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Ballet Schools in Virginia - Northern

dancer's driver

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Hi everyone, I have been reading Ballet Talk for many months now and I have learned so much... thank you all.


Now I really need some help. It looks as if my family will be relocating to the Northen Virginia area (outside DC) by the next school year and I would like some advice about schools in that area. My daughter is only in 1st grade now, but is in a excellent school here in Pittsburgh. She attends Pittsburgh Youth Ballet which is the perfect place for her. She is a very serious and focused kid...personality traits which keep popping up when I read about other's kids here on this board :blushing: She is in the first year of what they call intermediate level 1, that is the first level above the beginner levels, for kids who are interested in going into the more serious track. As a 1st grader she goes 45min 2/week.


I am trying to find something similar. Ms Leigh, I don't think I'm ready to deal with the big commute into the city for a second grader w/ preschooler in tow...maybe a few years from now :sweating: Any other suggestions??

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Arlington Center for Dance, in Arlington. But I think she should get to WSB within a couple of years, if possible. Northern VA is a fairly big area, so I'm not sure if Arlington will work for you, but I really don't know any other good schools except in Herndon. So, let me know where you end up. Try to get as close to DC as possible! :blushing:

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Ms Leigh,


Wow, talk about fast... thank you for your quick reply. You mentioned Herndon, actually my husband will probably be working in Reston, which I believe is one town over :blushing: Which school is there?


Are you familar with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet? Jean Gedeon is the Artistic Director and is a wonderful woman, Melissa Allen (ABT) teaches the older intermediate kids and Tamar Rachelle (PBT) teaches the Pre-Pro and Early Dismissal kids. I know that Richard Bowman and Nikolas Petrov also teach here. Many of their students are dancing professionally (Faye Arthurs and about 4 others that I know of art at NYCB right now). I feel so lucky that we found a "real" ballet school from the beginning unlike some of the horror stories I've read abouth here.


At Washington Ballet, would a second grader need to audition, or would they go into a pre ballet /open enrollment program?

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Guest natthecat

Hello Driver of Dancer. Arlington Center for Dance is a wonderful school and pretty convenient by way of route 66 from the reston area--if that is where you end up living. My daughter who is 16 has danced there since she was 4. She loves it. It is much smaller than Washington Ballet (which is an awesome school as well), but has excellent training and produces some very accomplished dancers. There are performance opportunities through its Dance Center Company as well. The artistic director Nancie Woods is amazing as are the rest of the instructors. If you end up living anywhere in the Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, McLean or North Fairfax area you should check it out as well as Washington. Reston is about 30 minutes from Arlington, but when there is traffic it is more like 45 minutes. Have made it quicker but that is on special no traffic days. DC probably would take another 15/20 minutes-depends on how you go. B)

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A second grader would need to audition for placement, especially since she has had previous training. Our Level 1 classes are usually 8 year olds, with 6 and 7 being pre-ballet, however, if she is ready for Level 1 then she would be placed there I think. There are several sections of Level 1, with some being first year and some second year. The auditions for incoming new children are usually held during August.


The school in Herndon has done some very nice training. I can't think of the name at the moment, but I can get it for you. I know the teacher's name, but not the name of the school. The teacher is Cynthia Rudolpher. We have had a lot of summer students from her school, and also some older students who come into the Release Time program.

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Natthecat, is Kathy Fredgren no longer the director of Arlington Center?

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Uh oh! Those two names are definitely going to get confusing! I didn't realize it either, at first, except that I did not think your dancer was a first grader, driver of a dancer! :blink::P


Also, I forgot to welcome dancer's driver! :blushing: Sorry about that, and welcome to the Ballet Moms and Dads forum here on Ballet Alert! Online B)

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NO but funny thing this AM DD made a comment to husband and I .....I am not in second grade anymore!!!!!

Saw she was running a bit late and we asked if there was anything we could do to help her......We forgot ....not to ever ask a high schooler what we could do to help. She said it reminded her of when she was in second grade. Oh to have an independent young women.

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OOOPS, I didn't realize my user name is some close to your's, Driver of a Dancer.

When picking my name, the first thing that came to mind is "now I have to drive to dance 2/week :P I'm not complaining, the driving is just beginning. There isn't a way to change my username is there?


Question about commuting into DC if possible for Washington Ballet or anywhere else (Arlington) for that matter. This area has "real" traffic, unlike Pittsburgh. Do the elementary schools in Fairfax County get out early enough to make a commute to class do-able. I remember being picked up early from school and trying to put on tights and figure skates in the back of a car B)

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When we lived in Fairfax, the elementary schools got out at 3:30, with Jr Hi and High schools getting out earlier (buses run more than one route). The commute time depends on number of things, including time of day.

When I first moved to No Va I was looking for adult classes not too far from my home. I visisted many schools in Fairfax, Arlington, Manassass and Alexandria. I liked the morning classes at Arlington ctr for Dance, but the commute (going with traffic towards DC) got to be a minus for me. I ended up at Russell School of Ballet in Chantilly (near Dulles). I know there were people from Reston in my classes. They have a nice pre-professional program, and a small company - the Fairfax Ballet. You may want to visit and observe at several studios until you find one you think will be a good fit for your child.

Good luck on your move.

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Welcome "dancer's driver" B) Yes when I was choosing my "name" I thought it was perfect. Maybe we are related???LOL

Gosh when I think back to 1st 2nd grade....I tear up.

Time is passing WAY TOO FAST for my husband and I with the dancer.

Enjoy every moment. I know I have.

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Guest natthecat

Oops-sorry about addressing to the word screen name. They are so similar :)


Anyway-in answer to your question Victoria, Kathy Fredgren retired in 2001 (I think that is about right) and Nancie Woods took over for her. The center gave her a wonderful going away party after so many years at ACD. She still comes to performances and is missed very much but she left behind a very good school with strong programs. :party:

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