Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Kirov Academy of Ballet


Guest balletandsynchro

Recommended Posts

  • 6 months later...
  • Replies 311
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Alexandra

    27

  • learningdance

    15

  • Balletwatcher

    11

  • balletgilly3

    13

Since this thread doesn't have any information so far regarding Kirov's Virtual Ballet Program that was launched this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought I'd write out our family's experience with it so far.

My DD(12) spent most of last year (2019/2020 school year) preparing to leave a competition-focused studio for a bigger, more serious classical program. Her dream school was the big three letter in our area. When she was offered placement there I asked a lot of questions about what a "hybrid" commuter program would mean and decided that it didn't leave enough room for personal health concerns and pandemic safety for our family's comfort. Thus, it was already Fall and we didn't have a top choice of school anymore. I was lamenting this situation to another dance mom who happened to know a girl who trained virtually with Kirov over the summer and had been so impressed that she stayed with them for the school year.

My DD enjoyed the audition and liked the style of teaching well enough that we decide to go with Kirov in spite of the fact that the difference in time zones would mean that she would have class from 6:45 or 7am 7days/wk!

I am so glad that we took a leap of faith! She has absolutely blossomed under their instruction. Some of the highlights of the program, IMO are:

The Intermediate Virtual kids zoom into class with the in-person Level 2/3 class. The teacher is excellent and seamlessly incorporates the online students into the class. Every single student gets many personal corrections in every class, and the virtual students are treated as though they are in the room. 

The extra ballet classes for only virtual students (both levels) with Artistic Director Mr. Du offer a different teaching style and pace of class where the young virtual kids mix with and "see" the advanced virtual students, many of whom are very inspiring.

The Sunday master classes with Mr. Kenichi Soki (also exclusively for virtual students) are wonderful. Mr. Soki is very engaging and talks a lot about fundamental principles of strong technique. He has a very sharp eye for details over Zoom.

Possibly the best part of this program is how friendly and welcoming the in-person students have been to my daughter. They have reached out over various forms of social media and made her feel that she is one of their good friends. When she struggled recently to learn a piece for their upcoming ballet exams, she texted to ask for help. Two classmates spent time after all of their YAGP rehearsals on a weekend to jump on a video call and review the dance with her. I was so touched by their generosity. It speaks very well of the general culture at the school that the students are so kind to other kids - even the ones they've never met in person!

In fairness, a low point so far:

The few times that my daughter's class has been combined with the advanced virtual class, the teacher seems not to ever look at or correct the virtual students at all. This leads me to suspect that this is not such a strong program for older/more advanced dancers.

I don't quite have private message privileges yet, but will be happy to answer any questions about the Virtual Ballet Program in this thread. ☺️

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
On 2/23/2021 at 9:33 PM, AlwaysMore2Learn said:

Since this thread doesn't have any information so far regarding Kirov's Virtual Ballet Program that was launched this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought I'd write out our family's experience with it so far.

My DD(12) spent most of last year (2019/2020 school year) preparing to leave a competition-focused studio for a bigger, more serious classical program. Her dream school was the big three letter in our area. When she was offered placement there I asked a lot of questions about what a "hybrid" commuter program would mean and decided that it didn't leave enough room for personal health concerns and pandemic safety for our family's comfort. Thus, it was already Fall and we didn't have a top choice of school anymore. I was lamenting this situation to another dance mom who happened to know a girl who trained virtually with Kirov over the summer and had been so impressed that she stayed with them for the school year.

My DD enjoyed the audition and liked the style of teaching well enough that we decide to go with Kirov in spite of the fact that the difference in time zones would mean that she would have class from 6:45 or 7am 7days/wk!

I am so glad that we took a leap of faith! She has absolutely blossomed under their instruction. Some of the highlights of the program, IMO are:

The Intermediate Virtual kids zoom into class with the in-person Level 2/3 class. The teacher is excellent and seamlessly incorporates the online students into the class. Every single student gets many personal corrections in every class, and the virtual students are treated as though they are in the room. 

The extra ballet classes for only virtual students (both levels) with Artistic Director Mr. Du offer a different teaching style and pace of class where the young virtual kids mix with and "see" the advanced virtual students, many of whom are very inspiring.

The Sunday master classes with Mr. Kenichi Soki (also exclusively for virtual students) are wonderful. Mr. Soki is very engaging and talks a lot about fundamental principles of strong technique. He has a very sharp eye for details over Zoom.

Possibly the best part of this program is how friendly and welcoming the in-person students have been to my daughter. They have reached out over various forms of social media and made her feel that she is one of their good friends. When she struggled recently to learn a piece for their upcoming ballet exams, she texted to ask for help. Two classmates spent time after all of their YAGP rehearsals on a weekend to jump on a video call and review the dance with her. I was so touched by their generosity. It speaks very well of the general culture at the school that the students are so kind to other kids - even the ones they've never met in person!

In fairness, a low point so far:

The few times that my daughter's class has been combined with the advanced virtual class, the teacher seems not to ever look at or correct the virtual students at all. This leads me to suspect that this is not such a strong program for older/more advanced dancers.

I don't quite have private message privileges yet, but will be happy to answer any questions about the Virtual Ballet Program in this thread. ☺️

Hello! My DD is an advanced student in the virtual program!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your overview along with all of its incredible pros, extremely accurate!!  I would love to add that the advanced virtual students get ample attention, so much so,  in fact during class time in centre portion, the teachers make time to separately watch the advanced zoom students execute each combination separately from the in person. During exam prep, they had even more attention dedicated to them than in person students had.  My daughters main teacher knows all of my daughters strengths and areas to improve upon and has grown a wonderful connection with my daughter, due to all the attention towards virtual students.  Corrections are always being directed to virtual students (more so than in person) and are extremely individual.  All of my daughters teachers work very hard with the advanced virtual students and pay ample attention.  My daughter never leaves class without a list of things (corrections/compliments) that where said to her 

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, hjjky said:

Hello! My DD is an advanced student in the virtual program!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your overview along with all of its incredible pros, extremely accurate!!  I would love to add that the advanced virtual students get ample attention, so much so,  in fact during class time in centre portion, the teachers make time to separately watch the advanced zoom students execute each combination separately from the in person. During exam prep, they had even more attention dedicated to them than in person students had.  My daughters main teacher knows all of my daughters strengths and areas to improve upon and has grown a wonderful connection with my daughter, due to all the attention towards virtual students.  Corrections are always being directed to virtual students (more so than in person) and are extremely individual.  All of my daughters teachers work very hard with the advanced virtual students and pay ample attention.  My daughter never leaves class without a list of things (corrections/compliments) that where said to her 

What you may have observed could have been from a day where the advanced ladies didn’t have their main exam teacher they are under.  All of the teachers know each virtual student very well, due to the fact the girls are much older some nearing almost 20 years old.  The teachers look at the zoom students and give a correction they saw someone do through zoom, but address it to the class as a whole without singling anyone out, just simply due to the fact that some of the students are adults and young women themselves. (less of a being spoonfed by their teacher method). Some teachers have more of an approach to address corrections they see to the group as a whole, and expecting this group of older girls to apply everything being said, regardless if it was directed towards them or not.   

I hope this cleared things up 👍🏼 and glad to hear you’re having such a wonderful experience with the school like we are!! 

Link to comment

@hjjky this is so wonderful to hear! I'm very glad you added your own experience and perspective to this thread. It's wonderful to hear that the Advanced Virtual program is just as strong as the Intermediate Virtual level! 

Congratulations to you and your DD - we have heard several teachers mention how impressed they were with the Advanced Virtual girls' performance on their ballet exams. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Link to comment
4 hours ago, AlwaysMore2Learn said:

@hjjky this is so wonderful to hear! I'm very glad you added your own experience and perspective to this thread. It's wonderful to hear that the Advanced Virtual program is just as strong as the Intermediate Virtual level! 

Congratulations to you and your DD - we have heard several teachers mention how impressed they were with the Advanced Virtual girls' performance on their ballet exams. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Absolutely!! So glad you and you’re DD are thrilled with the program as much as we are! :) 

Wow! That’s so nice hear! I’ll make sure to pass that nice message to my DD who is going to be beyond happy after hearing that!  Congratulations to your DD for completing exams!! All of the levels worked so hard for exam day.  

Thank you again for the wonderful news regarding the exam comments! I’m sure my DD will be asking me if one of the several teachers included her exam teacher, as she worked so hard to make her teacher happy with her performance!!  Do you know by any chance if one of the several teachers included the virtual advanced girls exam teacher!

 

Thanks so much! 

Link to comment

I think you mean Mdme. Ninel - she's not one of the teachers my daughter mentioned. However, I understood from one of the recent Kirov emails that there will be individual comments included on Gradelink with the ballet exam results as part of their progress reports. They had said those will be available around the end of the month.

My daughter is also eager to see her ballet exam results and get her teacher's comments. She worked incredibly hard to be ready for her first ever exams. She is new to classical ballet this year, so she has been very motivated to give her best efforts!

Edited by AlwaysMore2Learn
Minor grammatical error
Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

News from Kirov's Board regarding the upcoming school year:

Mr. Runqiao Du has stepped down from the position as Artistic Director citing the need for a more flexible schedule in order to spend time with his own children. The Kirov Virtual Ballet Program will not continue, but Mr. Du has launched an independent virtual ballet program under his own name that he will run from his home studio. Kirov Academy will return to in-person training for all enrolled students.

Mr. Joan Boada, originally from Cuba and a former principle of San Francisco Ballet, will be the new Artistic Director. 

I will come back to provide my DD's feedback once the school year is well underway. Since she was virtual last year, this will be her first year boarding at the school. She is very excited to move into the dorm soon (she was there for the summer and cannot wait to get back to her friends and beloved teacher.)

Edited by AlwaysMore2Learn
Added a missing word.
Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

Boston Ballet announced today that Joan Boada will be taking over Boston Ballet II effective June 2022.  Any word on the fate of this school now?  I've been hearing not-great rumors...

Link to comment

The Kirov Academy will close its doors at the end of this school year as far as the parents and students have been informed. The faculty, staff, and director Boada are making wonderful efforts to assist all the students in finding places at other programs for next year. It seems that the major financial loss of the embezzlement has proven too much for the school to overcome, in spite of continuing excellence at actually teaching ballet. 

My DD is very sad to have finally found an environment that suited her temperament and her training needs only to have it close. We are gearing up for an important audition season since she will need to find a new school for year round training.

Link to comment

Can confirm that the school is closing. DD (now some years graduated) was advised to request copies of transcripts now so that she has them for university applications in her post-ballet future.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...