and email to other users here and ask questions and exchange ideas in order to come up with your own 'short list' of college programs. Take the time to peruse the websites of a large number of college dance programs too. Look at their course schedules, review their repetoire from past performances via their photo gallery, review where their alumni are dancing, look at their guest artist list and their annual calendar of events. It will become very clear, even to a novice, the focus of each program. Come back to BT with your own research and post questions that arise on the forums for those individual programs or PM those who have posted that they attend those you have questions about. Ballet Talk provides a variety of tools that can assist you in weeding through the wealth of information on this board and we are cognizant of the fact that this task will require time, networking and good research.


The moderators certainly do understand the overwhelming amount of good data that is here on Ballet Talk. We read it all, everyday! :lol: But, we also understand that what constitutes a focus on classical ballet for one person may not for another. As is often said here, there are many paths to a ballet career. It is not our purpose on BT to single out a few programs. To do so might prejudice our users against very viable and successful programs that don't make the short list and exclude others from consideration altogether that might be an ideal fit for your dancer. OUr goal here is to provide accurate, first-hand information. It is then our readers job to assimilate that data.


I would encourage those who are struggling with a college decision to take the time to wade through all of the threads on our Higher Ed forum. It is not as formidable a task as one might imagine. Quickly scanning through them will give you enough information to narrow your search to those that catch your eye. Print out the threads that make your first cut to read them away from the computer, with your feet up! :thumbsup: Talking with others who have been down this road via PMs and emails will help. And then, just as is the case with making SI and residency decisions, it is up to each user to sift through it all and come up with their own prioritized list of colleges that will suit their dancer's needs and goals.


Regardless of the focus that you are looking for in a college program, I strongly encourage each of you to think outside the narrow box of a handful of programs and consider the strengths and the weaknesses of a larger number of college programs. There are some jewels that can be easily overlooked unless you are willing to do a little digging! :innocent:

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Okay, then. We will surely learn a lot by the process of the search. I will look more closely for those threads. Thanks.

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I guess I can speak from experience because my daughter is a senior and we have finished the process of the college search for a classical ballet program. I knew nothing about ballet programs and she is our oldest so this was our first college search. I spent many late nights at the computer looking through the different threads. I found the information to be quite helpful.I am so grateful to all that have shared. We also purchased a couple of books on college guides for performing arts. My daughter also spoke with friends from summer intensive programs to find out about information. I do wish we had started the process earlier. We looked at a couple of colleges last summer but did not see any dance programs until her auditions. She is now trying to decide between two different colleges and the deadline is closing in. I think each program will give her a great chance to continue her ballet and provide a strong education. I wish you much luck on your search Marigold.

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BA really helped in the college search. I was able to contact others in different programs, got info about everything from classes to dorm life. It's been a great network in the past for SI's as well. My dd still runs into friends from former SI's everywhere. Don't be afraid to PM members with your questions! Good luck!

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Ah, I just found the October discussion and understand your position on this a little better! I was just looking for a shortcut. There are so many colleges that have dance classes I was hoping to find a list of neo-classical syled ballet intensive programs. But I will get a better office chair and a large cup of coffee and dig in!! Thanks.

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I was just looking for a shortcut.


A possible short cut is to look in the link about the "fab-six". It does branch out a bit from the fab-six, but is a good starting point.

I am also ending the search for my dd....now if she can just decide where SHE wants to go!

I will be happy to offer my 2 cents if anyone would like to PM me.

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OK-I'm trying to not be too clueless. But where can I find the link on the "fab-six"


(Moderators- I have tried in vain to log on with my screen name and no luck. Still using my daughters. Not a password issue. Worked when I first registered then stopped. Have tried to contact you throuh "contact us" but got no response. Help)

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The Contact Us emails go to an administrator who is on vacation this week. Please send me a PM directly with your screen name and I'll be happy to assist you.


To find threads discussing the Fab Six, use the search function on the top right of your window. You can select to look for this key phrase in a title or in the body of a thread. You can look on all forums or just certain ones. You can restrict the search in many other ways too. Take some time to explore the search function and don't be discouraged if your first attempts don't locate the threads you are looking for. With a little patience, you'll be surprised at what you can un-earth on Ballet Talk!

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