Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet schools in Virginia - Fredericksburg or

in transit

Recommended Posts

My d, a junior, is putting together her list of possible colleges. She isn't hoping to pursue dance as a career, nor as a college major; however, she would like to minor in dance, and she'd particularly like to take at least three challenging ballet classes per week in college. She's currently an advanced level student at a well-respected private studio in our area (not a pre-pro school).


Some of the colleges on her list offer what she's looking for on campus. However, her two favorite schools, William and Mary in Williamsburg and Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, do not have strong ballet offerings in their dance departments (I'm not certain that Mary Washington even has a dance department). Access to good dance instruction is important to her, so she'd have to know that she could find it off campus before she applies to either school.


Can anyone suggest a ballet school in either city? We've found websites for The Institute of Dance (formerly Chamber Ballet) and the Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts in Williamsburg, and Fredericksburg Ballet Centre and the Performance Place in Fredericksburg. If anyone can provide feedback on these schools, or any others, we'd be very grateful.


I realize this plan may not work out - there will be transportation issues, time management issues, other stuff. Still, it sounds as if some BT dancers have augmented their college dance instruction at local schools, and this is what my d would like to try. Many thanks for your help!

Link to comment

Frederiscksburg is just north of Richmond. Perhpas she could take classes at Richmond Ballet? You'd have to see what type of adult program or open classes they might have. Also, we know of students at Washington Ballet and Maryland Youth Ballet that have come from as far away as Fredericksburg. I know that Maryland Youth has a good adult program she could consider - and they have Saturday and Sunday classes. Then if she could find some place during the week closer by it might work out. DS has a friend from Fredericksburg - I'll talk to him and see what he recommends, but I'm pretty sure that he was driving all the way to Maryland for classes. His friends attended a studio in Fredericksburg but it was more competition-based. I'll try and find out what it was though. Sorry, but I know nothing about the Williamsburg area (except that William and Mary is a beautiful and well-respected school and I hope my son goes there some day!) but I believe we have a poster that lives in that general area and she should be able to provide some feedback.


By the way - Mary Washington is in a very nice area, too! Smaller, but a very pretty campus!

Link to comment

Thanks for the information, cheetah. Driving from Fredericksburg to Maryland for class = wow! If my d is lucky enough to be admitted to these excellent schools, we'll have to try to hurdle the "no cars for freshmen except in special circumstances" rule. I'm trying to imagine our 1999 Civic with 140,000-plus miles on it making a trip like that regularly :wink: . I appreciate your input!

Link to comment

Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts is a very good school. Sandra Balestracci is the AD there and she teaches most of the advanced level classes. I'm sure that you read her bio while visiting the web-site, so I won't list her credentials again here. The training is very good, and many of her girls are accepted to top SI's.


The school is affiliated with the Community Alliance for the Performing Arts, which puts on a Nutcracker each year. It is a very professional show and it receives outstanding reviews every year.


If you are looking for more information, please let me know.

Link to comment

Thank you, tatlet! Would you know if college students take classes at Ms. Balestracci's studio? I believe the studio will be on spring break when we're visiting next week, so we probably won't be able to speak with anyone then. We will do a drive-by, though. If you have any other information about dance instruction in the area for college students, I'd be very glad to hear it. Thanks again!

Link to comment

It's noticably difficult to find adult ballet classes in the general Hampton Roads area. I'm in Norfolk, about as far from Williamsburg as you can get, and have found nice classes at Virginia Ballet Theatre. As one who hasn't been out of college all that long though, I can tell you there's no way she could make a regular commute of 45-75 minutes (traffic is horrendous!) each way for classes.


The school Tatlet mentioned looks very nice and I do see some adult classes on the schedule. Most studios would welcome a college student into an adult class if they didn't have time for a full enrollment into the senior program. I would write the studio and ask.


Your daughter may also find many more opions once she gets to school. Word spreads like wildfire in a freshman dorm. I went to college not even thinking of taking dance and within 3 weeks found myself in regular classes. Once a dancer, always a dancer.

Link to comment

In Trasit:


I don't know much about the teen/adult classes, but there are a couple of girls who attend the advanced classes that are post grads.


Also, the school is on Spring Break this week, so they should be holding classes during your visit.


Good luck!

Link to comment

I agree about the traffic in the Hampton Roads area - it's either scary or insane. I'll be sure that d checks out Ms. Balestracci's school on our visit. She's meeting with a W & M dance teacher while we're there, and she'll ask for some suggestions from her, as well. Thank you both for your help!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...