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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


School of Dance holds first rounds of auditions for BFA program

Jim O’Rourke
Jim O’Rourke / Daily Wildcat 121 High School and transfer students auditon for Dance Faculty to be a Dance Major at the UA School of Dance.

Around 120 students from around the country attended the School of Dance’s national auditions for their Bachelor of Fine Arts program on Saturday.

The audition, held in the Stevie Eller Dance Theater, was broken up into the three disciplines that make up the school’s triple track program — ballet, jazz and modern. If accepted, students will be trained in each of the three areas, with the option of picking a specialty their junior year.

For each section of the audition, a faculty member led the dancers in a routine that tested their basic skills as well as how receptive they are to learning choreography.

“You need to put your stamp on it,” said Liz George, an assistant dance professor and undergraduate adviser at the school.

After 10 minutes of learning, groups of five performed. The dancers’ biggest challenge was exposing enough of their personality to make them more than just a number, said Douglas Nielsen, professor of modern dance.

“Don’t be shy,” Nielsen said. “You can be shy in your life, but not in your art form.”

Judges rated each dancer on a scale from one to five in each of the three disciplines. If accepted, dancers will be expected to master all three of the school’s disciplines.

“You have to be good in two out of three to get in, and three out of three to get out (to graduate),” Nielsen said.

The entire faculty at the School of Dance is committed to creating an openness that allows all types of dancers from different backgrounds to develop a versatile range that is required in the professional world, he said.

“They (faculty members) actually care, and they give really good corrections,” said Hope Endrenyi, a high school senior from Georgia. Endrenyi had already been through many other college dance auditions, she said, and she holds the UA in a high regard over other schools when it comes to the audition process.

“The vibe is more welcoming,” Endrenyi said. “They just want you to be yourself.”

Auditioning candidates will receive their letters of acceptance or rejection from the School of Dance after all auditions are complete at the end of the academic year.

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