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Chance a ballerina for some Ivies + T20’s?

ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
Demographics:** Female, Caucasian, MO, public school (480 students in graduating class)

**Intended Major(s): International relations/Spanish/political science (depends on what majors are offered)

**ACT/SAT/SAT II: 34-English: 35 Math: 31 Reading: 36 Science: 33

**UW/W GPA and Rank: UW: 4.0, W: 4.7, class rank 1

Coursework: most rigorous my school offers. Took the only two AP classes (physics and calculus). Now I’m in the full IB diploma program (HL English, HL Global Politics, HL Psychology, HL Biology, SL Math, SL Spanish, TOK).

**Awards: awarded a merit scholarship to (arguably) the most prestigious ballet school in the world, The Royal Ballet School. Won first place in a national ballet competition. School Valedictorian. Chosen as an IB ambassador for my school.

**Extracurriculars: my main focus is on ballet. I dance anywhere from 20-40 hours per week. I also started my own ballet studio to teach low income students and I work at a ballet outreach program with local immigrants and refugees. I attend a bilingual church where I volunteer to help local immigrants from Latin America work on English. I am also the Vice President of Key Club, secretary of Math Honor Society, a peer writing tutor, and a member of the National Honor Society and the National Italian American Foundation.

**Essays/LORs/Other: I’m unsure of how to rank these objectively. The few people who read my essays seemed to think highly of them, but I’m my own harshest critic. I wrote my first one about my time at the Royal Ballet (shocking, I know), and my other supplements centered around the narrative of a family member being an undocumented immigrant and how it inspired me to pursue a career in immigration reform. Didn’t get to read either letter of rec, but I know at least one teacher coined me as “the best in their career.” I’m not really a hooked applicant, but I am low income ($30,000/year) and a first generation American (though not a first generation college student).

**Schools: Yale EA, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice, Wash U, Northwestern, NYU, Boston College, Boston University, Baylor, University of Tulsa
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Replies to: Chance a ballerina for some Ivies + T20’s?

  • blondeboynjblondeboynj 77 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My predictions:

    Accepted-Baylor, Tulsa, BU
    Likely-BC, NYU, WashU
    Good Odds-Northwestern, Vandy
    Maybe-the rest

    Long shot guess that you'll get in-Yale. Early application is super helpful at Ivy's and you have a compelling story. The ACT might be the only thing holding you back on guaranteed acceptance.
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  • ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you!!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5794 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    I would say you are very competitive at all of these fine schools. And congratulations on the hard work and success in your ballet.

    RD is a strange beast. It can be very unpredictable.

    Below are two schools that would be academically rigorous and have some cache like the others on your list but would be more accessible for you RD imho.

    Connecticut College. Nescac school with a very underrated arts and dance culture. Beautiful school.

    Wake Forest. (More competitive level than likely as Conn Col) Pristine campus and awesome academics. Nice weather. And it’s work Forest reputation seems to me to be in synch with your backstory. Hard working friends and classmates might be a perfect environment for you.

    I agree with previous basic assessments.

    However, expectations wide I would change the likely mentioned for rd, for the schools mentioned. I would say match is more in line. It’s a nuance, I realize, but it just means to not be hurt unnecessarily. It’s tough in the rd round even for someone as gifted as you.

    Also I would consider an application to Brown. Not for ease of access, but they will connect with your arts ec.
    edited November 2019
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  • ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I’ll definitely look into Connecticut College, Wake Forest, and Brown!
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5789 replies105 threads Senior Member
    Why aren’t you dancing at the Royal Ballet? Why are you going to college now? This story doesn’t make sense. Are you done dancing? If so, why?
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  • ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I do certainly understand your critique. It’s something I’ve wrestled with quite extensively myself, but I don’t wish to pursue ballet professionally. Although I love dancing, ballet is an incredibly difficult profession (mentally, physically, and emotionally), and I truly don’t believe I could find contentment in solely dancing/performing. I’ve always enjoyed my academic pursuits, and I actually decided against moving to RBS because I wanted to continue my education. As of now I’d like to pursue a career in immigration reform, but I would like to continue dancing in some capacity! All of the schools I’m applying to have undergraduate ballet companies on campus or are in close proximity to a ballet company (Vanderbilt with Nashville Ballet, Boston College and Boston University with Boston Ballet, etc).
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  • PublisherPublisher 9157 replies111 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    With 14 schools on your list, there is no need for any additions. With 9 reaches & 5 matches/safeties, you should be fine.

    With respect to the 9 reach universities, applying early EA or ED is important.

    You should be accepted to NYU, BC, BU, Tulsa & Baylor, in my opinion.

    My best guess is that you will be admitted to Yale & waitlisted by the 8 other reaches since you are not applying early action to those schools.
    edited November 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35139 replies398 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    Some thoughts. If ballet has been your primary activity and you reached this level, be careful not to confuse them. They could wonder how it plays in your college plans, vis a vis balancing dance and academics. Even if you tell them it will become secondary, the most competitive colleges will look to see what in your record assures them you've explored past ballet, and in ways relevant to IR/PS. Generally, that's a bit more than helping immigrants with English.

    You want them to react that, wow, you have these ballet accomplishments, but have confidence you are also engaged and stretching on the academic interests side.

    It makes sense that you're looking at colleges with ballet available. But it needs to make sense to those colleges that you are ready and competitive for the major(s,) beyond stats. And that you truly want them, not just looking at schools near a pro company. You don't want them asking, as homerdog did, "Why (isn't she) dancing at the Royal Ballet?" Or, for your backups, "Does she really prefer a school near better opportunities to dance?"

    I believe it's a matter of how you word it all, what you can show. Just think about this.
    edited November 2019
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3307 replies39 threads Senior Member
    FWIW my roommate at HYP had a similar profile. I expect you will do very, very well. Good luck.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5789 replies105 threads Senior Member
    I know a lot of teenage ballerinas including one at the Royal Ballet. Pursuing ballet at that level and then going to college is not a very typical decision. Ballet doesn’t wait for anyone and winning a national competition means dedicating all of your time to ballet. How did you even go to a regular high school? Honestly I don’t know anyone at that level who isn’t homeschooled. Plus, ballet is a very expensive EC. Class, privates, summer programs, consumes are all very expensive. Yet, the OP says she’s low income.

    I just think this is a very confusing situation and will show that way to AOs. Dancers at this level take the training program spot if they are offered one at a big ballet company. Waiting four more years to dance professionally is not typical at all.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5789 replies105 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    As for continuing to dance in a city and go to college, that poses its own problems. Going to one of these schools will be challenging even without ballet. Are you planning on just taking a few classes a week at a place like Boston Ballet? Do you know if those classes are even available to you? Why even take class if you’re not pursuing ballet?

    I do apologize for questioning you above. Too late to change. Just read your earlier threads. There you explain a bit more about why you’d prefer college or professional ballet. I think it’s important that you somehow let the schools on your list know why you are making this decision.
    edited November 2019
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5794 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    I agree with @publisher for the most part.

    I would separate BC Rd from his/her grouping a bit “expectation wise” that you should have BC in your “no problem” category.

    First of all by profile, folks tend to look at admit rate of 26% but as a Catholic school they just don’t get the same number of applications to drive this number and yield isn’t quite as high as others in their selectivity range so they overadmit a bit by comparison but the pool is consistently excellent. The applicant pool last year middle 50 percent was 30 to 34 act. The admitted pool middle 50 was 33 to 35 and the others on publishers list aren’t quite the same.

    But it’s moreso With Ed 1 and Ed 2 as new this year, those of of us who track them closely arent sure what that will look like this year.

    You have everything they want and more. I personally hope it is a yes and you attend. Solid dance sub culture there. Step, Irish, ballet etc have their Groups. It’s a wonderful place.

    And I wasn’t concerned with how many matches or reaches you already have. I was pointing out a couple of schools that might be great fits for you based on what I read into your post, not to up the amount of schools. And perhaps they had not been on your radar.

    Also your profile said Brown to me. As I live in the shadow of the quad I have a pretty good feel for the students and vibe.
    edited November 2019
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  • ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I appreciate the feedback. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when crafting my applications!

    In response to your questions homerdog, ballet is a traditionally elitist art form and can certainly prove cost prohibitive, but I’ve been lucky enough to win merit scholarships for all my summer intensives/year round training. I also started my own ballet studio to reach out to low income students where I charged $2/session, and I ended up gaining so many students that I was able to offset some parental contribution. Balancing ballet at a high level in conjunction with the rigorous IB curriculum certainly isn’t the norm, and I hope admissions officers realize that haha. There are many nights where I’ll go to ballet right after school till 10:00 and then get home at 10:30 to start on homework. Hopefully these sleepless nights will prepare me for university! I still plan on continuing to take ballet classes as it’s, simply put, impossible to imagine my life without it. I’d like to continue ballet in some capacity and possibly perform, but I do expect to cut back due to the rigor of college classes.

    Lookingforward, do you think my work to provide shoes to undocumented children in detainment centers and starting an initiative to teach free ballet classes to local refugees ties into my career aspirations? Obviously ballet has taken up the vast majority of my time, but I still have tried to take part in things I’m genuinely passionate about. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5794 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Your ecs are remarkable imho.
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  • ballerina2020ballerina2020 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you so much privatebanker. After a bit of research on the school I’ve actually decided to apply to Brown as well! It seems like they place ballet (art in general) as a significant and worthwhile activity—something that can’t be said for all universities or its caliber.
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4319 replies48 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    You should think about adding Barnard to your list. Very strong dance program as you probably are aware since you have Columbia on your list, but slightly easier to get into.
    edited November 2019
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5794 replies84 threads Senior Member
    👍🤞
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  • PublisherPublisher 9157 replies111 threads Senior Member
    I agree with @privatebanker's posts in this thread.

    My primary point is to use your EA / ED option carefully as you have a strong chance of being accepted to any of your listed schools if you apply early action.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35139 replies398 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    You're talking mega competitive colleges. The plus for poli sci would be some vol time with a rep. Almost doesn't matter what, but being in the milieu. For IR, similar or working with advocacy groups, alongside adults in an established organization. Not a hs club.

    Local action where you roll up your sleeves, work with the needy or causes, is different than fundraising or goods-raising for a distant group. And the dance teaching is nice, but younger kids?

    You said an interest immigration reform. What shows actions/experiences in that arena?

    I know you're busy, but even picking something up now is action and can go in the app. This isn't about a ton of hours/week. It's the vision to pursue it and enter the milieu.

    As for Brown, or the other tippy tops, you need a read on their wants, what they look for. It's slightly different among them. Brown is not about a connection to the arts, in a simple one-two sense, as much as what they expect to see in relation to their Open Curriculum. Learn about that. Then we can clarify.

    In that respect, I agree Barnard is a good one to look at.

    You seem smart. You have some backups. This is now about polishing to improve. And expanding your own control. Worth considering.
    :)
    edited November 2019
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3549 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @ballerina2020 While you certainly don't need more reaches on your list, Swarthmore/Bryn Mawr might be worth checking out. Reasonable ballet offerings (with the Rock School an hour away by bus if you wanted more of a challenge). Barnard, mentioned above, is strong for dance and would have plenty of access to additional dance opportunities in NYC.

    For safer admissions options, I thought about Fordham, although I'm not sure how accessible dance classes would be to non-majors. If you're open to smaller schools, Dickinson would be a match - LAC in Carlisle PA with connection to CPYB.

    One other thing to think about - I am sure that I don't need to tell you how easy it might be to get drawn into the life of a studio/company if you decide to pursue dance in the broader community. That opens the risk of diluting your residential college experience between a potentially time-consuming activity off campus and other aspects of student life. That may well be the right choice for you, but I thought I'd mention it.

    I know what it takes to achieve that level of excellence in dance while also getting top grades in a rigorous program of study. Congratulations and best of luck in your college admissions.
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