Idyllwild Arts Academy - Review #12

Read more details about Idyllwild Arts Academy on their 2024 profile page.
Idyllwild Arts Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School:
Sports and Activities:
I was a day student prefect. In this role I had the opportunity to offer support to my peers and act as a communication channel between school administrators and the students.As a dance major there wasn't much time to be involved in extra curricular activities but I always took advantage of school trips to museums and dance concerts in Los Angeles and San Diego. I attended many student concerts, poetry reading and drum circles. I spent lots of time talking to my teachers outside of class about various topics including what I should continue my study in for college.
College Enrolled:
Southern Methodist University
Home Town, State:
Idyllwild, NY

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Idyllwild Arts Academy is more than a school. It is a family and community that demands focus and fosters talent so that young people can become the top at their field. I was a day student and so I cannot speak to the boarding school aspect but I can speak to the community. The community is supportive of diversity and teaches the importance of hard work. The beautiful campus and opportunities to perform and share each other's art makes IAA a truly special place. I can confidently say that the training and support I received at IAA prepared me to enter the workforce trusting my training and knowing that I was capable and had the aptitude to succeed.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
During my third year in the summer, I went with one of the ballet teachers to Italy with two other students for a summer program. It was an incredible experience and was only possible because of the connections I made at IAA. Appreciating diversity and being comfortable with many cultures has really benefited me later in life. It is a truly special experience.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
As a day student, I would say that it would have been fun and different to spend my last year boarding at the school For me, that did not make sense but I do feel like I missed out on some of the experience of it since I was a day student.I think advice I would have would be to befriend a day student so you can go to someone's home every once in a while.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I like the rigorous training that gave me the confidence to succeed at my career. IAA has teachers that are the best of the best. You will not realize it until you leave but when you do, it will be an amazing realization.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I'm not sure if they still teach it, but try and take Environmental Studies if you can. We learned how to track animals and what better class to have when you live in the mountains.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Even though I was a dance major I knew I wanted to go to college for an academic degree. As it turned out, I ended up going for both dance and geophysics. I appreciate that the rigor of the academic classes and special attention I got from my teachers prepared me to double major in college. I never felt like since I was going to arts school, I was not taking regular (or better that regular) academic classes.The class size is small which in my experience is always better. There is always someone to help you study outside of class and I never felt like the classes were boring or not worth my time. I enjoyed the assignments and when the art and academic class workload was periodically overwhelming, my teachers were typically amicable to giving me an extension to finish the homework, etc. I also remember thinking that since I was at an arts school, the teachers were motivated to teach really cool and contemporary ideas. For example, my world cultures class thought we topics I still recall today and I remember my English literature class had us read books that were mature and complex.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a dance major so because of that I didn't participate in athletics at the school beyond my dance classes with one exception, I took fencing a couple semesters. Fencing was awesome and informed my choreography for one student choreography performance.While in general IAA is not known for athletics, just by the nature of being in a town that is full of hiking trails and outdoor space, if you want to be active you can.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The music program is the best program I have ever encountered. I was constantly impressed by my classmates. They were all so talented. Visual arts were very strong but also varied in talent level. My sisters were both visual artists and I am happy to report that the school has continued to support them in their professional careers allowing them to come back and talk to the students and showcasing their work. And lastly, the theatre program was great. Similar to the dance program, the in-class hours were rigorous and those students in particular worked very hard. I would say that in general they were more competitive and it was always interesting to observe who got which roles in the plays etc. The theatre majors did have excellent camaraderie though and you could see them get better at their craft with every performance.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
It's been many years since I went to IAA (2000-2004) so I don't really remember specifically any organizations (beyond Spanish club) that I was involved in. However, I have heard that they started a social entrepreneurial program that is interesting. I think, particularly in this political climate, it is important for artists to stay connected to the world and ask they question "how can I make a difference". If I were going there now, I definitely would get involved with that.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student but it was always fun to visit the dorms. Lots of my friends liked coming over to my mom's house on the weekend for a home cooked meal.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food is really not that bad for school food. The salad bar is always a good choice and I always felt the kitchen was clean and the food choices were varied. Nobody every really likes down food but I would not say there was anything bad about it.The kitchen staff is also super friendly.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
I grew up in Idyllwild so it is different for me. In general, the town is small and cute. There are a couple good local hand outs and the two grocery stores do the trick. I love the local community and particularly loved Earth Day and the 4th of July parade. For someone who loves hiking and camping, Idyllwild is a dream. There are super challenging trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, two lakes, a creek runs through the town and some good coffee shops. As time passes, Idyllwild has definitely become more popular and is growing. It is a cool arty town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I remember loving the school dances and attending the student performances. We definitely had a good time! I made friends from around the world and to this day always feel like, for example, if I went to Bulgaria, I would have friends to stay with. It is unique to live in such an international environment in a small town. I personally did not experience bullying and "the cool group" basically does not exist. I can't imagine having to go to a public high school today with all of the aggression and intolerance.
Read more details about Idyllwild Arts Academy on their 2024 profile page.

Alumni Reviews Review School

Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni #1
Class of 2020
5.00 1/19/2024
Idyllwild Arts Academy
Idyllwild Arts Academy's focus on the arts is well-known. Intensive training in a variety of artistic disciplines, such as dance, music, theater, visual arts, and creative writing, is integrated into the curriculum. Along with intensive. . .
Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni #2
Class of 2016
5.00 8/11/2023
Idyllwild Arts Academy
Comprehensive Arts Education: Idyllwild Arts Academy's dedication to providing a comprehensive arts education is one of its standout features. The academy offers a wide variety of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, visual arts, drama, film. . .
Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni #3
Class of 2018
5.00 8/5/2023
Idyllwild Arts Academy
The academy lays a lot of emphasis on encouraging its students' creativity, focus, and artistic expression. A strong academic program is combined with a demanding arts curriculum to give children a well-rounded education. Students are. . .
Show more reviews (20 reviews)

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Enrollment: 280 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $75,900
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $34,000
  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update