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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Which ballet summer program to attend


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Dear Ms. Leigh,


I was recently given a generous merit scholarship to attend a 4 week program. I have attended this program two times before. I enjoy attending this program even if it is not as well known as some of the other summer intensives I have been accepted to this summer. The teachers are good; and I truly respect the Director of this program. So far I have also been accepted to ABT, Kirov, Joffrey NYC trainee,PNB and several others. I attended Kirov and Joffrey NYC Trainee program last summer.


I wanted to know if there is any advantage on a resume to attending a smaller program on a merit scholarship VS. attending some of the other well known Company schools as a full paying student.


When a student receives a merit scholarship for a summer program and subsequently attends the program (even if it is not as well known as some of the company schools) does that carry any more weight on a decision for a perspective candidate? Why do some programs have you list on the application the previous summer programs attended and any scholarships? How do they use this information in making assessments? At what age does it become necessary to train at the company school to become a professional dancer?


My parents think I should accept the scholarship offer because I will probably recieve attention at this program than at some of the Big company schools at my age of 13. I think I have narrowed it down to PNB and the program which offered me the merit scholarship. I do not wish to disclose the program which offered me the scholarship out of respect for the director for the program. I do not know if they would want this info disclosed. Any advice to help me in this decision would be greatly appreciated.


P.S. Even though I got my first choice from ABT I was a student who should have waited before sending an early deposi to ABT. I never imagined that I would be offered a generous merit scholarship to a program this year. My parents agree with you on your position on ABT's early deposit requirement. Next year we will wait until all the letters are sent out!


[ February 15, 2002: Message edited by: Allegrodancer ]

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Allegrodancer, first, congratulations on being accepted to so many good programs, and on receiving a scholarship to one of them!


Now, as to your questions, I was going to address them in order but I must first ask about the deposit to ABT. If that is done, and I beleive that it is a considerable amount of money (half of the tuition for the whole program, right?), then are your parents willing to let that go, or will ABT refund it if you do not attend? If it is not refundable, then I would think that the decision has been made unless you take the program with the scholarship and consider the deposit to ABT as actually paying for that scholarship.


As to the advantages of the scholarship on your résume, I don't think that will make a major difference later on, since you are only 13 now. The more important question is the quality of the program. If you accept that one because, as your parents feel, you will get the best work and attention there, that would be a more valid reason. The big name programs are not necessarily better, although it is very hard to know about any of them until you have been there.


Why some schools have you list your previous summer experiences is probably just to see if you have any previous experience. I doubt that it carries much, if any, weight in their decision.


Attending a company school can be an advantage, especially with the companies that do like to move their students into apprentice and then possible company positions. It is not "necessary" to go this route in order to get into a company, but it is one way to go. If you choose to do this, then I would start with that program no later than by the age of 16, for the summer program, and then plan to attend the school full time for a year or two after high school.


Did I get to everything? wink.gif

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Dear Ms. Leigh,


Thank you so very much for your input. I belive you have answered my question. Next year I may forego the ABT audition if the policy remains the same. I did not think I would have this many options to chose from this summer. I feel very fortunate. My parents have been very supportive. They are willing to allow me to go where I will receive the best attention and training.

Once again thank you for your opinion



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