Ballet programs

Looking for advice on college BA or BFA in Ballet that is affordable. Applying to Indiana and Butler but Butler is pretty pricey without aid. Won’t qualify for fin aid. Looking to double major.

For a relatively affordable, top-level BFA program, look into Purchase College

Any suggestions in western or Midwestern states?

That’s a big region, of course, and could include regionally diverse choices such as UCs, Arizona State, the University of Utah, the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota.

Ohio University offers both a B.F.A. and B.A. in dance.

The schools on your tentative list, Indiana and Butler, could be good choices.

If it might be affordable, Kenyon would be excellent for combining dance with another major. As a less selective alternative, Mills may be more likely to offer a merit scholarship.

Thanks! Iowa and MN are very contemporary-my D prefers more classical training in addition to contemporary ballet.

From my kid’s friend who went through classical ballet search – consider Denver, IU (very, very competitive) Butler, maybe Cincinnati, and Point Park, as best I recall. Butler tends to give merit money so that may be more affordable than expect. Dickinson has some affiliation with Central PA Ballet, though wouldn’t satisfy someone looking for a post-grad career in dance., as best I’ve heard.

Thanks—She loves Denver but neither university there has a dance/ballet BA.

anyone have experiences at Butler?

Sorry, must be confusing Denver with something else, my bad! We know a Butler dance grad, had a fantastic experience and is working in dance post-grad.

Have you checked out Ballet Talk for Dancers?

University of Utah, Oklahoma City University and Fordham are 3 other excellent programs. I don’t know how easy it is to double major at those programs though.

Utah allows you to qualify for instate tuition after the first year (COA ~$25K pa). That’s what most of the dancers do, and the ballet program is very strong. They only have a BFA but strong students can double major, especially if they stay for the first summer (needed for tuition residency) and take a full set of classes.

University of Missouri Kansas City has a ballet program; I know a few students who attended there and went on to professional careers. They have reduced out-of-state rates for some residents of other states.

Is she looking for a program that will prepare her for a professional ballet career? If so, the list is relatively short and the options for a double major are more limited. I think most have already been mentioned. Towson in Maryland and Adelphi in NY might be worth looking at, though those programs have more of a dual classical/modern emphasis. TCU also has a strong ballet program, and we have an engineer friend who is double-majoring in dance at University of South Carolina.

If not, there are a number of excellent schools like Barnard and Duke that have strong academics and excellent ballet but aren’t as geared toward students with professional aspirations.

I was going to mention U of Utah and second what Twoin18 said. My daughter is there and double-majoring (BFA plus BS in Psychology). She takes full loads every semester (19-20 units) plus summer school but she’s on track to graduate in 4 years. She also has in-state residency (she was an OOS student) which makes tuition very affordable for us.

That is exactly her plan-encouraging to know it’s possible. Does your D and peers plan on dancing professionally? Finally, how significant is the religious influence in salt lake (for a non-LDS students)?

Yes, I think most of the students at Utah would have professional aspirations, though many won’t succeed in realizing them.

It’s been no problem being a liberal atheist there. About the only thing that really stood out (to us as parents) in terms of religious influence was a classmate getting married as a sophomore in college.

SLC is a really great place if you love the outdoors and that is a big reason for many students to choose Utah (particularly if they like skiing).

For classical ballet, we felt the best programs included Indiana, Oklahoma, Butler and Utah. There was a wider group that had a more contemporary influence (Fordham/Ailey, Chapman, USC and others). Butler gave everyone up to $20K discount but was still quite expensive. For most students (unless you live in IN or OK) Utah is likely to be one of the cheapest options.

Agree with Twoin18 on all counts. Yes, she hopes to get paid to dance someday. She has plans B and C too, but for now, she’d still like that chance. She hasn’t felt an overly Mormon influence, particularly since many of her close friends are also from OOS. (And yes, the sophomore year wedding was a culture shock!) She’s made friends with local students too. All in all, it’s a friendly and welcoming place and department from what she’s experienced. She really loves most of her professors and feels they push her to improve week in and week out, and she has learned from the guest artists and choreographers, too. Being cast in a piece by Susan Jaffe and getting to work with her for a week or so was an amazing experience for her.

Do any of you know whether the schools choose all their dancers from the Nov. 1 deadline applicants—or if you apply before the second deadline, say in December, you still have a chance? Covid has really messed with plans but I’m sure many were on track for that first deadline.

In past years the most intense audition period has been January through early February. There were some early auditions but most applicants would have the majority of their auditions in the new year. In addition it was perfectly possible to be waitlisted or even rejected in Oct/Nov and be able to reaudition and be accepted in Jan/Feb. But some colleges have early deadlines for prescreens. How COVID will affect all that (ie if most auditions are video only) isn’t clear to me.

It’s hard to say this year but I imagine that if they see a dancer they like and feel is a good fit for their program in the second batch of auditions they’d offer a spot.

My daughter is hoping to attend point park university for ballet, their program is decent from what research I have done.