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ezhinsky

should 6 yo boy audition for SAB

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Frank

Getting back to the origins of this thread. We have found SAB a great place to study ballet. It offers excellent ballet training. My sense is that if my son did not go to SAB when he did, he would have lost interest and would not be dancing today.

 

Both of my children attend public school locally. My son has a sister, two years older, who is very supportive. As an aside, I am very aware giving her attention as well. We have been very fortunate that both of my children have excelled in school.

 

My son has had a wonderful time at SAB.

 

My own feeling about burn out is that it happens to all of us and will occur a number of times. Then it comes to a point of whether you and he can, with help from family, friends and peers work through to the other side and that is perhaps the greater lesson. For me the bigger decision is where to place priorities. The benefit of starting early was to know that ballet is something serious and am now in a position to allow ballet to have a high priority for my son. Possibly a higher priority than school.

 

As for talent...I do not know if he has any real ballet talent. At SAB, talent will not be discussed and do not and will not provide any guidance as to their talent. Your best and only guidance will be if your son is invited back the next year. It is quite evident also that NYCB casting of a student is not a reflection of talent or progress. Whether ballet holds a future for my son is far beyond any real consideration.

 

Bottom line. Go audition. Go from there to the next step whatever that is.

Edited by Frank

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dancepop

For what it's worth, we have a son at SAB who, from ages 7-10, commuted to and fro 1 1/2 hours each way 2, 3 and then 5 days a week, and even additional days for rehearsals/performances. We found driving our son well worth the sacrifice, as SAB provides some truly unique benefits, particularly for a young boy interested in ballet. For example, the opportunity for a boy to take all boy classes, to study with male teachers, to get to see NYCB professional male dancers train, to share the Lincoln Center stage with top professionals .... all these things can help your son perceive his interest in ballet as valid, and help him deflect questioning from friends as to why he is interested in something different.

Edited by dancepop

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ezhinsky

Thanks everybody. It is hard, and now , with 2 examples that is similar to ours but fast forward 6 years it is even harder. I will keep you posted, I don't think I can resist the temptation to audition.Just for the pure experience.

Will let you know about the results and our decision . Dear Dancepop and Frank, please, feed me some details of SAB life for boys, first hand knowledge is everything!

Edited by ezhinsky

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dancepop

Hi Ezhinsky: Let me know when your son is accepted, and I'll be glad to provide any additional info I can or answer any specific questions you have. (Maybe you can inquire with Ballettalk how you can contact me privately. In any case, there is no risk in seeing if SAB works for your son and your whole family, as if for example the commute becomes too burdensome or it requires too many sacrifices, you can always periodically revisit your decision. But I think you'll find a way that works for you -- and you never know, maybe you will find some other families to share driving. If it works out, I think you'll find SAB an ideal setting to determine if ballet is something your son really wants to pursue -- and in the interim, it will be really fun for him.

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Oreo

For those of you with sons who have auditioned before, did they wear tights or just shorts and bare legs to the audition? Also, I am interested to know ...of the original group your son started in...how many of those boys are still there? SAB is known for not asking students to return if significant progress hasn't been made. I know of numerous girls who aren't asked back and wondered if it was just as brutal for the boys in the year round program. I recently met a mother of a girl in the graduating class, and she told me her daughter is the only one left from the original class back when she was 9 years old. UGH!

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ezhinsky

O'k. Registration dates for SAB are up, and we preregistered. April 5th is the date for 6 y.o. So far the little one is dancing non stop, watching you tube ballet clips to get him to bed, and grew quite a bit . Also after watching Barishnikov again he is doing points in his jazz shoes. (I am not sure if it is healthy though). Good luck!

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ezhinsky

Today was audition day! What can I say.. it was like being in alternate universe. Hot sunny day. The building and the studios and the atmosphere there is so refined and beautiful, that all you want to do is whisper in awe... However our little ones were running and screaming and just having fun with each other, I did not see a single nervous kid (only the parents), but I guess it is a bonus for being six. In our time slot there were 5 boys and 25 girls. Out of five boys there was one who clearly stood out. He could hold his leg up to his ear for a few minutes, did all three kinds of splits, and a bridge and his toes were pointed and arched as if he was born like this. Obviously I did not see the auditions , but my son told me that this boy was also very musical, and when he moved it was like " he was flowing and soft". (His dad told me he was doing gymnastics for 2 years, that helps too, but it looks like he was just naturally gifted). The rest was evenly matched, but I did not see any one in action, as auditions are held in a different studio. My son had a great time, said that he did really well and was generally very happy and excited. The results will be on (or before ) May 20th via email. So we will have to wait and see. I have to say.. the ride today (to Manhattan) took 2 hours and 10 min , it would probably be the same 2 hours with the train/subway/ride to station here, but it was hard driving in the pick hour. And arriving home in a pitch black cold night (drop in the temperature from 60"F to 30"F) with stars blazing through the twigs...as I said it was like all in a dream, another planet altogether. I will let the events unfold as they may... will keep you posted. Good luck to everybody who already or will audition!

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Petrovafossil

New York Post's web site has video of this year's SAB audition for the youngest kids. You can search for it under the terms New York Post and the video's title "Baby Ballerinas." Maybe you will see your son in it.

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Petrovafossil

I've been thinking about the original question, about potentially commuting with a 6-year-old to SAB. I think it's great you auditioned, especially since it was a fun experience. They looked so cute in the video. When my daughter was about your son's age she aged out of her local creative dance class ("be a butterfly!" "be an egg hatching!"). We ended up enrolling her in a big-name pre-pro for no better reason than it was there, and I'd heard about it. Honestly, I wish I'd put as much thought into that decision as you have, because what I didn't quite appreciate was how quickly the time commitment at these schools ratchet up. If you start with 2x a week 6, you can find yourself committed to 3x a week at 7 and 4X by 8 or 9 with classes on weekends. Even without a huge commute, that had repercussions. My DD likes dancing, but that time commitment meant didn't get a chance to try as many other activities. Maybe she would have loved high-diving or basketball or playing the french horn. Sometimes I feel like we will never know. After the first year, she didn't really even have time for other kinds of dance.

 

Her younger brother now takes classes at a less intense venue but wants to join her at her pre-pro, but having spent god-knows-how-many hours in the waiting room there and absorbed a fair amount information through osmosis, I feel like there's no real benefit to starting him at her pre-pro until is 8 or even 10, because the real training doesn't really start until then and boys who come in at 8-10 end up placed in the same class with the ones who started earlier.

 

It must be amazing to dance on stage at Lincoln Center or even to stand still holding someone's train for 30 minutes (as did a very patient little boy I saw in a ballet recently) but kids have such amazing imaginations that the local cafegymatorium feels like just as big a stage to them. I'm not saying there's a right or wrong answer :nixweiss: , just offering my experience for what it's worth.

Edited by Petrovafossil

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ezhinsky

We were in the last group, the lady was packing her camera when we arrived, so my boy is not there. I am with you about the "SB" performance, I was watching those boys (we went to see the show in February) and wondering what is going on through their heads.It did look quite boring though to stay on stage for good half an hour. I look at my boy (who already second week in a row is watching 2 hr DVD of his studio's Nutcracker obsessively every day) and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be happy with this life. The big question is would we... It does look like that there is finally healthy middle alternative on the horizon, Will know better in May and will keep you all posted.

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chel

Petrovafossil,

You are fine letting your child wait. My son was 8 when we moved him from a small local school to the bigger pre-pro program. The transition was very smooth for him. I still miss driving around the corner instead of 20 minutes away but now is when the training matters.

 

Ezhinsky, the commute can feel huge especially if you have other children. That said I'm sure he'll flourish in an environment with more boys. All the best in making your decision.

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ezhinsky

He got in. We need to give answer by the 8th of July. So the discussion starts all over again. We have some different options, just need to soak it in.

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Thyme

Well congratulations to all of you! That is a great achievement whether you take up the offer or not. Having never been faced with such a decision I can only assume IT WONT BE AN EASY ONE!! All the rest of us can say is WELL DONE to your DS. :clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

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ezhinsky

Dear dancepop and Frank! I have a question: Got the package today, he is in pre ballet 4, does this mean anything or it is just random choice (Tuesday/Thursday at 5pm). How big is the chance for him to be in Nutcracker? (He really wants it.) We did not tell him yet that he got accepted as we still don't have a decision...we are still at the crossroads. There is a new well known great male teacher that moved into our area (about 50 min drive, but still much less then to NYC), so it might be a good option. Still I am extremely tempted by SAB.(also I've heard it was much bigger competition for boys this year, so it makes it harder not to accept). Thank you in advance.

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Frank

Dear ezhinsky. Congratulations. In my experience, it is of no consequence whether your son is in 1or 4 in the Preparatory Division. As for Nutcracker, I have yet to know of any boy to be "fitted" for Nutcracker from Preparatory Division. Boys in ballet have become more widespread in recent years. There seem to be more boys in ballet than ever. The competition is greater as well as are the opportunities.

Edited by Frank

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