EllenDana

Atlanta Ballet Pre-professional program

99 posts in this topic

Aspirant and Elite during the week, Premiere alternate Saturdays.

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I'm considering attending Atlanta Ballet's PrePro next year, but I wish to know a little bit more about it before I finalize the decision. Their web site showed the levels in ascending order as aspirant, elite, and premiere. What is considered when determing level placement? Are they really body-type oriented? What are the schedule and teachers like? What is the training emphasis (e.g. more emphsais on turns, jumps, adage, etc.)? I know that these are a lot of questions, but any advice would be greatly appreciated! :shrug:

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dancergurl234, you will need to audition for this program, and then, if accepted, you will be placed according to your level of technique. What is considered is what is considered for all professional schools at all auditions. They will look at you in class and see if they think you have the potential, facility, and training to fit in their program. The schedule depends on whether you are in school or not, as there is an early afternoon class for those not in school, and then evening classes for everyone. So, there could be one class a day that is two hours long, or two classes. Rehearsals generally follow the evening classes and Saturdays. There are classes 6 days a week. The teachers are professional and the training is professional. Their emphasis is training a dancer, and not on any one area of technique but all areas of technique.

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I can add to these posts that my DD took one of the highest level classes near the end of their summer program as an audition for the PD program, and came out exhausted saying that it was one of the toughest and most wonderful classes she has ever had in her life, and she's done a LOT of SI's, company auditions, etc. They must be teaching at a very high level to a bunch of talented dancers!

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Would someone please explain the Fellowship level mentioned on the AB Center's website? I see descriptions and schedules for the Aspirant, Elite and Premier levels, but not for Fellowship. Is this a different level? Or a grad program? Or a scholarship designation?

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Fellowship students are graduates and on scholarship. They take company classes as well as school classes (when not in rehearsal) and I believe that there is some pay involved. They perform with the company.

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I had read a while back that Atlanta Ballet's Centre for Dance Education (the Midtown location) would be moving to a new Atlanta location possibly this summer. Has anyone heard if the move is still happening and if so, when? And what is the new address (or cross streets)?

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It will not be moving until the summer of '09. I don't know the cross streets, but it's still in downtown, or midtown, not sure. It's west and south of where they are now.

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Knock, knock, not a mom of a pre-pro student but a 16 year + resident of Metro Atlanta.

 

I just wanted to drop a line about educational, housing, and transportation options in Atlanta for DKs considering the AB pre-pro.

 

Educational:

 

First, the Atlanta City Public School System, which does have some wonderful schools, is very low-performing on state assessments. Also, GA public high schools don't have much experience or openness to early-dismissal or alternative schedule programs in my experience; however, depending on the age of your DK, you could enroll them in the local public school and then apply for joint-enrollment with GA State University or GATech. This is FREE for residents, you only have to pay fees, which get refunded back to you at the end of the semester, and books. Just know that those hours will count against your student if he or she receives the HOPE scholarship for later coursework at a GA university. I have first-hand personal experience with this option (I did my Senior year of HS at GA State and completed all of my remaining credits). They accept junior and senior level students and may make exceptions for younger high schoolers based on SAT or ACT scores. Any GA public university is able to provide this program; however, in Atlanta only GA State and GATech allow the students to choose their own courses and to make their own schedule. Both offer a number of online course and both are downtown and very easy to get to.

 

You next option is private school. Atlanta Girls School and Paideia would be two close options; however, there are many others. Fair warning, though, private school in Atlanta is exorbitant, far more expense than most other Southern cities and more on par with New York City or Chicago. They are also HIGHLY selective.

 

You could look at parochial schools as well. There are some wonderful Catholic high schools and there are many Christian high schools. Most are NOT downtown, though.

 

Finally, GA has an online high school program, similar to that of Florida. I believe you have to be registered with the public school system as a homeschooling family. Note that the restrictions many states place on homeschooling (oversight by a teacher, set curriculum, et cetera) are rare in GA. Homeschooling is very popular and, unless things have changed in the last two or three years since I last lived there, relatively unregulated.

 

Housing:

 

Housing in Atlanta is EXPENSIVE, especially downtown. Unless you are coming from New York or San Francisco, you might be shocked. For a small one bedroom or studio in a safe, good area, expect a minimum of $1,000 a month. This rarely includes utilities.

 

Recently, in the Atlanta Midtown neighborhood Atlantic Station (very new, very safe, very close to IKEA and other shopping), an apartment complex for students only opened. Rent is lower, but it is designed for roommates. I think utilities may be included, but I'm not positive. There are other complexes like this in the city and most offer a shuttle to the major downtown universities, the MARTA station, and a grocery store.

 

If you DK can transport his/herself, living outside the immediate downtown area might be more attractive, but it is only a little less expensive. My mother rents a small 1-bedroom townhome just outside of the perimeter for around $800 a month, no utilities included. If you choose this option, be careful about the area you select. There are two major distinctions in Atlanta, Inside the Perimeter (1-285) and Outside the Perimeter. Inside, you have the city proper, Decatur (artsy, ranges from housing projects to multi-million dollar homes), and a number of other small communities. These are not all in Fulton County (the county Atlanta City is in) and each has its own personality; it's common in Georgia for one street to have shacks on one block and mansions a few blocks further down the same road. Outside of the Perimeter, you have a multitude of options, basically you need to pick a county (Cobb, Gwinett, Dekalb, et cetera) and then pick a city/town. Most are fairly similar; however, there are a few larger towns like Marietta in Cobb County. Rent varies significantly from city to city and county to county. The rule of thumb is, the longer your commute to the city the lower your rent will be.

 

Transportation:

 

Make sure your DK gets a MARTA pass every month. If he or she is taking classes at one of the downtown universities this should only cost $30-$40 dollars, but budget more, just in case. MARTA is as close as the Deep South gets to the NYC public transportation system. It has trains and buses. The are 2 main train lines, North-South and East-West, though the North line splits into NW and NE and the West Line splits as well. A MARTA pass can be used on all MARTA transportation and day and one-way/round-trip passes can be purchased. Note that MARTA has recently moved away from a token system and the old tokens are no longer accepted. I believe you can buy passes online, but you can also buy them at any train station. The main station is Five Points which is downtown and very close to Centennial Olympic Park and many main attractions. It is one of the two options if you are a GA State student, GA State/Capital station is the other. GATech students should get on/off at Midtown; though GATech offers a pretty fabulous shuttle system that may negate that need. I am not well versed in the bus system, but suffice to say that anywhere you want to go in the city or in Fulton or Dekalb counties, you can get to on the bus, the train, or some combination of the two.

 

If your DK chooses to use MARTA (please encourage this, parking in the city is ASTRONOMICAL and hard to find), here are some tips: do not buy anything that is offered to you, do not support panhandlers as this is illegal in the city, do not leave your things unattended, avoid the elevators unless absolutely required as they reek of a certain bodily fluid..., remain aware, I'm not sure if this is the norm on other big city's public transportation systems but aloofness is expected on MARTA--don't forget your manners, though, give your seat up for the elderly, pregnant women or women with infants, the injured or disabled, or very small children. If your DK is female, she may experience from time to time, men giving their seats up for her, take it and say thank you. If possible, avoid peak times at major stations (especially Five Points). There are a number of "characters", frequent MARTA users all know well, many (if not all of these people) are homeless and mentally ill. Politely avoid the "toilet paper roll lady" and "bike shorts guy" ;-) hehe.

 

Most of the Metro area counties have their own public transportation systems and usually these connect to MARTA. Coweta and Fayette are the only two I know for certain do not have public transportation and/or do not connect to MARTA. There is a state system called GRTA and this system does connect to MARTA. All have a website.

 

Driving in Atlanta is an experience and it is not to be taken lightly. Avoid rush hour--4am-10am and 4pm-10pm (roughly, hehe), avoid the Grady Curve at all costs, remember you have to pay for GA400 even if you're just going to Lenox Mall. The HOV lanes are a godsend, but you need two people in the car. On the interstate, expect to drive very fast just to keep up. Atlantians joke that the speed limit is really the same as the number of the interstate (85, hehe). On surface streets, watch out for funerals. If you see a funeral procession (a line of cars with their headlights all on), treat it as you would treat an emergency vehicle. This isn't the law as some Georgians will tell you, but is expected. Georgia is very strict about seat belt laws and drunk driving. Unlike some states, Georgia has an aviloran tax which can be steep.

 

Living:

 

Atlanta is an entity unto itself. It has the charm of a Southern city, but it also has the edge of a major metropolitan center. Street smarts are helpful, but residents tend to pick them up quickly. Atlantians are very friendly, but can come off in a variety of different ways at times. Most people in the city, don't come from it. Heck, the vast majority don't even live there. There is a large international community, but don't expect to find a Little Italy or Chinatown, there are very few ethnic enclaves in the city. Atlanta has a thriving Arts scene and is home to world reknown museums, theaters, and galleries. It is the jumping off point for many artists of all fields. Atlanta has a rich educational community, with wonderful schools and universities across the Metropolis; but, illiteracy is as rampant in Atlanta as in any major city. Dining options vary from classic Soul Food to the finest in French cuisine and everything in between. If your DK chooses to come to Atlanta for his or her pre-pro experience, expect them to have an eye-opening and unique experience. Feel free to contact me with any questions or for further information.

 

Bonne chance on auditions and all of your DKs future pursuits.

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Hi all,

 

I agree and appreciate all balleballeyeballe has to offer about ATL. My dd has been at ATLBallet Pre-pro for the last 2 years and has found all that she reports to be true. My dd has been using MARTA and/or friends for all her transportation and has learned to really love the city. (Coming from a rural village of 30 houses, I think that is quite an accomplishment!) However, I must disagree with bbb's assessment of housing costs. We found a lovely, safe and convenient apartment less than 2 mi. from the midtown studios for $825/month. This is a 2BR/2 bath situation she shares with a roommate. It has a washer/dryer, a small deck and on-site pools and fitness room available. It was one of the nicest around and we feel it was very reasonable for an urban situation. A friend's son who attends GATech has a one bedroom at another nearby complex for about $650. So, I think it is not quite as bad as $1000/month and there are lots of complexes convenient to the studios. Other options may be even less, but we do not have experience with them. Her apt. is also on the bus line and near grocery shopping, and anything else a dancer needs.

 

We have found the pre-pro program a wonderful place for out dd to grow and learn and think it has been the best opportunity she could have had for the last 2 years. I highly recommend it.

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Whoops, I suppose rent might have gone down a bit since I last lived in ATL (a few years). That's great news for local dancers!

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I agree. Rent is in the eye of what the beholder will accept as "acceptable" in any major city including Atlanta. With as many colleges as are in the downtown area there are many, many options for less rent than $1000 a month and with 2+ bedrooms not studios.

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How does one audition for the fellowship program?

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In thinking ahead to 2009-2010 we are considering Atlanta Ballet for my dd (she will be 12 then).

 

I am confused about the preprofessional program. At what age does one currently enter this? Are you invited to audition or is it an open auditon? I've looked on the website and cannot find this info.

 

In looking at the enrollment division it looks like they only meet 3 times weekly. This is much less than my daughter is currently doing so it doesnt seem to be a good fit for her.

 

Can anyone shed light as to how to navigate the website? or how the pre-pro program works there?

 

thank you.

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