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Ballet Schools in Illinois - Chicago

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Can anyone provide 2015 feedback on Joffrey vs. Ballet Chicago at the pre-professional level? My DD has participated in both of their SIs and enjoyed both; last year she was at PNB. We are thinking of moving to Chicago, so are now interested in PP programs for the academic year. DD loves Balanchine, but should I be concerned about the smaller size of Ballet Chicago? Any pressure from either program to attend their SI? (She would like to return to PNB next summer.) Thanks!

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Victoria Leigh

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, CinnamonGirl. :)


I'm sorry, but we do not do comparisons between schools here. We provide first hand information about the schools, on their individual threads, but you will need to decide from the information which school would work best for you.

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My experience with Joffrey is that they encourage the students to do to a SI away if possible. Many of the younger students will stay local, but the older students have been to places like SAB, ABT, Walnut Hill, Houston Ballet, SFB, and many others...How old is your dancer?

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We have dedicated threads for both Joffrey and Ballet Chicago. Please ask (and answer) specific questions regarding the specific programs on their dedicated threads. :thumbsup:

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  • 1 year later...

Anyone familiar with Chicago Academy for the Arts: any knowledge of female dancers who have gone on to company contracts? They really advertise two male dancers who got into NYCB, but that was in the 80's and 90's. The school seems to emphasize jazz over ballet.

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Anyone familiar with Chicago Academy for the Arts: any knowledge of female dancers who have gone on to company contracts? They really advertise two male dancers who got into NYCB, but that was in the 80's and 90's. The school seems to emphasize jazz over ballet.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm interested in any information on A&A Ballet in downtown Chicago. We are considering the summer program, but I think this may be their first year hosting the intensive and are unsure of style and quality of instruction offered. Has anyone studied with them (at Joffrey) in the past or currently who could offer some information/review?

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A&A Ballet was started by former Joffrey Academy directors Anna and Alexei after they were let go from the Joffrey. Several students followed them. The students did well at YAGP in Chicago this year. One of them won the Youth Grand Prix title. I don't know much how the schedules, teaching, or SI is set up there. Their style is more Russian based and they are both top quality teachers. I think them leaving Joffrey was more high level/red tape things than their actual ability as teachers/directors. To put in perspective the Academy Artistic Director is also the Company's Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater now.


My daughter occasionally had Anna for class when they were still at Joffrey and did enjoy her class. She was in the lowest level of pre-pro at the time so it was very rare to have one of them sub for her classes. Alexei choreographed the annual end of the year production for the Joffrey Academy and a piece for the trainee/studio company's "Winning Works." I always enjoyed watching those. My daughter had Medina as the main teacher last year in pre-pro at Joffrey (one of the faculty that moved to A&A). She was strict, but the kids learned a lot from her.

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In response to the question about any company contracts for females from ChiArts, I know of one girl who is an apprentice with Elements Contemorary Ballet. She graduated ChiArts last year.

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  • 3 weeks later...



I have a dancers at A&A in the youth company and level 4 pre-pro programs.


This will be their first full summer SI, so I can't speak to that directly, however, we have been extremely happy with the quality of the teaching and the professionalism of Anna and Alexei. The style is based on Russian technique, but is not strictly Vaganova. The audition class should be a good representation of the style.


I know you've probably made a decision by now, but if you have questions for the future, I can help!

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Thanks for the response about A&A. My son has decided to give it a try this summer! We are very excited and hoping for a summer of growth.

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  • 2 months later...


I am joining the A&A youth company in the fall.  Do you know of anyone in need of housing or a roommate?  I am currently trying to find other dancers who will be joining the youth company who need housing but am having no luck.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Hello! I am trying to figure out how it would be possible for me to help. We don't currently know of anyone else looking for a roommate, but there may be a way for us to connect you with other people as we find out who will be here next year. I'll talk to a few people and let you know. Is there a way we can connect directly?

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Just a reminder that it is against BT4D Rules and Policies for a Parent or Adult member to contact Young Dancers directly off-board or through PM.  

(You are both New Members so have not reached PM privileges yet-- which require 30 posts and two-weeks presence on the Board). 

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Thank you, dancemaven. I shall abide! 

Mariacherries, I will send an email to Mary at The School of Performing Arts (A&A's host school) to try to get something organized for incoming dancers. Please contact her as well. 

(Is this ok, dancemaven?)


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