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Ballet Schools in Michigan...

Guest xballetdreamsx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can someone please elaborate on the Geiger emotional issue?? I might have to attend that studio, so I'd like to know what you mean.

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Victoria Leigh

Dancers, let us be very careful here. Unless you have first hand experience, do not post negative things about any school. And keep in mind that one person's bad experience does not necessarily hold true for everyone else. I have no knowledge whatsoever of any of the schools mentioned here, so this warning is not based on that at all. Just want to be sure that only things that are verifiable are posted on Ballet Talk.

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  • 2 weeks later...
ABT Wannabe

Ms. Leigh,


I had 2-3 years experience at that studio. So did many other girls who would say the same things that I did. I private messaged the other girl to keep this off the boards.


:-) abtwannabe

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I observed the dancers from Michigan Classic Ballet at the RDA festival. I did not remember this thread at the time, so my opinions were formed independently.


On the good side, their dancers -- at least, the junior ones, who I had the most occasion to observe in class, had very clean and precise technique. Technically, they were the best in the classes, especially given their relative youth. They picked up combinations quickly, and they had a definite classical style. Even in class, one could tell that they were performing.


On stage, their repertoire was, as you might expect from the name, classical. In the concert program, they danced "Cinderella Garden Scene", music by Prokofiev, a parade of seasonal faires with young attendants and corps. My impression was that it was danced extremely capably, but had no soul.


On the bad side -- our junior dancers complained (privately) that the MCB dancers shoved to the front in class and always put themselves first. And, the thing that struck me the most was that this was the ONLY company that did not perform in the "Midstates Goes to the Movies" party, a kind of a talent-show thing in which each company danced to a number from a musical. I asked some of their dancers why that was, and they said essentially that no one had choreographed anything for them -- and they'd been too busy rehearsing their spring show (which was -- surprise! -- Cinderella). Hmmm. Our girls had been awfully busy too, but managed to choreograph something in the hotel room the night before. It wasn't polished, but it was fun.


My overall impression of this company was that it was very polished, precise, crisp, and clean, but also somewhat joyless and sterile.

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  • 2 weeks later...

dancergirl39 - I do wish you the best in finding a suitable studio. You really need to go to each studio you are interested in and take a class. Only you will be able to tell if a studio is right for you. I have a feeling you will know right away.


I think Treefrog painted a very accurate picture of MCB (Geiger) and as much as I would like to elaborate I keep reminding myself of Ms. Leigh's warning and also the fact that I would hate for any of the dancers from Geiger to feel slighted. They know what they are dealing with and honestly, maybe they should be commended for what they willing to endure for their love of ballet.


Okay, I have to balance this with something positive. Nice studios, definitely not Dolly Dinkle, very warm and friendly parents - at least the few I spoke with. I'm sure this would be a step up for a lot of dancers. Here I go slipping again...my eleven year old tried the highest level class offered and felt that as if it would be a step down. I know, I hear the scoffing, go ahead. While she didn't elaborate, as I think the instruction was fine, I think it was more the whole picture. Very large class - easily 25 girls. The schedule didn't seem right. Seventy-five minute technique class with time spent changing into pointe shoes. I think at the time (this was last year) there were three a week, a separate one hour pointe class on a day without technique, another day with a jazz class, and also a pilates class mixed in there somewhere. I believe they had their company classes on Saturdays. So while you were there on probably every day classes were spread out in a way that just didn't seem right. I do know, in my heart, that my daughter has been very lucky and somehow has always found the "right" place to be. I wish every dancer to be as fortunate.

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I would like to recommend the Paavola School of Dance in Flint. I don't know how this skipped my mind before, probably just from being overloaded. Anyhow, my daughter tried out this studio last year when she was searching for a new studio. I think she went four or five times in all and that is saying something since it took us two plus hours to get there each time. I am sure she would have gone back more, but timing was a factor. I do have other children with their own needs. Truly a beautiful studio with an amazing instructor. Denise Paavola cares for her students (something that cannot be said about all instructors) and provides them with superior training. If my daughter had not gone on to residency school she would have been their at least several times a week.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest ProudBalletParent

Hi all- I wanted to post my opinions, such as they are, about a few of these schools of dance that have been mentioned. They are, of course, opinions, but they ARE first hand. If any of you have followed my previous posts, you know of the issues my dd and family have had over the past 12 months or so.


First of all, Paavlova School of Dance: Denise Paavlova is a caring instructor who seems to put forth her full effort on ALL her students, not just the "talented" or "career oriented" students. We are not there, simply because the two days she offers classes for my dd are completely out of the question for now. I will say, that I feel there could be more availability for my dd's level, more than 2 classes per week.


Flint School of Perfoming Arts/Flint Institute of Music: The availability of classes is good for all levels. We ourselves however have had "issues" with my dd hurting herself in a summer class due to too many repetitions of certain combinations. We have also previously had en pointe issues. And, there seems to be a certain lack in student/teacher relations with certain teachers. They DO seem to produce a number of talented dancers though, and the Joffrey Summer Workshop and Master classes are hosted there in the summers. AND they DO have Slavka Jelinkova teaching there, which is a large plus.


Academy of Russian Classical Ballet: This is where, after our committments to others have been fullfilled, my dd will be taking classes. Currently she is taking one class a week from Sergey. There are so many positive things to say about this school. Overall, their dancers seem to be having fun, and show promising talent. As a teacher, Sergey is demanding and attentive and talented. After 3 classes from him, my daughter is aware of things previously left not noticed. Upper body carriage for one. The school itself has an atmosphere that's positively great. The first day of my dd class, the other students took it upon themselves to make introductions, and include my dd in games while waiting for class to start. Jessica seems very good too, and I understand that Slavka Jelinkova teaches there also, but only character dance. I haven't got a 'real' complaint other than cost. But hey....what's the saying.......you get what you pay for?


My dd also has not completly cut ties with her 'home town' studio. They are more of a "recreational" studio though. The training is good, and her teacher has let her know that it's time to start moving on. Next dance season my dd will take very minimal classes there, just to maintain friendships, etc.


Good luck to all of you searching for a studio. It's unbelievable the things you have to take into consideration and be on the look out for.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Kirena
I would like to suggest looking into The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet located in Novi. My daughter looked all over southeast Michigan and Sergey Rayevskiy was definitely the best in her opinion. Their website is www.russianclassicalballet.com


Yes! I attend that studio right now -- Academy of Russian Ballet of Jessica and Sergey Rayevskiy. It is the best around here we have ever found. Our teachers are very high-level professionals, and they understand the true beauty of ballet, music, as well as how to teach... :angry: Even if you start class tired, you don't feel exhausted after, but warm through every part of your body, and often wanting to start class from the beginning :D. The studio is oriented toward pre-pro, though if you are taking ballet just for fun, it is still great. The classes offered are technique, pointe, variations, stretch/conditioning, character and folk, polynesian, and even pas de deux (you can choose which classes you want to take -- there aren't any requirements). They are always willing to work with everyone, correct, and inspire :). Moreover, the atmosphere is exceptionally nice, very much like "home," and the teachers are really friendy to everyone. I enjoy the classes a lot.


Here is the link to their website.


If you have any questions, let me know, and I'll answer.


Me too! It's a great studio. It's alm,ost like living in a ballet boarding school, such great teachers who come form the best ballet schools in the world! :devil:

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  • 1 month later...

I would suggest Geiger ballet, Rodchester School of Dance, & The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet.

I also have heard about the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, but i'm not sure on the details.

Edited by Love2Dance90
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Love2Dance90, where is Metropolitan Ballet Theatre located? I've lived in Michigan for 18 years and I've never heard of it. I'm familiar with Children's Ballet Theatre out of Lansing and Michigan Classic Ballet which is associated with Geiger, but Metropolitan Ballet.


Perhaps you could enlighten me about this? I'm moving back to the Detroit area in 5 days and I'm always interested in dance opportunities in the area.

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As far as I know (please correct me if I'm wrong), Metropolitan Ballet Theatre is located in the Sports Club of Novi. It's not part of the sport club itself, but that's where the studios are. Here's a link http://www.metropolitanballetacademyandthe....org/index.html

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Thank you, mohnurka! That's pretty close to my neck of the woods and very close to my sister and brother in-law who have a 7 year old who wants to be a dancer "just like Aunt Abby":wub:

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  • 5 months later...
Guest xoxdancecutiexox

Hi. I am a dancer from Florida who moved to Wayne County, Michigan a month ago. I am needing some suggestions please.




I have heard about Geiger Classic Ballet and The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet. What are they like?

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