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Draper Center for Dance Education - Rochester, NY

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By using the search function with the word Draper, I found a thread on Cross Talk - Open Classes - Upstate New York and here is what of one our members wrote:

Mom1 - please check out the Rochester City Ballet and their associated school, The Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education. The small company is considered one of the premeire regional ballet companies currently. While not on the "map" generally, these young dancers have performed in NYC and the associated school has alumni in ABT, NYCBallet, Houston Ballet, Alonzo King's Lines, Cleveland Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Bejart Ballet, San Diego Ballet and others. You would be hard pressed to find a small ballet school with such a great placement record. Their dancers have been top winners at the IBC in Jackson and the Youth American Grand Prix, and their Artistic Director has won several choreographic awards.


They have a very intense summer program during the month of August which attracts guest instructors from all over the world. Recently, John Meehan - ABT Studio company AD said of this school, that he believed it to be one of the top three training schools in the country.


They used to perform their Nutcracker at the Smith Opera House in Geneva every year.


I would give them a try. They have open classes throughout the summer twice a week.


That's a start anyway. :flowers:

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I attended the NYC YAGP two years ago and was very impressed by the Draper students. Their ensemble won the first prize, truly deserved. The individual dancers I saw were also nicely trained. Tragically, Mr. Draper died suddenly that year. I'm not familiar with the school to know how it has continued on without his direction.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Draper Center and Rochester City Ballet have continued since Tim Draper's death under the direction of Jamey Leverett. Genevieve_1, I see you are from California and the school is in Rochester, NY--but if you are planning to visit to upstate NY you can call the studio at 585-461-2100 to arrange to take an open class or a placement class.

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Has anyone studied there and if so how was it?


I study there year-around. It's a great school, honestly. We have alumni in ABT, Houston Ballet, and more. One of our guys is currently at UBA on full scholarship, one of our teachers was a principal dancer in the Joffrey...I really think it's an excellent ballet school. If you would like to take open classes, they're in summer and you can take them now (I think) Their website is www.rochestercityballet.org.


[edited by moderator to remove e-mail address per Board policy. xballet huni x32, we discourage the posting of e-mail addresses by students for their own protection.]

Edited by dancemaven
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Noticed that they've opened up their summer program to outsiders. Was curious if anyone has any feedback on last year's or prior years' summer program? Typical class sizes? Faculty and guest faculty? Typical no. of levels and min & max age ranges seen at the summer program? Any info is appreciated! Thanks everyone!

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I'll try and be of some help as my DD attended the Draper Center for many years...


Typically, their summer intensive class size runs around 15 - 20 students per level. I am always amazed at the guest teachers that they bring in every summer and at the intensity of the classes. It's a full day - 5 days per week (depending on the age). Younger students stay a half day. Dancers are placed by ability. In the past, there have been 4 levels of dance and the age range starts at 11-12 for the youngest dancers on up to 18-20. Rochester City Ballet company members and various Draper alumni float in and out of the highest level during the summer and that tends to add some excitement for the younger dancers (they are not in the end of summer performance). The performance at the end of the program never disappoints - plenty to see and enjoy. (students are given a DVD of the performance) Most notably - Parker Esse (Broadway dancer) does a musical theatre piece, Alla Nikitina (sp?) who runs from her stint at Boston Ballet summer program over to Draper for two weeks - Edward Ellison and Sasha Ypparov - just to name a few along with their talented faculty.


RCB and Draper Center have a fantastic new facility with beautiful studios (marley covered sprung floors) - student lounge and locker rooms with showers - air conditioned - weight room and outdoor patio for break time.


What's nice about this summer program is that it is held later that some other ones and can offer some opportunities for additional dance during the summer.


Hope this answered some of the questions.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm hoping someone will be able to update on the current "graduates" (if any) in this program and what their plans are for next year. If they have company positions, please let us know if those are trainee, apprentice, corp and then male/female. This information helps others track the true success of the program from year to year.

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  • 4 years later...

Curious if anyone has any updated information about this school, as we live approximately 2 hours away.

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I don't have completely updated information as far as graduates but I do know it is a very strong school that also emphasizes a lot of versatility beyond ballet. They do some competitions but are not by any means a competition school. They did have a student participate in YAGP Finals, I want to say in 2010. A couple years ago they sent girls to SAB and Ellison (which I think affirms school teaches very pure without stylistic affectations). Said dancers are now in companies. Also, one recent alumni went to Juilliard. The dancers are usually accepted to great summer intensives and the Draper intensive is usually later in the summer and always has great guest faculty (Balanchine trust reps, etc) There are also a lot of performance opportunities with Rochester City Ballet, especially in their Nutcracker which is actually over Thanksgiving Weekend normally.

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The school's Facebook page has a bit of information about its recent graduates in the form of profiles about their time with the school and what they plan to do next. They were published several weeks ago, so you may have to scroll down to see them now.


This school does not like its students to attend summer programs other than its own until the summer after sophomore year. That said, it has produced a number of professional dancers in addition to those who matriculated into RCB.

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It would be extremely difficult to commute there daily, but I'm wondering if we'll need to in future years. We're to the east of Syracuse. Rochester doesn't seem like it would be that far, but honestly it's a haul, especially in the winter.

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