Fall Travel & College Fairs – “It’s been a trip!”

Hello everyone, my name is Luci Rosa, and I am the Assistant Director of Admissions.

Traveling from state to state comes with the job description as a representative for Juilliard. For the last 8 years, attending college fairs nationwide has been enjoyable – it surely has “BEEN A TRIP!” Arriving at so many airports, flying out of almost every domestic airline, travel delays, crazy cab rides, checking into nice hotels and not so nice, getting lost, experiencing great food (or not!) and anxiously waiting to get back to New York, standing on my achy feet throughout the entire college fair, going through 3 bottles of water from talking so much, and the worst – not getting my Juilliard materials at the fair. All of these things may not seem enjoyable for most; however, the true joy has been talking to all the prospective students and parents. All the drama becomes worth it!

It’s a whole new experience every single time, meeting so many prospective candidates:

- There are those that you always remember; that stick in your mind for a particular reason or for the way they approached the table.

- There are those that arrive so well-prepared with a list of 25 questions or 3 sheets of printed labels.

- Those who are so shy or overwhelmed by “The Juilliard Table,” who become numb and whose parents then take on the role of asking all the questions.

- Those who did their research and are in the know and come to just pick up a viewbook, view the Juilliard table, or just to meet us.

- And of course those who impressed me with their maturity and intellectual questions, and those who are ecstatic and just say “Oh my God, it’s Juilliard!” when I said “Welcome.”

I’ve admired them all, especially the ones who are so attentive and absorb everything they are hearing about our wonderful school.

The highlight of these college fairs for me is truly leaving the prospective student and/or parent satisfied with all their questions answered. It’s a great feeling to see them walk away from the table with a smile, excited and enthusiastic. I can relate to the same feeling as I walked away from tables at college fairs for my own children; feeling content, interested, and excited about applying.

It’s even a greater satisfaction when they recognize me during auditions and say hello. I know I have done everything in my power to represent Juilliard well. With all this said, I look forward to the upcoming fall travel and the new faces at each college fair. Come see me! No matter what happens on my trip, it’s worth it!

Is Juilliard Dance Right for Me?

I am excited to say that I will be traveling a lot more this year as Dance Admissions Coordinator, and I hope to meet many of you on the road! In addition to attending NACAC college fairs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Interlochen, Minneapolis, New York, and Washington, DC, I will be visiting high school and studio dance programs in and around those cities, as well as in Baltimore and Idyllwild. So I will have many chances to answer your questions in person (although I am always happy to receive your phone calls and e-mails!).

For a complete schedule of Admissions events, both on- and off-campus, click here.

One of the most common (and difficult to answer!) questions I get from prospective students at college fairs is “What are you looking for in a dancer?” Although this may seem like a cop-out instead of a straight answer, I would like to suggest that perhaps dancers should be asking themselves “What are my strengths as a dancer?” and “What do I want out of a college program?” The combined answer to those two questions should drive your college search, as opposed to asking what programs want from you.

If your answer to the first question above is something like “I’m a strong ballet dancer, but I also love modern” or “I consider myself a modern dancer, but I’ve trained a lot in ballet as well” or “I’m a great performer and I can back it up with my strong technique” then Juilliard might be the right program for you.

If your answer to the second question is along the lines of “I want to be prepared for a performance career in a modern dance or contemporary ballet company” or “I want to make a lot of professional connections to the contemporary dance world while I’m in school” or “I want to explore choreography, but also train at a technically advanced level” then Juilliard might be the right program for you.

What Juilliard offers to dancers is the opportunity to train equally in ballet and modern dance, to develop their voices as performing artists, to experience the creation process of both professional and student choreographers, to participate in a company-like process of casting and learning repertory, and to prepare for professional dance careers (generally in the modern or contemporary ballet worlds). If this sounds like what you are looking for in a college program, then Juilliard might be the right program for you!

A few notes on what might make Juilliard NOT the right program for you:

- If you want to minor in dance, or double major in dance and another subject. The Dance Division here has a very intense curriculum and schedule, so you are not able to double major or minor in anything else.

- If you are ONLY interested in classical ballet. Although dancers take ballet class every day at Juilliard, pointe work is optional for women. The amount of pointe work in the program for those who choose to pursue it is not enough to be competitive with dancers who are apprenticing with classical ballet companies. We have had a few graduates go on to dance with classical ballet companies; however, these dancers had equal training in modern dance during their time at Juilliard.

- If your prior dance training does not include any ballet. While our dancers come from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of professional goals, one commonality is that they all have some prior ballet training. We do not teach beginning ballet at The Juilliard School, so applicants need to have enough experience to make it through the ballet class at the beginning of the audition. We do appreciate the additional training and talents that dancers may have in other dance forms, but the program at Juilliard requires prior ballet training.

If you have any questions, or are still unsure whether Juilliard is the right program for you, please feel free to call or e-mail me (or visit the Juilliard table at a college fair!). I can be reached at (212) 799-5000 x506 or danceadmissions (at) Juilliard.edu. I look forward to receiving your application!

“Finding treasure in the dark”*

By Mónia C. Estima, Senior Assistant Director for Music Admissions

Prospective music applicants often ask me if I have any tips on applying to Juilliard.  Well, of course I do!  Below is a treasure-trove of tips; learn ‘em, live ‘em, love ‘em!

“Why don’t you use it?”

  • Ø Work on your art, doggedly. Practice carefully, mindfully; practice by yourself and with others. Get feedback from your teachers/coaches and then employ their recommendations. Take advantage of as many performance opportunities as you can handle so you can get used to being the central focus of an audience. Check out what your peers are doing, then rip off their good habits and eschew the bad ones.
  • Ø Read through the application, note what is required of applicants to your desired degree level and instrument or major, and provide it by the published deadlines. “My dog ate my pre-screening recording,” while a disturbing turn of events, will not gain you an extension of the pre-screening deadline. (But be sure to take your poor pooch to the vet. And, you know, maybe feed it once in a while.)

“Try not to bruise it…”

  • Ø Provide only what is required; materials in excess of the published requirements will be recycled. (We’re in New York. We barely have enough space for the things we require, let alone fancy extras. Save yourselves the time and money and give us only what the application states we need.) (Besides, crowded file cabinet drawers lead to paper cuts that need to be seen to be believed.)
  • Ø “My friend said I could (insert random crazy thing your well-intentioned but mistaken friend told you was OK to do).” Nothing makes me reach for the Advil faster than getting on the phone with an applicant who is tearfully begging forgiveness for not having fulfilled “X” requirement based on the advice of her or his friend-and who now has a serious problem that can’t be remedied by anyone (not even Harry Potter!). When in doubt, review the application. If you’re still in doubt, check with Admissions. Please. For your own peace of mind. (OK, and for ours too.)

“Buy time, don’t lose it!”

  • Ø DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to submit your application, application fee, pre-screening recording, TOEFL, transcripts, repertoire changes, or whatever it is we’re asking you to submit by a particular date and time-especially this year, as some instrumental departments will have earlier deadlines than others! For example, you wait until 11pm on November 15 to fill out and submit the online application. Inevitably, a rift in the space-time continuum opens up at precisely 11:59pm, wreaking havoc on communications systems world-wide, and your computer crashes. By the time you manage to reboot it’s 12:01am on November 16 and the online application is closed. You’ve just missed the deadline and no amount of Starbucks coffee or Godiva chocolate will induce us to accept your late application. See what I mean? (You may snicker at the whole space-time rift scenario, but it happens. How else can you account for the Teletubbies, hmmm? I think I’ve made my point.)

Do take all of the above tips to heart; they really are the best ways to insure yourself against unnecessary stress during an inherently stressful process!

All underlined text in this blog was beamed-up from the Duran Duran song, “The Reflex.”

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

It’s amazing to think that it is already September, and the summer has flown by. We took a hiatus from our blog, but now will be back again over the academic year, writing about processes and procedures for applying to The Juilliard School.

While hopefully most of the readers of this blog did have summer vacation, we don’t actually have much of one in Admissions! Our summer is spent finalizing the incoming class (processing final transcripts, sending reminders about orientation and placement exams, etc.), but our primary work is in preparation for the next application cycle. The summer is when we review and revise all of our materials – audition requirements, the application, the web site – it is time-consuming, painstaking and detailed work to make sure that we have every opus number correct, every field on the application working properly, and every year on the web site updated from 2008 to 2009!

This summer, we also packed up and moved to our new offices. As you may know, The Juilliard School is undergoing some extensive and exciting renovations. The Admissions Office spent the last 15 months in temporary space (3 converted classrooms with no windows), and on August 19th moved to a wonderful new suite, named after Mr. Sydney R. Knafel (a member of Juilliard’s Board of Trustees and a generous donor).

Our Application for Admission for fall 2009 launched on August 29th, and we’ve got some significant changes coming up this year. Perhaps the most important is that we have two application deadlines – a first for us! The New York Philharmonic, to which many of our faculty belongs, is going on tour in late February/early March, right during our regular audition period in early March. So, we are holding auditions for twelve departments (all woodwinds, all brass, harp, percussion and double bass) in January 2009. In order to process applications and schedule auditions for these early auditions, we’ve moved up the deadline for those twelve departments to November 15th. Everyone else stays the normal December 1. If you will be applying to Juilliard this year, all of this information is available in the “Admissions” section of our web site – www.juilliard.edu.

We’re going to be doing some new things in Admissions this year, but probably the biggest one is that we’re going to go (almost) paperless. Besides being green, we think that this is really the way to go with communications – we’ll be emailing our applicants, as well as “posting” important information to their online applications (even admissions decisions!). Many, many schools have been doing this for years now, and we’re finally catching up to the technology. So, another reminder for applicants this year – create a login for your online application with an email address that will remain active for the entire year, because you’ll want to be checking it often.

I hope that you keep reading our blogs, and also take a look back at what we wrote last year. My intention is to fill in the information gap between what you can find in print and on the web, and the information that we have about what really happens when you apply to Juilliard. Admissions staff, other administrators, and current students will all be writing to share with you – and if you have any questions for us or suggestions for topics we should write about, feel free to email admissions@juilliard.edu.