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ABT Jackie Onassis School

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AB'sMom

Graduates from the 2015-2016 school year are listed under Alumni under the Education & Training tab. Maybe they just haven't gotten around to adding 2016-2017 yet. 

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dluna

I am a parent of JKO students. They don't usually post where the new graduates are dancing until later in the Fall. Some of them don't know for sure where they will be until the fall season begins. 

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learningdance

AB's Mom. ..16-17 was LAST year?  It seems odd that they haven't gotten around to listing last fall's graduating class.

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AB'sMom

I'm confused. I assume 2016-2017 means they graduated in June 2017, which was a couple of months ago. 

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dluna

They don't post where the graduates are until later in the fall. 

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AB'sMom
2 hours ago, dluna said:

They don't post where the graduates are until later in the fall. 

I was replying to learningdance. I assume they graduate in June. I should have said, "only a couple of months ago," because I didn't know what she meant by graduates from last fall. 

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DanceMumNYC

Thanks for the clarity, dluna! I'll keep checking the website for updates!

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DanceMumNYC

Just some updates regarding ABT’s JKO school:

Over the past few years, JKO has grown tremendously. Each year, they’ve been adding more & more primary sections. Now there are about 3 sections per primary level (pre-primary, primary levels A-C). These classes are for children ages 7 and under, and I truly believe they are trying to finance the school.

The children’s division no longer has levels 1-4, now it’s only levels 1-3. These levels only have 2 sections each, so I wondered how they can go from 3 sections in Primary C (age 7) to 2 sections in Level 1 (ages 8-10). I figured the class sizes in levels 1-3 must have gotten bigger, especially since they held 2 auditions for new students to come into levels 1 and up. The only other explanations would be if students leave or are asked to leave (however, I don’t believe they would start asking dancers to leave so young (age 8), but who knows?). 

Level 4 became part of the pre-professional division. Last year, it was level 4/5 (combined), and then level 6 and level 7. This year, the pre-professional division was changed again. It is now either “lower” or “upper” division.

Back to the children’s division, there were also some changes in regards to class time. Primary C (age 7) now has ballet 2 days/week (instead of just 1 day). Level 3 also got an extra day for technique and a workshop class.

There were HUGE tuition increases this year, even among the levels that didn’t add technique classes. Since last year, there was a $50 increase for Pre-primary to Primary B (no change), $1400 increase for Primary C, $700 increase for levels 1 and 2 (no change), and $1280 increase for level 3. :wacko:

I’m not 100% sure if the pre-professional division’s tuition increased as well.  

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DanceMumNYC

Regarding the above post,

JKO is now more expensive than SAB, but slightly “cheaper” than BAE. I reviewed all 28 pages of this thread over the last few days and I’m beginning to question if this is all worth it. DD used to train in a pre-professional program at another good school in NYC that offers additional genres of dance. Since she wanted ballet, we chose to leave that program for a ballet-only school. I understand ballet is slow and steady, but since switching from the pre-professional ballet program to the 3-letter school, she has lost some skills (for example, flexibility!). She says the training was the same when she first switched, but now that she’s progressed to a higher level, she says her current training is harder than the school she came from. Yet, I’m sure she would’ve gotten “harder” training as she progressed through previous school as well.

She got permission to take summer classes at another ballet school since she was too young for her school’s SI. She improved in some areas, but since coming back to her school in the Fall, she lost those skills in the past month or so. I am seriously worried that she seems to gain skills outside of this school, but lose them during the year-round program at this school.

From previous posts, it also shows that the children’s division isn’t at all a feeder school for the pre-professional division, and the pre-professional division doesn’t feed the company. At the last summer audition, none of the level 1 kids got accepted into the young dancers workshop. I know they just made the age cutoff, but other 8-9 year olds from around NYC and the country got in. I really want to explore our options while DD is still young, but I am scared to take her out of this top tier school because she may lose her spot for good.

Does anyone have experience leaving a 3-letter school? Do you think your family made the right decision, or do you regret it?

What are the chances of getting back into a top school as a teen if you left it as a younger child? Are you automatically rejected? 

Sorry these posts are so long. I want to be as precise as possible. Any insight is helpful. Thanks! 

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dluna

I understand your concerns.  My understanding is that as of this year all students who must audition, level 1 and up, are re-evaluated each year and may not be asked back.  This is stated on the Children's Division Bulletin Board.  I agree that the Children's Division is not really a feeder for the pre-pro school, however some will be accepted into the pre-pro levels.  In our case one of our children had this happen.  My impression is that JKO is making the pre-pro levels more selective now.  We left a 3-letter school years ago with different older children, and I thought we made a mostly good decision.  It is really a very individual matter.  JKO students may take other forms of dance elsewhere, however it may be hard to schedule.

 

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balletmomx2

Thanks for these updates!  We are looking at auditioning for JKO for my 13-year-old DD.  What ages are the students in the pre-pro levels?  Do you know how many students are in each level?

Thanks!

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dluna

As of this year the pre-pro levels went from 3 to 2. Our ds is in the lower level called upper 1. Students in his class are ages12-15 at the beginning of the school year.  Upper 2 are from 15-17. They are no longer using the numbered levels from the past, and we don’t know if they will be doing the exams they used to do when they had the numbered levels 5-7 for this division. Our ds was in level 4/5 last year, and half of that level was cut at the end of last year. The schedule is the former level 6. I don’t think tuition was increased. We also have a dd in the children’s division, and the tuition definitely went up a lot for her level this year. We have explained to both of them that they are only accepted for a year at a time and may have to go to a different school next year. 

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DanceMumNYC

Dluna, thank you for a prompt response. It is always good to prepare DKs to potentially change schools. I agree that Ms. Harvey is being more selective admitting students into the program. Although it’s tough, she seems wonderful so far! 

In the case with your older children, did they leave a 3-letter school to dance at another big-name school? How did that work out? Did you find the training to be better? Are they professional dancers now? 

When you say half of Level 4/5 was cut at the end of last year, can you give an estimate in numbers? How many students are in the upper 1 class now? Did they replace the kids who were cut with kids from the SI? 

Balletmomx2, best of luck at the audition! My only suggestion is to register for the spring audition. I’m not sure how different the audition process is for the pre-professional division, but I believe last year fewer students were invited into the children’s division from the summer audition than from the spring audition. Space availability became a factor and they had to turn down a handful of good kids. 

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DanceMumNYC

Also, dluna, when your ds moved from children’s division to pre-pro division, around how many students came along with him? How did this compare to the number of those invited from outside schools, SI’s and such? 

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dluna

Most of his class moved up from the old level 4 of the children’s division to 4/5 last year, but for this year half of the boys and half of the girls were cut. Three boys who were older moved up two levels to upper  2, but I don’t know if any girls were advanced two levels. They seem to be very careful about moving up appropriately. For example my dd and her friend are very similar in their abilities except that my dd needs to work more on turnout. Her friend was moved up two levels this year and my ds only one, but I think this was right because turnout is very important in the level her friend is in. Half of the boys and half of the girls in my ds level are new to the school.

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