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Ballet Schools in ME or NH


Guest rtwood

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Guest rtwood

I am a parent of a dancer. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Last year at age 8 she auditioned for Walnut Hill and Boston Ballet for SI. She was accepted at Boston Ballet but Walnut Hill felt that she was a little too young for their program. She went to Boston Ballet and absolutely loved it. She just turned 10 and is going to Boston Ballet again this summer and has been bumped up a level. My problem is that we have to look into a move from Massachusetts to Maine or New Hampshire because I also have two boys who are regionally and nationally ranked ski racers and we will base our move on where we can find the best preprofessional ballet school for our daughter that is also close to a good ski race training mountain. I need help in knowing where to look for schools in those two states, and how to know the quality of those schools.

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Well first rtwood, this looks as though it's your first time posting here so welcome aboard Ballet Talk for Dancers! :shhh:

 

I'm sure you'll get some more replies but I'll name the only two programs that I know of...and I have no personal knowledge of them, however if you use the Search function you'll find a number of old threads (topics) with both of these programs discussed. The first is St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, but I believe it's a prep school for older students...Rebecca Wright used to head up their dance program but she is taking the helm as Director at The Washington School of Ballet in August... The other program is Bossov Ballet Theatre in Pittsfield, ME.

 

Try the search function and see what you can find while you're waiting for other replies.

 

That's some busy family you've got there... I'm sure you've consulted Boston Ballet about what programs they might suggest...

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New Hampshire isn't exactly the ballet capital of the world. :P I attended many schools in Southern New Hampshire (Nashua area) and some on the Seacoast (Portsmouth/Durham) area. I could give you the names of good teachers, though none run a true pre-pro program on par with Bossov, Boston Ballet, etc.

 

I grew up in Nashua, NH. The commute to Boston is only about 45 minutes (though route 3 is really horrid--they're working on it and there's a commuter train staed to be done in the next few years I think. Nashua is a really nice town but it's getting $$ every year it seems. All the new housing I've seen is in the 300+ range.

 

You're not too far from mountains (I have no clue about this...I was never allowed to ski b/c of the ballet), but I remember friends of mine who were on ski teams so there must have been something nearby..not sure if it would be suitable for someone on a National Level.

 

I attended this school in Chelmsford, MA a few years back (actually,more than a few years back :shhh: ), and it was absolutely top-notch. Judith Koeckhoven is the director. Teachers from Walnut Hill are also on faculty there. I remember every single of of Judy's older students had high extensions, could do very difficult pointe work. Just in the one year I studied there, One (17 year old) got an apprentice offer from NYCB after attending thier SI at SAB, another attended SAB's SI on full scholarship etc...Laura Young from Boston Ballet set a new piece she choreographed on the girls (which I was asked to understudy) and so on. I believe this teacher could bring a student the full course of training to an employable level. Again, this was many years back...

 

Academy of Ballet Arts

 

Other than that, all the girls I knew who were serious about becoming professional went off to study in Boston at BB, Jose Mateo, and Walnut Hill by the time they were about 14.

 

Schools that are decent (but not pre-pro)

Lee, NH (UNH area)

Robertson School of Classical ballet

The directors Larry and Colleen Robertson are former professional dancers. Larry was with Houston Ballet and Boston Ballet and now is director of dance at UNH, where he is a full professor. They are nice people and good ballet teachers with a small, student ballet company Seacoast Ballet. I studied with Larry for 4 years at UNH.

 

Ballet New England

Ballet New England in Portsmouth is good. I used to take adult open classes there from James Franklin. The Advanced Girls has class right beforehand and there were a few that had real potential and training. I was there during a switch in Artistic Directors (again, years ago), but the current faculty looks good too.

 

There are a couple others, if Southern NH/Seacoast is of any interest to you.

 

I have no clue about Maine or Northern New Hampshire.

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As BW said, Maine has Bossov. I don't think Maine has any other pre-professional schooll. Years ago, here in CT, my family was host for over a year to a teenage girl who moved to CT from Maine in order to train at Nutmeg. She had trained under Andrei Bossov and had also received some of her training at Portland Ballet. But back then, neither program could offer her a comprehensive program. Bossov has grown in the interim, but I don't know about Portland nor do I know the quality of their training.

 

Do you know exactly where your sons will be training yet? And, just out of curiosity, does Stratton Mountain in Vermont have a good national caliber ski racing program? I work with a girl who trains there in the winter - she's one of the top 3 nationally ranked snowboarders for her age category. If you're associate with that program, you'd probably know the family.

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There are a couple of schools in Maine. I believe that many of them provide very good early training - enough to provide your daughter with what she needs for the next several years anyway. After that, it depends upon where your daughter is in her training as to how much she can get from schools in our state.

 

My daughter trained at Portland School of Ballet from age 7 until 13 when she entered National Ballet School in Toronto. The early training at PSB was excellent. My daughter and her classmates gained acceptance into highly regarded summer programs and were often told that their training had been very good.

 

Unfortunately, Portland is still hours away from most of the mountains where ski training is happening, though.

 

If you would like to PM me, I would be happy to answer more questions privately. If you do not have pm priveleges and want to post your email, I will email you.

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You mention Maine and NH, not Vermont, but I think I remember that there is an excellent but small school in nothern Vermont. I think it's in the Mad River area. It was featured in, I think, the Smithsonian magazine several years ago. There was a dancer who was majoring in dance at UMass at the time who had studied there and she had very good technique. Sorry to be so vague about this! Perhaps if the best ski training turns out to be in Vermont, the people at Burklyn could help you locate good ballet?

 

I suspect the best combination might be the Bossov/Sugarloaf one in Maine. Good luck! (I know it's a hard combination because sometimes when I'm skiing I try to find a good ballet class in the evening!)

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You may want to look at New York also, Lake Placid is the best for any winter sport. Burlington is close, so is Montreal. Not sure of schools near there, but there must be some.

 

AND New York's motto is close to New Hampshire's:

 

Live Free or Die

 

Vs

 

Born free, Taxed to death!

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Hey Sister! Glad to see you found this board. Here's where we learned about Bossov. Give me a call. We'll be leaving for ME in three weeks.

Sis. DHR

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*Not a Parent*

 

I live in NH...and I've seen a lot of NH schools in action.

 

Londonderry Dance Academy is an amazing school....turns out beautiful dancers, mostly RAD technique...also has a great modern program with a creative genious for a teacher. :thumbsup:

 

Northern Ballet Theatre (Nashua) another great school, but I have less knowledge about it. It is the only school in the state affiliated with a company though.

 

New England School of Dance (Goffstown)...turns out great college-bound dancers (for dance programs that is). All graduating students last year are in dance programs, one at the University of the Arts.

 

New Hampshire School of Ballet (Hooksett) has turned out marvelous dancers, but has a competition team so I'd be a little weary about that.

 

Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre (Bedford) is one of the best up there with LDA. Affiliated with a youth company which does programs all year, and sends many students to top knotch SIs like SAB, Rock, etc.

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

 

-Carson

(Sorry if I'm not supposed to post on here...I thought it would be helpful!)

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Guest rtwood
*Not a Parent*

 

I live in NH...and I've seen a lot of NH schools in action.

 

Londonderry Dance Academy is an amazing school....turns out beautiful dancers, mostly RAD technique...also has a great modern program with a creative genious for a teacher. :thumbsup:

 

Northern Ballet Theatre (Nashua) another great school, but I have less knowledge about it. It is the only school in the state affiliated with a company though.

 

New England School of Dance (Goffstown)...turns out great college-bound dancers (for dance programs that is). All graduating students last year are in dance programs, one at the University of the Arts.

 

New Hampshire School of Ballet (Hooksett) has turned out marvelous dancers, but has a competition team so I'd be a little weary about that.

 

Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre (Bedford) is one of the best up there with LDA. Affiliated with a youth company which does programs all year, and sends many students to top knotch SIs like SAB, Rock, etc.

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

 

-Carson

(Sorry if I'm not supposed to post on here...I thought it would be helpful!)

Carson,

Thanks for the post. I appreciate your help. I am definately going to look into these schools. My email is rtwood@gis.net.

 

T Woodside

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Guest rtwood
There are a couple of schools in Maine. I believe that many of them provide very good early training - enough to provide your daughter with what she needs for the next several years anyway. After that, it depends upon where your daughter is in her training as to how much she can get from schools in our state.

 

My daughter trained at Portland School of Ballet from age 7 until 13 when she entered National Ballet School in Toronto. The early training at PSB was excellent. My daughter and her classmates gained acceptance into highly regarded summer programs and were often told that their training had been very good.

 

Unfortunately, Portland is still hours away from most of the mountains where ski training is happening, though.

 

If you would like to PM me, I would be happy to answer more questions privately. If you do not have pm priveleges and want to post your email, I will email you.

Thank you for your response. Here is my email rtwood@gis.net All the information I can get will help me make a better decision.

 

T Woodside

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I've known a number of dancers who have danced for Northern Ballet Theatre; a certain number of dancers end up moving between there and our company in Boston, both directions. One of our former dancers now teaches there, I believe. From everything I've heard, it seems reasonable.

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  • 6 months later...
Guest suzwalsh

Ever since I can remember, my 8-year old daughter has wanted to become a ballerina. She has been dancing with the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater since she was 4 years old, and in my humble opinion, it is a decent school and she has a lot of fun there. I am just wondering when and if I should take her somewhere else, and where? Her teachers say that she has natural facility, which would make it easier to pursue a career in ballet. My husband and I would be willing to move to the location of a better dance school, but we just don't know when we should and which school we should go to. Some of her teachers suggested moving to New York and trying out for the School of American Ballet. At the rate my daughter is moving now, and how she loves it, I would have no problem packing up and taking her to New York, but I'm afraid that it could just be a phase and she'll end up not wanting to do ballet after we've been in New York for awhile. Also, I've heard that the School of American Ballet is very competitive, so are there any other good ballet schools out there (perhaps in New Hampshire?) that have a reputation of being good schools and not so intensely competitive? And as well, do you think it wise to go ahead and move when she is at such an early age, or should I wait, perhaps leading her astray from her goal? Sorry for so many questions, I just want to help my daughter the best that I can, I'm sure you all understand. Thank you so much in advance.

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I'm unaware of any school in NH that has quite the clout, the cachet, and the competency of SAB, but things are changing, and excellent schools may be found outside of NYC far more often than they used to be. Children's Division at SAB is not a pressure-cooker, and they do an excellent job of producing foundational ability in students. Not being able to see your daughter, it's kind of tough for us to say that she might be just as well served by the Boston Ballet School, or Nutmeg Conservatory in Torrington, CT, to name just two of many places that provide excellent children's work.

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