Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Good training at "home": staying at home schools


Recommended Posts

So, I hear alot of people saying get into a residency program as soon as you possibly can, especially if you are at a studio in a tiny town where no one has gone pro. Well, unfortunetly I fit all the criteria above :) But what if I have been told at all my SI's and when guest teachers come in that I have very good training? Should I still go to a residency program because of my small town or should I just stick with my current studio?



Link to comment
  • Replies 42
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Victoria Leigh


  • lorrainegd


  • Clara 76


  • labelleballerine


  • Administrators

If you are getting good training, and especially ENOUGH training, where you are, there is no reason to leave just because it's a small town. There ARE good teachers who are not in the big professional schools, but they are relatively few and hard to find. If you have one, then stay home. My concern would be whether the small school can offer enough hours. But, if you are being accepted to good SI programs, in high levels, then that is a good sign. How old are you, and what SI programs have you been to?

Link to comment

I am 16 and I started ballet about 4 years ago. So I am a fairly new ballet student, but when I tell my teachers I have only been doing ballet for 4 years they look stunned. So this could be a good sign? who knows. But this past summer I went to Nutmeg and got into the top level and the year before that I went to Ballet Idaho Academy and was also in the top level. I had a meeting with one of the teachers at Nutmeg and she said I was one of the top 8 girls at the SI. So is this a good sign or not significant enough? :)


At my current studio I am able to take two one and a half hour classes every day except saturdays and we have a longer day on thurday which goes until 9. Is this enough class time?


One last thing, since I am an older ballet student and also started later, is this another reason I should get into a recidency program even sooner?



Thank you


Link to comment
  • Administrators

Really not sure, Labelle. It sounds like you are doing very well, especially for such a short period of study. Nutmeg is a very fine program, and if you were in top level there, that says a lot. If they did not tell you that you need to seek different training, then I would guess that what you are getting is quite good.


Audition for more programs this year, especially major ones, even if you have to do it by video tape. See where you get accepted and at what level. If the results are not mostly positive, then perhaps next year might be time to move to a residency program.

Link to comment

Thanks for the fast reply! This year I am doing exactly what you suggested... I am planning on auditioning for the more major programs. Even if it means my mother driving me 3 and 1/2 hours :thumbsup: Good thing the drive isnt so bad! I am also planning to fly out to Seattle for a couple that are not going to Salt Lake City. If worse comes to worst, I will do a video audition... :flowers:


Are most of the major programs aimed toward older students? Do you have any suggetions on which one would be best for older students?


Thank you for the replies Ms. Leigh


Link to comment
  • Administrators

Most of them are geared for the Int. and Adv. students, ages 13 and up, although some are stronger programs for the Adv. levels. Best of luck to you, and keep us informed on your progress! :flowers: (Check the SI forums for places, dates and times of all the auditions. The web sites for each of the programs will have all the information up soon. Some already up. Or get Dance or Pointe Magazines Jan. issues, out in mid Dec.)

Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

I just came back from trying out a class at another studio. Th students there are all amazing, with just one drawback , they seem to have no classroom etiquette at all.


The class started 40 minutes late, with the students sitting around and chatting, the teacher had to call several times for them to go to the barre before they finally did. During class, groups of them will burst out in laughter over their own joke, and when the teacher is setting a exercise several of them were chatting among themselves.


Nevertheless, they are all very good dancers, so i was wondering if this school is a good one, or not?



Link to comment
  • Administrators

Run, don't walk, in the opposite direction! :innocent: Sorry, wormy, but this is not a serious studio, and while you might have thought the dancers were 'good', I would have to question that with good as compared to what? That kind of atmosphere will not produce classical dancers. :innocent:

Link to comment

Ms. Leigh has spoken as a professional. As a parent, I would offer the same advice.


The lateness of class, and the fact that students would not stop talking is a clear indication of something amiss.


My feeling about finding the RIGHT ballet school is that it is a bit like falling in love. When it's right, you just know it. If you're searching for a new ballet school, you need to try on a few more.

Link to comment

Thanks me leigh and mini cooper for your replies. The students there were good as compared to my old studio, whose teacher trained at the royal ballet school. This teacher valued classroom ettiquete very much, and students have got sent out for talking in class. I love it there, it provides a very conducive environment to dance. However, the quality of the dancers it produces is much much lower than that at the new school!


Personally, I like being around fantastic dancers. They inspire me to work harder! So what should i choose now? Being in a good atmostphere or being around great dancers.


And ms leigh, i assure you these girls are good!

Link to comment
  • Administrators

I would really like to know how they are good, with that kind of lax atmosphere. I suggest taking a few more classes and see if it is always that way. Are there different teachers there? Maybe the problem was this one teacher? Before commiting yourself to anything, test the waters a bit more.

Link to comment

I agree about the teacher issue. The teacher sets the rules.


You can have the same group of girls in an academy acting differently depending on the teacher.


If the teacher is always tardy, is lax with the uniform code, and doesn't discipline those acting out in class, then many students will take advantage of that.


Some teachers command a disciplined approach to learning classical ballet, but not all do.


My blood pressure went up on the days that I had to be 'on time' and 'in uniform' or the door would close and remain shut. "30 seconds late? Too bad," was her motto. The classrooms were full and the school made money. So the teacher's strictness did NOT drive people away; she demanded respect. On the other hand, everyone walked in 3-7 minutes late in a different teacher's classroom. Mainly because we could count on her being tardy and lax about time. Same group of students... but different behavior.

Link to comment



I apologize in advance for the way this sounds. But, what are your qualifications for really knowing if the dancers at the new school really are good?


Bear with me here.....


With your present teacher, perhaps there is a curiculum that she follows that introduces things at a certain pace and level. In the school you tried, judging from the lack of discipline, they could be focusing on "tricks," or things that make the dancers look like they are really good. I have seen this happen where young dancers doing advanced things is confused with dancers being really good. Being good has to do with very fundamental issues around technique.


Mellisa's point is well taken. I have seen with my daughter's own training, particularly in another school that certain teachers kept a strong air of professionalism, and others did not. My dd definitely prefers the more structured environment. Fortunately her new school has a nice blend of firmness and nurturing.


I'm just presenting another view.




Link to comment
I would really like to know how they are good, with that kind of lax atmosphere. I suggest taking a few more classes and see if it is always that way. Are there different teachers there? Maybe the problem was this one teacher?  Before commiting yourself to anything, test the waters a bit more.


Could it have been the time of year? sometimes things run late during rehearsals when the performance is near, or things might be a bit laxer after a performance or show. But if people are talking at the barre that is a red flag. Maybe try another class and see if it was a one time thing. I would think as a teacher if you had a new person in the room you would try to give a class that demonstrated what you do on a regular basis. I know I sometimes have trouble with my teens who sometimes talk and joke more when someone new comes in. I am not sure why this happens maybe they are showing off. Or trying to be friendly. It is an interesting and strange phenom. If this happens I always bring it up at the next class. We do have a friendly atmosphere but we get down to work once the class starts.


Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

With all of the recent news about the new ballet company start-ups in Southern California, one thing over-looked is the number of the Orange County trained dancers going professional this year. Though professional ballet positions are increasingly more competitive to find, the top Orange County ballet academies are finding work for its well-trained dancers.


Also note-worthy is that none of these schools are considered 'large' academies.


This makes one question if the Southern California youth really need to leave home at such an early age to train to become professional dancers. Currently, there are numerous, young, local dancers training away from home in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Connecticut, and other East Coast residencies in order to train for their professional career in ballet.


Recent professionals trained until at least age 17 in Orange County, California include:


Jennifer Stahl (trained by Maria Lazar at Maria Lazar’s Classical Ballet Academy in Aliso Viejo) is a new apprentice for the San Francisco Ballet Company


Krista Charnea Baker, (trained by Tracy Dee Baker at Tracy Dee Academy of Dance in Anaheim Hills) is a trainee with Nevada Ballet Theatre.


Catherine Hamer (trained by Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky at Pacific Coast Academy of Dance in San Clemente) is a new apprentice at Stuttgart Ballet.


Jade Payette (trained by Salwa Rizkalla at Southland Ballet Academy in Fountain Valley) is in the Washington Ballet Studio Company

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...