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dave9988

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Dancing in NYC certainly has a draw, as does the ABT name, but is a dancer more likely to get lost in the crowd there vs. a place like Ballet Met, Orlando, KC, Houston, etc.?

Maybe an unfair question to pit one program against so many, but I'm wondering if ABT NYC is really "all that" or if it's reliant on three initials with an exciting location.  

The experience would also be much different - no dorms, so I understand likely less "after hours" interaction between dancers, especially if quartered in a small studio apt with mom/dad alternating as chaperone.

But mostly I'm wondering about actual instruction time, floor space, etc., and what it does for a dancer's growth & progress.

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heidi459

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I've actually known more than one older dancer who went to ABT's NYC site who came away dissatisfied.  Found it too big, too impersonal.  But then others will say it was an amazing experience for them.  IDK  It's so hard to rely on the opinions of others.  The best you can do I think is gather the practical info and then decide for yourself if it seems like a good fit for your dancer's summer goals.    

But if you do find that crystal ball, please do send it express mail.  I could use it myself.

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dave9988

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Right?  I know a few dancers who went just last year, and here I am soliciting opinions from strangers on the open net.  Great example of rational human behavior.

To be fair, I'm not sure if any of those dancers have been to any other SIs.  I'll tell myself that to make me feel better.

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enpointe

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I have heard similar things to what Heidi said.  My daughter did attend the ABT Young Dancer Program in New York when she was 11.  She loved it and wanted to go back to ABT for the regular program at some point.  When she auditioned for ABT the next year, she was accepted to the regular New York program.  She was, of course, very excited.  We absolutely love New York and I would have had no problem staying with her in NYC for 5 weeks.  It would have been so much fun!  But ultimately, when we discussed her options with her teachers, the consensus was that ABT is rather large and impersonal and my daughter wouldn't get much attention. According to them, if your child is accepted on full scholarship, this isn't a concern because most of the attention goes to those kids, but if your child is not fortunate enough to get one, it is probably not the best choice.  My daughter had several other great options, so we went with one of them instead.


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classydance

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I agree with all the previous posters.  .  . If you go on full scholarship, you get a different experience. Otherwise you are participating in a fundraiser for ABT.  Go if being in the city and taking ballet class is the goal but I wouldn't expect growth or attention. 
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dave9988

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Interesting.  I'm not really all that surprised at the sentiment, though maybe I am a bit at the rapid consensus. 

A few girls from our studio attended last year, not (to my knowledge) on any scholarship, and I didn't hear any negative feedback.  I did hear TX wasn't terribly challenging, but nothing negative re: NY.  Maybe our studio is just already impersonal enough that it didn't faze anyone? LOL.  I'll reach out to those dancer's moms & see what feedback they have, and DD will also consult with her teachers.

I think NY is part of the allure, but also looks like DD would be the only from the studio going there this year.  A top second choice would place her in a program (not necessarily level, of course) with several classmates.  Not sure that's necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to be a negative in her mind.
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ballerinamom13

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Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
I agree with all the previous posters.  .  . If you go on full scholarship, you get a different experience. Otherwise you are participating in a fundraiser for ABT.  Go if being in the city and taking ballet class is the goal but I wouldn't expect growth or attention. 


This.
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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988
Interesting.  I'm not really all that surprised at the sentiment, though maybe I am a bit at the rapid consensus. 

A few girls from our studio attended last year, not (to my knowledge) on any scholarship, and I didn't hear any negative feedback.  I did hear TX wasn't terribly challenging, but nothing negative re: NY.  Maybe our studio is just already impersonal enough that it didn't faze anyone? LOL.  I'll reach out to those dancer's moms & see what feedback they have, and DD will also consult with her teachers.

I think NY is part of the allure, but also looks like DD would be the only from the studio going there this year.  A top second choice would place her in a program (not necessarily level, of course) with several classmates.  Not sure that's necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to be a negative in her mind.


While large classes & a lack of personal attention is a big no for me if it's a program that's going to serve as dd's major summer training experience (&/or will bust my budget)... I will say that there's certainly something to be said for learning how to get something out of every experience. Regardless of whether you're the center of attention.... whether 'someone else' is going to push you.  Regardless of whether it's super challenging.  I mean just think of how common it is for professional dancers to take lower level classes.... of a place like CPYB which has a reputation for getting dancers back to the basics..... of open/master classes where dancers rarely get personal attention.  All of which most would see as extremely worthwhile.  Summer doesn't have to be about making you better by taking you to the 'next' level.  Sometimes it's about making you better by slowing you down & having you perfect where you are.  And sometimes... most times.... it's less what you're given than what you decide to do w/it.  Growth comes in different forms.  And you don't need to be a scholarship recipient to experience it.

IDK, I just think, again, it comes back to what a dancer wants/needs to get out of a program.  All of our dancers aren't going in looking for the same thing... they don't all 'need' the same thing.  And it's precisely why, while I'm interested in what others have to say, will consider it & pass it on to others as appropriate... I've learned that we really can't use other's opinions as the basis for our own decisions.              

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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459

While large classes & a lack of personal attention is a big no for me if it's a program that's going to serve as dd's major summer training experience (&/or will bust my budget)... I will say that there's certainly something to be said for learning how to get something out of every experience. Regardless of whether you're the center of attention.... whether 'someone else' is going to push you.  Regardless of whether it's super challenging.  I mean just think of how common it is for professional dancers to take lower level classes.... of a place like CPYB which has a reputation for getting dancers back to the basics..... of open/master classes where dancers rarely get personal attention.  All of which most would see as extremely worthwhile.  Summer doesn't have to be about making you better by taking you to the 'next' level.  Sometimes it's about making you better by slowing you down & having you perfect where you are.  And sometimes... most times.... it's less what you're given than what you decide to do w/what it.  Growth comes in different forms.  And you don't need to be a scholarship recipient to experience it.

IDK, I just think, again, it comes back to what a dancer wants/needs to get out of a program.  All of our dancers aren't going in looking for the same thing... they don't all 'need' the same thing.  And it's precisely why, while I'm interested in what others have to say, will consider it & pass it on to others as appropriate... I've learned that we really can't use other's opinions as the basis for our own decisions.              



A lot of good stuff here!
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #10 

It's kind of funny, I did finally have a chat with a mom of dancer who attended ABT last year, not on scholarship.  She loved it.  Said she was given corrections and/or compliments daily, and loved all the teachers. 

She did say that her sentiments were not shared by all other dancers in the program, that one teacher was some disliked by some for being "tough."  Her comment was "it was nothing compared to XXX's class."  So ... compliment, condemnation, or simply another reflection that many things in life are relative?

Hope to make a decision this weekend. 

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enpointe

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988

It's kind of funny, I did finally have a chat with a mom of dancer who attended ABT last year, not on scholarship.  She loved it.  Said she was given corrections and/or compliments daily, and loved all the teachers. 

She did say that her sentiments were not shared by all other dancers in the program, that one teacher was some disliked by some for being "tough."  Her comment was "it was nothing compared to XXX's class."  So ... compliment, condemnation, or simply another reflection that many things in life are relative?

Hope to make a decision this weekend. 



I do have to say that although I shared some negative things we have heard about ABT earlier on this thread, I really don't think that it would be a bad choice at all. I really think that your daughter can have a great experience anywhere, if she goes in with the right mindset! My daughter has always had positive experiences with all of her intensives, and I think a lot of that has to do with her belief that she is going to have a great time and that she is going to learn a lot. She applies corrections (those given to her, as well as those given to others) and really focuses on getting everything she can out of the classes.

When she turned ABT-NYC down, she did so because she felt that she had other offers that summer that would better fit her needs. However, it was hard for her to turn it down because she thinks that she would have had a fabulous time there! And she may still very well audition and potentially attend there in the future. She loved her time there at the Young Dancer program.




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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by enpointe


I do have to say that although I shared some negative things we have heard about ABT earlier on this thread, I really don't think that it would be a bad choice at all. I really think that your daughter can have a great experience anywhere, if she goes in with the right mindset! My daughter has always had positive experiences with all of her intensives, and I think a lot of that has to do with her belief that she is going to have a great time and that she is going to learn a lot. She applies corrections (those given to her, as well as those given to others) and really focuses on getting everything she can out of the classes.

When she turned ABT-NYC down, she did so because she felt that she had other offers that summer that would better fit her needs. However, it was hard for her to turn it down because she thinks that she would have had a fabulous time there! And she may still very well audition and potentially attend there in the future. She loved her time there at the Young Dancer program.



Truly thank you - all of you - for your responses.

It's tough to figure these things out.  I'm hoping to sit down with DD this weekend and really nail down her goals and aspirations for the summer.  We've had short conversations here and there, but I want to really nail things down.

I'm not going to lie, the "prestige" of the name is a factor.  At 5.5hrs by car, it's also the closest program to home among those for which she auditioned, which has its plusses (certainly the lowest travel costs).  But the lack of a dorm and the hassles that brings (including diminished camaraderie with fellow dancers) is a definite detractor.

A weight will be lifted once things are nailed down.  Although ... I suppose then I'll worry about something else.  I'm very, very good at worrying.  Sigh.


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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #13 
Spoke with DD, wife, some folks with industry knowledge.  ABT it is.  Not expecting any sort of miracle breakthrough training or anything like that.  Just a different experience in a program not attended by classmates, with teachers new to her.  Let the housing search commence.
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