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What a crazy journey this is!!

threegirlpileupthreegirlpileup 201 replies18 threads Junior Member
We have had a big week of college visits/auditions, and it's really made me see how much this journey to college is SO different than a more conventional academically oriented path. My dd said to me the other day, "Imagine if all you had to do to get into college was to apply academically?!?"

We are at Temple right now and I realized that this is the first school where we've had an official campus tour (the dance department set it up as part of the open house). We were at Montclair State last week and didn't even do our usual DIY tour (i.e. just a wander around the campus). I realized it's because honestly the details of the campus are so far down on my dd's list of considerations that they haven't seemed like the best use of our limited time on campus--far better to observe classes or talk to dance students if we can. Really, as long as the campus meets my dd's threshold of "fine" (which for her means an actual campus with at least some green stuff, which did eliminate MMC for example), she certainly isn't going to be making any decisions based on the facilities at the student center or how beautiful the library is (and at Temple, I will say the new library is GORGEOUS).

Part of it is also realizing that the schools we are looking at are SO DIFFERENT from one another, so part of the decision-making process is trying to clarify what she wants and which programs are going to give it to her. The two trade-offs that we're seeing in particular are technical training vs. creative work and nurturing environment vs. rigorous training. Obviously these are not a binary and there are different points on the continuum, but these are big questions that my dd is now really wrestling with. Like, does she want to be at a place that feels like home, or a place where she's going to really be pushed out of her comfort zone? And what are the longer-term consequences of those choices?

I do think a great part of this process is that it's given my dd a chance to really reflect what she wants to do and how she can get there, and I have appreciated being along for the ride in those conversations. One of the reasons, I think, that these college visits are so exhausting is that in addition to the travel and the audition stress, there's the constant reflection and evaluation that takes place along the way!

Hope everyone is doing well and that like for us, the audition season is at least slowing down for awhile I think a number of you have auditions coming up at Ailey and NYU before the end of the year. Merde to all! May all our children find the place for them to thrive!
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Replies to: What a crazy journey this is!!

  • milgymfammilgymfam 1086 replies16 threads Senior Member
    I love your post and I hope she finds just the right combo for her! We are actually gearing up for the big push of five audition trips in January and February, so I’m looking forward to March! Ha!
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  • mom2adancermom2adancer 249 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I feel like I could have written your post word for word! I agree fully. It’s really quite an illuminating journey for our dancers and one that allows for a great deal of introspection and analysis. I think my daughter liked Butler because it reminded her of her own schools (academic and ballet) and Utah felt very different. In the end, being in a different environment has proven to be so good for her. I’m glad things worked out the way they did.
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  • MomontoesMomontoes 8 replies0 threads New Member
    @threegirlpileup what an excellent post! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve learned as we are moving along in this process, going to auditions, getting academic acceptances and scholarships before artistic acceptances, - that an array of emotions are coming up! And the order of preference in which my daughter had the schools is changing- mostly for the better. Lots of realizations and surprises. Anyway great post!! Glad we are all in the same boat. :)
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  • Undercovermom1Undercovermom1 768 replies10 threads Member
    So much this! Last year I was surprised at the level of research and introspection involved. DS spent a great deal of time researching curriculum, corresponding with various faculty members, he watched online videos of performances, we watched live performances, he thought about what was most important to him at this stage in his training, he spoke to his mentors, he spoke to current students of the programs, we looked at various company bios to see where working dancers had studied. It was exhausting, but it definitely helped him make a thoughtful decision.
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  • threegirlpileupthreegirlpileup 201 replies18 threads Junior Member
    @mom2adancer that is very interesting and great to hear. I know my dd loved VCU because it totally felt like her people, but she is seriously considering Montclair because she thinks is will likely give her more rigorous training that will maximize her chances for a professional dancing career.

    She is a thinking dancer and a choreographer, and wants to keep that part of her nourished, but she's come to realize that she can't do it all at the same time. And the creative part she can supplement in the summer or pursue in graduate school, but the technical training part is now or never.
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  • mom2adancermom2adancer 249 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @threegirlpileup I was very surprised but now she can't imagine being anywhere else. She knew she needed strong technical training and looked at schools that offered what she was looking for. She's a thinking dancer too and appreciates the atmosphere she's in versus a straight-to-trainee route. She has also been exposed to many different guest teachers and choreographers already, something that has stretched her and broadened her sense of herself as a dancer (as well as allowing for the beginning of some networking). At first, she thought she'd miss Nutcracker and regularly performing in full-length ballets but now I think she appreciates the variety.
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