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This is starting to go in an 'us versus them' vein . . . . .


And if it seems that I was being antagonistic, then my apologies also. My DD's experience, and my perception of that appearance, is very different from what Kikiswede describes, so I thought it good to have that on the table also, for those trying to make these huge and very difficult decisions. I have also attempted to be very honest about my relative ability to judge this in terms of proximity and length of experience, and even alluded to the fact that I'm open to changing my views, and will update others when/if I do. I am also very grateful to Kikiswede personally, and others, who have taken the time to offer their perspective even when they are 'out of the madness' themselves, so to speak.


Ideally it would be great if more people could continually weigh in on these kinds of conversations here on BT4D so that the pool of subjective experiences can be deeper. Just as with Amazon.com customer feedback - it can be overwhelming wading through all the various personality variables, but you eventually start to see trends! Facebook strikes me as a bit less anonymous, neutral, and dedicated than a board such as BT4D. There are more checks and balances here, and less likelihood of random emotional outbursts or specific angles. But, I know not everyone has an account here (unlike Facebook!) and some of these schools are small.


Finally, a personal plea: I would ask that we all try to keep to particulars and move slowly and carefully toward universals, as much as possible. For example, statements such as "Of course young students love the idea of living away from parental eyes" are very much general assumptions, however understandable, and don't, I think, accurately characterize my DD, or her specific reasons for making the difficult choices she is making, or my reasons for consenting to them. My goal here is to simply present to you our specific case so that others can judge how well it matches theirs. Yet I feel that this general statement, following immediately after my statements on the matter, may reflect DD and her current situation negatively and inaccurately.


Hate to sound snippy about any of this because I do truly value all input from all sources, especially those that have seen the most. :unsure: [Probably the wrong emoticon here, but not sure they've invented it yet? Head banging on the wall always looks good to me! :-)]


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Not sounding snippy to me ...contrare, I appreciate honest opinions...thank you!

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All right, no need to discuss the 'gentle reminder'. It was not directed at anyone specifically, just a gentle reminder to share one's own experiences and let other's share theirs.


Please, return to the discussion at hand, which is the Bossov program, and not the posts themselves. :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...


As for company placement Bossov will not do a lot of leg work in finding a company or being like an agent for a dancer. They will do the video and letters of recommendation. It is up to the dancer to make a wish list, find out when auditions are held, who to contact, and who to network with. They may refer dancers to companies where previous students have gotten contracts. For colleges and universities it's the same except that the MCI guidance department can be more involved. Bossov dancers do well getting into college programs. Examples include Hartt, Boston Conservatory, Smith, Swarthmore, and Dean College.

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  • 3 months later...
Guest narthaki



If financial aide isn't quite enough to make it work in the dorm, ask them about the Ballet Host Home right next to the campus that has one or two spots left for this year. Even when the full tuition and Ballet classes are paid for, the room and board at the Ballet House is a huge savings for families, but offers alot of personal pluses like meals that accomodate after school classes and rehearsals.

Hi we are considering the year around progarm at MCI/bossov.
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  • 2 months later...


I just saw this thread and had to reply. I attened Bossov ballet year around and for the summer program. Quiet frankly the program did not work out for me. This is NOT because of the ballet aspect of the program but, actually the dorm life and the school. I was presently from the West coast and used to a very laid back open enviornment. I was never thought of as a "bad" kid or someone who got into trouble often. I am however very headstrong and I enjoy challeneging my Educational teachers. This was a huge problem for the school and I. The dorm parents were very closed minded and also religiously geared. I am a Jewish American and this for some reason did not settle well with the Mormon aspect of the dorm. We were also treated like we were all sent away because our parents couldn't deal with us. There were extrenous rules and regulations that made my life in particular miserable. After my first year at Bossov I did however notice that my training had sky rocketed. But, I was emotionally a complete wreck. I had, had three roles taken away from me the night before the performances and I had to deal with being called stupid because I was too intimadated and always forgot combinations. Over all the enviornment in my experience was not a plesent one that promoted growth both physically and mentally. Instead I ended up hating myself more then ever. Also, some of the girls experienced eating disorders and other sort of issues like injuries that made it so it ended their dance life. After I left about 4 other students left as well. Meaning that there was only 1 surviving student from my year that stayed an extra year then also left.


Andrei and Natasha are amazing teachers, they really deserve their own company and a much better enviornment where their dancers don't have to deal with the extreme politics of the school. Both of them are top of the line and if I could have Nat. every day for class in a different school I would jump at the idea. There just is no black and white to any situation and unfortunatly I cannot reccomend this school to anyone because emotionally it is not a safe enviornment for a young child that is still developing mentally.


I hope my experience can shed a little more light on the actual situation.

I attended the school in 2008-2009 and for the summer intensive we did Sleeping Beauty.

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I share the same perception as Sunshine. The ballet instruction of Natalya and Andrei is one of the best in the country. School life especially in the dorms is like trying to be a swan in the middle of charging water buffalos. (Team sport rahrah mentality.) There is little cohesiveness or communication between the academic staff and the ballet program with regards to daily classes, rehearsals, exams, papers, etc especially around performances. The athletic department has recently shown little or NO support of the ballet, drama, or music departments eventhough it is the students in these programs who are winning awards in their given field of creative study. The dancers are expected to show their school spirit however by attending as many school events or meets as possible.


The board of directors of the school is stuck in a mentality of 50 years ago...no exageration! New ideas and change is frowned upon here. The school enjoys the additional bodies and revenue the ballet program brings...but do they even understand the ballet world? NO!


The point of this is dance students who move here with one or more parent have a better chance of feeling supported emotionally and psychologically while balancing a private school academic program and the ballet program. My two daughters did well here. I would not however support living in the dorm environment for most young dancers considering it. (The male dancers seem to adjust a little better though.)

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Sunshine, we are pleased you have found us here on BT4D! However, and I'm sorry to comment like this on one of your first posts, but we do try to keep the threads in this Forum and in the SI Forum moving forward with sharing more recent experiences than those from more than a year ago. The presumption when we read the posts here are that they arrive in fairly chronological order, especially in terms of years attended. :wink:


No need to rehash experiences from years past. Things do change, perceptions change, and unless one is in the midst of the fray recently, old impressions may be exactly that: dated. Strolls down memory lane can be confusing to folks researching the various schools for current information.


Not to say that old experiences are not genuine, just that they may not be the most timely in terms of a present day evaluation. :thumbsup:

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For clarification there was only one Mormon dorm parent who worked there. And that was for two years and she hasn't worked there for several years. I will admitt the dorm parent CheyenneSunshine spoke of was more strict than others have been or than what I would have been but in any residential environment there are one or two students each year that break the rules.


As for students leaving, I know three graduated the year CheyenneSunshine left. They went on to dance in colleges and companies.


I disagree with Kikisweede about support from the athletic department for the arts. My sons both participate in music and sports. Many times my older son has gotten out of football practice early to go to music rehearsals. He had a role in a Drama production during football season one year. In another year the quaterback for the football team was in the spring ballet. Another athlete filled many walk on roles over the years he was at the school. Many athletes have worked back stage. A good number of students at the school participate in both sports and music. The school busses residential students to see the ballet performances at the neighboring city's opera house. The board of trusties does have a ballet parent. The head master's daughter and the daughter of the former dean of academics are also a young after school ballet students. Four years ago the school hired a new head master and there have been many positive changes.


My family chose to move to the school because we wanted or daughter to grow up with our values not those of either dorm or host parents.

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I'll try to have my DD give her take when she is back from school (although homework is starting to pile up, so no guarantees).


She attended MCI/Bossov last year as a residential student. We have now moved to the area for personal family reasons, and because we miss her, but she still misses the dorms! She says that there are pros and cons to either scenario - living as a residential student, or at home with parents. However, she hasn't had much time yet to experience the latter at this particular school. Last year she bonded well with the adults in the dorms. She had a pretty balanced life for a ballet dancer high school student - socially and academically - she even tried her hand at a musical theatre school production. This could never have happened in her previous, day time ballet program, even though she was homeschooled most of that time. She did very well academically at MCI. My only complaint with the academics is the constant homework that is assigned throughout every break and vacation including the summer.She definitely struggled with homesickness, and some of her own (not to mention others') teen demons for a couple of the winter months, but she worked through it and came out on top as a much more mature and independent person. She was the only female freshman in the dorms that year, and she was also dealing with a lot of personal 'firsts' - first year of high school, first year away from home, first year at traditional school, etc..


In terms of strictness, my non-dancing son attended a residential academic program closer to home for his final two years of high school, and I have to say that was much more strict, bureaucratic, and difficult for even the parents to deal with - constant detentions if you failed to comply with the multiple daily 'face checks' and complex signing out systems. He ended up getting suspended for failing to draw his curtains prior to a long weekend break - well that was the final straw after a string of such offenses that my ADHD son struggled to remember and comply with - i.e. he wasn't trying to rebel, just a symptom of his completely spacey personality. MCI, by comparison, is a breeze. But one has to keep in mind that in any residential situation involving minors there is not going to be much free-spiritedness allowed or built into the system. And from the little I have observed, those residential places that are more lax seem to generate more problems both from a student and parental perspective (not unlike the case of toddler panic when boundaries fail to be clearly drawn -freedom within structure).


In terms of the ballet instruction, DD has improved hugely in a year, and she loves the teachers and the instruction. In that respect, it is a great fit for her. I haven't really got to know the teachers personally, but standing from afar, they seem to be deeply caring and invested in their students, with a healthy sense of humor to go with that. I think perhaps their humor (this is all based on comments my dd has made) can sometimes seem a bit abrasive to some? DD grew up with my British sarcasm and plenty of Russian ballet teachers from day one, so it hasn't really been an issue for her so far. But the impression I receive is that they work hard and care about all their students. But again, this mainly comes through the lens my child provides.


I think that because of the high turnover, there is less social cohesiveness amongst the ballet students compared to her previous school where many of the kids grew up with each other, and there was less coming and going generally. That has probably been the hardest thing for her to adjust to. From my perspective, the school has so far been a great fit. She is happy with her progress (well, as much as any ballet student is on a typical day!). Her ballet program is more balanced than it has ever been in the past, which allows her to have somewhat of a life outside ballet, and space to think about her other strengths and propensities. So far, it hasn't proved a huge burden on the rest of the family (i.e. with the constant ballet commute and hanging around for hours waiting for endless rehearsals and classes to get done). It was more affordable for us last year, even as a resident student, than her former day ballet school due to its huge emphasis on YAGP and private lessons (my new mortgage payment is now significantly less than the amount I was expected to pay monthly on private lessons alone at her former school), gas prices, restaurant food purchased on the go, etc.. So for us, I feel good about being able to get the best ballet education we can afford without the sense we are sacrificing everything for ballet. If she walks away from ballet at some point, it won't be quite as upsetting since there is now so much more balance to all our lives. Ballet is her thing now - between her and the teachers. My investment in the process is so much smaller.


I agree that things can change from year to year, so I'll provide an update as necessary. But that is my perspective of how things went for her last year.

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LovesLabor, I'm so glad to hear your DD (and your family) has landed in a place that fits you all so well!! I can feel the calmness emanating from your post. Merde!

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  • 5 months later...

Does anyone else with actual experience of living in the dorm within 2012 or 2013 have any opinions/experiences they'd like to share? I'd like to read how the girls are doing, what it's like to board in the summer, and what it's like currently to board year round. Thanks!

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Guest narthaki

 She says life is nice, very orderly and her only complaint is with meals! Sometimes the cafeteria can become boring :) Of course it's hard living away from home but what can you do? She wants to dance.

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