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Hi! My daughter auditioned for OU's ballet program this past weekend. She was really impressed with the audition, the facilities and faculty she met. My husband (who took her) also had a great conversation with two very happy current students. One question we still have, though, is about post-graduation placements. I believe Michael Butler spoke to this  briefly but only mentioned a couple of companies. Does anyone have additional information about placements of recent graduates? 

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It's Micheal Beardon, by the way.  I know two current students are dancing with OKC Ballet.  Not sure about recent graduates.  Here's the posted info; http://dance.ou.edu/companies/

 

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From what was said at the Q&A, it sounds like they have connections with Fort Worth, Nashville, OKC, Tulsa. There may have been some others mentioned - those are the ones that I recall. They do post alumni updates on their instagram page. A few mentioned there: Ballet Evolution, Northwest Arkansas Ballet, Fort Wayne Ballet, Ballet Frontier.

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In the last few years there are dancers at Ballet Arkansas and Festival Ballet Providence. Our DS benefitted from the faculty network. Graduates audition for companies along with others around the country during the audition season. The resources at the college support website creation and allow students to use the video footage from performances to build their visual resumes. Our DS has felt very well prepared by his education there. 

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Thanks, everyone! This is very helpful info. I will check out instagram and look at OU's posted info again. And Lady Elle--you're right: Michael Beardon! My DD has been accepted to Butler, so that was on my mind. :) 

 

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Also, Nashville AD just came and did a class that also served as an audition for the company.  So, that's nice to have auditions come to them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My DD revisited the University to get a better feel for the dance department.

Mr. Bearden was very helpful and arranged for her to take a class with the Level 4 and Company Class the next day, as well as observe a rehearsal.  In addition, she was able to do a campus tour, meet with admissions to discuss requirements for a double major, and meet with a current student who is a double major.

I will summarize as follows:

Technique class:

She felt that the teacher was very meticulous about technique and that the students were very good.  There were 11 dancers total in the upper level class.  The entire class was en pointe, and apparently they have class like that 3 days/week.  The style was classical, more like her present training. The center work was very challenging, fast and complex,  which she was delighted with, as she felt this would be a place that she could continue to grow as a dancer.  The students were all extremely happy and welcoming, and my husband spoke with several students who all seem very happy with the program, and said all female graduates from last year were hired into companies at some level.

Company Class:

This was a larger class of 45-50, this was all ballet students Freshman through Seniors.  The class was primarily a warm up for rehearsal, so moved along, but she enjoyed it very much.

She then had an opportunity to observe a rehearsal.  The piece was a Ballet contemporary piece that they had done in the Fall, and were going to be performing for another venue.  DD said it was very clean, beautiful choreography, and although she is very much the classical ballerina, she said she would have loved to dance in it.

Academic information:

DD and my husband met with admissions to discuss various majors, honors college, deferral of acceptance for a year, online options if she chose to do that, etc.  They were very helpful, and DD came away with a lot of information to process.

Overall, she left with a sense that this program is run very much like a professional company, and the ballet program is very strong.  Getting a double major is very doable with a dance degree, and the atmosphere is a friendly and supportive one within the dance department.

Addendum: She was also told that from the Nashville Master class/audition, 4 students were invited to come take Company Class with Nashville Ballet.

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Can anyone comment on the access students have to the facilities when classes are not in session? I know they can use the reformers whenever a class isn't in session, what about the studios?

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No, they cannot use the reformers when class is not in session.  MAYBE if they are certified in reformer.  Who told  you that??  Other than that, they can use studios that do not have class or rehearsal booked.  

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Lady Elle, thanks for the info.  As far as the reformers, that was said by the current students that lead our facilities tour.

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Yeah, reformers not just anyone.  That would be a liability and a possible disaster for the machines themselves!  

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lilacfairyliz

balletgem, can you please elaborate on what admissions told your DD and husband about online options? Was your daughter told that she would be potentially able to continue coursework online if, for example, she left her junior/senior year for an apprenticeship in another city?  I would also like to know if they shared any specific information about the honors college, just in case they told her something I missed in my research.

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Lilacfaiiryliz, The discussion my husband and DD had with admissions was with regard to taking online classes if she chose to defer a year. She is also considering trainee options, and if she chooses to do that, we would like her to do some type of online college course. They said it could be done with some classes, (not those with a lab) and that you can defer up to 1 year. I don't know about finishing online if you left early, but it is a good question. With regard to the honors college, the admissions person thought it may be difficult to double major and do honors college with ballet, but my DD met with a dance student the next day, who was a double major in ballet and math and was in the honors college and she said it was definitly doable. My understanding is that if you decide to do honors college, there are higher end classes, better dorm options, but no penalty if for some reason you can't complete the requirements. 

 

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glissade_jete

I can no longer elaborate on any School of Dance issues, as I graduated way too long ago at this point, but as far as the Honors College, I have experience. I did choose to go the Honors College Route. The "required" honors courses  seemed to be more liberal arts-ish. A lot of reading and writing and discussion. The remainder of the credits needed to officially graduate from the Honors College were left up to you. I was able to plan ahead and take the Honors section of courses required for my BFA so I was killing two birds with one stone and not having to cram additional courses into each semester. (For example, we were required to particular arts humanities classes, and I was able to fit the Honors section of Understanding Music into my schedule). I think I only ended up having to take one honors course that was otherwise totally irrelevant to my major and minor because I couldn't piece together a schedule that didn't have conflicting class times and I was about to graduate by that point. 

If you map out your undergrad years well, it's  actually not difficult to make the Honors College work. It also comes with the nice perks of small class sizes, elite professors, and you get set apart at graduation with notations in the program and a different-colored stole to wear.

However, there were students who were admitted to the Honors College and chose to take advantage of its perks without ultimately doing the Honors College work, such as exchange programs with Oxford. As ballet gem said, there's no penalty for not having finishing Honors requirements.

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Thank you Glissade_jete.

That is very helpful information.  Can I ask did you double major or major/minor, and do you think that it is possible to double major and do Honors College?

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