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LJens

How to pay for training?

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LJens

My son got in to a few summer intensives and we could not afford them. He even got in to ABT. He wants a professional career. I am worried about the future and how to pay for these classes to help him reach his goal. He is at an excellent school right now that has a very strong boys program. Some of the boys have been going off to professional programs after graduation. I feel so bad about not being able to afford this stuff, but there must be a way. Any suggestions?

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5uptown

How old is your son? I think the advice will depend a lot on where he is at in his training. 

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Ballet dragon

Ballet training is expensive, even for boys.  I am aware of several very reputable training programs that offer generous scholarships to boys.  You can find them here at BT4D.  I am aware of a few of them: Harid, Ballet Arizona, CPYB.  Others may offer financial aid, while some provide work study opportunities that offset tuition costs.  You should feel comfortable respectfully asking if there are mechanisms to reduce the tuition for either summer intensives or year-around programs.  

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nynydancer

I totally agree with Ballet Dragon.  With a boy, you can definitely find some training options on scholarships.  CPYB has a deadline coming up in June for what looks like a very generous scholarship program.  I have boy and a girl, and it's so much easier for my boy to get on scholarship vs my girl-- and the girl is arguably "better".  Don't beat yourself about not being able to afford everything-- it's a struggle for many of us.  You should always ask the school of your choice for help.  At a top ballet summer program for men last year, I met a few older boys (like 18, 19 years) with holes in their tights and really doing things on the cheap.  One was even couch surfing.  But they did it.

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5uptown

If he is an older teen and has received no scholarship offers at all, I think you need to ask his teachers (or an outside trusted person) if there is a reason for this. Did he not audition widely enough? Is he behind in his training? Did you not apply to any schools that offer need-based aid (or did you not fill out those forms)? From what I've learned already with my own son (who is relatively young), and also by talking to other parents, and reading on this board-- acceptances and scholarship offers can be a bit hit or miss, so its important to cast a wider net if financial assistance is necessary for your family. While its absolutely a myth that all boys are getting scholarships everywhere, it seems many schools do have money allocated to recruit male dancers, and so you need to find the right fit and the school that can offer that to your son. 

What do I do? Since our family cannot afford the full price of residential summer training right now, I look at schools that have need-based financial aid, or have a track record of giving good scholarships to boys. My son auditions for more programs than seems necessary to me at his age. And he has had to turn down some very sought-after programs because we can't afford them (we do that politely and in as timely a manner as possible). He has stayed local and lived at home while training for some years. But, my son has also been very fortunate and will soon embark on his fourth summer of absolutely wonderful training opportunities which we can afford due to the generosity of the schools. As he gets older, we may eventually decide that it is "worth it" for one of us parents to take on a second or seasonal job to pay for a summer intensive if he doesn't get the kind of scholarships that one hears about. 


Also, remember that going to a "three-letter" school isn't the only way to get great summer training, and everything I have heard indicates to me that bigger scholarships to those programs are more likely as the boys get older. If your home studio has a good track record of placing older teen boys, then perhaps you have a good resource there with your local studio and they can help you understand what to expect, and when. And he may not need to go away for summer training right now. 

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