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Ballet Talk for Dancers

John Cranko School of Stuttgart Ballet

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One thing to consider is that students are on a three month trial in the academy and are required to do a ballet exam right before the Christmas break in front of the artistic staff and usually the AD of the company. If you are successful you finish out the year, if you are not you pack your bags and go home at Christmas. Dancers are thoroughly assessed in the school to make sure they have the physical attributes required to become a professional dancer. Dancers may be asked to leave at any time if there is any reason the staff no longer wants to train a dancer.


DD graduated a year and a half ago and at that time her accommodation with some meals included in a nearby boardinghouse totalled $6400.00 Canadian for the eleven month school year. Her total for one year of training was $18,000.00 which including a return flight form North America. She received some income both years performing and touring with the company but that varied greatly amongst the students.


DD was very grateful to have had the opportunity to finish her training at Cranko. As with most schools what is a great place for one dancer may be a difficult and challenging experience for another. The training is rigorous, the hours too long sometimes and the artistic staff are known to be very blunt with individuals when they feel it is warranted. It is physically and mentally very challenging and competition is fierce for opportunities. DD and five others were hired as apprentices for the year following graduation. Of those three received corps contracts. Out of the females in my DD's class five are currently dancing professionally with corps contracts in ballet companies and five have either chosen not to pursue a ballet career or have not been able to find a full time corps position and are currently auditioning for a second year trying to find a place.

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Hi again, regarding the costs, you mention that the accommodation and meals for the school year was $6400.00 but that the total for one year of training was $18,000.00. that's quite a lot extra. I understood that the tuition is free so I was wondering (without wanting to be too inquisitive) what the extra costs were taking into account the return flight.

Well done to you daughter to having got into the company, that's a fantastic achievement!

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my DD was not at the Cranko, but I assume it is similar there to other German academies; the pointe shoes and other training things are not paid for, so you will have to buy those yourself. That can certainly rack up the costs! If the dancers perform with the company (in my DD's case it was a company affiliated with the academy she attended), then they get some pointe shoes for that time. There are also many other costs -travel (I think mmded wrote that the higher amount included a return flight?) and medications- wihich can really add up, too. :thumbsup:

My DD has been able to work (non-dance/evenings) sometimes to supplement, but that is not always possible.



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To clarify DD is not dancing with the company in Stuttgart. She was not offered a corps contract after her apprentice year but is currently dancing with a company in Europe and will be continuing there next year as well.


We applied for and received grants every year my DD trained away from home so I had to do a budget in the grant proposal and also had to at the end of each year submit a financial statement of actual costs so I unfortunately could tell you the total amount it cost our family to train our DD from the tome she moved away at the age of twelve!


As for costs the biggest expense next to room and board was pointe shoes for the year which was almost $5,000.00 even with shoes provided by the company for performances and getting them at a discounted price from the company shoe room. There was mandatory health insurance, a gym membership (not cheap). extra food costs outside of the one meal a day that was mandatory in boarding house, local transportation, cell phone and other dance supplies.


Offsetting the cost for us was as I said a grant, professional income earned performing with the company ($3000.00 in her case), an academic scholarship she earned form her province back home after graduating form high school via distance learning and the ability we had to use funds we had put away for post secondary education for many years.

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Many thanks for the information, it was very helpful and my daughter is looking forward to auditioning in May, will let you know how it goes!

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  • 2 years later...
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You may just have to wait to hear.

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I realize that this post is over a year old, however I am wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your height.


Does it appear that this school favors shorter or taller dancers? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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:) As far as I know, this school favors, as all professional ballet programs, students with bodies that are employable and talented for classical ballet. The height range is vast, as ballet companies need various heights are any given time.

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@vrsfanatic. Thank you for your response. I would like to think that as long as one has a body that is "employable and talented for classical ballet", that height doesn't matter. It seems, however that there are trends where companies lean a particular direction. I was just wondering which direction it seems Stuttgart is/was leaning...

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Today's professional schools are training students for more than the company with which they are affiliated. There are not enough openings annually to be so limiting. If the discussion is about the height of a female dancer, that is a different discussion than I had thought. Yes, it is more difficult to find the right fit for a female student who is smaller or taller simply because of partnering and corps de ballet issues within a company. There is such a thing as too small and too tall unfortunately, within the highly competitive professional schooling circuit. Seek good teaching rather than schools with a particular pedigree. If one is considering sending a gifted student as far away as Stuttgart, one has many options in terms of residential programs with good teaching but perhaps not the star power of a program such as John Cranko School. The Cranko program is an excellent option for good teaching. Give it a try, then you would know if it might be a good fit. If it does not work out, you will never know if it was over height or something else, but at least then you would be able to seek other options. I know what it is to have one's heart set on Option A and have it fall to the wayside without a Plan B. Also put a Plan B in place. Sending DVDs to more than one program at a time may help put you, the family in the drivers seat. In the end you might be able to select the best program options for your child.

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