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Nutmeg Conservatory

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swanchat

Balletbuddy,

 

I am just reading this thread and applaud your courageous honesty. I don't have knowledge of Nutmeg but I am now one of those long-distance parents and it is not easy. All information is so appreciated as it allows us to have frank discussions with our dk's. DD's former school has a residency program and they too, have had some issues this year. Eerily the same scenario and I think you hit the nail on the head. Too much unscheduled downtime without supervision. A busy teen is one who is unlikely to find trouble...most of the time.

 

Etoile,

 

Could you ask Nutmeg to tell you about weekend activities planned for the kids. Ask them what they did this past year. Don't settle for answers about future plans, make sure that they value activities now. Ask if they have pictures of places they visited. Ask if they have speakers who broaden the kid's horizons. Ask if activities compliment academics and enhance developing artists. When you are there, ask the kids how they spend their weekends? If you can't go and ask the kids, see if the school will arrange for your dk to talk to a current student. See if the school will ask a parent to call you. Write down questions that will help you make informed decisions. If you send your dk away, you will want to know that there are interesting ways to spend time after schoolwork and laundry are done. You will want to know who the RA's are and that someone is available to the kids every moment they are there. Every waking moment shouldn't have to be supervised and some kids will have earned the right to have some freedom. Just like kids who live at home. Drugs and alcohol seem to be omnipresent in the lives of our kids. That doesn't change because your kid is in boarding school. You still have to listen to your kid and have those frank discussions. My dd knows that she will have a one-way ticket home if she makes bad decisions. If you don't have a good sense of the ways that the school works to protect the kids, run....don't walk away from the place. It's hard enough when you know that all things possible are being done to protect your kid!!! The school is acting as an onsite guardian and you have the right to expect clear, written policies and procedures to protect the kids. Consequences should be clear and written and enforced. Be aware: enforcement that means dismissing students costs the school money and if there are concerns financially, enforcement becomes a tough choice for directors. Does the school have an annual report that you might glean the financial health of the institution? I know these are tough questions when you are asking for a place for your kid to train but I think it's better to be proactive and informed. Good luck with your decision.

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vagansmom

Etoile, I have been a member of Nutmeg's board of directors for the last 5 months, and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. You are welcome to email me at jmaca50@yahoo.com

 

I have read this thread, know many more details than what is found here, and can say that I have full confidence in and support Nutmeg's handling of the incidents in question.

 

Re your questions about staff: Tim Melady is the new ballet master. He is a former principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet and former MOMIX dancer. Ron Alexander is the new academic school director (principal). He oversees student activities and has done a great job working with the kids.

 

I would have no qualms about sending my own child to Nutmeg as a resident student. I've worked in private boarding high schools off and on for years, and know that Nutmeg's residency policies are modeled after the finest private boarding high schools in the USA. I wouldn't be a board member if I did not trust Nutmeg's judgment.

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Etoile~

Dear Swanchat and Vagansmom,

 

 

Thank you for your replies.

 

 

 

Etoile~

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Aurora916

Vagansmom, with all due respect, you are not impartial. Over the years, you have always been a rah! rah! parent for Nutmeg on these boards. But your daughter has long since graduated, she never lived in the dorms, and I truly don't think she or you ever really knew what went on there in the dorms after hours, especially on the weekends.

 

I know that you love Nutmeg, and you stand by it no matter what. But over the years, on this board, there have been comments from staff about how its different now, and it is not different.

 

The alcohol use in the dorms and houses was and is STILL AN ISSUE. Teens are still not just drinking but getting drunk. The eating disorders that go on in the dorm behind closed doors have not changed. Those that try to complain or bring issue to the forefront are just asked to leave.

 

THERE ARE ALOT OF DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS in the dorms year-round at nutmeg. And the turnover in staff continues. No constant academic presence over the years, and students really are on their own with internet education. The ballet staff is really skeleton at times, esp during the summer audition season. There are Nutmeg faculty listed that do not teach on any regular basis that last I looked at the list, but have ties and continue to help pad the resume.

 

And there is no real up to date list of graduate placements. Sure, Nutmeg lists a long laundry list of ballet companies that students have landed in. But many of these are OLD, and one single successful student might have gone from Nutmeg, to SAB (student) to ABT (student) to a company as a trainee, then another company as a apprentice, then finally a company as a corps member, and this generate 5 additions to the "list" for just one recent success. You never see a listing recently by year with who went where. Boarding students come, spend a year or two, leave, and there have not really been many who achieved long term work in ballet of late.

 

The facilities are to die for. Although work-out facilities or additional pilates, etc is lacking. Ms Dante is a figurehead and is not around much, certainly not to teach. The ballet staff that remains does so to collect a paycheck. Having had a wonderful benefactor for years allowed those involved to live comfortably.

 

I think you and your "board" mean well. But it is the same folks year after year. My guess is that the board is still a small circle of S. Dante supporters who are on the outside looking in. And the whole "town and gown" division remains. There are the local girls/boys and moms/dads, and then are are the boarders, whose parents are looked at differently by the local parents. There is little interaction between the two. Money still talks. And Nutmeg still has room for any "little girl" whose dream is to go away and study to become a ballerina, and whose parents can afford the tuition/room and board. And the little girls who come in at 14/15/16 leave wiser than their parents ever dreamed. I know I did.

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j'adore.danser

As a past boarding student at Nutmeg, I can second EVERY statement Aurora916 just made.

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dressage

Thank you for your first hand experiences. As a mother, I truly appreciate your honesty.

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Momof3darlings

I'm hoping someone will be able to update on the current "graduates" (if any) in this program and what their plans are for next year. If they have company positions, please let us know if those are trainee, apprentice, corp and then male/female. This information helps others track the true success of the program from year to year.

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Pierrot

I was wondering if there is any new information about Nutmeg? New teachers, graduates, positive (or less than) experiences, etc...

One of our students is considering the Nutmeg post graduate, year around program and frankly after reading some of the posts we are rather concerned.

 

Any information would be helpful.

 

Thanks!

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jessicanicole42191

As Pierrot asked, is there any new information concerning Nutmeg? Especially that of the post-grad program? I am interested in this program for the fall, but am worried about what I have read here.

 

I did call and asked a few questions about the post-grad program. This is what I was told:

 

Students will be in the dorms next to the high school girls, the 17K includes dorms, food and dance training. The post-grad students have classes starting at 2:00pm Mon-Fri ending around 8:00pm I believe (the end time may be wrong), and starting in the morning and ending around 5:00pm on Saturdays. There are no academics for the post-grad program although I was told that many students took college courses online. After Thanksgiving weekend all students are required to be back a certain time, and plan for more rehearsal time for Nutcracker (typical for any school I feel). I was given an e-mail address and phone number if I had any more questions, and to set up an audition/time to see the school after my knee heals (they also said that if I were to see the school and take an audition while not being able to fully dance that would be taken into consideration, and that I am able to audition after the program starts this fall and the tuition would be pro-rated).

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jessicanicole42191

I have found out some more information about the post-graduate program in specific through e-mail that someone may find useful.

 

There are no planned activities for Post High School students since all are over 18 and are free to do what they want as long as they don't miss a class or rehearsal. Housing for the post-grads are in the dorms in the Nutmeg building, parking is available for $25 a month.

 

Only auditions for the Nutmeg summer programs are at the Nutmeg facilities. I found this on their website:

 

Please Note: Students attending any outside auditions must schedule them on a Sunday. Saturday Classes & Rehearsals at the Nutmeg are MANDATORY. Dancers in the graduating class of NutmegÍs Pre-Professional, Apprentice Program and Interns may obtain special permission to miss a Saturday in the Spring Semester in order to attend Professional Company auditions. A written notice should be submitted to the office at least 10 days in advance. Students not obtaining permission for missed classes may alter their school status, performance roles and graduation status.

 

Recent graduates have gone to Richmond Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Washingtion Ballet as well as Purchase College (dance major) and Manhattan College.

 

The schedule for the post-grad students is as follows:

Classical Technique - 5 days per week, 2 hours per day

Methodology/Workshop - 5 days per week, 1 hour per day

Pointe/Men's Study - 5 days per week, 1 hour per day

Partnering - 3 days per week, 1 hour per day

Classical Variations - 5 days per week, 1 hour per day

Rep/Performance - by weekly schedule

 

Giving at least 28 hours of dance a week. (this confuses me as I was told students would be dancing 6 days a week, no technique on one day?)

 

All of this information comes straight from the school through questions I e-mailed them.

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Momof3darlings

preceding post removed because it violated the hearsay rule and was not first hand experiences.

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BigforkMom

There was considerable discussion on this board in the past about issues at Nutmeg regarding teacher satisfaction and behavioral issues with students.

 

My daughter is looking at Nutmeg, and we would like to know if there is a sense these issues are still present or if they have been addressed successfully.

 

Thanks,

Bigfork Mom

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tightswasher

I second that... My DD auditioned yesterday in FL. Was offered summer and year around positions on the spot. Of course, she is thrilled. I however have some reservations regarding the previous posts. Is there anyone out there that can speak about the current program. Such as, the number of boarding students vs local students, overall student population. Educational program? Can you use any virtual school or must it be theirs. Church on sunday, is this required. And finally, weekend activities, are there any. do the provide transportation/trips to malls, grocery stores, target, etc. What about the drinking, drug use and eating disorders. Is this more excessive at Nutmeg than other programs? Any all all information would be wonderful!

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BigforkMom

Trying again for up-to-date information on Nutmeg's year round program. Any comments would be welcome.

 

BigforkMom

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BigforkMom

Has Nutmeg fallen off the radar?

 

BigforkMom

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