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Ballet Talk for Dancers
AnneT

Ballet Schools in Arizona - Phoenix area

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Temps de cuisse

I have a small "pre-professional" program and I to only have 2 designated pointe classes per week for all levels. With a smaller studio it becomes a time/studio space issue. Although I would love for my students to have pointe class everyday, they do have their company rehearsals on 2 of the days they do not have pointe class so many dancers will be "en pointe" those days.

 

I really haven't found that this has in anyway affected my students being accepted into major ballet programs or dancing professionally.

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Azelizabeth

I know that the school of Ballet AZ has had a lot of positive changes this past year. My daughter (11.5) auditioned and was placed in level 4 for the fall. Can anyone share current information about this program such as quality of training, overall disposition of the school, class size, levels, any carpool groups, etc. the only information I seem to find is dated. We live in the NE valley but my daughter attends school in central Phoenix so we are looking at all of our options.

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emz123

Does anyone have any information on a school called "Master Ballet Academy" in Phx (Near 32nd St + Bell Rd)?

 

Thanks for any info!

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ballet valet

Master Ballet Academy is primarily Vaganova. The owners, Slawomir and Irena Wozniak, are from Poland. They have several naturally gifted/successful YAGP dancers. They have some combined upper levels. Levels 3-5 have a good group of dancers and have a nice variety of classes.

 

You may also want to look at Scottsdale School of Ballet which offers training in Balanchine, Paris Opera Ballet School and Vaganova styles. The owners danced under Balanchine, finished their careers at Ballet Arizona, then taught with Kee Juan Han (Washington Ballet) at SBAZ; Besides ballet/pointe, they offer flamenco, character, partnering, pilates, Alvin Ailey style modern and variations depending on level.

 

Not sure how old your dancer is or what atmosphere you are looking for.

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Azelizabeth

I am still looking for some updated information on the school of ballet AZ, if anyone has current info. Thanks.

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ballet valet

General word in Phoenix is that Carlos Valcárcel had grand visions of making over SBAZ when he came last year. He changed some of his teachers but lost students who did not embrace the new vision. They do have good teachers and the opportunity for upper level dancers to be cast in Ballet Arizona productions but their numbers have decreased a bit. They were due to move to a new facility sometime here but I think things have been delayed. I know that is very general. If you can, have your DK take a placement class or two and see if you like the feel of the place. I think everyone wants to have a good program in there!

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dancemaven

My DD had Carlos Valcárcel as her primary teacher for a year when he taught in a different state (so not at Ballet Arizona) and she LOVED him!

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GretchenM

There were some significant changes in the program at SBAZ after Mr. Valcarcel arrived. As a result, a number of upper-level students, my daughter included, have left. I think one of the primary problems was that a number of popular teachers were forced out in an abrupt fashion, which is never a good way to start with new leadership.

 

Although my daughter did not have a particular problem with Mr. Valcarcel or his teaching style per se, she did not feel that her dancing was progressing. I will say that a complaint I heard a lot from other parents and sometimes from my daughter was that the studio had a culture in which one dancer would consistently be singled out for praise and corrections while the rest were ignored, or sometimes belittled for "not trying." This was something that people complained about even before Mr. Valcarcel arrived, however, and I am not sure if it isn't just something that is pretty common in the ballet world.

 

Finally, new policies forbidding dancers to take private lessons unless specifically selected to do so by Mr. Valcarcel, and forbidding dancers to take SIs other than SBAZ's SI were problematic for a number of dancers and their families. It is a shame, because there are few good alternatives for pre-professional dancers in Arizona. It is also a shame because I have heard that the significant loss of students/revenue from the school has delayed the planned move into the company's new studios. We still support Ballet Arizona, but certainly not at the level we used to when our daughter was dancing there and we were feeling good about her experience.

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ballet valet

School of Ballet Arizona recently hired Nayon Iovino and Amber Lewis to teach their upper level students. They both are from The Washington School of Ballet and trained under the direction of Kee Juan Han and Carlos Varcárcel. Does anyone from SBAZ know how their classes are going, what classes they teach, what their teaching style is?

 

Also, does anyone know how many students are in the level 6, 7 or 8 classes and what their weekly shedule looks like? SBAZ does not share this information unless your dancer auditions for the program.

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Honoria

There is not a level 8 and levels 6 and 7 are combined. I am not sure how many students are in those levels.

 

DD is in level 5 and has Amber Lewis once a week and enjoys her classes very much, commenting that her style is similar to that of Mr. Valcarcel. Nayon Iovino is teaching boys classes.

Edited by Honoria

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ballet valet

Thanks Honoria!

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Honoria

You're welcome Kristine. There is no level 8 but the top level is called the Pre Professional Program, or PPP, which is a trainee program. I don't know the exact schedule, but PPP starts earlier in the afternoon and gets out earlier in the evening than the upper division classes, most of which get out between 8 and 9. :)

Edited by Honoria

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ballet valet

Do you happen to know how many dancers are in the PPP and what age range they accept?

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heart4art

The preprofessional trainee program ( not to be confused with company trainee) has about 15 students ranging from about 15 -19. They work Monday through Friday from 3:15 to 6:30 and Saturdays from 1:30 to 6. They can take morning open classes and later lower level classes for free although most don't. Many still attend school. If cast in company productions, the schedule becomes very intense for those students. They take company class at 9 and attend rehearsals while also doing the prepro classes. Mr. Valcarcel and Ms. Simonetti teach most of their classes. The company is classical Balanchine. The school seems mixed European.

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dcns

Can anyone update what is happening at Ballet Arizona? I see they are starting a Studio Company in the 2014-2015 school year.

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