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threegirlpileup

Should we visit before auditions?

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threegirlpileup

My dd is currently a senior but planning a gap year, so will be applying next fall/winter to BFA dance programs.

Does anyone have thoughts about making visits before the visit to audition?  We were thinking about making some trips this spring to visit potential schools, but I'm realizing that it might really not be worth it since she'll have to go back to audition anyway.  I think it's likely that visits could help her prioritize her auditions/applications, and possibly eliminate some choices--but on the other hand I'm wondering if this is a good use of our family's time and money resources (including me taking time off work to go with her)--and that maybe it makes sense to just wait and know our fall/winter will be crammed full of that.

Any perspective from those who have BTDT would be most appreciated!

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ballet1310

Hi - dd prioritized programs before anything else ( location, size iof school etc) so she only went to the schools when she auditioned ( for instance , Indiana University only holds the auditions at their campus so we went there)  UNSCA held auditions in NY and she was accepted there but once she got into Indiana ( her top choice) we did not go to see UNCSA -  she only auditioned for 4 schools 

That was our process, I hope this helps !!

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dancemaven

Due to extenuating circumstances,  DD visited one school she was really interested in before auditioning.  Her first question after leaving campus was: ”How do I withdraw my application?”  Thus, she never completed all the additional dance related stuff to get an audition date. Saved a lot of time and trouble. 

So if a visit is reasonable to arrange, it can be helpful in narrowing full artistic applications.  (Not that ours was reasonable, but it made sense under the circumstances.) 

But really, it’s more just a weighing of pros and cons of making potentially one—or two—trips. 

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Momof3darlings

My DD visited some twice and others once.  My husband flew with her to the auditions in most cases.  But we were lucky enough that her pre-pro school had former students at all of the schools she was interested in.  So we were able, in most cases, to fly her up for another visit and she could stay with them for a few days.   This allowed her to BU and go to a Basketball game and stay in a sorority house.  Then another trip to IU to do scholarship interviews for some special programs for out of state students on a weekend where the IU Ballet performed, etc.  Her aunt handled the Arizona visit, etc.  If it was within the state, I took her to those and dance was off the table so a different kind of visit.  

This allowed her to pick up on little things like which environment was more welcoming, which had a stronger student support for other activities besides football and sororities.  Which appeared to be an elevation of training versus lateral training, etc.  And this also allowed her to talk to dance majors outside of the walls of the audition weekends when they are asked to help in certain ways.  

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fun en face

DD and I visited IU and Butler her “junior/senior” year (she had an option to graduate HS in 3 years) At the time there wasn't enough first hand info about exactly how classical certain programs were, what campus life would be like in winter, etc... We felt it was very worthwhile for DD's individual goals to see for ourselves.

Our deal with her was that she apply to college regardless of dance since there IS/WAS so much uncertainty. Her ultimate goal was to join a classical company so college dance was plan B/C up until then.

After visiting and observing auditions she decided instead to focus on finishing high school early and making herself available for full time "post graduate" training and performing with her schools affiliated professional company.

The visits we're a real eye-opener. She eventually applied to non dance colleges and deferred for a year til she obtained a contract with the company where she is currently a soloist.

In hindsight those visits really helped us make the best decision for our family's finances and her career aspirations long term!

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motherhem

We weighed those question heavily last spring when DD was a junior.  There are not many notable dance schools in our area within driving distance so college visits meant long drives or flights and both meant one to two nights at a hotel.  Dd really wanted to apply to schools that were well known for producing professional company dancers. So we ended up narrowing down our list and going to an audition for multiple colleges at DTCB and then for others that were not at DTCB we would audition as they traveled around the country hosting auditions in large cities closer to us.   We decided we could see if she got accepted and if she got any scholarships and go from there to visits colleges that were real contenders to help make the final decision. 

Somewhere in the process she decided she wanted to try auditioning for companies instead of attending college. Seeing acceptances scholarships and our net cost for college really solidified her decision for us.  We will incur less financial obligation for her to go into a company training program than college even with good scholarships and we believe she is company ready.  🤞

Now she will be traveling for company auditions instead.  It makes me really glad we didn’t spend the money traveling last year before the auditions so we can afford the travel she is having to do now. 

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dancingjet

We couldn't afford to travel ahead of auditions, either timewise or financially, so DD's first visits were always when she was there to audition. We knew we'd send her back for second visits after acceptances if she needed that to ultimately make a choice.

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Amie

DD visited 3 colleges before auditioning but only because we were in the area for other reasons.   I wouldn't advise going out of the way too much to tour a lot of colleges as that could get quite expensive especially with future auditions added on.  The visits did help DD experience a variety of campuses which gave her a sort of general idea of what she might like in a college.  However, she did find that she learned a lot more auditioning at the actual colleges.  She was able to get a feel for not just the university but also the current students, prospective students, and multiple teachers who taught the various stages of the auditions.  I also learned a great deal from the visits.  When you do visit, whether it is during auditions or before/after, I would recommend going while classes are in session so you get a true feel for the student body.  We ruled out more than one college because of our observations of the dance students and/or the student population in general.

 

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lakemom

Our dd visited all of her choices except one.  If you are unable to visit, many schools now have virtual tours online so you can get a good look at campus, dorms, and other facilities.  In our case, one of dd's top choices was not what she hoped/expected after the visit, so I'm very glad she was able to see it in person.  On our first visits, she observed 2 classes to really get a feel of what is taught and how.  

 

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motherhem

I wanted to add one suggestion. When you do visit colleges try to catch a performance while you are there. It is really helpful to see the students perform. It gives you a feel for the level of teaching at the college. 

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sheahuang

We also only made our first visits during auditions except Butler- we did a regional one. We knew we would do a second look if need be after acceptances. We did not need to but ended up having to make a separate trip for orientation in May instead of attending the regional orientation that we could have driven to. It was essentially required to attend orientation at school for the dancers. That was a cost that I did not anticipate. The only school that we could catch a performance as it was basically built into the orientation day was at Utah.

 

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