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Ballet Talk for Dancers

St. Paul's School...


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Karen,

The ballet mistress at Burklyn Ballet when my daughter went there was a grad of ST. Paul's. A rep from St. Pauls also came to Burklyn one summer and gave his recruiting pitch. We still get mailings from them from time to time.

 

My understanding is that it is a top-notch, competitive private high school with excellent academics. I am sure that others who live in that part of the country can comment more on that aspect. The campus is supposed to be beautiful. The tuition is very high, but many students are on scholarship. It is a Christian school (Episcopal I believe) but I think that the population is diverse, as the gal we knew who went there was Jewish.

 

They do appear to have a strong dance program. The gal we knew really liked the Director, but I cannot remember his name. However, I do not think that the majority of their dance students go on to pro careers. IT is a college prep school and 99% of their students go on to college.

 

My daughter was quite young at the time and I didn't know enough to ask for statistics about their grads. So, I can't give any more specifics. The gal we knew really liked the school and felt that she had received good ballet training and an excellent education. She has danced professionally with a couple of small ballet companies and has continued her education and I believe now has a degree in a science-oriented major.

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We looked into St. Paul's before my daughter entered high school but felt that the dance program, while excellent for an academic high school, wasn't strong enough. It IS much better than any other private high school dance program but not enough for dancers wanting something akin to a pre-professional dance program.

 

The academics are among the best in the country. In order to be accepted to St. Paul's, or any other school of its caliber, the student must take the SSAT's in the autumn and score, in all areas, in at least the 70th percentile or higher among the independent school population (unless the student is a "legacy" anyhow). Those grades equate to being in the 98%+ of the public high school population. Students apply by about January 15th or 30th, depending on the school, and find out after March 10th if they were accepted into the next academic school year. If you are interested in St. Paul's for next year and have not yet applied, you will have to wait another year.

 

The school population is diverse, with many international students. You can find, at any library, a couple books listing independent high schools in the USA. Also, USA News Online ran an article in May 2001 comparing the best boarding high schools and St. Paul's was among them. The article is called "The Coed Way" and it's dated 5/14/01. You can buy the online article for $2.95 at http://www.usnews.com

 

Because of my job, I have a passing familiarity with most of these schools. I frequently write recommendations for prospective students to some of them. That was the best article I've ever read about them; it seemed to give the truest flavor for each.

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Just an update on the info already given on St Paul's. The new head of the dance department is Rebecca Wright who is head of the ABT summer program. Peter Boal of NYCB fame is a grad of their program (under the prior director of dance).

 

As for academics, I agree with the above comments on academic excellence. It is on the "top" of the private school "most difficult to get into list". In the East, it shares that position in many people's minds with Hopkins School (no dance department).

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Guest DerfDude04

I was wondering if anyone had any information on the dance program at St. Paul's School. I don't know if there is already a post about this...if there is someone please head me in that direction.

 

I have applied for St. Paul's and I have the final interview in January. I also have an audition, but it is in the process of being scheduled. However, I have not really heard any positive or negative feedback on the dance program. All I've heard is that Rebecca Wright used to run the program but does not anymore. I also know that there are 4 levels, and the two highest levels are in the St. Paul's School Ballet Company and they meet 6 times a week.

 

Could anyone help me out with any other information on the dance program at all?

 

Thanks!! :innocent:

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Doing a search these are the posts I've come up with on slightly different search (I think mine was without the "." after the "St"! St Pauls. I wish I could be more helpful to you, but I have no personal knowledge. Perhaps if you use what you read in these posts as a jumping off point you might ask some specific questions. It does seem to me that St. Pauls is more of a fine academic school with a dance program, rather than a ballet residency program - which you probably already know. What are you looking for from the school,

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I will have to agree that St. Paul's academic program has historically been superlative! Haven't seen any of their ballet students, but Ms. Wright is an excellent teacher! If she set up the program, it's basically sound.

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Guest DerfDude04

Actually Richard Rein set the program up, I do believe. (He guest taught at Rock the summer I was here, but I didn't have him.) However, Ms. Wright is a wonderful teacher as well. (I've had her for auditions at ABT). I know that St. Paul's is very strong in academics, which is why I'm applying there, but I am also applying for the dance program so I can get wonderful academics along with good training...though I might not find it there. I am auditioning for the Dance Program sometime so I will get to see their dancers. I know of people whom have been accepted, and they are good, but I have not seen people who have attended/are attending. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!

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Guest Vicarmac

Derfdude04 is right. Richard Rein started and ran the program for many years. He retired from there about 2 or 3 years ago. He still teaches at the Rock in summer and other places and is now teaching in Florida during the winter.

I've only seen one of the dancers from there several years ago and she was pretty good but I don't know how many have done well or anything.

 

You might also get Richard's input too. He has a web page and answers e-mails. I think it is richardreinballet.com.

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Guest DerfDude04

Vicarmac, thank you so much for the website. I had actually been there before, but I completely forgot about. The website shows dancers from the St. Paul's Ballet Company (aka the Advanced Level).

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Guest DerfDude04

Vicarmac, my academic dean here at Rock, just informed me that Richard Rein is on the commitee for Education here, so she is going to get in contact with him for me. Thank you so much for the suggestion! :(:D

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I heard rumors of trouble with the Dance program at St. Paul's and that Ms. Wright was departing. It was just a third party rumor at the studio though.

 

Maine Ballet

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Ms. Wright left to take over the directorship of the Washington School of Ballet :(

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