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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Advice for a pre-teen


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Thank you all for hosting this forum. I have actually been lurking in the background for about 6 months and reading MANY of the topics on this forum. I'm sure most if not all of my issues have been addressed previously but, in truth, I don't always know where to look. If you don't mind, I would like to introduce myself & get some direct feedback.


My dd is 12 and has been studying ballet at a recreational ballet studio in Brownsville, Texas since the age of three. Now, at the age of 12, my daughter has begun to get more serious about dance and dreams of someday joining a professional company. I know NOTHING about ballet but am doing my best to help. We set off in January for summer intensive auditions (her studio generally closes for the summer) and realized that her training is a little off--while she has been on toe for over a year and has danced more solos and advanced numbers than many dancers, she has lacked the technical correction needed to help her along. Finally, after several rejection letters, my dd was accepted to Ballet Austin which seems like a great place to start. In addition, in February, we began driving to Corpus Christi (a 300 mile round trip) once a week to attend a pre-professional program at a studio there. I think we are on the right track, but living in deep South Texas is definitely a disadvantage.


My question is when do we need to start thinking about a residential program or is that necessary to truly have a professional career? I have heard other moms say things like "you really have to attend SAB if you want to become a professional dancer". While I'm sure that's not 100% accurate, it would have to help!! I want to offer my dd every advantage possible but don't know what is needed. It seems that many dancers begin their professional careers in their teens. Is there a how too guide? Oh, to live in NYC!!!

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Hello, cat279, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :yucky:


Brownsville doesn't strike me as a one-studio town. Is there no other studio closer where your daughter can receive a vocational-track training, which she will need in order to progress?


A residential program is not necessary for a student to progress faster, as long as local training is of sufficiently high caliber. And no, you don't have to go to SAB in order to become a professional.

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knock knock

It seems likely that people you know and will meet at the schools in Corpus Christi and in Austin would have some suggestions for you. I know TX is a big state, but the dance world is pretty small and somebody is likely to know what your best options are. Don't be afraid to ask at these places!

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Thank you all! :D Yes, I will definitely seek advice both in Corpus and Austin. :thumbsup: While there are other studios in Brownsville, I know of NONE that have anything that is not primarily recreational. In fact, I don't know of anyone from Brownsville who has gone to a summer intensive before. To say Texas is big is an understatement. Brownsville is 6 hours south of Austin and many people consider Austin to be south Texas. What if there isn't sufficient local training available? Even driving to Corpus (remember 300+ miles round trip) more than once a week is probably impossible. The kind of intensive training I hear others talk about on this board (2-3 hours per day) is NOT going to be possible. So...I think we are good for now but I think at some point in the future I will need to find other opportunities for my dd. Any advice or direction with regard to when that would be necessary would be appreciated. :unsure: THANKS!

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At some point, it sounds as if you may need to look into residency programs for her, if this is what she wants to do.


Check out our Residency threads.

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We moved to the residency program so dd could be a day student, but that's certainly not an option for everyone.

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Are there more serious studios in McAllen, or Harlingen, perhaps?

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There has recently been a ballet company formed in McAllen and there is a studio working with the company. From what I understand the artistic director is Cuban. I have e-mail and hope to check out what they have as soon as we get back from Austin. Harlingen seems to have recreational ballet similar to what is available in Brownsville.


If McAllen works out, it is only about 1-1 1/2 hours away which is more possible than Corpus for more regular training and as a compliment to what I have already found. I will keep looking and can't wait to talk to folks in Austin to see what their take is...and, since my daughter is just 12, I think there is still time as long as she continues with the options we are currently pusuing.


Thanks for all your advice!!

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