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Ballet/Contemporary vs Ballet


Hello is Cassie again,
So I started ballet and contemporary at 14 ( three months ago) and I was wondering some things:
- If I stop contemporary until next year and take three ballet classes ill this still help me for contemporary?
- What is exactly a college dance program, do you have to be really good to be in one?

For the second one I just want to know, I am going to college in a LONG time so I don't worry...
Finally just if you know: What modern college dance program will take people like me in new york?

Thank you! Happy Holidays!

Hi Cassie! First here is a link to college programs:

Some programs want you to audition and some don't. You will graduate with a BFA. In exceptional cases where a dance program includes a course that will lead to a job as a dancer's therapist - meaning it includes kinesilogy and physical therapy - you'll have  B.Sc. You'll need a master's program to fully qualify.

Am I getting too far ahead here?

I cannot see you dance, but in general I would recommend you take three ballet classes for a year. I say this because you can watch many many dance DVD's of contemporary dance - and I really recommend that you do - the heavyweight choreographers like Hans Van Manen and Merce Cunningham and Mark Morris - anyone you admire!

Ballet will prepare you for anything. I watched the Kennedy Center Honors show last night which included Shirley Maclaine - whose entire career was built on her ballet training. Yet all the performances were of contemporary dance - mostly jazz - and she could do it!

To my experience, many college dance programs are excellent at contemporary dance training, even more so than ballet.

I think you're young enough to concentrate on ballet now, and expand to contemporary dance later - even at the college level.

I say this because my own classmate graduated from ballet school and ended up a principal dancer in The Martha Graham Company. I don't think he could have done this without his ballet training.  

I hope this response helps!  


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Dianne M. Buxton


I can answer questions about ballet positions, ballet movements and ballet technique, pointe shoes and pre pointe exercise, mens training, ballet diet, general health issues related to dance, artistry, performance, modern dance, rehabilitation from injuries, and teaching ballet. I have taught ballet, choreographed, produced and directed dance companies. For any answers related to health questions I will offer my experience, and give references to information, but I also automatically include "see a professional".


dancer, ballet and modern, choreographer, dance teacher, artistic director, ballet mistress, producer

I.S.T.D. Actra, Actors Equity


Graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada where I studied Cecchetti, Bournonville, Vaganova and Graham technique. Taught at the National Ballet School of Canada, York University, George Brown College and Harvard University.

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