Thought I’d kick off a decision thread to help future families! And maybe even some of this year’s families still making decisions! I based this template off others I’ve seen. Please share whatever information you feel comfortable with that you think might be helpful to others.
Background/Training: My dd started dancing at 9. She has always loved ballet but never saw a career in it–which is good, because when puberty hit, so did a lot of curves! She has studied at a ballet-based studio with a strong emphasis on modern dance. Her studio does not compete but she has had an amazing time in the studio company, which brings in outside choreographers as well as giving students chances to set pieces. One of her strong areas of interest is choreography, so she was looking for a contemporary program with a strong choreography component. Her other love is musical theatre, so ideally she was looking for a place she could minor in musical theatre and/or participate in musical theatre in some way. She has been homeschooled throughout her education and “graduated” in 2019. She chose to take a gap year because it frankly seemed impossible to balance sanity/sleep, college auditions, and all of her dance committments. It was a great choice for us. She has been able to teach, take dance classes that previously wouldn’t fit into her schedule, and do a number of dance projects while also getting a bit of a breather before heading off to college.
Applied to: Towson, Temple, Montclair State, U of Illinois, Ohio State, UNC-Greensboro, Virginia Commonwealth, Adelphi, and George Mason. Applied academically to Marymount Manhattan but then decided not to do the dance supplement/audition.
Strongly considered applying to: Peabody, Hofstra, Eastern Carolina, Rutgers/Mason Gross.
Accepted academically everywhere she applied. Received merit aid everywhere but U of Illinois. (ACT 32, GPA 3.98/4.38)
Accepted artistically everywhere but George Mason. Received artistic aid from U of Illinois, Adelphi, and VCU.
Will be attending: Montclair State
Reasons for choosing: Ultimately, this seemed like the place that would position her best for a professional career. Strong technical training and strong creative/choreography program. Lots of performing opportunities and opportunities to create and show work. Proximity to arts community in NYC and many faculty who are working artists. Faculty seems to work hard to get students employed, and students are working in NYC and elsewhere. Strong musical theatre program and dance students can audition for musicals/minor in musical theatre. Diverse university and dance program. Beautiful suburban campus with easy access to NYC. Also relatively affordable because BFA Dance students all receive in-state tuition. Go Redhawks!
Close second: My dd loved VCU. Had perhaps the best balance of technical and creative training we saw, and the classes we observed were incredible. Lovely faculty and incredibly supportive community.
Road not travelled: My dd LOVED the University of Illinois. Ultimately it wasn’t what she’s looking for right now, as the program was definitely less intense in terms of technique class. Also very $$ (even with a generous scholarship) and far from home. But she’s already thinking it might be the place she would go back to for an MFA.