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Ballet Talk for Dancers
olddude

Ballet Schools in California - San Fran/Bay Area

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cchow

The only Vaganova school I know of in the area is Bayer Ballet Academy - are there others?  I know of a few Cuban vaganova schools.

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MomtoSamtheDancer

Mamabee, My DS attends a small Cuban Vaganova school on the Peninsula and we cannot say enough wonderful things about it. It's called Bravissimo Dance Studio and it's run by former dancers with the Cuban National Ballet. My son's teacher is Jorge Esquivel, who was Alicia Alonso's partner for years. His wife, who was also a principal with the Cuban National Ballet, teaches there as does their daughter. Jorge and his daughter also taught at the San Francisco Ballet for years before opening their own studio. We absolutely love the studio. Happy to answer any questions about it if that would help.

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cchow

Momtosamthedancer - I have a question about Bravissimo.  We know of a girl who goes there and she said that girls start pointe there very young - like even as young as age 8.  And that they start learning variations on pointe (and doing pirouettes, even hops en pointe) pretty much as soon as they get their pointe shoes?  Wondering if this is true - as the school faculty sounds amazing but some of the stuff I have heard doesn’t sound safe for such young dancers.

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MomtoSamtheDancer

cchow, according to my son, girls go on pointe starting in level 3 (around 8-9 yrs old). However, he says they rarely leave the barre in those first months until the teachers are confident that they're strong enough. In addition, the girls don't start learning variations on pointe until level 4, and even then not everyone does this -- some do on flat. Overall, the school seems to be extremely careful about what they do with the girls (as well as what they do with my son as it relates to doing lifts, etc.). I can speak more directly to how they've handled my son, who just turned 13. They won't let him do anything that they don't think he can handle physically. And there is always a teacher standing very close to him when he and his pas partner are trying some sort of lift. As for the girls, I would imagine that they show similar concerns. 

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cchow

Ok - thank you momtosamthedancer for the information.  It sounds like your son is having a very good experience at the school and the teachers certainly sound very impressive.  

But I think 8-9 is too young for pointe, only at barre or not.  

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Mom53

We just found out that our daughter has been accepted into the San Francisco Ballet (SFB) school-year program. I would like to hear from others' who have recent experience in this program (levels 1-3). What is the acceptance rate? And what % of students in level 2 move up to level 3 at SFB? Who are the teachers? Are level 1 and 2 students given the opportunity to perform in the Nutcracker? Are they inury-prevention oriented (i.e. making sure students are well-trained/strong and flexible enough before doing more advanced moves)? We attended the student showcase and were very impressed, but that's the extent of our exposure/knowledge of SFB. I would really like to hear about others' experiences. Thank you!  

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AB'sMom

There are pages dedicated to specific schools listed under Pre-professional Schools/Residence Programs. That is the best/most appropriate place to ask questions and about specific schools.

http://dancers.invisionzone.com/topic/18420-san-francisco-ballet-school/

 

 

 

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