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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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82 days until I leave for the brand-new dance performance major at Oral Roberts University! Yay-ness!


**Update: I leave tomorrow morning at the break of dawn, and have some new info about the program.




Describe the audition/application process.

I had to apply to the university concurrently with the dance program. A paper dance application was required, as well as a live audition. Video auditions are possible for international students, and out-of-state applicants if they absolutely can't make it to a live audition.


How many dance majors?

'07-'08 was the first year, and I believe there were 35? Between thirty and forty. I don't have a count for this year.

**There were indeed 35 majors the first year. I believe the count for this year is around fifty or so, I could be mistaken.


How many dance minors?

No dance minor is available. Okay, so apparently there IS a dance minor available, but only to musical theater majors. MT majors are required to minor in dance performance.


How many applicants to the dance program annually?

I don't have this information, as, once again, this will only be the second year the program is running.


How many Freshman are accepted?

Most of the majors are freshman. I will be an "older" freshman.



How many men in the program?

Last year there were two or three. I don't know about this coming year.


Must students be accepted to the college or university before applying to the dance program, or vice versa?

You must apply concurrently, but you don't have to have be accepted before applying to the dance program.


Are the entrance requirements for dancers the same as all other applicants to the school?



Does the program seem to have stringent body type requirements?

No, not really. Everyone was fit and healthy, I didn't see extremes in either direction.




Describe the studio/performance facilities.

There are currently only two studios being used by the dance department. One very spacious dance studio built into the theater building, with huge windows. It's really pretty, but the ceiling is a bit low for a dance studio. And another in the fitness center. There's been talk about more being built, but I don't know when or where.


What is the approximate number of performance opportunities each year?

There are two official performances that I know of, the Fall and Spring concerts. There is an audition-only performance company on campus that has more performing opportunities.


Who choreographs/directs the above performances?

The instructors for each class, I believe. There is a lot of student involvement in the dance program since it's so new, however.


What ratio of ballet, modern, jazz or other forms of dance are included in these performances?

**It's equally split between ballet and modern I believe.


How is casting done?



What is the climate of this program (supportive/friendly or highly competitive)?

It is extremely supportive and friendly. Even before I was accepted, when I was just talking to some of the dance majors on campus, they were instantly accepting. It seems very tight-knit and family like.


Is there an elite upper division touring/performing company within the department?

Yes, the ORU Dance Ensemble will begin auditioning this coming school year. Auditions are the first week of school.


Are there choreography projects available for students?



What opportunities are there to see dance performances or teachers from outside the school on a regular basis?

The Tulsa Ballet is very close by, and Oklahoma City ballet is about a two hours drive. Not that bad.


What nutrition/health counseling is available?



What medical facilities/physical therapy is available?


Describe the culture at this program (warm, cold, competitive, nurturing, professional, etc.)


Is there anything unique or that might be helpful regarding the audition process or the audition itself?



List ballet faculty members.

Romans A. Jasinski, former AD of Tulsa Ballet and Jesse M. Dolezel are the ballet professors.


How often does each teacher actually teach class?

All the time.


How many hours of ballet classes per week are required?

Nine hours of ballet, not including rehearsals if in the company. The general breakdown is: 9 hours of ballet, 3 hours of modern, 3 hours of Related Dance Forms (this semester is hip-hop. . .joy), 2 hours of improv. So 17 hours of technique classes. The company rehearses every evening for two and a half to three hours. So if you count company rehearsals you have 27+ hours of dance every week.



How many ballet classes a week are offered?

Including all levels and pointe, 14.


How many technique classes are required of those in other forms of dance (such as modern)?

There aren't separate majors. It's a dance performance major.


What style of dance is the focus of this program (modern, ballet, other)?

It's equally split between modern and ballet, although there appears to be a slight leaning towards ballet. Because the program is so new and individualized, it's really what you make of it.


What dance requirements are there other than technique classes?

There are required choreography, kinesiology, improv, dance history, dance pedagogy, touring management, and adminstration classes, as well as a Dance Seminar every semester.


What degrees are offered within the Dance program?

It's currently a BA, but the schedule is really more like BFA programs I've looked at. There is talk of it being changed to a BFA.





How rigorous are the academics in dance-related, non-technique classes?

Very rigorous.


How rigorous are the academic courses?



What is the ratio of academic requirements to studio hours?

I definitely have a lot more studio hours than academic.


Are double majors allowed for a dance major? If so, is it practical to double-major?

Yes, it's allowed. It might take an extra year, but it's doable.


Can a student double major in one program in the dance department and another from a different department?



Is there a dance minor? If yes, please complete these questions:

Only for musical theater majors. I don't really have much information about it though.


What is the ratio of first time or beginning dancers in the minor classes?


Are the minor classes significant enough that a minor can still dance after college?


Are non-majors allowed to take technique classes?

With the instructor's permission, yes.


As a practical matter, can non-majors get into technique classes (or are they filled with dance majors by the time non-majors can register)?

I'm not really sure, but I highly doubt the staff would turn down students wanting to take technique classes if they asked.





All this info is kind of hard to answer given how new the program is.


Is career counseling/job placement assistance offered?


If yes, at what year does that counseling start?


What does the counseling include?


How often do company director's visit the school for viewings?


How common is it for students to leave the school to join companies prior to graduation?


Do any dancers from this program go on to professional performing careers? Teaching careers?


Who are recent guest artists or companies who have been in residence at the school?


For students graduating from this program who do not go on to dance professionally, what kind of jobs/careers do they go into?

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