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Ballet Schools in Massachusetts


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Hi, I have read a lot of useful information on your board, especially from Ms. Leigh, about what to look for in a ballet school. Do you have any information on some ballet schools in the Boston area? Most of the schools my daughter (age 10) has looked at only require classes 1-3x/week. I read that three technique classes should be the minimum. Also, there tends to be a big difference in class placements. One school would have her begin intermediate classes and start pointe as early as next fall, while another school would have her in beginner class and require at least 2 1/2 more years before pointe. How can I know which school is correct in her placement? Thanks.

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Hello Georgia! Welcome to the Moms and Dads forum on Ballet Alert! Online :)


Tough question to answer without knowing where she is currently and how much training she has had. My guess would be the school that wants to start her lower and wait for pointe, IF they have already auditioned her. If they gave you this on the phone that might be incorrect for her. I would doubt that she is Intermediate and ready for pointe unless she has already been in a wonderful school for quite a while and has a totally exceptional facility. Have you been to Boston Ballet?

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Ms. Leigh, My daughter has one year of training 2x/week. The recommendations given were both from auditions. Boston Ballet was the one recommending beginner level. She would be in the intensive level which attends class 3x/wk. She would probably start pointe when she is 13. As you can imagine, many of her friends are starting pointe now at the local smaller studios with only 2 classes/week. She is concerned she will be so far behind her age group, but she understands the need for good training. The other school recommending the intermediate level has a good reputation also, but only require 1, 2 or 3 classes/week. Do you think she will be far behind her peers if she waits until 13 for pointe? If so, should she take additional classes to catch up? Thanks again.

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No, she will not be far behind, as her peers will not be getting the same quality of training. Stay with the Boston Ballet. It could happen sooner, but if it doesn't, that is not a problem. I have had many students who waited until 13, and some of them have danced professionally. I would much rather go with the more qualified and careful program.

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Guest bbfan

As I recall, one of the reasons for delaying putting young girls on pointe is that younger girls may not have strong enough feet, and especially bones, to avoid long term injury. Girls want to be on pointe because that is their image of a ballerina, but having them wait for strong feet is important. There are so many opportunties for dancers to become injured that I'd recommend training that tries to get students in the best condition to avoid injuries when possible.


PS The majority of students in Boston Ballet School are not at the intensive level, that is offered to the students who the staff think have potential for a professional career. So your daughter should feel good about that.... I'm not sure if this is a completely apt analogy, but it might be thought of as the difference between being a junior in high school and a freshman in college. "Freshman" (beginner) may not sound as good as "junior" but the level of education (training) is (or should be) more challenging.


In any case, whatever you decide, good luck!

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You may want to refer to the thread entitled "Boston Year-Round Program," where Boston area schools are discussed at some length.


(Unfortunately, I do not know how to put in a direct link to this thread, maybe someone can create one for me??)

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Boston Year-Round Program


FYI, find the thread you're after using the "search" funtion; copy the web site from your browser's window; hit the http:// button (on the upper part of the reply window on Ballet Talk) and you can either give the hyper link you're about to create an name or skp that option and the next option will give yo a chance to paste in the web address (you must either get rid of the existing http:// in that little window or not copy that part of the web address...in other words, you can not have two http:// 's in the address. Try it - you can always edit your post a few times, until you get the nack of it! :)

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As you consider schools, you may also want to consider some of the social aspects of her placement.


For example, if she is being placed in 1i at Boston Ballet, a good portion of her classmates will be eight years old and in the third grade.


If she is completed focused on becoming a professional dancer, things like this may not matter to her at all. If she has an interest in good training but considers it to be an activity she does for fun and enjoyment, she may prefer a class with a wider variety of ages and abilities.


There are aspects of participating in a serious, pre-professional ballet program which can cause a lot of heartache. You should take this into consideration as you decide where to place her.

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  • 3 years later...

Can anyone tell me anything about Ballet Arts of Worcester, Massachusetts? Jennifer Agbay is the director. It's a fairly new school without a website up yet. I would like to know if it's a good school.


Any feedback would be much appreciated!

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Without a website, or any other information on this school, I'm afraid we can't be much help. :)

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With a little Internet sleuthing, I learned that Jennifer Agbay is a dance graduate of NYU. She has been active in dance and choreography projects for students in the Worcester area.


According to local news in Worcester, she was director of the Performing Arts School of Worcester, prior to its closure:


Jennifer Agbay has been involved with the Performing Arts School of Worcester since she was six years old. She’s run the classical dance program for the past two years, attracting a devoted coterie of students. Now, the school’s closing.


If there’s a silver lining in the closure of PASOW, which ended classes last week, it’s that the lessons will continue for Agbay’s students. She is founding a new program, Ballet Arts Worcester, which will be temporarily housed in the old PASOW building. “We’ll be retaining all the staff as well,” she says. “It means there will still be a place for classical dance instruction in the Worcester area.”

The web site for the Performing Arts School is still up, and it looks as if that school provided a good schedule of classes for students in the Worcester area (ie, up to five ballet classes a week).


If it's within a possible commute, you may also want to look into the Acton School of Ballet

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Thank you for your reply! It's funny you should mention Acton School of Ballet, as it's where I currently am taking classes. But unfortunately, they only offer 1 1/2 hours a week of technique class.

Ballet Arts sounds promising, though. Thank you for helping!

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The schedule posted for the Acton School of Ballet shows a far greater number of available classes, so I'm sorry to hear that you are only able to take one a week.


I'm not sure where you live, but perhaps you can consider MetroWest Ballet in Marlborough or The Ballet Space in the Saxonville area of Framingham. If you do a search, you should find what has been posted about these schools.

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  • 1 year later...

Just posting to see if anyone can recommend a good ballet school/ballet classes near Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley? (or thereabout the general area?)


Thank you!


Sorry, did a dumb thing and forgot to do a search first before posting -- came across a 5-college website that includes Mt Holyoke, along with Smith and a few other schools that offer ballet & other classes (in case anyone is interested): http://www.fivecolleges.edu/sites/dance/index.php

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Just posting to see if anyone can recommend a good ballet school/ballet classes near Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley? (or thereabout the general area?)



The School of Ballet at East Street Dance Center is a newer school in the area. It's current Director is Irina Vakhromeeva, a graduate of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. Cheryl Madeux also is a regular teacher there. I have seen an annoucement of their three-week summer intensive in August. Teachers include Galina Panova from the Kirov Ballet, Robert Underwood from ABT, Lazaro Carreno from Ballet Nacional de Cuba and Houston and others. Seems like a good place to try.

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