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2020/2021 College Congratulations thread

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The time is here! We want to celebrate, congratulate and share in the joy of our parents, dancers and even teachers who have students reaching the goals of one of the following: Ballet trained dancers attending colleges in dance related majors, Ballet trained dancers attending college in other majors but continuing to dance

The purpose of this thread is to congratulate those who have accepted and are attending either a Ballet specific college program for the fall or plan to attend college and dance on the side while majoring in another subject.

We ask that our College bound wait to share until they have made a FINAL decision where they are going. We do not want this thread to become a string of acceptances and scholarship information. We want to celebrate your transition into the academic world and that includes your decision on an actual offer to take. Teachers, please have permission of your parent/dancer to post.

In prior years, this thread has not only been used to celebrate, but also to track, confirm and debunk some of the "beliefs" out there about who and how college decisions are made. So we do ask that you share a bit about your journey without too many specifics. This helps our younger members see the wide variety of training, acceptances, etc. that come from our membership. We understand that we are but a very small segment of the ballet world here at BTFD, but over time, we've learned that we can see trends within our membership.  Feel free to post and share the actual college or not, that is up to you!

Feel free to either write the information in paragraph form or use the guideline we've developed over time.

So as coined by one of our members, Let the "Contractuballetions" begin:


(Sample form)


Main/Most recent training: (ex. small local school, small company affiliated school, residency, etc. Do not list the program unless you want to)

Level of school completed: high school grad, partial college, college grad

Audition method: SI audition, YAGP, video, on site

School attending: major or minor

Position process/progress: graduating high school, or attending after being a Trainee or professional dancer for a time.

Words of wisdom about the process/decisions:  

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Gender: Female

Main/Most recent training: (ex. small local school, small company affiliated school, residency, etc. Do not list the program unless you want to): Local ballet-based studio with strong contemporary program

Level of school completed: high school graduate

Audition method: Dancewave college fair in NYC and on-campus audition

School attending: Montclair State University (NJ) BFA dance major (program has a contemporary focus)

Position process/progress: Graduated high school in 2019 and has spent this year teaching, taking class, working on choreography projects, and auditioning for college

Words of wisdom about the process/decisions:  

(Edited to add that my dd is a serious student of ballet, but has never aspired to be a professional ballet dancer.  Her passion is for choreography and contemporary dance.  That being said, she considers ballet an essential part of her ongoing training, and was looking for a contemporary program that included a strong emphasis on ballet training.)

Cast a wide net.  Start the academic applications in the summer if you can. Don't neglect the academic component of the application, as there's often more money available through merit aid than through dance scholarships. Check application deadlines so you can be eligible for merit aid.  Run the NPC (Net price calculator) for all the schools you are considering applying for, so you have a realistic idea of the cost.  Apply early action if you can. Audition early if you can.  My dd attended the Dancewave college fair in October and a bunch of other fall auditions, so by December she already had a handful of acceptances.  Her last audition was in January.  Coronavirus aside, it was such a relief to have that done with by then.

Do an on-campus audition/visit if you can.  These were really important to my dd in making her decisions. 

Juggling the dance requirements and the academic requirements for each application was a lot to keep track of.  Each school had different requirements and different deadlines.  Some required a completed academic application before you could schedule an audition, and others did not.  Many required solos, but they were different lengths--I think my dd had versions of hers that we 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, and 3 min. Some schools required a self-choreographed solo, and others did not. Some required specific dance photos.  Some had an additional dance supplement.  Many required a dance resume; some required a "regular" resume. Everyone had different date deadlines.  We used the website Trello to organize things and it was very helpful.

On campus, observe classes if you can.  My dd found this extremely illuminating in many ways.  There was one program that she really liked for a lot of reasons, but when she observed classes she realized that the level of the classes just wasn't there.  She came away thinking that it was indeed a great program but for people who were starting from a different place than she was.  It also made her realize that she really wanted to be in a place that was really going to push her.

Look carefully at the curriculum of each program. Even among BFA programs, the requirements vary a lot.  We were surprised at the number of well-regarded (contemporary focus) BFA programs in which the students took ballet only 2x a week and contemporary 2-3x/week.  Programs also vary a lot in their focus on creative work/choreography.  In retrospect, I think my dd and I did a good job of narrowing her list to 10 schools, but even then we realized through the application and audition process that for one reason or another various programs were not really the right fit given her goals and priorities.

Congrats to all the college-bound kids!  And merde to all who are headed into the application process!  It's been a wild ride but a good one.

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Congratulations to your daughter!

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Congrats to you and your DD!

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That is great information and advice. Thank you and congrats to your daughter!

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One thing I didn't really emphasize was that our life was made much calmer by her taking a gap year and doing her applications and auditions during that year.  I would highly recommend it for anyone who can make it work.  It gave her the chance to work, teach, take some new classes in our area, perform, and work on choreography projects.  More than anything, it gave her time and energy and schedule flexibility to do all of her applications and auditions.  I honestly cannot imagine if we had done this her senior year.  At the very least, the auditions would have stretched much further into the winter/spring as we tried to schedule auditions around dance commitments.  While I understand that taking a gap year isn't for everyone, and depends on being able to keep up your training, it was a great choice for her and I would highly encourage anyone to consider it.

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