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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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ABT Ballet School in Costa Mesa, CA

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AB'sMom

My daughter attended and was placed exactly where I expected. A friend of hers (from regular life, she attends a different studio) did a free class and was so excited by it that she is doing a placement class this Sunday. We decided to enroll our daughter. Her current studio has some really great teachers, but I don't like the way the studio is structured (60 minute classes, rehearsals taking place during class time beginning in January, etc.). My daughter just turned 10, so if ABT turns out to be a good fit, and we can continue to swing the tuition, hopefully the school will grow as she does. I know someone else who is enrolling her son because there will be a boys class, which he doesn't get at his current studio. I feel like we are taking a bit of a leap of faith!

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nettiez

That's great to hear! We attended as well, my daughter just turned 9 and we are moving forward with ABT as well, tuition is steep but I believe well worth it. Her love is ballet and I am hoping she will be able to continue taking the other styles of dance at her old studio, tap, jazz, lyrical. I'm assuming the old SO will not see an issue with this. :o

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hersupport

Does anyone have a current review and have they added more levels?

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AB'sMom

The word is that they intend to add level 5 this fall, but nothing official has come out about the fall schedule or registration yet. I have to say that my daughter loves the school. She is 10 and in Level 2. There are 15 students in her class: 11 girls and 4 boys. The children all seem to get along really well and the teachers have been great. I am a big fan of their teaching philosophy. There is a strong focus on technique rather than a faster, higher, farther approach, if that makes sense.

 

Do you have any specific questions you'd like answered?

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AB'sMom

I asked about more levels yesterday. While it hasn't yet been officially announced, they are adding Level 5 this fall. Current students will receive their placements for next year in May and will then have three weeks to register. Placement classes and registration for new students will begin after that, go I'm guessing late June.

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AB'sMom

If you have any questions you'd like to ask in the Costa Mesa forum, I will try to answer them there. My daughter will be in Level 3 beginning next week.

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Tatis

Hi everybody.

My daughter attended Abt jko after doing SI in New York. She was on waitlist cause of the avaibilities ( sorry if my english is not perfection I m french...) and after a few mail she was accepted at ABT Gillepsie. I was on the topic ABT JKO but now I would like to start my expérience. My DD was in a renowned ballet school dance in France but she has always been interested by ABT and US because since she is a little girl we traveled à lot. So she décidéd de to try an audition there .More over my husband has a business in Venice.She is 13 and was in level 4a and then put in 4b. She is the youngest one.She thinks that the Way to work compared to France is very différent. At ABT the work is much faster. Girls know à lot. In France it' s lower because before anything else you have to get the placement and then much later by the age of 16 you can learn about how to do things.but she loves the ABT 'S method because it s more intéresting fois her. She has à lot to learn and it's not répétitive. She is never bored.. She is very happy. The teachers are very good and they really give you correction. Girls are Nice too. In her group they are 7 girls and 3 boys. Very good to work.the Director Artistic is firme but Nice. She is a very very good teacher too and some times she watches the class. I think Abt costa mesa is about to grow.it s a real branch of JKO because if i had had some problèms for our visa i could have asked them to give me the fodm visa for foreign student. The Secretary told me that because Tais was the 1st international in ABT s Costa Mesa, they don't have the form. But she told me " it s not a problem i would have asked to Abt JKO to sent me the form". ..moreover she told me they might add the level 6 .it will dépend on the number of student very intéressant in level 5. And if they don't add the level 6, they' ll sent this student to JKO.

DD has improved a lot in only 2 weeks..

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AB'sMom

I am glad your daughter is having a great experience. Last week Mrs. Haubert invited the Level 3 kids in to watch the end of the partnering class. My daughter told me there was a new student who was French and a beautiful dancer. I am hopeful that the school continues to grow because we have also found it to be a nurturing place with a great curriculum.

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RaisingBallerina

Have any of your DKs at the ABT Gillespie school attended a "Sunday Intensive"? I keep getting emails about these, I think there has only been one so far with 4 more scheduled. DD14 does not go to Gillespie but we are on the mailing list from past SI attendance. We don't live close enough for every day but could manage one Sunday a month if it was compelling. You have to sign up for a minimum of three or I would just sign her up for the next one and check it out!

 

The "intensives" sound interesting, but Sunday is DD's only day off ballet, and Saturday is a long one with 2.5 hour class plus 3+ hours rehearsal (many of your DKs probably have a similar schedule). So I was just wondering what teachers they are bringing in, what is the "conditioning" like, what was class size and did they get partnering class, etc?

 

Thanks:)

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AB'sMom

My daughter went to the last one. I guess each month is different, with different teachers each time. In January they had technique, pointe, conditioning and modern. The younger dancers did less pointe and had stagecraft or something or part of the time instead. I don't know if they are doing partnering in February. I think I heard Leslie Carothers is one of the teachers for this one. The conditioning teacher is Alicia Head. Even for those of us with kids at the school, the Sunday Intensives still seem shrouded in mystery.

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Sonatina

Do they allow parents into the studio? Are prospective students only allowed in on audition days? How old do you need to be to enroll in the Sunday Intensives?

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AB'sMom

Parents are not allowed in the studios. They are invited to observe class once each semester. I'm not sure if prospective students are allowed to view classes or if they just attend auditions first. I would call or email and ask. There will also most likely be summer classes this year. Last year they were open to non-ABT students after doing a placement class. However these obviously take place after auditions so there may not be open space in the correct level for the student in the fall if they decide they want to enroll. For the Sunday Intensives, students are supposed to be 12. They have made exceptions for ABT Gillespie kids who are not quite 12 yet. Keep in mind that many of the instructors for the Sunday Intensives are guest instructors and not the usual teachers.

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herekittykitty

Does anyone have more recent information on the Sunday intensives? They used to 12 and up, but now say ages 10-20 on the registration form. DD is 11.5 and not on pointe yet. I don’t mind signing her up for just one to try (they recommend at least two but it’s not required, so figure we’ll start with one!) but would love to hear any information anyone has. Thank you!

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AB'sMom

My daughter said that last year they divided them into two groups, so there was a more advanced and less advanced group. My daughter was in the early stages of pointe work at the time. I’m sure they are prepared for girls not being en pointe yet this year because most girls at the school don’t start pointe until around 12. 

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herekittykitty

Update that DD attended the Sunday Intensive yesterday and very much enjoyed it. The students were divided into two groups by age, and had technique, pointe (girls not on pointe did the same exercises, just in slippers), yoga, and repertory. DD's group (younger) had 27 students which does seem rather large, and she said she didn't get a lot of corrections. She had a blast though (even though she apparently didn't talk to anyone because she didn't know anyone there! It's hard to be 11!), so we signed her up for the March one as well.

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