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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2001 6:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
ok - Another question -<P>Do you think that a university can produce a student well grounded in dance - for any purpose teaching/dancing degree or non-degree - without ballet being part of the curriculum?<P>There is a unversity here (a huge one) that does this - no ballet class at all.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 08, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2001 9:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Regarding your question about ballet training Basheva, it depends on what the goals are Basheva, for the students, I mean. If you want to have a performing career, you HAVE to have a decent level (minimum) of ballet training. If you want to do experimental dance, write on dance, be a dance historian or a dance therapist, then I would say "NO" you don't need ballet training.


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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2001 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 40
Location: New York, NY, USA
I have a friend who was in the NYCB for 10 years and who got her BA in dance from the State Univ. by completing a portfolio (she said this wasn't easy) outlining her accomplishments in dance. She also had to complete the "general education requirements" in science, social science, languages, etc. as well. Obviously she more than met any performance requirement! She is now a professor in a dance program at the State Univ.<P>What has surprised me the most about the posts is that beginners are allowed to become dance majors. Most specialty programs have very strict prerequisites for admission - possibly including audition. Is it a matter of needing the bodies in order to justify the department's existence? I had been out of college (with a BA in classics) for over 10 years, when I went back to school to do prerequisites for a program in physical therapy. (The prereqs alone - all the science courses I had studiously avoided as an undergrad - took 2 years.) PT programs are VERY selective - even in schools where students are admitted into the program in their freshman year the competition for places is fierce. Most programs do not admit students to the major until the junior year after all prereqs are met (and now all are becoming MS programs, i.e. 2 + 1 years). Of course, there is no such thing as a "minor" in physical therapy! The equivalent in dance major terms - at least programs aimed at producing performing artists - would be to exclude anyone thought not to have the possibility of a career SOMEWHERE (not necessarily a classical ballet company). My State U. friend says that many of the dance majors who enter the program in the "ballet" track change over to modern dance, because they realize that 22 (college grad age) is rather late to be starting a career in ballet and that many of the ones who are left are interested in teaching as their main goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2001 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Karen - I can only answer for the two colleges at which I taught (one is a university, actually). At neither one is there any sort of audition or prerequisites to enroll in the beginner level dance program. <P>And, of course, those who are able to make a professional career out of it at a "late" age are exceptions to the rule. <P>I would say that most members of professional ballet companies (and I suppose other dance forms as well) haven't had the time to go to college before dancing professionally. One sort of rules out the other doesn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 2:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
a response for karen, intended to be a bit more general than what i wrote above: i don't believe there are ANY university dance programs in australia which one could get into WITHOUT an audition, and without a halfway decent dance standard of some sort or another - UNLESS its stated purpose of that degree was NON-performing (as in the examples provided of dance writer, historian, etc) BUT - for men, ....well, you know.....

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 Post subject: Re: Academe and the Dance
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 6:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
The college at which I taught strongly advised the members of the various sports teams - male dominated- like football - to take the ballet classes.<P>Therefore we had several male athletes in class and several of them fell in love with the ballet. And, some were impatient with it. It was interesting watching them work. <P> As flexible as they were, they appeared stiff besides the ballet dancers. As quickly as they moved, they seemed to stand still besides the ballet dancers. What looked really simple to them, like a royale - turned out to be incredibly difficult when they tried it. For some, that challenge represented a goal to be sought and for others it fostered frustration. <P>One asked in class one time: "How can this itty bitty girl do this and I can't?" They were used to "powering" their way through things rather than taking the time with small details. <P>As a teacher it was interesting for me to see their approach, try to work with it, channel it and help them achieve their aim, which was for the most part, not dance, but improvement in their sport.


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