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Boys & SI Scholarships

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Momof3darlings

Just a gentle reminder that this is the Parents of Boys forum and with the exception of moderators, every posted comment should be from the Parents of a Male dancer.

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BalletGrace

Oooops sorry. I didn't know it was so strict. I just refreshed "View New Content" and saw the post.

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JacquelineInAus

LoveMyJob,

 

I just wanted to say how much your post moved me. I also homeschool my son (homeschooling came before ballet for us, though) and I have to say I'm glad of it. He can pursue what he loves without having to defend it to schoolmates. He's only young, though - I really feel for your son. It's annoying and unfair! You are making such a big sacrifice to homeschool and it can, at times, feel like such a thankless job - so from one homeschooling-parent-of-a-male-ballet-dancer to another: well done, and good job!

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david from nc

My 2 DS are both in public school. The older is in high school in their dance program so everyone knows he dances. Since the school has a performing arts program he has found the high school to be generally accepting. However, he tried to keep his dancing as much of a secret as possible during elementary and middle school. His younger brother who is now in middle school also tries to keep his dancing secret. Our experiance is as the kids get older their peers become more accepting.

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Clara 76

Let's hope that continues, david from nc!

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expat123

This has been an interesting thread for me. My 11 year old son auditioned for the first time this year and got a full tuition scholarship (but not room and board) on his first audtion. He has been dancing for 4 years, and I do think that he is talented (full disclosure- I am his mother!) However, I was wondering whether the scholarship was based more on merit or on gender. The school where he was accepted has an audition tour of over 30 cities (including the international locations). At our city, there were 4 boys auditioning in DS's age group. I think 20-30 end up going to the SI. So even if they invite double that number, the math will show that there was some selectivity in their choices. I am sure that they didn't offer a scholarship to all the boys, so we are pretty proud!

 

My DS is also not "out" about ballet at his school. He says it would be the end of him. Conversely, he is also not in the "in" crowd because he doesn't play football, etc. Even without the ballet stigma attached at the moment, he is considered odd because to their knowledge he doesn't do anything outside of school. While the girls at ballet are great to him, they don't really think of him when it comes time to do things outside ballet. So doing ballet limits his circle of friends. Also, he can't share the most important events of his life (e.g. performances, SI announcements) with anyone outside of family for fear of being discovered. I am hoping that the SI will give him a short time in a group of boys where he feels he "belongs." I am thankful for the scholarships, and feel that they help compensate for the difficulty of being a boy in ballet.

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Clara 76

When a dancer is that young, potential for ballet as well as whether their body could adapt to the training the SI will offer are the bigger considerations. I would consider a scholarship a wonderful thing, and certainly not gender-based. It speaks to the potential they see in him.

 

I totally agree with you about being "thankful for the scholarships, and feel that they help compensate for the difficulty of being a boy in ballet." Being male and a ballet dancer can be a lonely thing through the school years.....

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DivaB

My DS was also accepted at Joffrey- their Miami, LA and NY intensives, as well as their Trainee Program - all with no scholarship. Which does seem kind of odd to us. But like you, we are kind of glad - it lets him know that it's about his dancing, not about his chromosomes!

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expat123

Clara- as you mentioned on the Austin forum-- Could you give an idea of which SI auditions are selective, semi-selective, and all-inclusive (especially for boys)? This seems to be accepted knowledge in the ballet world, but I don't really know the ins and outs of ballet....

Thanks!

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Clara 76

I don't know that one can actually make such a list.... in my mind, SAB seems to be the most selective, in terms of the sheer numbers of dancers who audition vs the number of dancers that they accept each season. Now, does that immediately translate in that particular SI being "THE BEST"? Nope. Not at all. You will find dancers who will say that it was not the best SI for them, and you will find dancers who will say that it was. All we can really say is that it is considered "selective".

 

CPYB is all-inclusive. Anyone can attend provided there are spaces available, and all one has to do is fill out a form and submit a picture. So we can say that SI is not selective. Now, can we conclude that it is "THE WORST"? Nope. Not at all. Many dancers will say it was the perfect SI for them, and you will find dancers who will say it wasn't. All we can say is that it is all-inclusive.

 

Some of the other "big name" SIs might be considered semi-selective, like all of the ABT SIs. There are so many spots available, and while many dancers do audition, many are also accepted. some of whom might not have been selected at an SI like Ballet Austin. That does not translate into the training being "bad" at one place, and "good" at another. It just means a large SI can take more dancers because they can have more levels, and you might even find dancers who were rejected at smaller programs being able to gain acceptances to the larger programs.

 

Bottom line is: the badge of honor is in the child going to the audition and putting themselves "out there". That is where the real bravery lies.

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LBBalletMom

Kudos to the homeschool moms! My husband's and my decision to homeschool came before ballet entered the picture, but it sure made the decision to persue the dance classes four our two boys a whole lot easier. I can only imagine what school would be like for them when I can't even tell my own brother that they are taking ballet!

 

However, regarding the scholarship issue, I think it depends entirely on talent and potential. I have one son, who has the right body type and is clearly more gifted, who is on a full scholarship. The other is not. My husband and I keep this quiet from both the son who is not on scholarship, and all of the parents of both boys and girls at the academy. Really, it is no one's business, and we are trying to avoid exactly the kind of resentment expressed by the mother of the dancing daughter who ranted earlier. On the one hand, I can see her point of view, but, like "LoveMyJob," I don't have much sympathy. We put up with a LOT to keep our boys dancing. Assuming the ratio nationwide is 20:1 (as it is at our academy), the ballet schools want to retain the boys in classes for the long haul, so they try to make it worth their while. Like it or not, supply and demand is how economics works. If you are a boy with talent, then there is demand.

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Clara 76

I was more concerned about telling my inlaws and family members that I was homeschooling. The Ballet thing, they dealt with, with teasing, of course, but the homeschool thing- that caused drama.

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tropicfive

I was more concerned about telling my inlaws and family members that I was homeschooling. The Ballet thing, they dealt with, with teasing, of course, but the homeschool thing- that caused drama.

 

That cracked me up! As the homeschooling mom of five and the mom of three dancing boys, I would have to say that after dealing with my parents response to my decision to homeschool, that announcing that the boys were taking dance class was truly no big deal! They just continued shaking their heads in amazement/disgust (never sure which it was!)...and now they can do nothing but brag about both the schooling and the dance!

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Clara 76

Exactly!!!!!!!!!

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JacquelineInAus

That cracked me up! As the homeschooling mom of five and the mom of three dancing boys, I would have to say that after dealing with my parents response to my decision to homeschool, that announcing that the boys were taking dance class was truly no big deal! They just continued shaking their heads in amazement/disgust (never sure which it was!)...and now they can do nothing but brag about both the schooling and the dance!

 

Yep, that's our experience too! I think homeschooling gave my in-laws the first 'heads-up' that we were non-traditional, so our son taking ballet? No sweat. It's probably paved the way for all our 'unorthodox' decisions, and they just smile and nod now.

 

I can only imagine what school would be like for them when I can't even tell my own brother that they are taking ballet!

 

I just wanted to say that I feel for you. We're so proud of our sons and not being able to share that with everyone kinda sucks. That's what I love about this forum - the opportunity to share and hear about our ballet boys.

 

As an aside, there's a bit of a boon of boys at my son's ballet school this year - about a dozen young ones (under 8). Of course, the challenge is to keep them, but it's just nice having some more boys around!

Edited by JacquelineInAus

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