Dance major for MODERN dance -- UCSB vs UMich

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: Dance major for MODERN dance -- UCSB vs UMich
By Wnydancemom (Wnydancemom) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 11:19 am: Edit

Daughter is a future BFA major in dance who wants to eventually perform in a modern company and choreograph. She has been accepted to several programs, including UMich, and has just been accepted to the UCSB dance program, with a "probable" admit to the university (dance dept. asks admissions to give her application special attention)
Any input on these 2 programs? Both are, to me, quite acceptable!! We are from out of state, so costs are similarly very high at both schools, but the NY state schools did not interest her (she wants a university, NOT a conservatory not Purchase; and she wants good academics -- so no Brockport)
She basically wants a lot of dance technique in a general university environment.
This is a very hard decision!!! (and I'm trying to help her a little bit)

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 06:34 pm: Edit

UCSB's dance program is exceptional!

Though i'm of my older friends is currently a student there as sa dance major.

By Midwesterner (Midwesterner) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit

I would choose a school that's in a city with a thriving modern dance scene. A degree in dance won't get a person any kind of job, except perhaps in a school system. The connections made within a dance community are all-important.

BTW, if a dancer wants to avoid waitressing, she should look at getting some more marketable training with her degree. Business skills are sorely lacking in the arts world, and would be a good accompaniment; so would a library or teaching certificate. To illustrate, here's a bit from a friend's modern dance performance, inspired by filling out paperwork for grant applications. A voice off stage asks the questions from the application. Three dancers, of various shapes and ages, respond verbally and leap to the part of the floor that matches their response. At the question, "Income level?" they all jump together and recite in unison, "UNDER 20 THOUSAND." It got a big, knowing laugh.

By Wnydancemom (Wnydancemom) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 04:52 pm: Edit

Well, both Santa Barbara and Ann Arbor have local professional modern dance companies associated with the university, plus separate student dance companies....Not sure if there's any other measure of "thriving" for these two communities, and neither is certainly a huge community. Actually, the city with thriving modern dance scenes is NYC, and maybe Philly? And there were no suitable schools (ie, affordable) in NYC.
As for marketable training, she would consider some sort of business/clerical skills, but is hoping to get certified in Pilates during/shortly after college, so she will have that.

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