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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Question for homeschoolers re: transcript


threegirlpileup

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A question for fellow homeschooling parents, specifically for those who will make their child's transcript:

 

Do you include dance as a class on their high school transcript?

 

I know that many of our local high schools offer dance as a class.

 

The rule of thumb that I've read is that 1 credit = 150-200 hours of work.

 

In this case, it seems like I could legitimately include 3 credits of dance/arts last year (1 credit for Ballet, 1 credit for General Dance (jazz, modern, tap, choreography, etc.), 1 credit for Musical Theatre (including both voice and dance).

 

But she also has a full courseload of academic classes, so suddenly her credits look excessive (1 each for history, chemistry, language arts, Latin, and math). It does make me appreciate why she feels so busy!!

 

This is such a specific question that really only applies to a very specific subset of folks (serious dancers who are homeschooled and headed for college), so I was hoping others here might have wrestled with this question!

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. Her plan is to apply to college dance programs to pursue her BFA.

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My dancing daughter is 11, but I homeschool all my girls, the oldest is now a junior in high school. I count her sports as a PE credit, but aside from one credit per year, I count the rest as extra curricular. Colleges aren't looking for a pile of credits, but that they are well rounded and are pursuing passions. For homeschool student applications they have far greater interest in their SAT/ACT as well as interviews/essays over credits.

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I don't know yet if I will be creating a transcript for DD14. She has always been homeschooled until now. This fall for ninth grade, however, she is enrolling in a private high school, but we don't know if she will be able to attend there full time all four years or if she will do some daytime ballet classes at her studio before graduation, which would require returning to homeschooling.

 

So I'm preparing to make a transcript for her if needed. She will only need .5 or 1 credit of phys ed for graduation requirements, so we decided to count her non-ballet classes as a phys ed credit. For her that means jazz, modern, and pilates, each of which she takes once a week.

 

Her ballet accomplishments will be an impressive extracurricular activity. From what I read, colleges are very interested in the extracurricular choices, because they show what makes each student unique.

 

You might look at the entrance requirements of colleges where your daughter might apply to get an idea about their expectations. Three credits of dance every year of high school would be way too many -- that would be twelve credits just for dance. You can also look at your state graduation requirements to see what is expected of graduates. I think you would want her transcript to be in line with the norm in your area for phys ed credits, not way over or way under.

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I think there are a variety of ways to handle this. One place you may want to look at for guidance is the graduation requirements for public schools in your state (or possibly also some states where you are interested in applying for college). While those public school requirements may not legally apply to homeschoolers, they can give you an idea of what colleges in your area are used to seeing.

 

For example, public high schools in North Carolina currently require 6 elective credits, 2 of which must be from either world languages, Career and Technical Education, or Arts Education (dance, music, theater, visual arts, etc), and at least 4 more credits are recommended to be a specific concentration in one area such as JROTC, Arts education, science, social studies, and so forth. It would seem that schools in this area would be used to seeing 4-6 credits in a particular field of study like dance. (Plus, of course, the one credit of physical education.)

 

You could also look at what some of the private arts high schools do with their students. You could look at the graduation requirements at schools like Walnut Hill, Nutmeg, HARID, and so forth.

 

And finally, you could look at the high school requirements for some of the colleges in which your child might be interested, to see how many credits they are wanting to see, and in what areas.

 

If your child will have enough other elective credits to satisfy graduation requirements, then dance could just be documented as extracurricular.

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Just for your reference, my daughter's (private, academic-focused) high school counted dance as either one unit each semester towards PE or one unit towards fine arts, and let the student decide where to apply the unit. Whichever graduation requirement they needed. But it could not count as both at the same time. The college essays are where the dancers elaborated on their journeys. All academics were one unit too.

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We applied dance as a PE credit; 1 per semester. She had a full complement of other fine arts, so it made sense to use it for PE.

 

FWIW, my kids had many outside classes, so any credit earned through an outside source had a superscript number notation. There was a special section at the bottom of the transcript to show where each of the credits was earned. My kids also had a lot of credits (compared to public school cohorts), so that was my way of showing that I wasn't just making them up!

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My dd just finished the college search successfully. We didn't put any physical education or dance on her transcript. When I looked at the college requirements none if the schools she looked at required PE and none asked for fine arts or electives. I suppose those credits could help with showing a well rounded education/life. I felt like SAT scores were much more important, however, my daughter also had 25 college (dual credit) credits.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a little late to the discussion, but just wanted to say that we counted 1 credit of ballet, 1 of modern, and 1 of repertory per year for my daughter. This was all on her transcript, and yes, it did look a little excessive :) However, it accurately reflected what she was doing. I did leave out all the other dance forms like character, partnering and jazz, not to mention SIs.

 

My daughter's goal was to dance in a company and take classes online, not pursue a BFA. She was accepted to a state university's online program with this transcript, but it was not a competitive school. The first year after graduation, she didn't even attempt to take an online class, as she was trying to fit in as an apprentice and adjust to leaving home. It is a huge change as she was homeschooled the entire time. But, I think it's all working out now, one year later.

 

I wish your daughter great success in her journey!

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We are not putting her dance on her transcript as course work for credit, but we are including it as extra-curricular. My reasoning is 2 fold:
1. Her fne arts credits are covered with art.
2. Dance is a HUGE extra curricular and it would show why she didn't have many others. If I include dance for school credit then she'd have almost nothing to show as ec.

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I'm so glad to see this thread! I have been pondering the same things. The advisor at our county School District suggested to keep copies of her rehearsal schedules and performance programs to use as "proof" for her Arts credit. I was going to use the ballet as PE also, although she is currently taking 1/2 of her PE requirement online as she does her other classes.

 

Thank you for starting this thread threegirlpileup! It takes a village :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would, on her transcript, give her 1/2 credit per semester for PE and 1/2 credit of fine arts adding one in parenthesis (musical theater, modern, jazz) beside the fa credit and then have ballet as her extracurricular. Modern & musical theater are probably the best to include if applying as a dance major. I'd also, instead of "modern" include the specific style of modern. I'd tailor it to the school applying for and what their program focus is. Performing arts public high schools give PE & FA credit simutaneously for dance classes so you should do that, too. If applying as a dance major, don't hesitate to have 2-3 classes per semester on the transcript (as PA high school majors will have on their transcript). Admissions will know if she's homeschooling that these classes are also "extra-curricular," so I wouldn't worry about the overlap, but it may be good strategically to focus on ballet as the extracurricular. Good luck to her!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a 14 y/o freshman that has been homeschooled since 2nd grade. As of now, I have created a "course description" for her pre-pro class just in case. I am not sure if we'll use it for a PE credit, an elective or just to show as an extra curricular.

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Melody, I think that's a wise approach. You will then have the option of how or even if you want to include it when it comes closer to presenting the transcript.

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