Looking for thoughts on dance programs

Hi all, so many schools out there it can make one dizzy.

Any thoughts on programs/college life, professional prospects afterward, and scholarship opportunities for Dean, Manhattan Marymount, Pace, Montclair, OCU, Point Park, and BoCo?

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Hi there. I am kind of looking for the same I formation. This is our (daughter and me) situation. Graduated in 6/21 - Couldn’t visit or audition anywhere IN PERSON this had no feel for the program or situation. This both confused my daughter and took her motivation away. She loves dance, is very talented, and has all the drive and determination anyone would need. She applied late to dance programs as she was waiting for in person auditions to open up. Anyway, she’s a Temple and it’s not for her. She’s in Ballet 1 with dance minors and musical theatre majors who have little dance experience. Needless to say, she’s frustrated. I’m wondering if she should just come home and drop before the drop/add period ends. So, we are back at square 1.

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This pandemic has made things very difficult. Sorry it’s not working out with Temple. My older son went there for film. Can she change into more difficult classes? I understand it’s a big difference to be in classes that are designed for MT majors vs dance majors. Reading through the threads and hearing from people my son has reached out to (my younger son, the dancer), the programs vary based on where interest lies. Maybe pick a few dance schools that have her area of interest (ballet vs. modern vs contemporary vs commercial/MT) and set up virtual tours with interviews for potential transfer for spring? Many are starting in-person auditions back up and she could see about attending one of those. My son is looking at commercial/MT, thus the schools I’ve listed for input. He’s heard some really great things from Alum and others in industry about OCU/Point Park/BoCo/Pace (in fact, looks like BoCo is rolling out 3 year commercial dance BFA), but I’ve read positives about Montclair State and Marymount Manhattan as I’ve looked through the threads. Don’t know much about Dean, but would really like to know more.


Is she on a scholarship or are you guys paying? If you’re paying and she’s realized it’s really not the program for her, maybe stopping before money (and freshman status) is lost would be for the best. She could apply elsewhere for spring if that’s possible, or regroup for next fall. As far as I’ve ever heard, Temple isn’t ballet focused or known for their ballet training- is that something that’s important to her? What about her other courses?


She left on 8/30 and is applying to Point Park, Montclair State, Slippery Rock, and others. Overall, she learned that she prefers more of a conservatory program. So, there are no hard feelings towards Temple, mainly because they seem extremely good about returning our loan to the lender. Thank God!


Good luck to her! I hope she finds the right fit. Let us know how it turns out. My son is putting together his apps right now. We need to line up visits and a few auditions. Let’s hope he can see the dance schools in this Covid environment.


Good luck to your son! A guy my daughter danced with at her studio is now with the Pacific NorthWest ballet! He didn’t go to college. He went to the Nutmeg and then to a program in Connecticut. Chestnut? I am drawing a blank. Anyway, he was invited to the PNWB from that program. Keep us posted.

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My daughter is a sophomore at Montclair, happy to answer any questions.

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How does she like Montclair? Why did she choose it? Yes I’d like to know more.

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She really likes it. The program is a great fit for her. Modern focus, strong ballet training to support modern dance, strong emphasis on creative work/choreography, lots of performance opportunities and changes to create and share work. Beautiful campus right near NYC; most (all?) of her teachers are professionals.

Did you have any specific questions?

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My daughter is a sophomore at Point Park. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Thank you. Are her class sizes fairly small? Do they do much jazz? And do most performers go on to ballet, contemporary type dance disciplines or commercial dance (various jazz)? I’m gathering she really likes her teachers.

Same. And thank you all btw. How does your daughter like Point Park? What are her biggest pros and cons that you know of? What are performance opportunities like? I know the program is in a leadership transition with an interim director. Has that affected her at all? And a repeat question, what are class sizes like?

I think dance classes max out at around 20-25. I think her Modern class is on the bigger end but she is in a higher level ballet that’s more like 15. Jazz is available as an elective, usually starting junior year; students are given the option of substituting two of their normal ballet classes with jazz.

Montclair is definitely a modern program. There is no classical or commercial rep. I think students do go onto a variety of career trajectories, including musical theatre, but the emphasis of the program is modern.

Yes, the faculty are incredible! Great artists and teachers. Very caring and very demanding (in a good way).

She loves Point Park!

Pros: A lot of dancing. Challenging classes. Amazing teachers. Beautiful studios. Theatre/Playhouse is amazing.

Cons: Freshman dorms. Cafeteria food.
She is “off campus “ now. But, only a half block from the Conservatory.

They have 6 performances a this year (COVID year was different). You have to audition with everyone in the dance program. They have some
great choreographers that come in and set pieces. The dance teachers also have a show where they set pieces. If you are on scholarship, you must audition for every show.

The Dean of Dance now is actually her Dance Advisor. She has been at Point Park for a while. The previous Dean is now the Dean of COPA and Artistic Director for Pittsburgh Playhouse . They are both amazing! This has not affected her at all.
Her class sizes vary 15-25 per class.

Their schedule requires a lot of dancing. She is a jazz concentration ( you pick which concentration by sophomore year). You still have to take ballet and modern several times a week.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Thanks. That is great feedback. I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts. He has been accepted into both Point Park and Montclair State dance programs. While trained in most of the disciplines, he does have more of a jazz focus.

I should add he still needs to get apps into the full schools tho. And he has a needs to audition for yet.

For a few yet that is. I always get into trouble when I type on my phone!

If he wants to continue with a jazz focus, Montclair is probably not the right fit. Jazz is offered, but it’s an elective that can only be taken starting junior year (or possibly sophomore year if there’s room), and I think only one semester each year. There are musical theatre dance classes available (jazz and tap each once a week) but my understanding is that they can be hard to schedule and aren’t at the highest level technique-wise.

Thanks. Is the daily schedule packed full of dance morning to evening? She likes the conservatory programs for that reason. She is a little workhorse.