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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How are your residency programs going?

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I really haven't seen any posts regarding how the new year at the residency programs are going. I am wondering if anyone would like to share......................

This is my DD first year away at a residency. She is two weeks into it and all is well. She is very pleased with her dance classes. She said Madame is really focusing on technique and only started back onto point yesterday. She said she loves class so much that the class is over before she knows it, and she isn't ready to be done yet. The academic classes are going well too. My husband and I are very impressed by the various teachers backgrounds, most of which have a masters or doctorate degree. DD's only complaint is one teacher, who as she describes, mumbles a little, so she has a hard time following him. He asked her if she always sleeps with her eyes open! We told her in time she will understand his articulation better and then class will be easier for her. As far as living conditions, all is GREAT! She has a really sweet roomy, and has made several new friends that she really likes. One friend who is from Baltimore, was kind enough to invite her to go out with her mom and friends last weekend. So.............Mom and Dad are happy too!

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I'm in my first year at Virginia School of the Arts, and so far I'm really enjoying it. After a little bit of a disorganized start, things are starting to settle down, especially after Nutcracker casting was posted. I'm really enjoying classes, and the size is perfect. There are anywhere from 8-12 dancers in each of 3 levels, which is really nice. The teachers are great, and it's so nice to be able to get the higher level of training and be surrounded by people who want the same things you do. The extra competition is taking a little bit to get used to, but I absolutely love it and I'm so glad I decided to come. The dorms aren't great; they really just need to be torn down and rebuilt because they are falling apart, but they are sufficient for right now. It's a big change, but I think so far it has been for the best.

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I understand this is a GENERAL topic for discussion, but is there any way to mention where you are studying so that the readers of this Board can get a feel for the various programs being discussed?


I know anonymity is great for the poster who needs to rave/vent, but what about the reader, looking for information?

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Guest Vicarmac

I agree, this forum will not be of much use except for the posters to either celebrate or vent if we don't know where they are studying. Which is okay. But even as a general forum it will be more worthwhile for all if we know what the schools are. So while there are places to find individual schools to post on this would be nice to just have a place with a few comments about the year so far at various schools all here in one place.

Mine is at NCSA and loves it. The dancing has just gotten in full swing, the first week or so is more academic focused and then there are placement auditions and then finally the regular level classes began.

This is daughter's first year away and she is a junior. She likes the fact that there is more than dancers there and is enjoying getting to know kids in drama, music etc.

So far she also thinks her regular tech teachers will be a good fit too.

Doesn't like caferteria food that much but who does.

The academic teachers are well qualified at NCSA too, many doctorates and people who also teach at Wake Forest. DD likes the atmosphere in that part too.

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Just chiming in to say it's great to hear these accounts either way posters feel comfortable (i.e. with or without naming the schools). There are so many issues, worries, challenges that are worthwhile to share. If you feel comfortable posting the school - great. Some participants feel they will be freer to post fairly specific concerns or questions (maybe on a day when all is not so rosy) in various forums, if they have not identified the school, and that's fine.


Anyway - it's great to hear how students are "settling in."

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DD, 15 yo, is at PBT. Not a true "residency" school in that there are no dorms, but instead, host housing. This I consider a plus, and daughter is in a fantastic, trendy part of Pittsburgh, with excellent public transportation. There is another student staying there too. Biggest disappointment was that the HS affiliated with the program didn't work out. As there is a ballet class in the morning during the first 3 periods of school (and then kids are bussed to the HS), it makes scheduling classes very difficult- especially if one involves a lab. So we decided on cyberschool, which daughter was going to do if she had stayed at home anyway. The HS itself is absolutely fine, and offers an IB program. After school, kids are bussed back to the ballet studio for more classes.


Class size is small- 12- and she likes the variety of teachers. There is also jazz, character and pilates once/week. Biggest bummer is that she sprained her foot, and has to miss out for a bit. Other big problem is I miss her a lot, and I hope the increased minutes allowance on her cell phone is enough.

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At UBA here.


So far so good. Had our first character class today which was pretty good. We've found out what piece we're doing for the Winter Rep. show, but haven't started any rehearsals yet. Classes here are really intense and have really helped me clean up my technique in the short two weeks I've been here. I'd heard a few horror stories about teachers here being more assertive than most, but have seen it to be perfectly easy to get through classes as long as you're willing to work hard and follow instructions.


Food's been pretty good too. My roommate and I have ordered out for subs only once, because neither of us really liked the main entree.


Students aren't supposed to have Internet in the rooms, but some of them do (mine does) and we were able to have our laptops fixed by one of the faculty members to be able to connect to the wireless network here.


All in all, very good. Loving it

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I am in my fourth and final year at the Virginia School of the Arts (hey hall buddy "Banana Feet"). There have been many changes this year including our new executive director, Tyrone Brooks (formerly of DTH) and boy, is he a blessing. As Banana Feet said, there are 3 levels and they are very small and intimate. I have my own room this year, which is amazing. Being a senior is wonderful because I finally get all those "senior priveleges" I had heard so much about for the last three years. We have been here for four weeks now and have recently started Nutcracker rehearsals, which will be produced for the second year in a row in association with our public high school, E.C. Glass. I am extremely excited! School is going well...for the first time I don't have a first period and get to sleep in an hour later! :angry: And my AP English class is not nearly as hard as I feared it would be! To conclude, this year is going very well, and I am having a blast!!

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This is my first year at Walnut Hill and it is amazing! The teachers are very inspiring and smart! The academic classes are very interesting and we don't get too much homework. I can't wait until next semester when my first class starts at 9:30am twice a week! There isn't a TON of dancing which is really good. We will start Nutcracker in the middle of October. Walnut Hill is such a nice environment and it's nice to be with people that are not all ballet majors, but support the arts and are very talented. :)

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My dd is in her third week at her residency program. She has good days and bad days, but I think overall she is doing o.k. This is her first year with her program, but she seems to be making friends quickly and has commented that she really likes everyone she's met so far. Her ballet classes have been a bit challenging, as she is taking from new people, and she's complained that she's had a hard time "getting combinations quickly". However, I think she is feeling more comfortable each and every day as she starts to get with the program.

The academic front has also been a bit of a challenge. She is doing more of an independent study program and she is a procrastinator. Needless to say she is a little behind, but reassures me that she'll be caught up this next week. I'm trying to cut her a little slack, as she is the youngest one there and being on her own has exposed her to so many of lifes realities. i.e. laundry, cleaning, shopping, being responsible for being on time, etc. These were all things that had been done for her in the past and I know it's been an eye-opener for her.

Overall though, I have to say so far so good. I think it's going to be a good experience for her and we continue to be optimistic.

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Hi there mother of lexicon and thank you for posting here about your daughter's experiences - however, you need to register and post under your own screen name on the board because it is way too confusing to have parents or friends or anyone using another member's registered name. :wacko::) If you have any questions as to how to go about doing this please read the How To forum on the board. :D


I'm sure everyone will look forward to hearing from you again and soon under your own name - when you do register, stop by the Welcome forum and make a note to tell everyone that you're lexicon's mother. :blushing: Many thanks! :)

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So sorry BW, Lexicon is my screen name. I just had to edit my profile to read parent of student rather than student. Didn't know how to do that originally, (my kids tell me it's because I'm technologically challenged), so I had just left it. Thanks for the information & sorry for the confusion.

Edited by lexicon
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