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Ballet Talk for Dancers

San Francisco Ballet School

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OK, I'll start. My youngest daughter attends the San Francisco Ballet School on a year round basis. We moved here 2 years ago for her to have this opportunity. She was in the most advanced level both last year and this year so that is the one that I am most familiar with. The level 8 dancers have at least 2 classes per day, 3 most days. They have a technique class daily followed by either character, pointe, Pas de deux or Variations and have Modern class a couple of times per week most of the year. They have class 6 days a week. There is an end of the year performance for the students.

The real advantage of this school besides the excellent calibur of the teaching, is the opportunity to perform with this amazing ballet company. Students from the advanced level performed in the bigger corps numbers and also got to understudy a number of the other numbers. My daughter really enjoyed being a part of Don Quixote from the inception last season. To be part of new choreography with a major company is a real gift for a student. She got to perform in 37 Nutcracker performances this year as well as many other rep performances.

There is now a dormitory for out of town students with 2 live-in managers. The classes for advanced students are during the day. Students attend a special high school that is for students on Independent Studies. The students go to school one day a week and receive assignments that they must complete and bring back the next week. The teacher grades their work and gives extra tutoring for those who need extra help.

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  • mirabray


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Thank you Lilliana! So much inside info there. Your information will help parents who are trying to investigate year round programs for their dd's. Hopefully more parents will tell us about other programs. :wallbash:

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Yes, thanks so much lillianna - great, succinct information there. :wallbash:


I'm thrilled that lillianna posted this information on SFB, however don't feel that you have to add on to this thread. Please, if you have questions on specific year round programs or comments start a new thread. Perhaps one day we'll be able to merge threads from the past into new topics here. As I said in my first post in this announcement thread, the past threads on year round programs that were started by parents remain on the Moms and Dads forum so do make use of the search function, too.


If others want to post specific questions about SFB, I'll split lillianna's post off and add it to their questions...this way the different programs will have their own threads and be easier for people to find.

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lillianna, If you don't mind me asking, what was the process for your dd to be accepted into the program? How old was she when she started, and at what level? My dd is 12 and was accepted in the SI, but has chosen a different SI for this summer. She would love to go to SF in the future. Thanks for any info!

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My daughter attended the SFBS summer course 2 years ago. She was asked to stay into their year round program while she was attending the summer course. She was 16 years old. I think that they usually consider students in the level 7 and level 8 summer levels to stay for the year. The school asks some students directly and others can indicate that they are interested. The school then lets them know if they are accepted for the year round program.

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  • 1 year later...

Depends on the student, but most attend a public independent study high school.


The arts school will not work with the advanced students' early start time. Most private schools do not have room to accomodate late applicants.

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  • 2 months later...

Do you know anything about the year round dorms? Also what is a day like for them? What time to they start and end?

Edited by sbadesch
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Also, how many year-rounders are residential? (how many can the dorm accommodate?). What is the tuition? Is this year-round experience a precursor to the Trainee Program? Thanks for answering so many questions, LMCtech and lillianna.

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The dorm holds about 24 students, I think. Many of the students in the upper levels are SF natives but there is a fair number who stay from the SI. Usually the students who are asked to stay are in levels 7 or 8. From the top levels of the SI and school, trainees are chosen. There are limited openings in the trainee program. Some trainees are chosen from the year round program an others right from the SI. Some Level 7 and 8 dancers who are not trainees also have some performance opportunities, especially during Nutcracker. The year round tuition should be posted on the SFB website under the school's section. Some students who stay for the year get apartments instead of staying in the dorm. Some families move with the students also. The dorm has been a very needed addition to the SFBS program for dancers whose parents cannot move with their dancers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

San Francisco Ballet announced the resignation of the School’s Associate Director Gloria Govrin effective June 3. Govrin plans to move to the East Coast to be closer to her family.


In the future, San Francisco Ballet plans to appoint a new associate director of the School. In the meantime, former SF Ballet School Associate Director Lola de Avila will return over the next few seasons, to serve as interim associate director.


Here is the press release http://www.sfballet.org/news/detail.aspx?id=35

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  • 7 months later...

Yes they have in the recent past. Don't know for sure what the new school director prefers but just a few years ago videos were acceptable. My DD and I shared an apt with a mom and daughter from Australia who had been accepted via video audition.

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All the details for video auditions are posted on the website. Follow them carefully. Make sure you use music and don't make the barre section too long.

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