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Host family- Boston Ballet

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DD has been asked to stay on year-round with the Boston Ballet School. She would have to live with a host family within the Boston area and attend academic classes at a private school in Boston. Does anyone have any experience with host famlies, as Boston does not have a residency program. Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

why not approach the ballet school and ask for help? They might be able to locate a family for you or at least put you in the right direction in finding one.

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  • 8 months later...

My 16-year old daughter is interested in attending classes at the Boston Ballet School next fall, while going to a local high school. It is my understanding that the School does not run a year-round residential program or, for a number of reasons, wish to find host families for dancers living outside the Boston area. The YWCA near Boston Ballet has been recommended to us, but it is being renovated and not accepting new residents. Could anyone tell me if they know a way to look for a host family, preferably with an interest in ballet for my daughter? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I would contact Boston Ballet and ask them to give you the phone numbers of any families interested in hosting your daughter.

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I would contact Boston Ballet and ask them to give you the phone numbers of any families interested in hosting your daughter.


Thanks for your advice. I should have made it clear that I had already contacted Boston Ballet. The reason for my post was that they were not willing to give me such contact information. They do not wish to be in the position of pairing dancers with host families. Should something go wrong under such a hosting situation, BBS could be held liable. I completely understand their position. They did offer to share my contact information with others wishing to find year-round accomodation or having found year-round accomodation in Boston. Hopefully, this will provide us with some leads.

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Are you going to be visiting the school before your daughter goes there? If you are comfortable enough, you could put a notice on the bulletin board asking about a host family.


I am not sure if I would be comfortable sending my daughter away without knowing exactly who and where she would be staying.



I would take her for the summer program, or do the open program for a few weeks. Look around the area and even to the outside suburbs that are accesible by public transportation. Boston Public Schools are not known for their academic prowess. I would also want to check out the academic school she would be attending.


There are public schools in the suburbs that do host students from out of town, usually from abroad, but I do know one school that hosted a dance student from a different state.


Boston has a huge college population. It would not be hard to find roomate situation through roomates.com, but again, I am not sure if I would want my child in that kind of setting without me.


Sure is a tough call. Good luck to you.

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Have you thought of Walnut Hill for a year round alternative? I have heard students from WH travel into Boston to take extra open classes at Boston Ballet. It could be a safer alternative for a year until some sort of housing option opens up in Boston. Plus, the academics at WH are considered top notch. Can't say the same for Boston's public school system.

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No info to give you on any host family situations. But I remember a friend's dk who came from out of state to attend BB during sr year in high school and the dk ended up attending the public high school in Brookline while attending BB classes. I remember my friend was pleased with the academics at Brookline since their dk took honors & AP classes all 4 years in high school.

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I have experience both with BB and BPS--I live in Boston too and have teenagers. I took down my email--if you want it just post.


As for academic schools in Boston, there are several BB students who attend Boston Arts Academy (a public school/audition). There are some other interesting public options in Boston proper too (Another Course to College is one). In Boston you have to apply to the public schools--you may be assigned to one if you choose or if there is no room in your choices--it can be a frustrating process. There are excellent exam public schools--Boston Latin and Latin Academy--however the points of entry are grades 7 and 9 by exams in tha Fall with no exception.


Brookline High School is superb and T accessible to BB.

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The fundamental problem here is that any host family taking on your daughter will face the same liability issues as Boston Ballet. Any responsible potential host family would consider these issues very seriously before making a commitment; my gut feeling is I would only do it for a close family friend.


Boston is certainly a big college town, and you could definitely find a living situation with young adult roommates. However, those young adults would also face liability issues because she is a minor, even if they do not realize it --- I mean, even if they agree to live with your daughter, they probably shouldn't. The young adult scene is already (understandably) lacking in maturity and common sense without teenagers being thrown into the mix. No way would I ever allow a 16-year old child of mine to live in that setting.


The only situation I know of in which teenagers are paired up with host families is foreign exchange programs. This works in general; however, the exchange agency watches over the students and routinely removes them from families in which things are not working out. Similarly, the families are protected from liability problems. Public schools pretty much have to take any student who is legitimately living within their municipality, and that includes exchange student.


As for schools, my guess is that it's not really possible to just walk into exam schools like Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin, etc --- you probably have to be there at least one year before to take the exam/audition.


Finally, most of the suburbs are too far from Boston Ballet to make it to class on time without a car. Public transportation just is not that convenient in the suburbs, she would have to live in the city or in one of the few subway-accessible suburbs.

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I hate to add another negative note here.

I lived in New York City for the past 8 years, and am very familiar with the urban environment.

I'm in an area around Boston now (don't want to give away my exact location). It's a reasonably "safe" area. Affordable, but safe.

And I would never walk around here at night like I could in NYC. Maybe it's a feeling, a vibe, the fact that people drive here and there's not so much pedestrian traffic...and has no basis in actual crime stats. But I get the sense that you should really have your wits about you in Boston. I usually have a decent instinct about these things.


Another problem I've faced is the lack of public transportation late at night. At 16, maybe not an issue. She wouldn't be at bars. But people drunk drive here at night. Being on the road is a risk. I would never expose a 16 year old to the lifestyle of college students here by letting her house with them in an off-campus apartment, no matter how lovely the kids seem. Thier "friends" may not be so nice. A friend of mine was the victim of a horrible, life-altering crime her second week as a ivy-league student, perpetrated by a classmate whom she trusted.


You never know what goes on in someone's house. Families, students...anyone can seem a certain way when you meet them, or even "know" them. But you just never know what's going on in someone's house.


OK, now that I've painted a picture of this lovely little town as a hellhole (paranoid New Yorker, can you tell?:D)...


It really isn't. It's a pretty town with a lot to offer. The history and culture is rich. But be very cautious about her situation at 16.


Walnut Hill is a great school.


I'm sure you're a caring parent, too. Don't take any of this too harshly. I've survived all kinds of situations my mom would've flipped over and ended up doing OK for myself. Did a lot of crazy things when I lived under my caring, protective parents roof, actually :cool2: But it's always good to be safe.

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Hi, kilda -


I wish you the best in figuring this out. It always seems easier to find a good dance school with great training which will accept your DK than it is to figure out the housing situation for the school. My DD is currently with a host family at another program. She has had her ups and downs there, but most of the time it has worked out. She was older than your daughter when she started living with a host family to train. The suggestions you have received are good ones, but if she really wants to attend the Boston Ballet School, going somewhere else will be difficult at first. However, it may be the best solution at her age. She can always attend the BB Summer Program to keep her connection with them even if she ends up at another dance school in the area.



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Finally, most of the suburbs are too far from Boston Ballet to make it to class on time without a car. Public transportation just is not that convenient in the suburbs, she would have to live in the city or in one of the few subway-accessible suburbs.



I grew up in a suburb of Boston and at the age of 14 through college took public transportation to Boston Ballet and college (did not live there) and finally, worked at the State House taking public transportation. The far reaching suburbs are not subway accessible, but most near suburbs are (I was on the North Shore). I took a bus to Haymarket and Green line to BB.


I will agree that night time activity for a lone young person at night is sketchy. *I* would not want my daughter walking around after dark downtown. Too young and not enough street sense. When I was young my parents would pick me up on late class nights. During college and work I traveled during peak "people" time.

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When I was looking through the student directory in September hoping to get a car pool, I noticed there were students from all over the country listed. Maybe the school could get permission from some of them to contact you to see what their arrangements are? Also, if you daughter is interested in BBS year round I don't think Walnut Hill is a good alternative. The top levels at BBS have opportunities to dance with the company and BBII. At Walnut Hill she would be one of the most advanced students and dance in student productions. Also, BBS is in a safe neighborhood and right on the green line which takes you to suburbs like Brookline, Newton and Wellesley. These towns have excellent public schools.

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