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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Schools in Illinois - Chicago

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Faubourg School of Ballet is in Hanover Park, is in between the west and northwest suburbs. It is an amazing school and produces very strong dancers. They have had two dancers place in the top twelve nationally at YAGP, one senior last year and a junior this year. Regionally they have had kids place in the top three for the last several years. This year, one received the Youth Grand Prix regionally.


The kids are consistently accepted to top summer intensives and often on full scholarship. This year 4 at Houston Ballet, 3 of which are on full scholarship, 2 at PNB, 1 on full scholarship and 3 at Orlando, 2 on scholarship. In the past dancers have gone to SFB, SAB, ABT and 4 have attended Stiefel & Students.


Anyway, it really is an amazing school with teachers that really care. The director teaches with such passion and really knows how to motivate the kids.


Hope this helps.

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Is there a particular section of Chicago that you know you're relocating to, or are you willing to move close to the ballet school that suits you best? Where you live may determine which school yo go to--it's a long commute from one side of Chicage to the other! If you already know what part of Chicago you will live in, someone who lives nearby can pinpoint the best school near you.

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Ballet school location will be just as important as your new home's location. Traffic sux in Chicago. If it didn't my DD would be at Faubourg too! ["rumors" comment edited out by moderator per Board policy].

Edited by dancemaven
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  • 2 years later...

May I reopen discussion on Chicago area pre-pro schools? Since this string started, the Joffrey opened its academy. My DD's home school is the Joffrey Academy but there are some things about it that I'm not crazy about, not least of all is the difficult drive downtown which will add an additional day next year.


In researching suburban schools, it seems that the best alternatives for her and for our drive are the Faubourg School and Salt Creek Ballet. Are these similar in calibre? From what I saw on Faubourg's website, they have very few teachers. It seems like the schools have good reputations, but would it be crazy to pull a dancer who is enjoying and doing well at Joffrey out of the program?


I go through this angst every few months, so we may just keep doing what we are doing so long as she's happy and doing well, but I'd love to hear any feedback from others in the Chicago area.

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DD attended Ballet Chicago last year and had a great experience. Assuming their year-round program is similar, I would highly recommend it based on the high quality of training she received. There were many hands-on corrections. Their studios are located very close to Joffrey's, so the commute would not be any easier, but dd goes to a highly respected year round school and they were very, very pleased with her summer training.

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You really should try Faubourg School of Ballet. The director, Watmora Casey, is unlike any other you meet in the industry. His passion for ballet and belief in the kids is what makes him so special! The web site does not list all of the teachers. Some of the credits for the school are as follows:


Top 12 from YAGP NY Finals: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Consistently in the top 3 (including Grand Prix, Youth Grand Prix and Hope awards) in Chicago Regionals since 2005

Students have received full scholarships from the following summer programs: ABT, Houston, PNB, SAB, San Francisco, Miami City, Chautauqua, National Ballet of Canada, Orlando...I know that there are more, but these are the ones I can remember for sure.

Former students now at the following year-round programs: JKO at ABT, National Ballet of Canada, Princess Grace Academy (all on scholarship)

Former students hired at the following companies: Royal Danish Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey II...these are just from very recent years...but there are other companies.


I hope this helps...if you need more info...just let me know.



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I don't have any wisdom about the schools you mentioned, but I'm wondering if public transport (Metra train) is available to you? I can't remember how old your daughter is, but this might be a way to keep her at Joffrey and also keep your sanity. If she is still younger you could try taking the train with her a few times and see if it works, and as she gets older and/or familiar with the route, maybe you could even let her travel by herself?

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DD (newly 15 years old)takes Metra 6 days a week to Joffrey. The drive is over an hour. DH picks her up at night 4 of the six days. But there are other Joffrey dancers walking and from the station. DD attends public high school full time and says the commute is hard and gets tiring but she says it is VERY worth it. We don't have pre-pro schools near us, and the only way she could go to a true pre-pro school would be to take to train. That is why Joffrey worked. Faubourg is excellent, but no easy commute or train from where we are.


There are students who carpool also.

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Thank you for the feedback. I'm going to keep thinking about it. My DD is too young to take the train (she's 12.) While the METRA is fine, the problem is getting from Union Station to the ballet school - not something we are comfortable with her doing alone. I wish that Joffrey would give out a school directory or facilitate parents connecting to make carpool arrangements like her old school did. She doesn't complain about the commutes, nor does my husband, who is the one to take her, but I just wonder if she'll be able to keep it up. Plus, school is suffering (but that's a whole other post).

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  • 1 year later...

Is anyone aware of ballet schools in the Chicago area that are offering open classes over winter break? My DD's studio has a three week break which is way too long!

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Joffrey Academy of Dance has Adult Open Classes listed on their website. I also received an email with a flyer for classes taught by Alexei Kremnev, et al. on Dec. 26 - 28 and January 3 - 5 from 11:00 to 12:30.

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I got that email too. Unfortunately, the 11am-12:30 classes are for advanced professionals. They do indicate that their adult classes are not on break, but the minimum age for adult classes is 15 and she is just 14.

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