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dancemomgrm

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DD has been accepted to both programs. She is 13 will turn 14 in June and was placed in level 3X for The Rock. Anyone been to both intensives that would care to share any feedback? I've read lots of reviews on Ballet Talk 4 Dancers, but wanted to get more comparative feedback.
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meatball77

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The program at Boston will have a shorter commute (correct me if I'm wrong) and the levels will be more consistent in age.  The Rock accepts everyone and therefore there will be a much wider age range in the classes.  I will say that my daughters teacher says that she'd rather have dancers stay home than go to the Rock (although she's sent kids there year round) and she thinks highly of the Boston program.
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meatball77

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Oh, and last year they offered SAT prep classes at The Rock that you could add onto the program but your daughter is probably a bit young for that.
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dancemomgrm

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Thanks meatball77 for your reply!  There were some girls at my daughter's audition that did not get accepted to The Rock.  So at least here (Houston) not everyone gets in.  I've heard there is a lot of down time at Boston, but the Newton location that my DD was accepted to has changed their program for this summer, so I have no idea how it will be this year.  We want a challenging program.  Just not sure what to do.[confused]
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PasDeChatMom

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How long would you send her to The Rock for? In 2014 students in 3x that went less than 5 weeks did not have partnering and were on the early schedule with the morning students. Those that went for 5 weeks were considered 3x PM and had partnering and went into the city later. My daughter was in level 2 at the time so she was on the early bus - it was a long commute but for the most part she enjoyed it. She was only there for 3 weeks so no rehearsals and they went back to Cabrini College early - again she enjoyed that.

If your daughter isn't going to go for 5 weeks then I would not consider The Rock unless she were in level 4 or higher - more downtime and a lighter schedule. 
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dancemomgrm

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She would go for 5 weeks.  The sample schedule she got was 17 hrs/wk technique, 4-6 hours pointe, 1-1.5 hours partnering, 10 hours rehearsal.  This schedule seems like it offers more dance time than BB Newton, but again I am not completely sure since the Newton site seems to have changed their program this year. The website is kind of vague on the specifics and I have emailed them twice with some questions regarding the schedule, but I have not received a reply. Is Boston considered more prestigious than The Rock?  Maybe The Rock's year round program is stronger than the summer program?  
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heidi459

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I honestly don't know much about the Boston SI but I will just put out that there is a lot of confusion about the Boston Ballet School.  Much of it's reputation seems to come from this assumption that it is a feeder school for the company but it is not.  And as far as the year round program... it has a lot of problems.  A lot of unhappy dancers.  Quite a number of whom have jumped ship in the past couple of years (there are 4 in my dd's year round program this year).  Again, I really have no knowledge about the summer program but just want to say that if it's anything like the year round, while many do think of it as being prestigious, many of the locals in the know would beg to differ.
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PasDeChatMom

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Wait the Boston Ballet School isn't affiliated with The Boston Ballet? I always assumed it was since the school's page is housed on The Boston Ballet's website.
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PasDeChatMom

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancemomgrm
She would go for 5 weeks.  The sample schedule she got was 17 hrs/wk technique, 4-6 hours pointe, 1-1.5 hours partnering, 10 hours rehearsal.  This schedule seems like it offers more dance time than BB Newton, but again I am not completely sure since the Newton site seems to have changed their program this year. The website is kind of vague on the specifics and I have emailed them twice with some questions regarding the schedule, but I have not received a reply. Is Boston considered more prestigious than The Rock?  Maybe The Rock's year round program is stronger than the summer program?  


Yes The Rock's year-round program is much more selective than the summer program, but that can also be said for most summer programs. I would just go and read all of the posts about each of the programs over on Ballet Talk for Dancers, knowing that they don't allow program comparisons or recommendations. Maybe start a list of pros and cons for each program...
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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PasDeChatMom
Wait the Boston Ballet School isn't affiliated with The Boston Ballet? I always assumed it was since the school's page is housed on The Boston Ballet's website.


Well... I did say affiliated but what I meant is it's not a feeder program (I edited it for clarity).  Apparently it's like a separate entity, just under the same umbrella.  And w/the exception of maybe the very highest level of their pre-pro/trainee program, it doesn't have a great reputation locally.  Very few dancers who have danced w/BBS end up in the highest levels of the school & very few in the highest levels of the school ever end up in the company.   And I don't mean "each yr", I mean "ever".  If you look at their company bios it's a relatively small number of main company members who trained at the school in any capacity.     

We've all heard it said that if you want to dance for NYCB you NEED to go to SAB.  Well, the big joke around here is that if you really want to dance w/ BB (the main company), "don't" go to BBS.

eta:  I should add that I do consistently hear that the boys' pre-pro program does have a solid local reputation though.  I've heard they've put a lot of time and energy into that. Seems it's the Newton program & the girl's pre-pro program in Boston that's supposed to be the hot mess.  The general morale the pre pro program is said to be low.  And there was a bit of a mass exodus from the Newton program this past year despite their moving into a new state of the art facility.        

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tendumom

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As someone more local to the Rock School, I could say almost the same things that were said about Boston Ballet year round. At any company school, it is usually only the very top levels, the ones that attract dancers from all over, that are really prestigious. 

I am also confused by the comment that the Boston Ballet School is not affiliated with the company.  It is the official school of the Boston Ballet. Dancers in the trainee program do actually work their way through the trainee program to second company to the actual company, if they are lucky. It does not seem very different than many other company affiliated ballet schools with lower levels filled with local students, upper levels becoming increasingly more selective and becoming filled with students from elsewhere. I've also seen the phenomenon of dancers moving out of these larger company schools to smaller schools in my area as well. The flow rarely seems to go the other way. 

Back to the summer programs... does she have other auditions left to go? Any other programs possibly on the table? 

Being not far from the Rock, I can share that our local SOs and DTs tend not to recommend the Rock for summer either. Still, I know a decent number of dancers who have gone to their SI and a few who either currently attend year round or who have attended there in the past. The dancers who went to the previous program in Newton where mostly pleased with their experiences, same for those who went to the Boston program. 

 

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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

As someone more local to the Rock School, I could say almost the same things that were said about Boston Ballet year round. At any company school, it is usually only the very top levels, the ones that attract dancers from all over, that are really prestigious. 

I am also confused by the comment that the Boston Ballet School is not affiliated with the company.  It is the official school of the Boston Ballet. Dancers in the trainee program do actually work their way through the trainee program to second company to the actual company, if they are lucky. It does not seem very different than many other company affiliated ballet schools with lower levels filled with local students, upper levels becoming increasingly more selective and becoming filled with students from elsewhere. I've also seen the phenomenon of dancers moving out of these larger company schools to smaller schools in my area as well. The flow rarely seems to go the other way. 

Back to the summer programs... does she have other auditions left to go? Any other programs possibly on the table? 

Being not far from the Rock, I can share that our local SOs and DTs tend not to recommend the Rock for summer either. Still, I know a decent number of dancers who have gone to their SI and a few who either currently attend year round or who have attended there in the past. The dancers who went to the previous program in Newton where mostly pleased with their experiences, same for those who went to the Boston program. 

 



As opposed to many of the company affiliated "feeder" schools, very few dancers make it to BB from the BBS.  Even those at their highest levels.  Even those who are brought in for finishing.  And word is that it's not simply the numbers game but rather that that is not what the school has in mind as it trains it's dancers.  That the school simply doesn't seem to be training their dancers in a way that the AD prefers.  It's a common complaint around here.  Even dd's coaches, recent former BB principals & teachers at the school, shake their head.  I'm just relaying what I've heard.... the general buzz around town. This isn't just a case of some sour grapes.  But take it for whatever you believe it's worth, I guessπŸ˜‰
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tendumom

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I see we were writing at about the same time. πŸ˜‰

That's the same issue with all the big name schools. Want to be in NYCB? Don't go to SAB until you are 16. Most of the classes that start out around age 8 (now 6), have 0-2 dancers left by the time they get to the oldest ages.  It's similar at places like PNB and SFB. It's the trainee type level (different names at different places) that's going to be truly selective and more prestigious. It's those dancers that have a shot at getting into the company someday and even that is just a shot. It's a numbers game everywhere. I don't see BB as any different from the others.  I can't think of any of the bigger name companies that don't work this way. 

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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

I see we were writing at about the same time. πŸ˜‰

That's the same issue with all the big name schools. Want to be in NYCB? Don't go to SAB until you are 16. Most of the classes that start out around age 8 (now 6), have 0-2 dancers left by the time they get to the oldest ages.  It's similar at places like PNB and SFB. It's the trainee type level (different names at different places) that's going to be truly selective and more prestigious. It's those dancers that have a shot at getting into the company someday and even that is just a shot. It's a numbers game everywhere. I don't see BB as any different from the others.  I can't think of any of the bigger name companies that don't work this way. 

 

I hear what you're saying but I think we've gotten away from the point I was trying to make.  Probably my fault [I just got in from nyc... drove 4+ hours in terrible weather... my brain is fried πŸ˜‰ ] so let me try again. 

SAB (as well as many of the other big company schools) have a reputation for excellent training even in their lower levels... training designed to lead to the type of growth that will help dancers move up thru the program.  And while attendance is not an automatic in to the company (as you say, it's a  numbers game)... the company does specifically look to it's affiliated school to fill their roster &, conversely, the school trains dancers w/the company in mind.  The local skinny, however, is that BBS has/does neither.  A surprise to many, I know.  I'm aware that many think BBS is to BB what an SAB is to a NYCB.  I thought so too at one time. I'm just putting out there, for whatever it's worth, that local students/local industry professionals/local community members w/intimate knowledge... would tell you otherwise.

Now, that's not to say that BBS dancers never ever get into the company.  Nor that some BBS dancers haven't been happy w/the training they've received.  But if you are a local, are looking for great training, & are doing your homework locally... the word is "don't".  Which I find both interesting & worth passing on to others.  Now, all that said, whether there are similar feelings about the training offered at the SI...  I don't know.  I'd assume like any SI you get out of it what you put into it.  But given what I've been told (again, by MANY and, no, it's not sour grapes)... well, it just makes me wonder.  And I chimed in because the OP wanted to know which was more 'prestigious'.  I just wanted to illustrate how that might depend on what is meant by 'prestigious'. 

 

eta:  because of the state of my brain last night I have done a fairly major edit of all my posts.... in the hopes that it will ease whatever confusion my ramblings may have caused πŸ˜‰            

 

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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #15 

Summer programs are different than year round programs (until you get to the pre-professional programs that tend to pull the best from their summer programs).  My daughter has always found that the weakest students at her summer program were the year round kids (we assume the stronger kids go to other programs in the summer).  Large company based programs just can't spend the amount of personal time with students that smaller ones do. 

Boston's summer program has a great reputation, attracts good students and brings in good instructors.  What happens in their year round program shouldn't really effect your decision as to what summer program to send your dancer.

I'm surprised when you say that your daughter had classmates who didn't get into The Rock.  You might want to reevaluate her year round program based on that.  When my daughter auditioned a couple years ago I spent quite a bit of time talking to the director Bo (because my daughter was the only one at the audition) and he said that they let in everyone except for older students who don't have a decent ballet foundation.

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tendumom

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I think if you were more local to SAB, you might have a very different opinion. πŸ˜‰

While the school does train their dancers with NYCB in mind, it the dancers who were trained elsewhere who are far more likely to end up in the company after coming to SAB for some amount of finishing than the dancers who grew up there. The thought here is if your kid wants to dance for NYCB, don't have them audition for SAB until much later on. 

On the other hand, it seems that BBS is more like some of the other company schools that have large programs. Our local professional company likes to mention that they have one of the largest ballet schools in the country in their press releases from time to time. I personally do not think that is attractive for a serious student at all! I think the smaller area programs are far stronger, which sounds like what you are saying about BBS. I was actually told by a parent who was a former professional whose son attended SAB for a few years to not even think about bringing my daughter to those programs until her late teens. She said that the training at the local school was superior. 

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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

I think if you were more local to SAB, you might have a very different opinion. πŸ˜‰

While the school does train their dancers with NYCB in mind, it the dancers who were trained elsewhere who are far more likely to end up in the company after coming to SAB for some amount of finishing than the dancers who grew up there. The thought here is if your kid wants to dance for NYCB, don't have them audition for SAB until much later on. 

On the other hand, it seems that BBS is more like some of the other company schools that have large programs. Our local professional company likes to mention that they have one of the largest ballet schools in the country in their press releases from time to time. I personally do not think that is attractive for a serious student at all! I think the smaller area programs are far stronger, which sounds like what you are saying about BBS. I was actually told by a parent who was a former professional whose son attended SAB for a few years to not even think about bringing my daughter to those programs until her late teens. She said that the training at the local school was superior. 



I'm wondering, is that simply because you have to be so darn strong as a dancer to get in at that later age?  

Whereas, if you've started in the school at age 5 or 8, then you're in ... and maybe they don't kick you out, but if they don't see "amazing" in you by age 13-16 (whatever, then they just sort of take your money and hope something magically "pops?"




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dancemomgrm

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks everyone for your comments.  Meatball77. the students that did not get in at my daughter's audition were not classmates from her year round studio, they were just other auditioners.  There were a few that came out and shook their heads "no" before welling up in tears. Then the parent was comforting the dancer.  I took that to mean they didn't get in.  Maybe my assumption was wrong?  I've read many of the reviews on BT4D.  I feel like since the BB Newton Program has been restructured for this summer it could be totally different and the reviews not mean as much.  From the limited info I've gotten it appears BB Newton's schedule will be 1 -1.5/2.0 ballet technique class per day, 1 hour point per day, and then a rotation of other classes (variations, partnering, jazz, modern, character, nutrition, etc)  The Rock's schedule offers 2- 1.5 hour ballet technique classes per day, 1 hour point per day then a rotation of (partnering, rehearsal/variations). On paper it appears that a dancer in level 3x and higher who is attending 5 weeks would have more dance classes than a 5 week student at BB-Newton.  How important is the fact that BB Newton instructors will be BB professional dancers as well as BB Academy regular faculty compared to The Rock whose instructors will mostly be guest instructors from around the country?

Tendumom, My DD did 5 auditions and was accepted to ABT-Texas, BB Newton, and The Rock.  She did not get accepted to Harid or Houston Ballet.  We are not planning on any other auditions.
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #19 
That's very interesting about Boston. Makes sense. 

DD did Boston SI last year. It was very large. She got stronger/maintained her strength. There appeared to be a lot of issues with shin splints/issues with floors??? She liked it okay and got in again this year but without any support and it's about 6000, which we cannot afford. 

I noticed the same trends about the "Trainees," in the school. Like they are a "trainee" for something other than Boston Ballet [confused].  I don't think Margaret Tracey is highly respected but I do think Peter Stark (Boys' Program) is.  Thus, the trends.  Mikko must not be really that into the BBS girls. 

Do you know anything about BBII? It's a 2-year program. They have like 10 kids pictured in BB II on the company website. Four of them are girls. Two came through as a "trainee," one from SAB (Before that at NGB--Peter Stark connection), and one from elsewhere.

Last year, I asked one mother how many kids they took into the company from BBII and she said "2." 
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IteachM

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancemomgrm
Thanks everyone for your comments.  Meatball77. the students that did not get in at my daughter's audition were not classmates from her year round studio, they were just other auditioners.  There were a few that came out and shook their heads "no" before welling up in tears. Then the parent was comforting the dancer.  I took that to mean they didn't get in.  Maybe my assumption was wrong?  I've read many of the reviews on BT4D.  I feel like since the BB Newton Program has been restructured for this summer it could be totally different and the reviews not mean as much.  From the limited info I've gotten it appears BB Newton's schedule will be 1 -1.5/2.0 ballet technique class per day, 1 hour point per day, and then a rotation of other classes (variations, partnering, jazz, modern, character, nutrition, etc)  The Rock's schedule offers 2- 1.5 hour ballet technique classes per day, 1 hour point per day then a rotation of (partnering, rehearsal/variations). On paper it appears that a dancer in level 3x and higher who is attending 5 weeks would have more dance classes than a 5 week student at BB-Newton.  How important is the fact that BB Newton instructors will be BB professional dancers as well as BB Academy regular faculty compared to The Rock whose instructors will mostly be guest instructors from around the country?

Tendumom, My DD did 5 auditions and was accepted to ABT-Texas, BB Newton, and The Rock.  She did not get accepted to Harid or Houston Ballet.  We are not planning on any other auditions.
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IteachM

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Reply with quote  #21 
We don't have any experience with BB, but we are happy to share input about the Rock SI if you would like more info.  Our DD11 went to the Rock last year and auditioned again this year.  She was invited again and leveled up, but the vibe of the audition was much different this year than last.  Last year, everyone we knew was accepted. This year, there were quite a few no's.  We knew 11 dancer auditioning and about half were invited.  Most of the No's were dancers from other year round programs, but they were coming in from ballet-based schools with at least decent reputations.  We definitely left the audition feeling like they were much more selective this year than last.
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