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School of Alberta Ballet


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I've searched the board and found a bit of info on this school. I believe a couple of teen posters have attended in the past. I would be interested in any info/opinions you can give me on either the year-round or the summer program. My girls are only 8 and 11 right now, and I'm curious about the caliber of the younger students, # of classes, teaching style, performance opportunities and general culture of the school. Is it difficult to be accepted to the professional division (website says it starts around age 10)? This is one of very few company affiliated schools in Canada. Thank-you for any information. :innocent:

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  • mamabear7


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To Dancindaughters,

Sorry - I've been away and just now saw this post so maybe you've gotten your information already. My dd has attended the School of Alberta Ballet in the professional division for going on 4 years. She moved from a small recreational studio.


By the end of her first year we saw huge, major improvement in her technique which continues. The head of the school is Murray Kilgour and his wife, Nancy, is the head pedagogue. Both are excellent teachers who really care about their students and their health. DD loves almost all of her teachers.


PD students take classes six days a week (beginning at the Elementary level, around age 13). Younger PD kids do not take class on Saturday.

Ballet is Mon through Sat. Jazz once a week, modern-twice a week, pointe 3-4 times a week.

More advanced classes do partnering.


Joyce Schietze is responsible for the teaching of the Cecchetti syllabus. Students take Cecchetti exams.


As far as performance opportunities:

Nutcracker is a professional production by Alberta Ballet but uses many School of Alberta Ballet students. The kids cannot be over 5'4" and must audition for parts. There are 7 or 8 performances of Nutcracker.

In May or June, there is a performance by the whole school.

Students in the Pre-professional program (high school grads) have been able to work with the company and perform is some company productions. 4 graduates of the school are now employed by the company.


Since my daughter came to the school as an older dancer, I cannot tell you much about the younger PD dancers although many of my daughter's classmates have been at the school since they were very young. They started in the Regular Division then progressed to PD.


The teachers and artistic director at DD's summer intensives in the US have commented on the excellent training she is getting at her year round program. We have great confidence in this program and feel it is getting stronger thanks to the leadership of the Kilgours and their wonderful staff.

It is definitely the best choice for DD and us at this point in her training.


I hope this helped but please let me know if I left anything out!

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Guest Embroideredtutus

Just for interests sake, rosentom, what are the times of your daughters classes? From what I have heard they start awfully early, does that mean they go home early or are they there pretty much the whole evening?

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There are two high schools who work in a partnership with the School of Alberta Ballet - one Catholic, one not. Because of this, the ballet students leave school early and head straight over to ballet. Ballet classes last year began at 3:15. It wasn't a bad schedule at all. Only one night went after 7pm.

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  • 5 years later...

Does anybody know any information about residence? I know homestay is offered however my parents are very against that option. I was wondering if there was alternatives?

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I do not believe residence will be an option for the full year program this year. Home-stays look like the only available option for now.

They are trying to set up their own academic school for Sept 2011. professional division dancers dance from 8-10 am Monday to Friday at the younger ages (School grade 6 -9) and the high school students start at 2:00. As you advance in the levels there are more after school training as well and eventually Saturdays.


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The school might have their residency and academic program back in place, as they are holding auditions for ages 10 and up in November. Anyone have any further information on this?

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I don't have an answer to the last question posted. I have other questions, though. I am wondering if anyone has experience with the post-secondary program. Do they sometimes take students directly based on the audition or is it only after the summer intensive that they make an offer for the year-round program? If an post-secondary applicant gets into the summer program, what are her chances of getting into the year-round program? I realize the answer depends on the dancer as well as other factors that no one can guarantee but I am just trying to get a sense of the odds, i.e., how many from the summer get into the year-round program. Any other information would also be appreciated.

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In response to Ms Leigh's residency question:


As of September 2011, the School of Alberta Ballet has opened its own full-year residences so that students from across Canada and from around the world have a place to live while they study ballet. Located on the Mount Royal University campus, the new townhouse residence is right across the street from Bishop Carroll High School and only a few minutes drive from the School of Alberta Ballet.




I don't know personally, but that is what they say on the site...I hope that helped.


I am interested in the answers to Natalma's questions, too!

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I spoke to the school directly this Fall. They do have a residence and an academic program for the professional division. I am wondering if anyone on the board has had children attend the professional division and if they could offer any insight into whether or not you/your child is happy with the program, or any comments about the program. Thanks :)


Just edited to add that I hope this is in the right place, if not please redirect me!

Edited by momtodancer
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  • 9 months later...

Does anyone have any updated info on this school?


I have heard it has become a really good program, and has been mentioned to us a an option for next year. I am also really interested because it is has a residence, as opposed to a billet program.


Any info would be appreciated!

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What kind of updated info? From there I might be able to help you out. Also, you can read their professional program handbook on their website, and they are more than happy to answer any questions that you have if you call the school.

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Thank you for the direction to the handbook, it answered a few of my questions.


It sounds wonderful, and expensive. Can you give me an idea of what the annual tuition and/or residence fees are for the professional division? Are there a fair amount of international students?? Are privates lessons part of the culture of the school, are the expected and/or necassary to "get ahead"?


Thanks for any info you can give me!!

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It is expensive. Easily expect to pay close to $30,000/year once you include all expenses for dancewear/shoes/travel/academic expense. You can apply for financial assistance however. There are some international students but they are the minority. Private classes are not part of the professional division anyway, I don't know where they would find the time to provide them as the students already have an intense dance schedule. I am not sure what you mean by "get ahead", the School works with all their dancers to help them suceed, and if it becomes evident that the program is no longer a good fit for the child, then they will not be asked to come back for the next year.

Edited by momtodancer
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