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o.k. - well if you are going to dish, let's have some more details! :party: Exams - did you mean you were watching final dance exams?? what is the process there?? and what are the levels - is 5 the top? How many graduating seniors were there and can you tell us some of the apprentice/company positions they will be going to?


ALthough my daughter did not end up attending there, I must say that the warmth and dedication to students was quite evident on the day we visited. Thanks for any more info, as, I believe this is a program that has been growing and evolving year by year.

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OK, I'll try to answer up. Yes, these were the end of year ballet exams. They act as the mid-term and final exams for the daytime academic course (40% of their grade) as well as the after school program. Parents, other students, friends and community are welcome to watch. Having an audience gives the students a bit more pressure. Since the faculty is small, parents and others act as the audience, whereas when the instructors were students, for the exams in Russia, faculty and government officials made up the audience.

The exams are held twice per year, in January and June. These exams determine advancement in level. There are five levels. This year level three was divided into A and B. Some level 2 dancers were also enrolled in 3B, some level 4 dancers were also enrolled in 3A, and several level 3 students were enrolled in both. Some level 4 and 5 classes were combined. The instructors determine which classes a student may enroll in. The dancers do not advance as a group but as individuals. Classes are taught to the level of the highest student in the level. Evaluations also tell the student their standing in the class. No names are given, they are simply told they are second in a class of seven for example. The student will not advance until they have achieved the expected skill level and physical development. A student may be in the same level for several years if need be. Those who tend to miss class, tend to be behind on the skills, don't advance and eventually drop out. A level may include a student in their twenties with a ten year old and every age in between. Students may be advanced after either exam. As a result a student may have new classes in January. I can't find dd's eval from January so I'll try to go from memory the things they evaluate on and will update this after I get this term's report.

An instructor teaches the class, while the other evaluates and takes written notes. After the exam the instructors meet with the Executive director to discuss their observations of each student and to produce the written evaluation. Specific comments and corrections are given. Improvements since the previous evaluation are noted. Corrections include details, such as the placement of the foot in cou-de-pied for example. They grade on presentation and presence. Students are expected to take the exam as if they are performing on stage. Musicality is observed and technique. Ability to take correction is also graded. Physical abilities are evaluated including strength and maintaining the body. The exam is like taking a class. They start with barre, adagio, tendu, turns, jumps, and then reverence. During the year parents may watch class by appointment only. Exams also act as parent observation day.

The barre impressed me because it was sort of a choreographed barre. Rather the boring repetition of exercises, different movements and positions are intertwined. It's like watch them dance at the barre rather than doing calisthetics. I enjoyed watching the barre almost as much as the floor work. They don't just turn to do the opposite leg, they pirouette, do a few other things, then work with that leg on several things. I'm not a dancer so I don't know all the terms but the variety was fascinating. It was also interesting to hear the instructor, in thick Russian accent, give directions off the top of his or her head of about twenty different things, with students marking. Then the instructor asks “Understood?” Everyone gives a simple nod, then perform the combination in sync.

During the floor work, every bit of space was used. The men's jumps where amazing.

There were four departing students, two postgraduates and two seniors. One of the post grads was from Brazil and the other graduated last year and wanted an extra year of training. I don't have a list of the offers but, I'll try what I can remember. Columbus, Charleston, San Paulo, Greensboro, Maryland , Boston Ballet, ABT scholarship, and VBA are all I can remember right now.

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Vicarious - thanks for taking the time to write and describe. This eval and exam bit is so different from school to school.


-- wishing the best to those grads and post grads as they embark on the next stage of their journey. :D

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I dance at Bossov yar round, and I wanted tp put a few words in. I have a great time dancing here, and I really am getting great training from great and experienced teachers. They are strict, but very friendly and kind at the same time. If anyone would like to check out some pictures, or other information, our website is http://www.bossovballet.com I just took the exam 2 days ago, and am getting my results back this week. So if anyone has any questions for me, feel free to ask them! Oh, and I am in level 4 and age 14 (as of today!!)



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It was also extremely hot during these exams! Level five did very well this year with their grades! Looking forward to an awsome summer at BBT!

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I wanted to add that to have high scores is not an easy thing to do at BBT. If the exam results are good then they are well earned.


The boarding program has had dancers from many parts of the United States and several countries. Recently the boarders from the greatest distance to Maine were from British Columbia, South America,and Alaska. Throughout the seven years that BBT has been affiliated with MCI there have been many families that have also chosen to move to Pittsfield with their families in order to have their child or children train with Andrei and now with Natalya. Often they were families that had had their children in wonderful and respected schools elsewhere but were stunned by the level of training when they experienced BBT by either visiting or having attended their SI. It is really worth considering for families looking for a ballet program with a strong academic school attached.

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  • 2 months later...

I speak VERY highly of this school. I went there two summers in a row (2003,2004), and improved GREATLY. The training at Bossov is unlike anywhere else, and the teachers are superb. It is a very vaganova school, and it is very focused on intense ballet training. Mr.Bossov runs an excellent school. :grinning:


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  • 3 weeks later...
I really loved BBT this summer, and they wanted me to come for the year (my summer is 'wasted', as ... put it) but I couldn't.


I hope that this is a paraphrase and not a direct quote from a teacher :blink:


No education is ever wasted and while a teacher may indeed be disappointed that a promising student can't commit to a full-time course of study, I would hope that no matter how strong the teacher, how strong the program, they do not resort to 'guilting' summer study students into staying year round...

Edited by vrsfanatic
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Mona Lisa Dancer,

There are a few ways to reduce the cost of year round. The tuition for BBT is $265 month. Many students board at MCI and pay the full cost of MCI. MCI and BBT do offer scholarships. To save money some board with locals. They must still pay the BBT tuition and just the MCI tuition. Boarding in town tends to be cheaper than on campus. The third option is move with a parent and rent an apartment. Then you attend MCI as a public school student for free and just pay the BBT tuition.

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May I please ask that it is understood that here, at Ballet Talk for Dancers, we do try to refrain from using teacher's names other than to say :) or :sweating: or not one's cup of tea. Discuss the program in general, but personal discussions of individuals should be kept to a minimum. Please keep to the subject matter and not turn the discussion into a chat session.


May I ask that some editing be done on all of the posts so as to refrain from discussions of a personal nature?


Thank you for your understanding.

Edited by vrsfanatic
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