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dancypants

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Reply with quote  #126 
I swear these SI auditions with their rolling deadlines, deposits, bad weather, flu...it's going to be the death of me. Add in teachers who have only a few programs they"approve of" and...yeah.

DD planned to go to the small, Vaganova program she attended last year again this summer, and do the full 6 weeks. Her best friend also wanted to go, it will be her first time away and she is nervous but this small program DD enjoyed seems like a good fit. Of course DD is happy friend wants to go. DD and I sat down and made a SI audition list of places coming here that she wants to take a class at, for experience, especially Balanchine style programs. She missed a chunk due to being sick, but has attended a good many. And, unexpectedly (because she is not at all Balanchine trained, and hasn't got a ballet type body) she has been accepted and gotten 2 scholarships at programs we did not expect to even think about.

So, now what? Friend 2 weeks ago decided no, she didn't want to go. AD of the program DD attended last year wrote a personal email saying she was very excited DD is coming back (and she is Russian and used italics- that just doesn't happen much, lol). Friend decided yesterday she would audition, and is slated to do a video this weekend. Teachers will freak out if DD goes to a Balanchine program. Friend may still back out. DD will get personal attention and small class sizes at the program she wants to return to, as well as a lot of pas as they have a good many boys since they are scholar shipped. It's iffy that at her level and age she would even have partnering at other programs maybe. She is "known" to the faculty at that program and she would be completely unknown to a new program. But they did give scholarship, so that indicates interest I suppose, and finances are very much a factor- with scholarships, these programs are cheaper now than her program she planned to return to. She is a late starter to ballet, and dance in general- she started at 11 1/2, she is 13 now, and continuity of training styles is probably very important.

I.am.so.confused.

And deadline for a deposit to the first program with a scholarship is very soon. And the others right after. And we are thinking of residential school next year and all 3 have one to consider. And dh retires in August from the military and we have no idea where we will even be living.

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh?!!!!

Whew, I feel better. Thanks for listening, even if I made very little sense!
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balletmother

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Reply with quote  #127 
Hello, 

I am new to this forum. My daughter got into some summer intensives and we do not know which to choose. Her instructor wants her to attend Houston, but my daughter wants to attend Ellison. She went to Ellison last year and loved his program. What should we do? Does anyone have any advice on the subjet? Thank you! [smile]

She was accepted into: 
Houston
Ellison
San Francisco
Joffrey
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #128 
Welcome balletmother!

Did your dd's instructor give any reasoning for Houston over Ellison? What about SFB or Joffrey (I presume Joffrey in Chicago). Ellison is purely Vaganova but Houston is not. Did the instructor point out any issues with her training when she came home? I know that when dd did a Russian based SI, her home teacher later complained that dd came home over crossed and a few other things. Dd trained in a different style (ABT) that is really not crossed at all. Looking at the list of her acceptances, I think that Ellison is the only strongly Russian style program on her list. Also, how old is she? Is she old enough that a company based SI is more of a priority? 

Dancypants, I say eliminate the friend from the equation altogether... which it sounds like you have already done. Balanchine is based on Vaganova. As you might remember, dd is now in a Balanchine program. She has 2 Vaganova style technique and pointe classes each week. The other 4 technique classes in the program are Balanchine. If that is the case at the SIs you are looking at, she will probably be just fine. If you are strongly considering residential schools, then a program with a residential school may really be your best bet as you will be able to either eliminate one or the choice will be made by the end of the summer! 

We are still in a crazy holding pattern. I suppose that is a good thing as she has a waitlist for a longshot school that we won't hear from until March. (Which makes me think people really should send declines as soon as they know they are not attending.... feel sorry for those on the waiting lists [smile] [smile] [smile]) The program she is most likely to attend is the very last ballet SI audition of the season for her and for them. She's also auditioning for a contemporary and a musical theater program. Both of these are impossibly small programs and geared more towards professionals I think. It's like applying to college with an essay, photos, letters of recommendation and auditions! That's why I posted on another thread about tap shoes. The ballerina, who is really becoming a jazzerina, is taking tap classes to prepare for the musical theater audition. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #129 
Looks like everyone is quickly inching towards that final decision finish line!

Dd's audition run has gone well.  She had two rejections (PNB & SAB) & the rest have been acceptances (Boston Ballet, ABT-Texas, Festival, American Academy of Ballet & American Repertory Ballet/Princeton).  She's feeling pretty good about that seeing that she just made the switch in September.  She may do a few more over the next few weeks just to contribute to that baseline but we've pretty much have what we need to move forward. Except....

We figured she'd do Festival in July & then move on to Koltun's in August. Koltun is her home studio & Festival is w/in driving distance so she'd end up w/6 wks of dancing for a lot less than the cost of 5 wks at any place that required room & board. Kind of a no brainer at this stage of the game.  Except, when I wrote the letter to AAB declining the scholarship, I received a return email asking for additional information so that they could review her audition & consider an increase in the scholarship amount (they videotaped). So now... how long do we wait for a response?  At what point does it make sense to inquire if a decision has been made?  I'm actually rather surprised that we would consider it but if the scholarship ended up putting the cost at the same as Festival it might make sense.  If nothing else, it would save me from an hour's drive four times a day for 4 wks.  

Any thoughts?
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mumpa3

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Reply with quote  #130 
DD16, just attended her first audition last week.  The audtition was scheduled to  run 5-7.  At 5 they were sent up to fill out a short form.  Then the audition started around 515 but was finished by 625. How do they look at so many dancers at once ( well over 125) in such a short time?   Im new to this audition intensive process.  She is only auditioning at 1 other intensive.  It seems that most audition for many programs.  Any insight?
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #131 
Mumpa3, we had a similar incident with SAB's audition. Dd went to an SAB audition last year and had a full class. She loved it! She understands that she does not have the body type for that school, but she fell in love with the style. She went back this year, after having had a few months of Balanchine training under her belt and the class barely lasted 40 minutes! Truth is that they can tell what they want very quickly. They take less than 10% of those who audition. I suspect they quickly look around the room and eliminate a good number before they even plie. 

I don't think I've ever seen an audition with 125 dancers in a single room. I can't even envision what that was like unless it was in a gym... and even then! (My kid might have walked out if it was that packed). I am guessing, based on experience, that they had far more dancers than they expected and took about half at a time, cutting the audition time for each group to about an hour. Dd has had that happen with an audition or two over the years. She's always disappointed because she wants to get a class out of any audition. 

Most dancers do audition for several programs, especially if they are auditioning for more selective programs. There are some programs that are quite large and dancers are more likely to get an acceptance. An example would be ABT which has 5 locations, each with anywhere from 120 to possibly over 250 dancers, depending on the site. Still, not everyone is accepted and some are put on the waitlist from the auditions. Joffrey Ballet School in NYC is even larger with many programs and many sites. When dd auditioned there years ago, we were outright told that for dancers aged 14 and under, it is strictly an audition for placement. But, they are so large and have so very many programs, there is likely a spot for the vast majority who audition for them. 


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dancypants

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Reply with quote  #132 
I am 99% sure now DD will return to her small Vaganova program, the AD of the program with the most significant scholarship is leaving after the school year and he was at the audition and the big draw for DD. Tendumom, I think you know the program I mean. So without him, even with the cost savings, DD wants to return to her known program and work on technique basics more. She adores the faster Balanchine style, but honestly, it is not what she really needs right now, she needs slow andprecise- she is good with musicality and artistry but basics not so much. I only hope if she writes a nice letter declining they will accept her in the future, because it is definitely a program she is interested in, just not the best fit right now.

I never expected this year to be this difficult, audition wise!

One more to go, Ailey, which she loves but alas no housing untill age 15. She is auditioning for the class, I would encourage anyone to do an Ailey audition if it's near you, they have a drum accompanist for modern. It's fantastic!

Still no idea on where we will end up after the summer. Dh thinks sending her to a residential school is a good idea, but gosh, she is so young. There are places we could live she could get the level of training she needs and stay at home, they just aren't here, sadly. So the future is pretty scary.

Tendumom, your DD and broadway seem to together like hand and glove- even I'm photos it is obvious! Best of luck to her, I for see a whole new world opening up!
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Momtodancer

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Reply with quote  #133 
How I envy you who live in the East Coast. Here in Denver there are few SI to choose from. Still debating what SI to get DD in as we aren't traveling this Summer, just got back from 8 weeks abroad.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #134 
Dancypants, dd has had friends who attended that program. The well known teacher only taught the middle and lower levels a few times. Dd's friend who was 15 at the time she went had him maybe once a week. That friend went elsewhere last summer but is planning to return. She enjoyed the program and the other teachers as well. They seem to be more of a mix of styles than straight Balanchine. On the other hand, when dd was your dd's age, she gained much more from smaller programs. It's hard to beat that personal attention, in an environment where there is no need to wear name tags constantly! 

The Broadway stuff and dd is pretty incredible. While she is more than holding her own with these performers, when you put her next to say, the cast of Cabaret, she still looks like an infant! A Broadway career, if she is lucky to have one, will be years away but she is starting to prepare for the transition some day. The musical theater program she is auditioning for is just 2 weeks and does include ballet classes. They only take 12 girls and it sounds like the competition is tough... and dd is not a singer. 
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kmw08

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Reply with quote  #135 
DD15 will be auditioning for Joffrey's jazz and contemporary intensive later today. This will be her first summer auditioning experience. She has done local programs in the past.

She'll also be auditioning for Ailey next month.
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balletmother

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Reply with quote  #136 
Tendumom

My dd is 14. Her instructors said they thought she would do well to be in a longer program (Houston=6 weeks). SF was too short. They think my dd has the perfect body for ballet and the best feet, but feel she is lacking focus. They want something that will "wake her up" to her own potential. They thought maybe Houston would be that wake up call...I just want her to be happy. She loves ballet, but she also likes having a social life (which her teachers are not too happy about). I do not know anything about Houston, but I think it's a big program. Ellison was small, and she liked that. But, does it look better on her resume to have gone to different SI programs? Thank you so much for your feedback.

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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #137 
The few currently and former working dancers I know, and research on this and other online boards, tell me that a dancer's resume is the last thing to come up at an audition.  When the employer or school is down to their final cuts, they may or may not compare resumes or ask about training.  The key in the training stage is developing technique and presence to get through to the final cut, and the best place to do that is an individual decision based on wants, needs, and finances.  Having human contacts is helpful sometimes to secure an audition, but a piece of paper isn't going to open doors in the dance world.  Just my opinion.  Resumes seem to matter more once the employment stage of a dancer's life has ended, if they decide to teach.
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dancypants

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Reply with quote  #138 
This is off topic, but tendumom it seems I disliked your post earlier! I saw it had a thumbs down and thought "now who could dislike that post?" and I went to "like" it the dislike went away...meaning it was me I guess that disliked it! I have giant man hands and an iPad so I often typo, but geez. I wonder how many posts I've tried to like, hit dislike, and never realized because I never went back to the thread?

So board disclaimer: if I disliked your post, it's probably a mistake because I am much more apt to post a rambling reply about why I disagree, I'm not the type to do anything so succinct as hit thumbs down.
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Mitzy

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Reply with quote  #139 
I don't think it's important to have a lot of different programs on the resume, but I disagree that the names on the resume are not important. Many company auditions (especially for European companies) are by invitation only, with the resume and photos being the basis for invitation.

Houston is a big program with LOTS of class time and the bonus of a performance at the end. Level 7 had pas, but that level was mostly 15+. The dorms are really nice, too. There's a lot to like.

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balletmother

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Reply with quote  #140 
Thank you for all your points of view! We are going with Ellison SI. I hope it proves to be as great as it was last summer! 
[smile]
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #141 
Dancypants, LOL! I didn't even notice. I don't think it notifies us.. or it least it doesn't notify me of thumbs up and thumbs down! 

In addition to what ggsmith mentioned, the only other time I think what SIs one went to might come into play maybe if you were applying to college and not for dance. It might be nice to have an SI program or two that your average Joe admissions application reader might recognize. I only say that because when dd was about 14 and we never imagined she'd be pursuing this as a career, that was my dh's concern. He wanted anything she did in the summer to be understandable to the average person. So, Space Camp in Huntsville, Al was OK and an SI at a place that would be recognizable would have been OK for him. Ellison would only be recognizable to dance people like us. Houston Ballet might be a  bit more recognizable. 

Otherwise, as ggsmith mentioned, your dancing trumps anything on your resume. Even in applying to colleges for dance. One of dd's friends never went away to an SI program her entire dance career. She still got into a very good college dance program. She is actually going to her first SI this year because she will college credits for it. [smile]  

Anyway, I would have thought Ellison would be a wake up call! It's competitive and Mr. Ellison is a tough, demanding teacher and I think it is a good choice. [smile] Both programs are!  I think it is hard for teachers to see someone who has the "total package" but isn't working to their fullest. If she doesn't eat, breathe and sleep ballet, no one can make her. It will happen when and if it happens. Jealous you have made your choice! Dd still has more auditions to do this month. We won't even hear from one program until the end of April.
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #142 
We did Ellison last year. It was good but dd didn't take many classes from him. She w as at intermediate levels. That w as fine with me. I think he works best with advanced dancers.

I don't think the dorming situation is ideal. PM me for details.
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dancypants

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Reply with quote  #143 
Still waiting for one more audition result here. They haven't got housing for her age, so unless it's 100% scholarship (wildly u realistic) it's a no go, but waiting for those results just the same. It's been yet another crazy audition season, though for different reasons than last year! Last year, her sure things were rejections, and this year the long shots for a class only were acceptances and scholarships. Crazy.

Friend flakes on the program DD is 99 percent sure she will attend, not a huge surprise or a factor...though it will pain me to write the check as cheaper options abound, it figured DD is convinced they are wrong for her.

It is incredibly stupid, but I feel like this could ruin her ballet life if we choose wrong, and she is only 13! I can't imagine making these choices at 17, I'd be a wreck. Will be a wreck. I may take up drinking. Add some studio drama and just general sulkiness, and I'm ready to throw in the towel. DD really should be more considerate of my stress level before choosing activities, right? I'll bet chess moms don't feel this way...or bowling moms...
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #144 
Lol Dancypants!  Feeling the same way trying to make decisions for an 11-year-old for ballet for the summer and next fall.  And we are only considering local options!  Add into the mix middle school choices for next year and drinking does start to seem appealing!
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #145 
Dancypants and ggsmith - things change dramatically between 13 and 17.  At 13, SI's are still looking at potential.  At 17, they are looking at ability.  Many times the choices become fewer and fewer because your dd may not "fit" programs, ie - wrong body type, too tall, too short, different style.  So try not to stress now.  Seriously, save the stress for when they are older and it really counts. 

P.S. - I know from experience and it's not really that fun.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #146 
LOL as I do have a 17 yr old! 

Last year, as a junior, everything seemed so important and it seemed like the next year, this current year, was going to be so hugely important for auditions. And suddenly, it's not! Dd has ended up with some amazing mentors this year. She's hearing that she's still young, she still has time. So not the age old mantra in the ballet world. At the same time, she's also hearing that she should be doing company auditions this year. Of course, dd has a great training option available to her if she doesn't move on. I do worry, because that's what moms do. I worry that she will be frustrated in the program for a second year. She had no tolerance for dancers who don't pay attention in rehearsals, which happens with some in the level below her. Her friends who are seniors will all be gone and a number of her friends who are juniors are hoping to stay year round elsewhere. But, if she stays in NYC, she can strengthen her ties in both the musical theater world and contemporary ballet world and can expand her own work in those genres. I am trying hard to be neutral, but I would love to see her stay one more year and not just for my own selfish reasons. 

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Michgal

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Reply with quote  #147 
Well we decided on ABT NC- thanks Tendu Mom! Deposit is in so now we have to figure out the rest of the $$ lol! We were going to put together a few audition video's but the knee was hurting terribly ( combination of falling on it wrong giving her a nasty softball size bruise and I believe the anniversary of her surgery).

The deadline was looming and I figured it's best to go with what we knew was a yes, compared to doing more auditions and getting possible no's or waitlists. That two week deadline is the pits ! I was going to have her do a few more auditions just to get in the practice and get a feel for some programs next year- this weekend was a bust due to a snowstorm and bitter, bitter cold ( was -15 before wind chill today!) definitely not worth the risk to drive 2.5 hours! 

Good luck to everyone on your decisions! 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #148 
Congrats on making that final decision Michgal!  

Dd loved the whole audition process.  Loved learning about other programs...even ones that she wasn't interested in going to... or hadn't heard fabulous things about.  It's just good to know what's out there imo.  And who's out there trying to do this thing too.  How do you stack up in this whole ballet thing?  Sometimes it's hard to know when the majority of the other dancers you see are the ones at the barre with you.  

One of the things I was actually hoping to learn about in this thread was, in fact, other programs.  What's out there, what people know about them, why they choose one over another.  I've noticed a bit of a hush hush culture in the ballet world which I find unfortunate.  It just seems so hard to get honest, unbiased information.  SOs have their favorites.  The programs all want to blow their own horns, of course.  And BTFD has way too many rules about what you can & cannot say and how you can and cannot say it. I know it's always just going to be someone's opinion but I think opinions are good as long as you understand that they are just that, opinions. Just gives you something to chew on.  Something more to look into.  

As for dd, we've decided on a 4 wks of Festival and 2 wks of Koltun, both of which are within driving distance.  And a lot of privates in the weeks before & after.  I suspect 2016 will be the year she actually goes away somewhere.  She'll be 16.  I think I'll be ready for her to go.  Just another new experience to add to her story.  I just wish there was some way to take a peek at the last few pages of the book [smile]
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Mitzy

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Reply with quote  #149 
I worried a lot about the future when my daughter was a young dancer with lots of "potential". I struggled with decisions of where she should train for the summer and the year. Around 14/15/16, she started to be the one making the decisions, and the choices she made weren't always the ones i would have made, but she is the one that will live with her decisions. Now, when she's 18 and it really matters, I'm pretty chill about it all. There is no one perfect program. It's what you put into it. No one summer is life or death. My daughter has only done a few auditions, and only attended 2 summer programs outside of her year-round school. Last summer, my daughter was unable to go away at all due to injury. This year, she is going to an amazing program, and may stay for the year. She has done some company auditions, and felt she was where she should be in terms of technique, but there are many, many talented young dancers out there, and not many jobs. Regardless, she has enjoyed the journey. I'm really proud of her.
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MooseysBiggestFan

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Reply with quote  #150 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitzy
I worried a lot about the future when my daughter was a young dancer with lots of "potential". I struggled with decisions of where she should train for the summer and the year. Around 14/15/16, she started to be the one making the decisions, and the choices she made weren't always the ones i would have made, but she is the one that will live with her decisions. Now, when she's 18 and it really matters, I'm pretty chill about it all. There is no one perfect program. It's what you put into it. No one summer is life or death. My daughter has only done a few auditions, and only attended 2 summer programs outside of her year-round school. Last summer, my daughter was unable to go away at all due to injury. This year, she is going to an amazing program, and may stay for the year. She has done some company auditions, and felt she was where she should be in terms of technique, but there are many, many talented young dancers out there, and not many jobs. Regardless, she has enjoyed the journey. I'm really proud of her.


THIS!!!!  Yes.  All of this.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and all of the mothers of up and coming dancers can really benefit from the experiences of the parents/dancers who are now venturing out into the "real world" of dance.



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