Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Boydancermom

SI Scholarships for Boys

Recommended Posts

Boydancermom

A parent of a boy said in a thread (not sure if it was this one or not) that SI audition season is a big ego booster for boys.....I can see that already. Our son has already had two scholarships offered (tuition only - first one doesn't offer any housing) - including one on the spot. I was a savvy mom (thanks to all of you!) and asked the first "on the spot" folks about room and board - and they said that it was "negotiable" depending on his other offers.

 

Has anyone encountered something like this (negotiating re: room and board) - and if so, how did you handle it?

Share this post


Link to post
GTLS Designs

I think you need to be careful about assuming that all boys get scholarships, and that all schools are willing to negotiate how much they are willing to offer. Yes, boys tend to get more scholarships than girls.... there are also less boys in ballet than girls, so it is also hard to compare the two.

 

Remember that the school offering the SI is also a business. They will need to make money at the end of the summer. The school might be able to afford room & board scholarships once they have covered the cost of their teachers, pianists, rent on the building, and insurance from the tuition income they received. Usually the housing is not attached to the ballet school (many times held at a college campus) the rates of which are determined by whomever owns the housing. So when the school offers a room & board scholarship, they have to take money out of the tuition income, which is the same income that must pay for the teachers, pianists, etc. The scholarship may be free to you - but it costs the school.

 

So be careful about how you approach the schools about scholarships. You don't want to leave a bad taste in their mouth.... meaning you don't want to make them feel like you are getting something for nothing (when they have to cover the cost of your dancer attending). They are offering this scholarship because they believe in your dancer and they want to work with them closer; they are taking the financial hit by doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Thyme

Hi everyone- glad to hear everyone's thoughts on all this. My question is this: is it fair to suggest that programs which focus more on contemporary/ modern dance will be less likely to offer merit scholarships to boys? It seems to me that since they arent teaching pas de deux this would be the case. I also wonder if their resources would stretch that far.

Share this post


Link to post
Boydancermom

So be careful about how you approach the schools about scholarships. You don't want to leave a bad taste in their mouth.... meaning you don't want to make them feel like you are getting something for nothing (when they have to cover the cost of your dancer attending). They are offering this scholarship because they believe in your dancer and they want to work with them closer; they are taking the financial hit by doing so.

Thanks GTLS - I'm very new to all of this. Someone on this board (I think a seasoned person) told me that tuition scholarships are common for boys - so that's what I was basing my comment on. I don't want to be ungrateful - but $$ is tight for us (my husband has a brain injury and is on disability) so just trying to navigate the arena. Gymnastics was far more simple - there were summer camps that everyone went to - and very few options for boys in college. The dance world is far more complicated with many more options - and scholarships (which is very nice!). I'm a researcher by trade and my head is spinning.

 

So - I'm curious - if it's a financial hit - why does a SI offer a scholarship to a boy? Is it a sign that they may want them to go there full-time?

 

If we can swing the room and board this summer, then the next question will be what to do for next year (but that's a whole other topic).

Share this post


Link to post
GTLS Designs

I'm curious - if it's a financial hit - why does a SI offer a scholarship to a boy? Is it a sign that they may want them to go there full-time?

 

I don't think you should read that deeply into it.

 

There is some demand & supply at play when it involves boys. SI's need boys for pad de deux class, or they have a men's ballet teacher so they need boys to fill the class, or they are scouting for year-round students, etc. It is possible that scholarships are also offered because SI's know that other SI's are offering them, so in order to recruit talent, they also offer scholarships. Ultimately we shouldn't speculate on the reasoning for the scholarship, we should be grateful that we get them at all.

 

But as I said earlier, what is free to you is not free to the school. Many schools can be accommodating of financial need, so don't let that be a hindrance to requesting help in that way. I recommend that the tone of your request come from the genuine need of financial aid, not that you hear boys receive scholarships (you know what I mean?).

Share this post


Link to post
abbey

It seems so mixed... I personally know young boys who've had half-tuition scholarships to PNB. I'm expect that older boys have received more. I know a young man who received pretty much *everything* associated with the cost of attending SAB (tuition, room, board, airfare), but he is truly a phenomenal talent. (I can say that 'cause he's not my kid, lol.) Hm, Walnut Hill is another I haven't seen listed yet...

 

I've seen some young men offered scholarships one year and *not* the next to the same school. I've seen young men audition and not get into a school that offered a full scholarship the following year.

 

It's fabulous that some young men have the experience of getting scholarship offer after scholarship offer -- but I'd hate to think that some hard-working young man might get discouraged if he didn't have that experience. As someone else said, physically late-blooming guys may not get some of the offers early on that their friends do. And, like girls, sometimes they audition for schools that aren't necessarily a good fit.

And, you know, sometimes it just seems like voodoo. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
slhogan

Has anyone encountered something like this (negotiating re: room and board) - and if so, how did you handle it?

 

My son has experienced a range of audition results-- Turned down, wait listed, accepted with no scholarship, accepted with 25% tuition, accepted with half tuition, accepted with full tuition, and accepted with full tuition plus full room and board. In receiving acceptances, he's received basic form letters a couple weeks later, he's received phone calls the next day, and he's been offered scholarships immediately after the audition.

 

Two years ago, he did a lot of auditioning and received several generous scholarship offers (he also received a rejection and some acceptances with small or no scholarships, just to put things in perspective). One school offered him tuition plus room and board, and we were learning towards that program because money is tight for our family (I'm an educator, my husband is a carpenter). A week later, he auditioned for another school, and that second school actively pursued him: They offered a scholarship right after the audition and the teacher spoke with me directly, the next day the school's director was on the phone with me to encourage me to accept their offer. The obviously really wanted him for their summer program. The problem was, they were only offering tuition and not room and board like the other school. I told them about the other offer, they said they'd call me back. Sure enough, a couple hours later they called back and said they could do room and board too. He ended up going to that program, and it was a wonderful, life-changing summer for him.

 

If you find a program that shows strong interest in your child, I say negotiate and go for it.

Share this post


Link to post
vrsfanatic

I would hope that a consideration would also be the quality of the teaching. I suggest parents also consider the reputation of a school for training students. Eventually schools tire of parental negotiations and hopefully the end result is a well trained young man who is able to survive in the difficult world of ballet. The students themselves have more to learn than ballet technique. Sometimes young men are mislead regarding their talent level and where they fit in the big picture because all professional schools seek young men.

 

Just an FYI, The HARID Conservatory has just announced a large scholarship program, specifically for young men, named for HARID alumnus (meaning he spent 3 academic years and graduated with a high school diploma from HARID prior to winning Prix De Laussanne, being offered a corps contract with ABT, entering POB school and then dancing for ABT). Please see www.harid.edu for more information on this wonderful opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Boydancermom

SlHogan,

 

Has anyone encountered something like this (negotiating re: room and board) - and if so, how did you handle it?

 

 

If you find a program that shows strong interest in your child, I say negotiate and go for it.

Thanks so much for your sage advice - this is our first year of the SI madness. I don't feel comfortable negotiating for more $$ either - but I see from your post that it's important to let the school know what else has been offered if it's your first choice. I think it's a fine line, though, as the VRS pointed out, not to get schools in a bidding war where the boys talent, skill, etc. is overinflated (I would hope that schools wouldn't do that....)

 

Like you, $$ is tight for us (my husband has a brain injury and is on disability, I had breast cancer this year and couldn't work and we have four teens :wallbash: . In the past, room and board wouldn't have been a big issue (we sent our son to gymnastics camps) but times have changed. Unfortunately, we can't pick the best fit for our son - but the one that makes the most financial sense for us. Hopefully the two things converge.

Share this post


Link to post
Boydancermom

Found out today via email that the school that said that room and board was "negotiable" offered our son tuition plus room and board, so I'm glad that I asked at the audition. No harm in asking.....nothing ventured, nothing gained. I did find it a little odd that they said it depended on what other offers he got. I kind of felt a bit funny about that. I was a realtor in CA and it almost felt like I was in the middle of a house deal.

 

VRS - being new to the ballet world, I'd like to have an honest assessment of our son's abilities before getting too far down the path. I don't want to be misled by schools who are clamoring for another male dancer. What's the best way to figure that out?

Your school's scholarship program sounds like an amazing opportunity for male dancers. What a great way to honor the ABT principle...our son's instructor went to Harid and has nothing but postive things to say of his experience there. I'm sure that you will have many applicants for this program.

Share this post


Link to post
vrsfanatic

First may I say you need to have an honest assessment from your home teacher/director or school. Unfortunately, how many scholarship offers one collects has little to no value as an assessment of talent range. As with the young ladies, there are no guarantees regarding how far a student may go in a career. There are too many variables. One may have a child with immense talent who has little to no drive. One may have a child with few physical attributes, yet an immense amount of musicality, coordination, the ability to demonstrate emotion and drive. The 2nd variable often times adds up to a huge success while the 1st variable often times pitters out and gives up. Who knows why. Maybe it just all becomes too boring or simply, the child does not want such a life.

 

If one cannot trust the assessment of a home studio, it will become evident in very small ways over time. May I suggest parents attend the auditions with their children in a facility that enables peeks in windows. Most locations today are more up to date with viewing spaces or windows in studios. Compare your child honestly to whomever is seemingly the best student in the classroom. When ballet is done well and correctly, it is visible even if a child is without high level training. It just looks better. When they are younger students (meaning 10-15) remember, it is not about how many turns or how high a leg may be in the air. Also look to see who is dancing as if they ARE the music, not just with the music. Musicality can be taught, but one must have a teacher who knows how to teach it.

 

As for scholarships, for young men, there are ample offers out there. Lack of scholarship offers may not indicate lack of desire to have a student. It probably only indicates lack of financial ability to fund the studies of a student, male or female. The larger company schools have large administrations with entire departments whose job it is to raise money for scholarships. The larger non for profit schools all know that without boys in classes, it is difficult to attract a high caliber of female students as they need to have partnering classes at an intermediate to advanced level. For partnering, the boys do not need to have a large degree of talent. They need to be strong to hold up a young lady. The more students in a class, the more talk there is to excite people about a particular school. The more people are talking about how much money they receive in any particular place actually builds the reputation of the school. This has nothing to do with the level of actual teaching that is going on in the school.

 

One cannot even read the bios of dancers in the companies any more to understand where a dancer received their training because marketing departments write the bios. Often, these marketing departments know nothing about ballet and include only the big names on a CV to attract big money to their coiffures. They may say a student trained in the 3 letter big name schools when in actuality they spent a 4 week summer course in the school. Generally speaking, unless a dancer is paying attention, often times their beginning and intermediate training, the formative years, are left out of a bio entirely. After all, there is only so much space on a page.

 

This thread is about scholarship money. It is an important thread. I just wanted to point out that good ballet training is not always about how much money one can receive.

Share this post


Link to post
Boydancermom

VRS,

 

Very sage advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to help guide a newbie mom.

 

I sooooo needed to hear what you said. I have heard that SI auditions for males can be a heady, ego feeding exercise and that's what it has turned out to be. Not to mention that the girls in his studio who have worked hard for years sit in the waiting room while he gets fawned over after the audition. Doesn't seem fair - but it is what it is. I even advised my son not to talk about his acceptances/scholarships as to not cause hard feelings among the girls.

 

At any rate - I guess I'm second guessing the feedback that we have had because we are in a smallish city - not a big place with a company. So I have used the SI's as a barometer - so good to know that's not wise. His ADs have danced in small companies and one is actually a Harid grad so sounds like I should trust their opinion. (sometimes I just think the feedback is too good to be true and only so good because he one of the few boys dancers in our city).

 

We have four kids and limited resources so practically speaking we don't want to pour a lot of time, energy and $$ into something that might be worthwhile. I know that any activity builds character - but ballet does require a big commitment of all of the above - more than any other sports/activity that I have come across. Our son has the passion and drive for ballet - but how do we know that it will be sustained? (although he did stay in gymnastics for 10 years, so I suppose that's a good sign). He's been told that he has natural talent, good technique (so far), good turnout, learns quickly, focus and passion - but that he needs to work on his stage presence and continue to build on his technique. (didn't get any feedback on musicality - something I will ask). In terms of your suggestion to look at him compared to other dancers (I have some experience with this having been a gymnastics judge in a former life) - it's a bit difficult since he is a boy and he only dances with other girls. (my main criteria for an SI is to get him around other boys and excellent male instructors).

 

In hindsight, I think that our son (and my husband and I) have been sucked into the ego feeding SI acceptance/scholarship trap - and the three letter cache. Thanks for pointing out that trap! (I'm sure it's common among newbies....). From what I've heard SAB only has 3 hours of classes and tons of dancers, ABT is a bit better for boys - but no housing or dancer comradery that develops in a dorm (that would really benefit our son).

 

I'm thnking that a much better way to select an SI is to actually go to the SI school, meet the instructors, have him take a lesson or two (to get a feel of the school) and then make a decision. Is that something that is even possible? Our top picks (if he gets in with similar financial aid) are NGB, Harid and CPYB (and possibly Orlando as they offered him a very attractive package). Does anyone know if site visits are possible before acceptance?

Share this post


Link to post
vrsfanatic

HARID is always open to site visits as well as auditions in a class.I cannot speak for the other schools.

Share this post


Link to post
momtoemandel

So, do most boys still find out about acceptance over the normal timeframe? I've seen two or three posts about boys finding out immediately after an audition. My DS recently auditioned for Houston, and if I remember correctly that program was mentioned in one of those posts.

Share this post


Link to post
mln

Over the last few years, ds has received many of his acceptances (some with scholarships) at the same time that all students do. In other instances (in last two years) adjudicators let him know at the audition that he was in but that details would be in the e-mail or letter. We also got a heads-up e-mail this year, letting ds know he is in a program but that scholarship amount would follow via snail mail. Although being approached at the audition is a good thing, it's not the only kind of acceptance.

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.

×