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Colleges that have strong ballet majors

hayleighhayleigh Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited March 2012 in Dance Major
Does anyone have any opinions on what colleges have the stronger ballet major programs? Most of the ones I've been looking at are mostly modern or jazz.
Post edited by hayleigh on

Replies to: Colleges that have strong ballet majors

  • keepingcalmkeepingcalm Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    hayleigh, there are many strong college dance programs. Rather than list them all, I am going to suggest you check out the site ballet talk for dancers. The site has a extenive thread and information about college ballet programs based on dancers and families experiences.
    The link is Ballet Talk for Dancers (Powered by Invision Power Board)
  • lammb66lammb66 Registered User Posts: 459 Member
    Just to let you know some specific ones I have heard other dancers have looked at over the last couple of years. I know Butler has a very strong program as does Julliard and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. PP has an very strong program overall for dancers.
  • 1bie7921bie792 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    I'll save you A Lot of time, as we just spent a few months on this. Many colleges focus more on modern. In no particular order, here is the current list:

    have high level ballet classes:
    Mt Holyoke
    Wash Univ St Louis
    Hobart & William Smith

    within reasonable distance of a cooperative ballet program or company:
    Univ of San Francisco
    Columbia (next to Barnard)
    Scripps/Claremont Colleges

    So now you know Where to look, but research them yourself, including contacting the dept, to see if it is what you are looking for.
  • BoonsboroBoonsboro Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    The ones I have found that really seem to focus on ballet are Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Florida, South Carolina, Butler, Cinninati, and Mercyhurst.
  • MAG325MAG325 Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Indiana University has an amazing ballet dance program as well was Butler. I would recommend those 2 the strongest for ballet. Alonzo King's Lines also has a BFA program with a smaller college in San Fran I believe not quite too sure about that one.
  • treemaventreemaven Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    The Lines BFA program (located at Dominican University in San Rafael, across the Golden Gate bridge) is a contemporary ballet program. Although grounded in strong classical ballet technique (and modern), if a dancer is looking for classical training in the sense of dedicated pointe classes, classical variations, classical pas de deux, and working with classical ballet repertoire, this is not the program for her/him.

    The philosophy, training, and 'flavor' of the training and goals are in keeping with the Alonzo King LINES' company. So, a good review of the company's body of work would give a sense of what a dancer might expect from this program. The program's goal is NOT to train a dancer for a classical ballet company (or for the LINES company). It is a much broader, more elusive goal. These dancers are being trained for a cutting edge, pushing boundaries, thinking dancer, collaborative-type company life---a more European company model.
  • kylerkayskylerkays Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Check out Ball State University.
    There is no "Ballet Major" per se, but they do have a very elite dance curriculum for their dance majors. They have high ranking levels in Tap, Jazz, Improvisation, Modern, as well as dance pedagogy, choreography classes, and endless other dance related courses.
    Their dance department continues to grow more and more every year. From a large variety of guest artists to numerous dancing opportunity, Ball State is continuing to climb in dance.

    Look at--

    to learn more about BALL STATE'S dance department and the new B.F.A. Dance degree they are adding coming next year!
  • MomOf3StarsMomOf3Stars Registered User Posts: 822 Member
    I think that most colleges veer toward the ballet/modern track (even if the major is ballet focused in wording) as the majority of pre-professionally trained ballet dancers will go on to trainee and apprentice programs with ballet companies after high school graduation in lieu of going to college. Those that do go to college for a ballet major will generally be expected to have some training and knowledge of modern and jazz movement at the audition.

    If it is classical ballet programs you are looking for though the best college programs are:
    Indiana University (be prepared, this comes with a healthy dose of real modern as well and probably one of the most difficult to get into but probably also the one that will prepare you the best for a career)
    Butler University
    University of Utah
    Oklahoma University
    Mercyhurst (least difficult to get into of this list)
    Point Park (of the 3 concentrations Modern, Jazz, and Ballet they accept the most dancers into the ballet program. This is stated on their site)

    If you are geared toward classical ballet and are looking to get into a company of that type upon graduation you probably would not find Juilliard to be a good match. Manhattan Marymount also skews more toward the commercial dance track.

    You might want to sit down and look at your CV first and compare that to what the expected curriculum is at each school. How many years of tap, modern, and jazz training do you have in addition to ballet? Some schools will be looking for a certain amount and this will be part of the audition process. Also, improv is a big part of auditions at some schools (even at the classical ballet schools their may be a modern/improv section of the auditions as most pre-pro students study modern in their later HS years).

    Other things you can look do are to Google dance companies you like and find out what track the dancers in those companies took. Generally you will find the dancers probably did not take the college track but when they did take note of what colleges they attended. Compile a list and go from there. See what is doable for your family financially and distance wise (travel costs going back and forth can get nuts depending on the area of the country you live in).

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  • batterseabattersea Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    If you are not considering a conservatory education, then the strongest ballet departments are generally thought to be Butler, IU, Utah, Oklahoma, U of Cincinnati, Point Park, TCU and SMU with U of AZ worth looking into. IU and Utah have separate departments for ballet and modern (both are strong in their own rights). All strong departments offer ballet classes but these are more strongly focused on it. Alonzo King Lines Ballet now has a program with Dominican University of California which, based on the quality of Lines as a company and Alonzo King as a choreographer, may be quite good.
  • EquityDancerEquityDancer Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    ballet -
    North Carolina School of the Arts

    And I like the Ballet at Alvin Ailey, although they also require modern, their dancers always come out well trained in ballet.
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