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Ballet schools in Washington - Seattle

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Guest ballet valet

I think PNB is definitely the pre-pro school of choice for Seattle and Bellevue, I have also heard good things about International School of Ballet in Kirkland, Cornish in Seattle, and Deborah Hadley (highly selective semi-privates) in Bellevue. Issaquah Dance Theater, Ballet Arts Academy and Emerald Ballet Theater had students who placed at the Seattle YAGP but I am not very familiar with them. ARC Dance looks interesting but they only have 1.5 hr classes for Int or Adv. It looks like they get their company dancers from PNB, Cornish and out of state. I think you need to go observe classes and use your gut reaction.

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petan696

Thank you ballet valet. Any one else have first hand experience with Arc School of Ballet or Emerald Ballet Theater?

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bunbun

Olympic Ballet Theater in Edmonds was recently taken over by a recently retired PNB Principal dancer (the fabulous Mara Vinson) and her husband. Small school with good training and performance opportunities. If you are North of the city you could check it out. They have a summer intensive too.

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ami1436

While this thread has been bumped up, if anyone has further comments on good classes for adults in the Seattle-Tacoma vicinity, I'd love to hear them. I've explored Tacoma a bit... without much luck, and am coming to terms with the idea that I'll be dancing much less when I'm out here. I could get further afield from Tacoma a few times a month, or perhaps even once weekly, depending on where...

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dancinginthesnow

I've taken classes at Arc School of Ballet. The director, Marie Chong, is an excellent teacher, but she is currently on sabbatical, so I'm not sure about the status of the school at the moment. The studios are in a former school building- the main studio is quite spacious and beautiful, marley covered, occasional live accompaniment.

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Guest ballet valet

Although I have NO experience with Tacoma, these few I found on-line could be interesting.

 

Tacoma City Ballet http://www.tacomacityballet.com/home.html

Washington Contemporary Ballet http://www.wcbdance.org/About-Us.html

Dance Theater Northwest http://www.dancetheatrenorthwest.org/index.html

 

These 3 all have upper level elem classes as well as adult. I think you could do some open classes and see what is convenient to where you will be living.

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ami1436

Thanks - I've tried them... Tacoma City has a nice one, but it's short (1 hour), and in the middle of the day, and the level is only offered once a week. I like the teacher, and will return, but I would love more concentrated training, at an int/advanced level.

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ami1436

Just following up on this some more - I'm now open to classes around the Puget Sound area - Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle, Renton - I've looked at the schools and the schedules that have been listed on the boards, and was wondering if anyone could give an update on teachers/classes for adult students at an int/adv level?

 

Thanks!

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dancinintherain

There hasn't been much activity on this discussion, but I thought I would offer some information and thoughts about Arc School of Ballet. Arc School of Ballet is located in North Ballard/Crown Hill area of Seattle and is located at the old Crown Hill Elementary School. ARC offers a full curriculum ballet program, which starts with a children's program and continues with a pre-professional training program. The school director, Marie Chong emphasizes pure classical ballet. She is the Artistic Director of ARC Dance Productions, which is the affiliated professional company. She is a teacher who puts a lot of thought into what she wants executed. She is a movement specialist and has worked with a lot of different movers. Recently, she took a sabbatical and Directed with Cirque du Soleil. The school will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. There are 3 studios for dancing with sprung flooring and high ceilings. Studio One is probably one of the largest and light filled studios in Seattle and is quite amazing. I personally think the floor is one of the best in the Seattle area. Studio one is converted into a black box for various performances including their annual Nutcracker Sweets performances. There are two other ballet studios down the hall, which also have sprung flooring with marley. Studio Four is a dedicated conditioning studio, which has an array of Gyrotonic and Pilates apparatuses. Arc School of Ballet has a growing number of faculty members all who have had professional careers in well known ballet companies and who also share Marie Chong's vision of the same goal in providing excellent training.

 

The school currently operates with levels ranging from Creative Movement(ages 3-5) and goes through Advanced(16-18). There are four divisions of the school which include: The Children's Program (3-6), Elementary Division( 4 levels; ages 6-10), Intermediate Division(4 levels; 11- 16/17) and Advanced( 15-18). The intermediate division through advanced have pre-pointe, pointe, modern, jazz and various classes offered in the school year. Plus, rehearsals run on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. The int. and adv divisions generally dance for 13-20hrs a week on average. Small class sizes are emphasized as they instill the mission of the school, which is to specialize in having an intimate learning environment for guaranteed individualized attention. Students are able to participate in performances such as Nutcracker Sweets as well as various community performances with organizations, which have included the Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Symphony. The school generally has new, prospective students take a placement class to place them in the according level that they feel is most suitable for the student. It usually depends on placement for older dancers. Currently, they are holding auditions in Seattle and NYC for the summer intensive students this year.

 

Arc has a 5 week summer intensive, which is where I actually discovered the school. The schedule has generally been Monday-Friday. Each day typically starts with a 2 hr technique classes, followed by pointe/variations, men's class. pas de deux, jazz, modern, character, pilates and rep/rehearsal. The day is usually from 9-5 for those enrolled in level 2, which is for the pre-professional int/adv student. There are various guest teachers during the summer. Just to name a few: Carla Korbes, Jeff Stanton, Penny Hutchinson(former MMDG), and the list goes on. I found the summer intensive to be quite rewarding because there is so much care into each student's progress. The summer concludes with a performance that showcases the student's own choreography as well as variations that were learned, etc.

 

Arc School of Ballet offers a Pre-professional Mentor Program, which is very similar to PNB's PD program. It's typically a two year program and students have been accepted into prominent ballet schools and training programs all around the U.S. and Canada. There are graduates dancing with Mark Morris Dance Group, Nashville Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and other professional companies around the country. The program consists of dancers 16-23 who are aspiring to be professional ballet dancers. Typically, there are at least 2 technique classes a day as well as rep/rehearsal, pointe, Gyrotonic, pilates, pas de deux, musicality, movement connection, swimming, jazz/ modern, and classes to help gear your professional tract(resumes, audition processes). The mentor students are able to work with Arc Dance Company, which has a regular performance season from June through December at the Leo K./Bagley Wright Theaters at the Seattle Center. Mentor students have the opportunity to learn the company's rep and perform in a professional setting. The pre-professional students have a nice privilege with one- on- one help for auditions and mentoring with Marie Chong and faculty, which was very beneficial in my training. (I can provide more information about this program if you would like to hear more since I am a graduate of this program. )

 

Arc's Adult Open program is growing with new classes. I have always enjoyed ARC's open classes compared to others located in Seattle. The classes are always moving and they always make you think. The teachers are very attentive to everyone's growth as a dancer and I feel like I always accomplish more in these classes. Also, ARC usually has interim classes during the usual breaks(Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break and all throughout summer). The open schedule currently offers an ongoing Sunday Int/ Adv class at 12- 1:30 with Marie Chong. The summer schedule offers open technique and pointe classes Monday-Friday, and Sunday. There is also an on going Beginning Ballet Basic open class that is offered on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:45. This class is great for the very beginner student. There are also open fitness classes including Pilates & Gyrokinesis.

 

I can provide more information for those that want to hear about the school, mentor program, summer intensive and/or open program.

Edited by dancinintherain

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dancemaven

dancinntherain, thank you for the detailed information. Not sure there is anything you could have possibly left out. lol

 

These threads are really just for aquainting folks with the schools available, providing some basic information, personal experience and a website link or such. Not really a place to present detailed advertising. :wink:

 

Are you a teacher with the school or otherwise connected with it?

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dancinintherain

Hi dancemaven,

 

I recently discovered this particular thread and I noticed that there wasn't any info about Arc. I am a graduate of the Mentor program and currently studying dance at George Mason. I just wanted to get across what Arc had to offer and did not intend full- fledged advertising. I started at an older age and the environment at Arc is very supportive and really helped me in more ways than one through my dance education.

 

Thanks!

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ami1436

Hi everyone,

 

I finally took an open class at PNB last week - Friday. Please note - the teacher is different everyday, and the schedule changes by semester (ish). So, what I can write is indicative of just one class and one teacher.

 

I took the 10 am class at Mercer (Phelps Center - PNB's main building in Seattle).

 

It was billed as an intermediate class, but the range went with a few low/beginning intermediate to pro level. (Indeed, several former PNB dancers and current PNB teachers were in the class). The studio is lovely, and there is a live accompanist. The barre sped along, and while some exercises weren't my favorite (in both barre and center), that's the case in any class! Overall, I was very warm and happy. In my first class there, the teacher came to know my name, and offered at least 2 individual corrections. The group corrections were also helpful, and much appreciated.

 

It was intense though - not the hardest exercises perse, but a focus on technique, repetition, etc. I have not worked that hard in class since before I moved to the PNW last summer, and my legs were shaky at the end.... I let myself splurge food-wise the next day!

 

Also, overall this particular teacher and the other dancers in this class were warm and friendly. It was a nice, welcoming environment.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience and am looking forward to returning whenever my job allows it!

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deanlaur

Ami, I was in that class! I was in Seattle for vacation and wanted to get a class in, and was really quite pleased with the teacher and the level. Definitely an intense workout! I did think, when I saw dancers walking in who were clearly former pros, that I was in over my head, but I made it through without totally embarrassing myself, I think. I hope!

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ami1436

Wait, we were in class together? Sweet! I was beat afterwards... lots of repetitions... but a really mixed level class in some ways, with a very kind instructor!

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momofballet

You might want to check out Evergreen City Ballet. The instructors for the 2014 SI look excellent.

 

My DS did a winter intensive in 2013/4 with Louise Nadeau and Keven Kaiser and really enjoyed it.

 

Here's the faculty for the summer intensive:

 

http://evergreencityballet.org/school/summer-intensive/#2014summerfaculty

Edited by momofballet

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