Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Sign in to follow this  
thedriver

Ballet Schools in California - Sacramento/Portland

Recommended Posts

Victoria Leigh   
Victoria Leigh

Hello montqueen, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)

 

While we do not recommend one school over another, there may be some people here who know these schools and can give you some information. The very best way to know, however, is to visit the schools yourself. Watch classes, or let your daughter take a class. Talk to the director. Look at the most advanced dancers. They should be in the 15-18 year old range, and should look almost professional. Is there a discipline obvious in the school? A uniform for the classes? Respect for the teachers? Are the ballet classes at least two or three times a week, with an hour and 15 to an hour and a half for her age level, and a minimum of a daily technique hour and a half, plus a pointe class, for older students in the upper division? Do they do recitals? If so, are the rehearsals separate from the classes or do they use class time? If they use class time, I would suggest looking for another school.

 

Other things to look for in terms of getting out of there would be 12 year olds in the "advanced" class. "Advanced Class" which meets once or twice a week. Nine and ten year olds in pointe shoes. Older students wearing "junk" (sweaters, warmers, shorts, etc.) to classes. Trophies all over the place from competitions. Students spending most of their "class" time doing routines for performances and competitions. Students not doing their hair in a neat ballet bun for classes. Watches and large jewelry in classes, and just generally a lack of attention to appearance for classes.

 

These are just a few of the things. There are some other threads on this subject in the parents forums. Happy reading :P

Share this post


Link to post
Pasdetrois   
Pasdetrois

I know Sacramento and it has a lot of balletschools. In my experience, it's not always the big school or the big name that has the better training. Sometimes they can be complacent and sometimes flash can be a good smoke screen. If I were you I'd go and watch a few classes at various schools or even the schools performances if any are still upcoming.

 

For years we danced with a very small school but the teachers were phenominal and truly it was the best of the best. Big is not always better, sometimes less is more even in ballet schools! Look for a school that has a syllabus, not necessarily RAD or Cecchetti but one developed over years of training and teaching. Many schools have functioned for years without even the concept of a syllabus. They may make money and be big but it doesn't make them good! Look at how the kids are presented. Are they turned out or are they sloppy. Are the younger classes in ankle socks. For me this is a good sign of a thought out curriculum. It's easier to see problems with young dancers presented with bare legs.

 

Why are you thinking of changing? What issues make the need for change? Sometimes marking time and making such moves slowly isn't at all bad. It's hard to reopen doors once they are closed!

Share this post


Link to post
montqueen   
montqueen
Why are you thinking of changing? What issues make the need for change? Sometimes marking time and making such moves slowly isn't at all bad. It's hard to reopen doors once they are closed!

 

 

Well, my daughter just turned 9 and really loves ballet. In fact, when she was really little (around 3) we were checking out studios and one was very professional and the other was more flashy. She actually came out of the class at the flashy school and asked if we could please go back to the "real ballet school".

 

Since then we have moved around a bit and she has been taking a variety of dance classes from a small school. The school is fine. The dancers that are being trained there are good and good technique is really stressed in all dance forms, but ballet is not the main focus. Although she likes other kinds of dancing ballet is still her favorite and she talks about wanting to take ballet everyday. I'm just concerned that she isn't going to get what she seems to want. If she wants ballet I feel like we should make the move sooner than later. However, like I said, she is 9 so I don't know how much I really need to worry about it.

 

I've read a lot of conflicting views here. Some say move them sooner. Some say don't stress about it until 11 or 12 years old. She has great turnout, beautiful feet, and a very natural ballet presence. Sometimes it is hard to know what is best.

 

I understand that recommendations are not given on this forum. I was just hoping someone would have some insight about the ballet schools in the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Temps de cuisse   
Temps de cuisse

I would recommend the Deane Dance Center. They used to be the "training school" for the Sacramento Ballet before the company decided to open an school a couple of years ago. Allyson Deane and her husband Don are dedicated to the training of young dancers. Their company, Crockett-Deane Ballet, is a member of Regional Dance America in the Pacific region and is one of the strongest groups in the region.

Share this post


Link to post
Pasdetrois   
Pasdetrois

I want to follow the guidelines and protocol of this site and not make any kind of public recommendation. Actually, a fit for one person is not always a fit for another. We can only share personal experience and in this instance it's hard to do without naming names, which I know is not appropriate. So, just get to your 30 posts and if you are still having fun discovering what is in your area and want to PM me, go ahead. I will be here.

 

It's never too early to start good training. Bad habits are hard to break. At 9, my DD's had ballet three or four times a week, I think, it was a little time ago and the memory fades. They also took jazz twice a week and tap was offered but piano got in the way of that. We have never been in a competition school. It's always been serious training with good performance opportunities but no competitions. There are different schools of thought on this subject as to the plus and minus offered by competitions!

 

By the time my DD's hit 9, they took their training seriously. You know your daughter and what she needs. Summer time appears to be a more casual, even a bit of a down time in most areas regarding ballet training. It's when we found our serious school. It was nice to be able to commit to a month of classes rather than a year. Most schools will let you do one class to see and be seen. It can be used as a placement class if you decide to go back. It really is a great time to look around, feel out and observe the various establishments in your area. Good training is hard to find! Oh, another thing that I always looked at was how the dancers are advanced. Is it the class that moves up or do dancers move up as individuals. As in all things, we do not all have the same abilities and strengths. Talented dancers will always progress faster and therefor are more likely to move-up faster than the child with recreational ability.

Share this post


Link to post
Momof3darlings   
Momof3darlings
I want to follow the guidelines and protocol of this site and not make any kind of public recommendation.

 

Actually the guidelines and protocol state that we don't allow comparisions of programs. But, if you know of good programs in the area for the poster to check out herself you are more than welcome to post those that you know and small tidbits about them, just leave the comparisons to the poster to sort out themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Muck Luck   
Muck Luck

You might want to investigate Capitol City Ballet School as well. We have an instructor friend who teaches there.

Share this post


Link to post
Pasdetrois   
Pasdetrois

Thank you Momof3, I was being too cautious. With your guideline in place 'montqueen', check out Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet Training, located on 'U' Street, 1925 I think. They apparantly moved locations quite recently. Phone 1(916)453-1125 or 1(530)333-4659. The founder of the school is Royal Ballet trained and gets kids in companies all over the world, including the Royal Ballet. A good nurturing atmosphere. Happy kids and excellence in training. I saw their Coppelia and was wowed at the achievement of the kids. A former co worker had a child in the production and I was impressed! My friends daughter is very much a recreational dancer but she still felt important in the school and the production. It appears the little beauties, the future ballerinas of America aren't the only ones noticed and made to feel good about themselves!

Share this post


Link to post
DegasDancer   
DegasDancer

The Pamela Hayes School has just opened a second location in El Dorado Hills, CA. I hope it works out for them. El Dorado Dance Academy is also in El Dorado Hills and Hawkins School of Performing Arts is in nearby Folsom. Ballet is offered, but does not appear to be the focus of these two other schools.

Share this post


Link to post
lil' prima   
lil' prima

I train at pamela hayes and compared to the other schools, which I have taken classes at, the atmoshpere there makes you feel like you are important. the way she teaches, she treats every one like they are going to become a professional. she teaches in the RAD style. All levels have a uniform, and are required to weare their hair back an up in a bun. we are current ly working on our nutcracker performance. I hope you find a school soon :shrug:

Share this post


Link to post
snow   
snow

In addition to the ones listed above, what are the schools considered truly pre-professional in northern California? Which schools are capable of training dancers able to then go out and work with a professional ballet company? It is hard for someone without a ballet background to judge the quality of training, especially since so many people who dance with a particular school get private or extensive training elsewhere as well.

 

I would also be interested in knowing if there are any ABT certified teachers in the northern California area.

Share this post


Link to post
BelaNina   
BelaNina

Snow - Northern California is a huge place. Could you narrow down the area? I'm driving 140 miles round trip daily during the school year to get my dd excellent pre-pro ballet training. That was close to the limit for us for our particular situation. I have heard of people driving much further than that for ballet trainnig; however. How far are you willing to drive?, etc. Answers to these questions will help members come up with ideas for you. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
snow   
snow

Sacramento is the closest big city. I'm willing to drive, any direction, really, for the right school, and just wanting to know which schools are truly offering pre-professional training as I don't have a ballet background. I'd rather be a commuter than spend money and time thinking my daughter is getting excellent training and then find out later it was not up to the standard she needs to truly progress. Thank you for your willingness to help.

Share this post


Link to post
BelaNina   
BelaNina

Hi Snow - we have gone way off topic (guess I started that, but I had just done a big investigation of bay area schools last winter prior to my dd switching to her current pre-pro, so I thought I'd share what info I had on Bay Area ballet schools that have true pre-professional schedules at the advanced level). Here is an old thread about ballet schools in the Sacramento area. You might want to start a new thread inquiring about current info for the Sacramento area: I know that old information can be terribly inaccurate. The info on this site for my dd's current ballet school is inaccurate, but I don't want to change it because then I'd be revealing which school my dd goes to! :rolleyes:

 

http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?...17518&st=15

Share this post


Link to post
WriteLife   
WriteLife

Hi Snow,

 

I am on the same quest as you. I live in the area and I can tell you that there are no ABT certified teachers in Sacramento. I'm trying to find one in the Bay Area. I can also tell you that the economy has hit the dance world hard in our area and that makes it more difficult. If you want, you can pm me and I can give you more info on the schools in the Sacramento area.

 

Kandi

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×