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Ballet Schools in Washington DC

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Victoria Leigh

In my years at WSB the students came from all over MD and Northern VA, as well as DC. Many traveled quite a long way. There was a very nice atmosphere, and it is not highly competitive in terms of admission for students younger than the Release Time levels.

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dancypants1

Ooh, you were there! That's fantastic! So now I have more questions, ha ha.

 

What are release time levels? How long does a student stay in each level (approximately) and are there exams? Am I correct in guessing that since she was accepted to their SI, she would be in Level 4? Are there other, hidden costs like Nutcracker fees or private lessons or something? (I ask because I think just tuition and getting her there will be a stretch to the budget, so I need to be prepared).

 

She just fell in love with the beautiful studios up there, and whoever the auditioning teacher for the si was, she made quite an impression!

 

Thank you!

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Victoria Leigh

The top two levels in the school are Release Time, or at least that is what they were called when I was there. I taught there for 13 years, but have been gone now for over 6.5 years. They were called that because the students had to be released from regular school early enough to be there for 2:00 classes.

 

How long a student remains in a level depends on how well they progress. There were no exams. I cannot answer the level question, and I don't believe there were Nutcracker fees. Private lessons are not a part of their regular program at all.

 

But you will need to talk to the school about everything, as things change over years and changing administrations with any school.

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dancypants1

Thank you!

 

I know if we go forward with this plan, and she goes to a placement audition, she will be dying to go, so I am trying to find as much out as possible beforehand to ascertain if this will be a good fit. I plan to call up there on Monday.

 

I can't find any alternative, if she really wants to pursue serious ballet, there are simply no schools that offer "enough" in our area. There are pre pro schools, but they dont offer variations and the highest levels are maybe not enough, i think, based on friends who have attended some. And if she has to move, it might as well be somewhere with a lot of room to grow in levels and training.

 

We got notice that next years registration fees for her current studio are due in April, which is soon, so I guess it's decision time.

 

It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is...

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mom2

When my dd attended there were no fees for Nutcracker, however being a part of this was an expectation for the older students as far as I could tell, and there are a lot of performances.

 

There were no extra fees for my dd, but I don't know if there were any students who had private coaching. This may be different in a year the school sends students to YAGP - nobody attended the year my dd was there.

 

Hope this helps. There have been a number of teacher changes since my dd was there, but the AD for the school is still the same.

 

To confirm information you should call the school.

 

Your current studio has fees due in April for the coming year?? This is something I never experienced in quite a number of years, several dance schools, and two dancing daughters. Wow.

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dancypants1

Thank you, mom2!

 

I was wrong, it's may they are due, not April! I got a list of stuff due and dates just the other day and mixed it up. But still, soon!

 

 

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dancypants1

Just wanted to revisit this thread and see if anyone here reading has a child currently at TWSB and can give firsthand report?

 

Thank you in advance!

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julisha

Dancypants1, I'm trying to capture all the questions you've asked from previous posts. My DD has been a student at TWSB since she was 5 in Pre-Ballet. She is in Level 6 of 7 levels. We live in the MD suburbs and there are many of DD's friends that carpool from NoVa. Nutcracker is optional and there are no fees, but only a tremendous time comittment (every Saturday and Sunday) from October to the end of the run on December 23rd. It is a wonderful honor to participate in Nut and a great experience to perform in the professional production. There is (also optional) a spring peformance at the end of the year and all students, from Pre-Ballet to the Professional Training Program (PTP) perform. The PTP is the release time program and the students in that program are in high school. There is a $150-200 fee for costumes for the spring performance and rehearsals are usually done in class, with some extra rehearsals the week of the performance run. YAGP is not an emphasis at the school. Sometimes the school will take selected students from the PTP to YAGP, but not every year.

 

Level placement is at the discretion of the school, not necessarily based on age. There are no exams. Level 4 is the first full year of pointework. In Level 3, students begin prepointe work and then in the spring are fitted for their first pointe shoes. I have found the atmosphere to be friendly and supportive. DD has new students in her class this year and they have all seemed to bond well with new kids. Your DD should make friends very quickly.

 

The ballet training is excellent (goes without saying). My DD is very happy there. I hope this helps.

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dancypants1

Julisha, thank you, that helps very much! carpools would be really wonderful- it's a hike for us for sure (wood bridge). Probably the biggest thing I worry about (other than costs, but you've answered my "hidden fees" question and I called the school to get tuition info) is the opportunity to make friends. It's nice that at her current studio, everyone lives very close, and she can get together with friends outside the studio. It sounds like it's at least possible to have that opportunity, since people come from all over.

 

Thank you again, you have answered all my questions and that is awesome!

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julisha

Glad to help dancypants1! Good luck to your DD and with your decision on TWSB! :)

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greyhound

I wanted to add a school to the list of pre pro schools in the DC area. Abigail Francisco School of Classical Ballet was always a well respected school for their training and they have for the last several years added a pre pro selective path. Currently they have students that travel 1 to 2 hours for training in the school. They are training dancers that are getting jobs. Some at big name companies recently and students receiving very large college scholarships for dance programs.

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dancemaven

Is this the school where you are an Administrator, greyhound? :)

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greyhound

Yes. I started as a parent of a student in the school. My daughter us now a pro ballet dancer. I became the administrator after the long hours I spent at the school. I ride that fine line between employee and parent. I am only an employee of the school because of the respect I have for the training. Otherwise I would just stick with my teaching job (non dance related - kindergarten).

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dancemaven

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EvaBallerina

Hi! I'm trying to find a strong pre-professional ballet program in Washington D.C. or the surrounding area. I've tried Googling it, but I've only been able to come up with two major schools. Does anyone know of any there? I was told Dance Magazine published an article on ballet training in D.C. a few years ago, but I have yet to find it. Any information would be helpful!

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