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lifeisgood987

Ballet Schools in Texas - Southwest Houston

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lifeisgood987

I just moved to Sugar Land and looking for a studio for my daughter. Any reviews on Fort Bend Academy of Dance / Ballet Forte?

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backstagemom

How far are you willing to travel? Houston is a very big city. I haven't heard of the one you mentioned, and believe me, I researched quite a few before making a decision for my own DD.

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lifeisgood987

Thanks for responding. I'm willing to travel for a great program.

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backstagemom

Take a look at Royal Academy of Fine Arts. It's in the Clear Lake area, so it's going to be a drive, but the training is excellent and it's connected to a small company that performs three ballets and a musical each year (which are very well done).

 

How old is your daughter and what kind of training has she had?

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slhogan

I have heard good things about Fort Band Academy of Dance and have seen their dancers at YAGP.

 

My son studies at Allegro West Academy of Dance in West Houston (not to be confused with 'Allegro Academy'-- their names are similar but they are very different): http://www.allegrowestonline.com/ (the website isn't very up to date-- it's a small school). Allegro West has families that drive in from all over, including Sugar Land. It's a very small studio with a lot of personal attention, and the dancers there are turning out beautifully (full scholarships to big-name schools, invitations to stay year round at major training schools, positions as trainee, etc). It uses the RAD syllabus.

 

Perhaps your daughter can try a few studios and pick the one that feels best.

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lifeisgood987

She's 14, incoming freshman, and has been training at CPYB for 7 years. The schedule was pretty intense and we had to travel 25 miles one way to get there. I'm willing to travel but hope the hours are less here because of high school homework. Thanks for your suggestion. I'll check it out.

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jamied

Another vote for Allegro West. My son switched over four years ago and we have never looked back. If your daughter dances 15 hours a week or more, she can get Off Campus PE. She can get out of school an hour early or go in an hour late everyday.

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Kellinger

Well there's the obvious, Houston Ballet. There is also Margot Marshall's which is off of 1-10 west close to the beltway. I've heard of Fort Bend Academy and Allegro West but do not have any personal experience with either.

 

Just a heads up about I-45 South (aka the Gulf Fwy), there is construction on it - actually that's most of Houston fwy's - BUT heading North on the Gulf Fwy even to get to Beltway 8 is a slow process on a good day. Yes, you could take hwy 3 down to Beltway but you need to allow time for the lights and traffic there as well. The Gulf fwy is known for its unseen Gremlins (traffic backups for no apparent reason). Don't want to scare you away from any studio, just want you to be fully aware that you are looking at a fairly hefty drive time. I used to drive the Gulf Fwy daily from the Galleria area to Clear Lake to a dance studio for almost 5 years at rush hour - it would take me about an hour (on a good day). I have driven the reverse having worked in Stafford once upon a time taking Beltway 8 mostly but occasionally 610/59 or 225/610/45/59 (Can you tell I find every possible route conceivable?). Drive time varied but it was about an hour usually. I should clarify that I am NOT a slow driver. :whistling:

 

With the concern regarding homework, the commute time is something to seriously consider. Granted she can do her homework in the car until it starts getting dark then she will either need a reading light or have to wait until she gets back home. You are looking at least two hours of classes (tech & pt) plus whatever additional classes she may take and/or rehearsals that should give you a good idea of what time you might be getting home in the evenings. Since HS typically starts at 7:30 in the Houston area, that can make for a very short night for everybody involved.

 

Some of the studios currently have summer classes while others might be on break right now. You are doing the right thing by researching your options. Visit the dance studios websites, go in person to the studio and have her take a couple classes at those studios you think might be the best fit.

 

Good Luck on your search. Welcome to the Houston area! :flowers:

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backstagemom

Just as an FYI - RAFA's (Clear Lake area) offices are open. They have a musical theater program as well, so there is a show going on right now. A good time to observe and ask questions is the week of August 5th. They have a week long in studio intensive happening.This studio has produced professional ballet dancers, well known choreographers, Rockettes, and Broadway stars. Their primary focus is classical ballet. They have a pre professional tract and a graded tract.

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lifeisgood987

Thanks all! My DD is at a Ballet West summer intensive and will be back in August so I'll take her around then. She just called me and took a wonderful class with ChristiAna, one of the principal Balanchine trained dancers, and DD loved her so and said she definitely wants to continue her Balanchine training. DD's tall with long limbs like ChristiAna and thinks that style looks and feels right for her.

 

Which of these schools teach primarily Balanchine style?

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slhogan

My son is at Ballet West also! They might know each other-- I think we're not supposed to give kids' names on this board, so I'll just say he's the 14 year old boy in Level 3.

 

Allegro West uses RAD. The A.D. is British, so the style is not Balanchine. Some of Allegro West's kids study at Balanchine-style schools over the summer (my son did),and one of my son's friends is now at SAB year-round, but the Balanchine style isn't part of Allegro West's training.

 

Off hand, I don't know what style the other Houston ballet schools use. As far as I know, Houston Ballet Academy is not known as a Balanchine school. When my son was there, it seemed more like a RAD and Vaganova mix.

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backstagemom

RAFA is primarily Vaganova based, but mixes in other styles as well. Students this summer have attended ABT, Boston Ballet, TBT, Joffrey San Antonio, Open World Dance Foundation in Russia (six students are currently in Russia), Gelsey Kirkland, and Bolshoi (those are the ones that I know about). The guest instructor (who will also be dropping in throughout the year) for the studio intensive is a recently retired long time SAB instructor. She freelances teaching & choreographing at professional companies around the world, otherwise, RAFA is the only studio she visits. They just hired a new, primary instructor for the pre pro program. He has a Houston Ballet background, plus. Houston Ballet is a mix as well, but doesn't offer the same level of performing opportunities for students. DD drops into their open adult classes on Saturday. You should also know that Hope Stone has amazing open adult classes which are attended by many of the area's professionals. They are located in the River Oaks / Montrose area. There are a lot of small professional dance companies (many are contemporary / modern) in the Houston area.

Other studios to consider: West U, Margo Marshall, Ballet Center of Houston, and International Ballet of Houston...

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lifeisgood987

RAFA sounds amazing, just wish it were a bit closer. We'll have to see how long it takes for us to drive there. Wouldn't it be great if we had a train system to connect the suburbs of this big city?

 

slhogan - she's one level down from him but I bet they know each other because of their age. She's having a great time. How do we talk offline?

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slhogan

If you have 30 posts, you receive PM (private message) privileges.

 

For now, if you want to contact me offline, you can message me on Facebook: (removed)

 

Also, there's a boy at Ballet West who goes to Fort Bend Academy. I'll tell you his name when you message me. She can perhaps talk to them while she's up there. Or, if she can't stand one of the boys, that might help make a decision :wink:

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momster

must check out Margo Marshall ( City Ballet of Houston is the Company) Margo is 80 now and no longer teaches unfortunately, but is very active in Productions and final polishing. an excellent place for classical ballet. Classes held all summer so come visit. At I-10 and Gessner so very easy to get to from most anywhere.

 

Main teacher is Mary Beth Arrington, excellent.

 

We had 2 girls age 14,16 at Ballet West first session this summer. Lots of performing opportunities which is why we are there.

 

Very small company but we have several tall girls from 5'8" to 5"10".

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