Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
EllenDana

Atlanta Ballet Pre-professional program

Recommended Posts

EllenDana

Is there anyone on BT who attends the pre-pro program now? My dd has been accepted for fall '06 and it is her first choice. They just recently paired with Savannah College of Art & Design to have dorm space available for the dancers as well as a meal plan. (It may not be 100% finalized, but was presented to us as an option). My dd will just be 17 in the fall and it is 1200 miles from home, so dorms would be nice. We were all VERY impressed with the administrator of the Dance Centre (Sharon Story) and the audition class instructor, Armando Luna. Just looking for input from people with more info. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
dancemaven

I do not know of the program, but hopefully some BT members will and can add their information/insights. But just to clarify: Atlanta Ballet, but the program is located in Savannah? I know Atlanta Ballet has several SI sites, but you are referring to a (new?) year-round program, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
dagny78
But just to clarify: Atlanta Ballet, but the program is located in Savannah?

 

SCAD opened a satellite program in Atlanta last year; you can read about it here: Scad Atlanta

 

 

As for the Atlanta Ballet year round program, I would like to hear more about that too. Is it new?

Share this post


Link to post
EllenDana

Yes, the Savannah College of Art & Design recently opened a new site in Atlanta or moved. But they did rehab a motel 2 blocks from Atlanta ballet into dorm rooms. Their dorm was not full, so they are offering rooms to Atlanta ballet to use for students or company members. Dorm room for the school year is around $5.500, meal plan an additional $1,200 or so depending on the plan. Other options, which some girls do, is apartments on their own. I just know my dd is not ready for that option in a city. We live in the sticks and she is not street smart, let alone ready to manage an electric bill, all her cooking, living alone, etc. We looked at the dorms when we were there and they are lovely. Gated, locked fence around the parking lot, guard shack before entering, computer lab, lounges and kitchen on main floor. Also outdoor pool! :blink: Dorm rooms are spacious and some are even more like a condo with 2 rooms and full kitchen. I'm sure they cost more! I was led to believe that the cooperation between SCAD and AB is set, but not yet in writing.

 

I don't know how new the program is, but since it seems like these pre-pro schools are popping up in a lot of the companies, it must be pretty new. I wasn't looking for this kind of thing until the last couple years, so I can't give you history. It does cover girls from about 14 & up, although I believe the majority of the high school girls are local. Three levels, Aspirant, about 14-16, Elite 15-17 & Premiere 16+. The top girls get to do company corps roles, although that is not promised, of course it is competitive like everything else. It looked like 12-15 girls in each level -- we, as parents, were permitted to watch not only the audition class, but a rehearsal that involved all three groups. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and Armando Luna was tough in the class, but incredibly supportive and encouraging.

 

Well, that's what I learned in our trip to Atlanta. I just need so much info to help my dd make her decision. It is SCARY to contemplate sending her so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Stork

I am sure that if there are any BT members with knowledge about this program that can help you they will chime in.

I don't know how new the program is, but since it seems like these pre-pro schools are popping up in a lot of the companies

 

It is an exciting time for you and DD. There is alot of info here on the boards. Do read up on threads about residencies and all. And yes, there are more and more of these programs popping up and filling up with late teen ballet dancers working toward that dream. We have found that programs that need to fill these spaces are very nice and welcoming. Do try to get concrete info on their success in placing dancers at the "end" of the program.... As the need for training at this level increases, so do the number of dancers finishing up at programs such as these. Sure wish the number of positions for dancers was going up and not down.

Share this post


Link to post
balletbooster

EllenDana, Can you tell us about the academics associated with the program? Is there a working arrangement with a HS or do the students do online work? What kind of supervision is offered to the HS kids who will live in the dorms? Will they be on the same floor with college students?

 

What about tuition for ballet?

 

Thanks for bringing this new program to our attention and welcome to BT! Hopefully, some from Atlanta Ballet will come online and share more information. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
dufay

Can you also comment on the class schedule for the highest levels? How many classes/day, and modern,jazz etc?

Share this post


Link to post
EllenDana

There are no academics for this program. My girl will have finished homeschool high school when she goes. I don't have any idea what options there might be for highschool families who would choose to send their child away before she graduated. I personally could not do that. As for college options, Georgia Tech is within a mile, as is SCAD and maybe others. My daughter has been learning independently on-line since 6th grade, so if she ends up in Atlanta, that would certainly be a part-time college option open to her after she gets settled.

 

I don't know if they would even take HS students in the dorms, we were told we would be making arrangements directly with SCAD, and I don't know if they would accept HS students. This dorm would be housing college as well as graduate students and I'm even a tad nervous about my dd at 17 being in the same dorm with 25 year old grad students! I don't know if she would end up with another ballet roomate or someone from the college. Lots of questions still to be settled...

 

As for end results, if you go on Atlanta Ballet's website, you can see a crop of about 10 dancers who all came through their school. Ms. Story said that they are committed to looking toward their own students first when they need dancers. However, we all know that there are NO guarantees in the dance world, but it seems that AB has a more definite commitment to using "home-grown" talent. She also said that they have extensive contacts around the country and have sometimes found spots for kids in other programs or companies that were a better match. From what we've seen so far, there is a real atmosphere of support toward developing the best in the individual dancer.

 

I think the tuition is about $350/month and includes ballet & modern, no jazz. For kids who do not attend school, there are company classes earlier in the day that can be taken as well as Pilates at their Buckhead satellite studio that just opened. That is what I remember from our conversations, but I have not yet seen anything in writing, just an invitation for my dd to train with them.

 

Hope that helps clarify, I'm afraid I still don't have all the info I need to feel comfortable, but I keep the communication going so I can find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest atlballet
Can you also comment on the class schedule for the highest levels? How many classes/day, and modern,jazz etc?

To dufay:

 

Hi I am dancer with the Atlanta Ballet pre-professional level. I am in the Premiere level. We have modern one day a week for an hour and ballet and pointe the rest of the week. Classes are usually about 2 hours and then there is rehearsal afterwards. Saturday classes are a little shorter, so there is more time to rehearse. As of now we don't have any jazz classes, but there are open hip hop and jazz classes that students are allowed to take. I hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
EllenDana

Just a follow-up on the pre-pro program at ATLBallet. My dd has been there since Sept '06 and absolutely loves it. She had 2 parts in 16/28 Nutcrackers and just got cast for small parts in Snow White and Great Gatsby. The dorm thing did not work out because she was under 18, but we found a satisfactory apt. with an older dancer.

 

My dd is often tired and achy, but we really feel it is the right program for her. From the comments of the teachers and the fact that she keeps getting small parts in the company productions, we hope that means they feel that they are a good fit for her, too. She is getting to work with the younger children by assisting in 5 classes per week and they are also allowing her to choreograph (her true passion) a piece for some sort of evaluation for Regional Dance America in Pittsburgh in April. So, overall we are very pleased with where she is and the training she is receiving.

 

We don't know yet how their summer program works for year-round students and if I had to provide some constructive criticism, it would be that the program does not communicate as clearly or often with parents as they could. I have had difficulty getting responses to emails sometimes. However, this seems to be a common problem with arts organizations that I have encountered. Also, the majority of their pre-pro girls are either local or older than my girl. So maybe most of them have alternative ways of getting info or are just more savvy about who and when to ask. We just sometimes struggle to parent and advise from 1000 miles away when we aren't knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the program and how things are done there.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest ivy'smama

EllenDana,

 

My daughter is also a pre-pro at Atlanta Ballet, so I can tell you how the summer programs work. Sharon Story held individual interviews with the pre-professional students this past Tuesday. She usually asks the girls (and guys) where they would like to audition and she also makes suggestions based on what she knows about the girls and the programs out there. Some students do end up staying in Atlanta for the summer, but many of them go away to other places.

 

As for getting information, the best way is for your daughter to read the bulletin board. My daughter drives herself to ballet now except for on Saturday (when I have to go to shuttle younger daughter to her ballet class at another location), but I still go in and read the board to make sure I know what is going on. A lot of times, you don't find out about rehearsals until the day of. I've learned that this is just the way it is. It must be tough on you being so far away and trying to keep in touch.

 

By the way, my daughter is in the same level as your daughter. She seems to be adjusting well to living so far from home at such a young age.

Share this post


Link to post
bbd

Hi Everyone,

 

I work at Atlanta Ballet with Sharon Story, the dean of the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. If anyone has any questions about our pre-professional program, I will be checking in regularly and will be happy to answer them. We do work with out-of-state students who wish to join our training program.

Share this post


Link to post
bbd

On behalf of everyone at Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, I'd like to welcome Victoria Leigh as an instructor for the pre-professional division. We are thrilled that she will be teaching our young dancers and know that she will be an incredible addition to the pre-pro staff. We are so fortunate to have her here in Atlanta and as part of the Atlanta Ballet family. Welcome Victoria!

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Thank you bbd! I am very happy to be there, and I enjoyed my classes the first week very much. :flowers:

Share this post


Link to post
Guest pink tights

Ms. Leigh, what levels are you teaching?

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×