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Ballet Talk for Dancers


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  • 4 weeks later...
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  • vicarious


  • kikiswede


  • LovesLabor


I'm not on BT4D much so if you have questions please email reuterdawn@hotmail.com -Vicarious

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  • 3 months later...

My son will be attending Bossov and MCI as a year round student this year., he will be a Junior. My question is - is there anywhere in town where we can leave some of his items (blankets, sheets, pillow, etc) fo r\the time between 07/31 & 08/26 so that he doesn't have to bring them home and take them back again? Or would it be easier to have them shipped to MCIbefore school starts? He is excited about coming to Maine for the year and he loves the weather up there now. Much cooler than our Midwest heat & humidity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm curious to know how rehearsals for Nutcracker/ Spring Recital are handled at Bossov. Are regular classes suspended for a period of time in order to concentrate on rehearsals? And if so, how long a period would that typically be?



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No classes are not suspended for rehearsals. Usually rehearsals are Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons after classes. Soloists may be asked to come additional evenings. Rehearsals are usually split up between the teachers in different studios. It is until a few weeks before that full cast rehearsals start. Frequently most of a class may be cast in the same piece. On occasion the last part of class may be used to work on that part. Rehearsals are much more than learning choreography and "moves". Corrections on the basics continue. Feet, arms, hip placement ect. The process reminds me of writing where you learn spelling, punctuation and grammar separately (technique classes) then you put it together and write an essay. DD learned equally as much rehearsing and being coached in roles as in technique classes.

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So it sounds like the routine stays pretty consistent then, until perhaps a few weeks before performance. That was mainly what I wanted to know.


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  • 6 months later...

I know it is a little late for my reply, however I will post just the same. My dd is a year round, residential student at MCI. Presently, in her second year. Vicarious did a great job of outlining the BBT Dance Program. If anyone has any questions relating to MCI as a residential program, feel free to send me a pm.

I am not sure if you still follow this blog. I am considering MCI/Bossov for my DD. My concern is placement after they graduate from the program. Can you please give any details that can help our decision.

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Eight years and two daughters at Bossov...I'm still here for your questions.

I am considering MCI/Bossov for my DD. My concern is placement after they graduate from the program. (Both college and dance )Can you please give any details that can help our decision.

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Bossov Ballet offers one of the best technical Vaganova programs in the country and every dancer who studies here benefits whether or not it is as a summer student or a year round student. With that said, it is not an extension pre-professional school for a ballet company. It does share the real estate with a prep school in Maine and offers a day ballet program that follows an accredited syllabus. All dancers are unique in their ability and goal. I have two daughters who both graduated from the school and the Bossov program. One was hired as a paid company member at 17, and after a two year contract she enrolled in college and pursed dance with other companies and genres of dance. The other daughter decided to pursue an academic major at a university with a dance program for an elective. In the ballet class she was placed in the advanced level with mostly juniors and seniors because of her training at Bossov.


Bossov will provide studio and assistance in developing audition tapes. Auditioning for colleges with dance programs or companies are entirely up to the personal decision of the dancer and family, however the director will provide letters of recommendation as needed.


The male dancers can pretty much go where they want to. The female students would benefit from early self analysis and recognition as to whether or not they are classical russian ballet types, and if that is the direction they can realistically pursue. That is the advice for the dancer looking for immediate classical ballet employment. More than not, a female dancer with "all the right stuff" will have to pay dues as a trainee or apprentice in a company who might hire them. You know those positions are not paid for the most part and it is an entirely unfair way for companies to fill their ranks of dancers, but they can get away with it because there are thousands of talented willing female dancers out there coming out of programs like Bossov.


Acceptance into a college/university with a dance program is more likely and probably the wisest decision for most students to consider. Attending a prep school helps, but living in a dorm is not advisable from my personal point of view. Best scenario?... At least one parent should move here with the student to provide a secure home to go to at the end of a very long day.


Life on campus and in the dorms is life by a bell...even at night. Dancers need more freedom to relax, sleep, and eat when they need/want to. Juggling both a college prep or honors curriculum AND the Vaganova ballet program is intense intense intense! Dorm population is primarily non-dancers with no clue. Many of them are international exchange students.


Dance students who go home after school are the most successful for the most part.You need to insist on boarding your child with one of the several ballet families in the area and don't take no for an answer...the prep school of course wants the family dorm and meal money, but because the school is NOT a performing arts school and seperate, alot of the staff don't "get dancers." (I have hosted 48 dance students summers and year round in nine years.)


Dance students who leave their training too early as some have done at Bossov, aren't emotionally ready for the competetive world of ballet. If your DD attends Bossov then commit to the whole program. Since there is no modern, contemp or jazz, you will need to take control of your additional training outside of the ballet program. There are options in the area and the Drama teacher at the school is teaching show dance and tap for the performances she has staged at the school.


I know I have gone beyond the question here, but it is a very important decision that requires due diligence. Do I recommend another program out there as better? No. Just keep your wits about you and get as informed as you can so your student will get the most out of the experience. Remove your rose colored glasses...none of the ballet pre-professional programs are perfect, just try and find the one that fits your personal needs in the best way.

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I can't really add more regarding placement etc than Kikiswede has just mentioned, and what can already be gleaned from their website.


I did want to give my DDs perspective on dorm life however. This is her first year there and she is loving the training so far. I was concerned for all the reasons Kikiswede has just mentioned regarding dorm life. I was thinking (and haven't completely ruled out) joing her in Maine next year. However, DD actually doesn't want that. She is enjoying the residential experience so far and does not want to be on the outside of that. She feels a rapport with her fellow borders that she doesn't think would be there if she were living in the town. The town is tiny and she is having a much harder time adjusting to the new community, than to life in the residential hall. Some of her resident friends are dancers and others are not ( many are Chinese/Asian). That's not to say her life is perfect there, or that she doesn't miss home - she does. It also doesn't mean that it is the ideal for every student. But it is working well for her, at least so far. I may need to update this in June! :wink:


She is also doing well academically. I personally feel that she is probably having the most balanced life there than she has had for many years - a great combination of good ballet training, good academic training, and normal high school experiences. From what I can tell (and remember, unlike Kikiswede, I am not a close observer of any of this, and definitely a newbie) the balance and understanding that exists between the academic and ballet teachers is probably as good as it gets, since in this case, there is such a strong symbiotic relationship between the two entities. As a parent, I actually love the fact that academic school fights for the supreme spot in the student's life. I don't want her to be in the situation where it feels like academics is something to be gotten out of the way so that we can move on to the important part of the day - i.e. ballet training. Again, this is all very relative to my particular child, and I can't comment on how all this would impact another. But I did want to be the voice for those who have had a positive residential experience there, even if not a prolonged one.

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LovesLabor has a valid point of view as a parent who lives away from the campus. One reason that dancers have a problem with integrating with the community is that the students are literally restricted with a schedule that makes it almost impossible to leave the campus, and when they do many of the businesses in the town are closed. There is a $1 Monday night movie theatre for instance but it is a school night and there is required studyhall after the bell when "dinner is over" ... and there is an added cost to drive dorm students to the stores in the area towns that is a bit pricey.I'm just trying to show you the structure imposed on perceptions.


Dancers who live off campus still get their homework done but in a more relaxed flexible self determined way and that goes hand in hand with self discipline.I wish you could speak with the full complement of parents of the dance program so you can best identify with the right course for your DD. In defense of the ballet program director, he is obligated to fill dorm spaces as long as he uses the campus for classes, and the dorm is a real option for many students who have no other apparent way of combining excellent ballet training with academics. I am a voice introducing the concept...Dorms are NOT the only way and perhaps not the preferable way for young high school kids when there are other alternatives.


Of course young students love the idea of living away from parental eyes! Parents should not be seduced or manipulated into any decision regarding their children as there are times when the answers are not so obvious. Stress can lead to eating disorders in dorms as well as at home...when wouldl it be identified faster and be supported with counseling sooner? The answer is obvious. I am witness to that challenge for dancers over nine years also, and in almost every case the student left the school or sometimes returned dropping dance. Yes it happenes everywhere, but I would prefer to be available immediately if it were my DD,


It does require a dancer to be clear on his/her objective following graduation. I can tell you for every dancer who balances school dorm life and the dance program, there is a list of very talented dancers who dropped out of the dance program because of the pressure of balancing two worlds...dance and non-dance. Academics ARE vital...and that is the reason we are happy to have stayed at this school...as residents in town. This has been a very odd year with dorm dancers having little to do with local off campus dancers. I am happy for LovesLabor's DD finding her stride...but I reiterate, the things that fall through the cracks when a parent isn't available for their DD at this school can be a life changing incident for the DD.


The international dorm students don't understand the dance student's goals as many come from countries where the only thing that matters is scores on tests. I have students from Asia who stay with me during vacations when dancers go home and they are bewildered about ballet. Friendly yes...better goals? No...just different. My point about the mixed dorm life is that as dancers become older and more focused in school, it would be better for dancers to have complete rest when they need it...minus late night distractions in neighboring dorm rooms. In addition, during performance weeks, this school doesn't care if dancers have late night rehearsals and papers, projects, or tests the next day. There are a few academic teachers who will reschedule tests but there are a majority of academic teachers who are almost hostile about the ballet program...and don't give a hoot about late night rehearsals. Yes...the dancers get stressed and often sick from the demands of two conflicting worlds. Most of the decision makers are the football/basketball group. What do they know about dance life? Very little. I wish this school would become a true performing arts school instead of a prep school with arts extras.

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Please, let's leave room for each other's experiences, viewpoints, and vantage points. No need to 'just to defend'. Report experiences and let those reading and evaluate give their own weight. This is starting to go in an 'us versus them' vein . . . . .

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I agree that all points of view are valid...and here are my personal experiences and another's personal experience are stated as real considerations. I agree it is important to be fair and balanced and it is true in this case when considering dorm life... it is a purely subjective experience. Few are still around here though who have witnessed the fall out...and too often when DKs graduate parents are exhausted and don't care to revisit issues. I am still here and I do care...and I do praise the program itself. I don't think it is an issue of "Us" vs "Them" at all and I am sorry if that is how it was being read. Ultimately I believe we are ALL for supporting what is in the best interest of ALL the dancers at the school regardless of where they live.


It is a matter of two moms with varying personal experiences and an encouragement for future parents of potential dance students in this program to find out what path fits for them...I hope that it is a healthy thing to consider all points of view...and not antagonistic. I have deep respect for everyone's subjective lens on life and the choices out there. But thank you for your insight. Just a note, there is a Bossov Facebook page and it is possible to msg members connected with Bossov...former students and parents. I hope that will help objectify everything.

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thank you for your detailed message. Our DD is dedicated, hard working and disciplined. But she is 14. Wisdom can only come with age. We are hoping that she can get a ballet training that will lead to a performing career, to be supported with academic skills and a college degree and a well paying job . As humans we can only plan and leave the rest up to divine providence. Whatever happens will be for the best. Thanks once again

Edited by narthaki
deleted unnecessary full quote of lengthy post. Takes up too much bandwidth. :thumbsup:
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