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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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A new teacher at our studio is a graduate of SHSU. She told us that SHSU has one of the top programs in the nation, and offers a variety of dance methods including ballet, modern, and even aerial ballet. DD is interested in this program as a plan C (plans A / B include trainee / apprentice positions, and staying local for the first year), or possible college plan down the road. Does anyone have any experience with this program or knowledge to pass on?

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I would also love to hear information about the dance program at Sam Houston, if anyone has some to share! Locals tell me all the time that my DS14 should go to SHSU after graduation because it has a "great dance program", but I've never heard mention of it on these boards. SHSU is a university he is definitely interested in attending.

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The fact that it has not ever been mentioned here, and we have been here a lotta years, might just give you pause to think about checking it out yourself. Like, visit! Aerial??? Seriously? Interesting, I guess, but not something I have heard about in other top level programs. Sounds like fun though. :)

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I've yet to find a dance program that doesn't bill itself as a 'top' program . . . . . It's all relative in terms of what one is looking for exactly. :)

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I would suggest attending a performance. After that, if the interest is still there, set up a visit.

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Another element that was important to us was to see what types of jobs were obtained by the college's graduates and if those job paths were the same ones desired by our DD. Not every program trains dancers for the same type of job. Some colleges are focused on performance, some on teaching, etc. Since DD was interested in performing, we checked out LOTS of dance companies online to see if they hired graduates from the colleges to which she was considering applying. It takes some time, but if you google the right combination of Sam Houston State University and the other variables you are interested in, you should find out information that is not necessarily the same as that heard "through the grapevine."

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Just wanted to chime in here, SHSU never came up on our radar when we were looking at university dance/ballet programs for DD. Never even knew they had a dance program. It was not advertised or emphasized on college nights at the high schools here in the Houston area (UH, UT, TCU - yes; SHSU - no). What I do know about SHSU is they have a fabulous criminal justice program and music program. We have driven past SHSU many a time going up I-45 on our way to DFW for auditions, etc. For those who might want to visit the school and are not in Texas, you will want to fly into Houston Intercontinental Airport, rent a car, and drive north on I-45 about two hours.

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We have visited SHSU a couple of times and have been on a college tour, but at that time we didn't specifically visit the dance department. Last year, I emailed the director of the dance department for more information and was basically told to get back with them when he's a junior (he's just a freshman-- I like to plan options out far in advance!).

 

Since I had never seen it mentioned on this board, I assumed it's not a big name in the world of dance colleges. But, I did wonder if anyone here had any personal experience with the school's dance department.

 

Ms. Leigh-- I don't understand the "aerial" comment in your post above. :shrug:

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Check out the original post again, slhogan! It's there. :)

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I see it now! I guess my brain just skipped over that part since it had never seen the term 'aerial ballet' before! Sorry about that.

 

SHSU's BFA seems pretty straightforward to me-- emphasis in ballet or modern, normal-looking dance classes, etc. I didn't see any circusy classes listed... but I agree that it sounds like fun!

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I admit I was surprised when this teacher told me about SHSU. I know that they have an excellent education program, but beyond that, I had no idea that they even had a dance program. A red flag was raised in my mind when I saw that there wasn't even a thread here. I was hoping that someone had someone here had some personal experience.

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DD has a friend majoring in dance there. We went to a show last year. The aerial dancing was really cool. It's sort of like Cirque de Soleil where they twist all up in a sheet, then twirl out of it. The hip hop production piece was also very entertaining.

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Good question, Victoria. I saw a few videos on Youtube, but no Classical Ballet at all. :shrug: I did see several students wearing tutus and pointe shoes though.

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The teacher that told us about SHSU said that she took ballet classes, and that they had lots of guest teachers, including Ben Stevenson.

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