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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #26 
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Originally Posted by ballerinamom13
joriebelle - I do think you should read the comments on BTFD (if you haven't already), especially about the bigger SI's.  People here comment on places they've never been.  Since there is a great deal of personal knowledge in the BTFD threads, I'd give that information a lot more weight than the info here.  Not saying that people here don't have good second hand information by knowing someone who went, but I think BTFD has more first hand info.  Many of the bigger SI's do limit class sizes, but some don't.  I agree, that could be an important factor.   

Also, I really think it depends on goals and your child.  What style do they want at this point?  Do they want more personal attention at this point? Do they want to compare themselves with the "best" and I put that in quotes because getting into a "best" SI at 12 is very different than being accepted at 14/15.  There are SI's that no one's heard of that may be amazing for one child and not for another.  You know your child best.  The more info you can gather, the better decision you can make by weighing factors you know about her.  I never took accepting SI's lightly - they are too expensive to not pick the best possible place for a child at that particular time.  Do as much research as you have time to do and she will be fine. You know her.  Keep us posted.


Thank you!  I've read all of the reviews on BTFD  which gives good reviews of the programs separately but many of those don't relate to us personally because DD is only 12.  I honestly couldn't care less about the prestige of the program at this point, I think my/her goals are to improve and to be able to get some individual attention.  I'm hoping she'll be en pointe more than twice a week because she does pointe every day at her studio here.  Her goal is just to continue to improve and come back better than she was when she left.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #27 
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Originally Posted by camercad
DD attended PBT two summers ago. If you want partnering experience out of intensive, she will definitely get that at PBT. They are very aggressive in recruiting boys. When DD attended, there were ~50 boys out of 120 attendees. In fact, for DD's level, a few boys had to double up with a girl. She had partnering at least twice a week.
I believe there were about 25 kids in her level. While leveling seemed mostly by age, there was a mix.
I've heard the style referred to as neoclassical. They do learn Balanchine variations during the intensive. but the technique is definitely not Balanchine.
The girls in her level were very friendly and the girls loved their RAs. I felt the administration was well-run. 
 


Wow, this is definitely what I want to hear.  At her studio, her and her friend at the same level are 12 days apart.  Her friend did a pas with the only boy at our studio - got 1st place at YAGP! - so her friend has been working for months with partnering.  The boy did not want to do two pas de deuxs since it was his first time competing so DD has not had any partnering yet.  That was a goal also but I didn't know if it was reasonable since she is only 12.  Thank you for the info!  

I'm also okay with Balanchine.  She has been trained vaganova but I think it's a good thing to be exposed to other styles as well and she can definitely learn something from some Balanchine as well.  Thank you!
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PasDeChatMom

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Reply with quote  #28 
May I suggest you make a spreadsheet so you can do a side-by-side comparison of the programs you are looking at? I did this - maybe a little overboard but I found it helpful to see everything in a snapshot.

Partnering - yes/no/days per week
Pointe - daily/days per week
Saturday classes
Avg. class size based on BTFD reports

Just things like that. At 12 I'd say most programs will have daily pointe classes and some programs will have partnering. For example - Houston has partnering for all levels - at the lowest level it is just 'Intro to Pas' but it is still partnering. My daughter's home ballet school has a pretty advanced partnering class available (she's already doing press lifts, etc) but she still found the partnering at Houston to be good. They also have a pointe class daily and then usually another class on pointe - variation, repertoire, etc so many days she had two pointe classes. I know Houston isn't on your list but just giving some personal experience as an example.

This year she's thinking she will just stay home - after going away for 2 summers (she's a young 13). Our home ballet school offers a 6 week SI with partnering, variations, character, etc and so we know she'd get good and consistent training. However, she's done one audition and may do another one in a couple of weeks before we make a final decision.


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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #29 
Joriebelle... if you are still considering Bossov and would like reliable answers to your many questions I would suggest calling them directly and being very upfront with your concerns. They will talk with you at length, I know.  Chris Faria would be who you would want to reach out to first and I imagine she would have you speak with Natalya directly if necessary.  Just a suggestion.   
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Joriebelle... if you are still considering Bossov and would like reliable answers to your many questions I would suggest calling them directly and being very upfront with your concerns. They will talk with you at length, I know.  Chris Faria would be who you would want to reach out to first and I imagine she would have you speak with Natalya directly if necessary.  Just a suggestion.   


I just got an acceptance email from them this morning with some detailed feedback and corrections from Natalya which I thought was so nice.  Everything she said was exactly what she has heard before which is good to hear.  I asked if there would be partnering and Chris said he has 4 boys who have applied so far.  Oh, it is nice to know Chris is a woman; I assumed Chris was a man.  [smile]  DD really wants to go there.  

A little bit ago the SO from a place we are considering moving to mentioned that his dancers are going to Brazil and Korea for international training for 5 weeks.  While that sounds wonderful I'm not really sure I could afford THAT.  He said the moms were organizing some fundraising but not sure they could fundraise a huge amount to put a dent in that cost.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PasDeChatMom
May I suggest you make a spreadsheet so you can do a side-by-side comparison of the programs you are looking at? I did this - maybe a little overboard but I found it helpful to see everything in a snapshot.

Partnering - yes/no/days per week
Pointe - daily/days per week
Saturday classes
Avg. class size based on BTFD reports

Just things like that. At 12 I'd say most programs will have daily pointe classes and some programs will have partnering. For example - Houston has partnering for all levels - at the lowest level it is just 'Intro to Pas' but it is still partnering. My daughter's home ballet school has a pretty advanced partnering class available (she's already doing press lifts, etc) but she still found the partnering at Houston to be good. They also have a pointe class daily and then usually another class on pointe - variation, repertoire, etc so many days she had two pointe classes. I know Houston isn't on your list but just giving some personal experience as an example.

This year she's thinking she will just stay home - after going away for 2 summers (she's a young 13). Our home ballet school offers a 6 week SI with partnering, variations, character, etc and so we know she'd get good and consistent training. However, she's done one audition and may do another one in a couple of weeks before we make a final decision.




This is a good idea, Pasdechat mom, to make a chart.  Thanks.  [smile]  Sounds like your home school offers good training too so that will be great if she decides to stay home.
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camercad

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Reply with quote  #32 

DD was in the lowest level at PBT and she had pointe work every day. In addition to Pointe class, Variations, Pax de Deux, and Repertoire were all done en pointe. The intensive was the first time she did four hours of pointe work in one day. 
There were classes on Saturday, but not a full day's worth. 

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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #33 
My daughter's friend was at SAB last year.  She was in the bottom level (and the youngest student at the entire SI so that wasn't a big deal), there were 36 dancers in her class.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by camercad

DD was in the lowest level at PBT and she had pointe work every day. In addition to Pointe class, Variations, Pax de Deux, and Repertoire were all done en pointe. The intensive was the first time she did four hours of pointe work in one day. 
There were classes on Saturday, but not a full day's worth. 



This is making this decision tough, between Pittsburgh and Bossov!  Still waiting for the scholarship to come in the mail from PBT.  I thought maybe it would be here today but it's not.  Maybe tomorrow!  
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #35 
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Originally Posted by meatball77
My daughter's friend was at SAB last year.  She was in the bottom level (and the youngest student at the entire SI so that wasn't a big deal), there were 36 dancers in her class.


And Level 5 had 21 students last year (according to BTFD).  I think they accept less per level as kids get older.  There are 7 levels of girls and 2 levels of boys and they take about 200 kids.  It generally works out to average about 23 per class.
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #36 
It's totally their goal and you can tell by the course they offer.  They offer far less in classes than all the other intensives, my daughter's friend who went there last year was told by her director that they don't recommend she go this year because they want her to go someplace more intense.  She currently takes more hours of class per day than SAB offers in their summer intensive.  The classes are often more difficult and intense because of the high caliber of student and because it's essentially a five week audition but there's far more downtime than at other programs.  Also, while the program may not offer as much in classes, they also have a large amount of scholarships available, it's a give and take.

I remember reading on BTFD that level two was also very large (over 30), it may be that they make the lower levels bigger because they're not evaluating those kids for year round (because they don't take dancers into the dorms until they are 14).

The reviews on BTFD are very useful, everything from how the residence, supervision and food options are handled to the numbers of students in class and performance opportunities to the competitiveness of the program.  Those things are very important to know and matter differently to each child.  Some kids thrive in programs with super strict russian teachers, others need teachers that are more nurturing.  Some kids need a very structured living arrangement while others would feel stifled without the independence that they are capable of displaying.  My daughter was accepted to a good program and we're not sure if she'll take the spot because of the boarding situation.  It just seems very structured and controlling and she's a kid who really thrives on independence.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #37 
It's very interesting to me how dd feels about class size. 

20+ students in her home school in a class was too big. But 30+ at ABT-CA was not too many at all. The difference was the way the teachers at ABT taught. They were constantly moving around the classroom, watching everyone and giving little corrections here and there.  The year she was in a large class at her year round school, it was clear that none of her teachers had that knack for teaching a larger class. So, a large class does not phase her as long as it's a teacher who knows how to handle a class that size.  Many of the bigger name SIs have classes this size. It's important to read those reviews carefully because of that. And another reason that those small hidden lesser known gems, some of which cost far less, are worth a second and third look!
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #38 
SAB may have less classes, but kids are on pointe for every class.  Pointe shoes rarely come off, if ever, for the older kids.  There is no flat, not even barre.
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Ecourtney

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Reply with quote  #39 
I agree with tendumom that some teachers can handle large classes better than others. My DD went to ABT Texas and felt that the teachers all knew who she was and that they gave a lot of personal corrections. That was definitely the case in the class I observed. The teacher gave a correction to my daughter that I could tell it was something they had been working on, not something she just did for show with the parents present. DD came back a much improved and stronger dancer. A number of girls from our studio have attended ABT programs in the past, mostly in Alabama, and they all come back much better technical dancers. I would think ABT is the ultimate "large" program but If managed well your dancer can still get a lot out of it. That said, there's a lot of attraction to a truly small class. There just aren't a lot of those out there.
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balletcostumemom

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Reply with quote  #40 
Hope you found all the info on Bossov you were looking for.  There are about 40 pages on Bossov over on BTFD if you look.  They rotate their SI information to their archives over there every year so that only the last two years show up.  You can look in the archives when there isn't any info or you can look on the actual school section. 
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #41 
I go over to BTFD every now and again but I don't like the atmostphere there as much as here.  DD had decided to do the international trip.  We found out yesterday it won't be Brazil but Korea so now she's not sure she wants to do it and we may end up at our home studio.  I emailed Bossov yesterday to decline.  [frown]  I'm not sure if that was a mistake or not. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #42 
For whatever it's worth.. the reviews for Bossov in the archive section of BTFD.... as well as 90% of the discussion in the pre-professional school section.... were/are all before a change in leadership (with the previous director returning to Russia and the previous executive director retiring in '13).  Unfortunately, there is really very little on BTFD about the program under Natalya Getman.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #43 
I noticed that.  Maybe you should provide a review!  [smile]
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #44 
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Originally Posted by joriebelle
I noticed that.  Maybe you should provide a review!  [smile]


I've thought about it but I'd probably do something wrong and get my hand slapped. Not worth it [smile]
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #45 
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Originally Posted by heidi459
I've thought about it but I'd probably do something wrong and get my hand slapped. Not worth it [smile]


How true that is.  That happened to me back when I was new and stupid so I only read there and don't post.
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