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National Ballet School of Canada


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I am really nerves. I am going to audion for National Ballet School of Canada and Quinte, but what will it be like. I know this has been asked many times but I have looked and can't find anything about audioning to NBS or Quinte! I guess I am asking are all audions differant if so what are NBS and Quinte like??? Or what it is like to go there???

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Melissa, I don't know much about what it is like in either school, however most auditions consist of a class. :)

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I did reply on an earlier thread that I had some knowledge of both schools...I can't remember if you were the original poster on that one or not.


As Ms. Leigh has indicated, the audition for both Quinte and NBS is a class. Details would really depend on your age, the number of auditioning dancers in the class, and the particular teacher giving the class. NBS is pretty particular about the body type they look for (i.e. long limbs, excellent flexibility); Quinte has in the past taken a pretty broad range of dancers, however there's been a recent change in artistic staff this year so I'm less informed now.


I think I've mentioned before that year-round students at NBS live in a residence. NBS also has an academic program, so dancers don't have to go elsewhere for that. The facilities are currently being updated - much construction happening on Jarvis Street! I'm not sure what the completion date is, maybe another year?


Quinte dancers stay in a residence for the summer (it's part of a private school in the town, no students at that school during the summer). During the year, however, students stay with "billets" or host families. The ballet school provides a list of potential families, and then you and your parents would be responsible for final arrangements. The ballet school is quite new, with good facilities. It is next door to the public high school that dancers attend. The elementary school is a short walk, but I believe students are required to be driven to dance by the school van.


Hope this information helps.



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Mom2 is right that the audition for NBS is a class. It will, however, be a very basic class without all the usual combinations. They also spend a great deal of time assessing flexiblity and just looking at your body proportions. Parents are allowed to watch the audition. At the end of the audition numbers of the dancers who will be invited to the summer program are called out. The auditioners try to make it a positive experience for everyone there, though. Good luck and have fun!

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  • 8 months later...

Gracey mentioned that her husband is not a fan of the Ontario curriculum and therefore decided against auditioning their daughter this year. Is the NBS curriculum somehow lacking? How are the classes there structured?


There seems to be no question that NBS has superb ballet training, but what about the academic portion?

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I'd also like to say that I thought NBS' academic school was part of their own private - as we use the word here in the USA - school. In the USA, again this is all I know, a private school does not have to follow the prescribed State curriculum. Yes, they have requirements but in many of the states down here there are some excellent private schools which may exist in parts of the country that may not have particularly good public schools.


I hope that tendumom and other current or recent parents or students themselves will give their first hand opinions on the academics at NBS. :thumbsup:


P.S. Just a note to say: It's fine if Gracey wants to explain why her husband doesn't like Ontario's curriculum - if that has any impact upon NBS' academics I don't konw - but we need to remember that attending a school is quite different than what someone might think about a school.

Edited by BW
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This is the only thing I was able to find on their web site regarding academics:


"The Ontario Ministry of Education inspects the School, and all courses of study follow Ministry guidelines. The curriculum includes: history of ballet, art, music, photography, English, French/francais, mathematics, science, history, geography and career studies, all of which support the dance training program, while at the same time preparing students for life-long learning and post-secondary education after a career in dance. "



Being in the U.S., I'm not exactly sure what the Ontario Ministry guidelines are. I assume this is what Gracey was referring to? :thumbsup:

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Hi there,


The Ontario curriculum is actually quite rigorous, in fact some have criticized it for being overly so!


The high school choices may look a bit odd if you are used to the US system and all the AP and IB alternatives. AP hasn't yet taken Canada by storm, and in a small setting like NBS it would be quite difficult to have enough students who needed a particular course at any one time to make it feasible.


Here in CAnada the education system is governed at a provincial level, so the provincial ministry of education sets standards and in our case very specific curricula and expected outcomes.


In Grades 9 and 10 there are "academic" and "applied" streams. I would assume that a small school like NBS would be able to offer only one, and I would further assume that this would be "academic." You should confirm with NBS however, I can't speak for them!


In Grades 11 and 12 courses are geared towards destinations - most typically "college" "university" or "workplace". Here in Canada "college" is what you know in the US as community college, or something more applied in nature, not a 4 year program. My guess is that the NBS Grade 11/12 courses would be University destination, or a mix of college/university.


Many Ontario students do go to US colleges, so it is my belief that the curriculum is a solid one. My older daughter is just heading off to University here in Canada - she didn't apply anywhere in the US, so I can't offer any comparison there.


If you have any specific questions about what happens here in Ontario I'm happy to try to ask. My kids have never attended the full time program at NBS though, so I can't give you information specific to that school. I can say that NBS augments the studies at some point with ballet history and that kind of thing.


Hope this helps.



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I agree that the Ontario Ministry requirements for a secondary school diploma are rigorous. My DD has a friend who went to Harid for one year, her graduation year. Despite earning a diploma from Spanish River High School and being inducted into the Harid Conservatory Chapter of the National Honor Society, she was still several credits short of earning her Ontario high school diploma, which she had to complete after returning home.

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Mylildancer, I hope you daughter is not too disappointed nor that she reads anything into this. The spots are few and the boys are coveted, especially if the NBoC forsees a shortage in male dancers in Sept 2007 or 2008.


As she was invited to go for the summer is a great indication of her potential at her age as they are very very particular at that age.


The young ones (the age of mine) are chosen on potential, not ability - thus they can be completely unmusical but have a magical foot/ nice long neck, arms to their knees and poof they are in ( for the sumer atleast) ahhh but those older girls have to have it all. The body, the feet, the right weight, height, the neck, the arms, the stength, line, center and most importantly the ability - without any bad habits!



I am not a fan of the Ontario Curriculum simply because only English is a required subject in grade 12. Thus the students can move away from things like math and science if they don't like it- regardless what the parents feel. I don't believe my kids at 16 or 17 ( I have a 16 year old boy as well) should be allowed to drop all the subjects they feel they are not skilled at (in relation to the other subjects) and take the path of least resistance. I feel they should be graduating with a wide range of subjects. I don't like the fact they can drop a second language in grade 9 or 10....


I can see my daughter now - a little english, a little history, some photography thrown in there, some drama as she has a flare for it let me tell you, maybe a literature course or 2...a couple spares to go to second cup ( our starbucks for those of you who don't know what second cup is)....


Having said that, if my daughter were in the public system learning under the Ontario Curriculum, I would not hesitate to consider NBS as an alternative academically. They meet and exceed the curriculum requirements, have small classes, UNIFORMS, UNIFORMS,UNIFORMS.


My only hesitation would be that horrible cut in grade 6 to 7 where a good chunk ( I think it was 12 of 22 girls a couple years ago) of the kids are cut. NBS goes from 2 grade 6 classes to one grade 7. It makes for a year of mourning for the kids who are cut and a horrible year for the parents. Not something I would like to even chance going through with my drama queen!

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Please use this thread for discussion/questions regarding NBS' year round program.


I'm opening up this new thread and may eventually move some posts from a variety of sources into this thread that discuss the year round program at NBS rather than their SI.


In the meantime, I hope any of you who are attending, or have attended, or are parents of full-time students (past and present) will share your knowledge.


Many thanks! :dry:

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I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier, but I've been away for a few days. I'm so sorry to hear of the outcome - it is never easy, no matter how well one feels prepared!! In the end, we are all simply parents wishing our kids happiness and opportunities.


as to the Ontario curriculum issue....


I suppose each individual's experience will be different. Many of the high school students I know gear their studies toward a specific destination, and this is where you will see the "mandatory" courses come into play...mandatory in that they are required for post-secondary entrance, not necessarily high school graduation. There are three University preparation math courses, for example, in Grade 12. None are required for graduation, but one is a typical expectation of Universities, and the other two may be required depending on desired course of study. Ultimately it's a balance, I suppose, between what the student wants and needs for post-secondary, and what the parent feels is appropriate. Each family, and possibly each student, will have differences there. For example, I doubt very much that I would want my younger daughter to take all the courses her sister did, in the same progression. What works for one isn't necessarily the best for all. :)

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  • 2 months later...

My dd is a new student at NBS this year, but I can offer some information about academics. The school follows the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum, as it is accredited by the Ministry. For those of you who are interested, the web site for the Ministry is found at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/


NBS offers courses on the academic track in grades 9 and 10 and most of the academic courses in grades 11 and 12 are on the university track. The system is quite different from that in the U.S. Math and science use integrated approaches in grades 9 and 10. Functions and precalculus are offered in in grades 10 and 11. A choice of physics, chemistry or biology are offered in grades 10 and 11. English is offered for 4 years. Social studies offerings are Canadian geography, Canadian history, civics, and world history. French is offered all 4 years in two tracks, a "Core" French for students who have had 600 hours French previously and a "Francais" class for French speakers. There are also elective visual arts courses. All the students have an enriched arts curriculum that includes drama, ballet history, vocal music, music theory, and visual arts. There are also courses in anatomy, health, and life skills.


By the way, the new facilities opened this fall and are great!

Edited by lilac07
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Any insight whether a US dancer's chance at acceptance would be significantly better traveling to Toronto to audition versus sending a video? Anyone been accepted by video?

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