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Any experiences at Case Western Reserve with their dance program?

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Well, since I'm the one that had this school added to the forum and asked the first question back in 2009, I thought I'd provide an update. My daughter is currently a sophomore at Case Western Reserve working on a minor in dance. One of the main reasons she chose Case is that it a top notch nursing school (she is a Nursing Major). She was told by every school that you can't double major if you do nursing because it's extremely difficult, so she decided to look for a school that had a strong nursing program but also had a dance department where she could seek a minor in dance. Most schools that offer a dance major do not offer a minor, so it was a difficult combination to find. As promised, her nursing cirruculum is extremely time-consuming and challenging. She is lucky to get two dance classes in each week with her nursing schedule. The Case dance program is very modern based and there are not a lot of ballet classes offered unless you are a grad student (she only got to take ballet once a week during her second semester of freshman year and it was well below her usual level). She misses her classical roots but still appreciates the opportunity to dance and perform once a year (majors perform more often).

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Any newer info on this program?

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I attend CWRU as an undergraduate dance minor currently. I chose this school because I believed that I would be able to pursue my dance minor and unrelated major concurrently, I would receive quality teaching, and could have the opportunity to perform with the department. However, I have had an incredibly negative experience in my time here, and as a result, I would not recommend this program to those looking for serious, high quality college dance programs. This is because the dance department is highly political and the instructors are not knowledgeable enough to be teaching collegiate dance classes.

The administration focuses mostly on its small, 4-8 person graduate program, and does not prioritize the needs and requests of undergraduates. If you are an undergraduate dance major, you have more of a chance of getting to take dance classes and getting to perform in the biannual dance productions. However, this casting is usually based on favorites in the dance department, and as a result, the same few people are cast for productions over and over. 

If you are a minor, as I am, then the department provides very little support. I often am waitlisted for the high level dance classes that I am trying to take because they claim that there is "not enough space" for me in class (which I know is not true because I have taken these classes before, and there was plenty of space with more people). I noticed that this treatment began as soon as I told them I was not able to be a dance major due to scheduling problems.

In terms of classes themselves, the teachers are fairly knowledgeable, but are not adequate for collegiate level dance classes. The instructors I have taken class with do not provide very many corrections, often seem unprepared to teach class, and some emphasize quantity over quality and technique. 

If you only want to take a class or two or perform once in a while, CWRU is not a bad option. They do have a dance minor with a small credit requirement for completion, which is helpful. However, if you want high quality teaching and performance opportunities while you study (dance or something else), I would not recommend coming here, as I have found my experience incredibly negative.


Edited by dancercle

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