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Ballet Talk for Dancers

BT4D Dream School


DancesInHerSleep

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There was a similar thread in the parent teacher conference room about a dream company, and I intended to hijack that thread, but thought it would be better off out in the open...

 

I have done my fair share of complaining about DD's supposed pre-pro studio and each time I have been told to RUN as fast as we I could, dragging her behind me. We knew it wasn't a good situation, and thought we were in the best of the worst - so we stayed. DD has wonderful friends at the studio and that made the decision even more difficult.

 

I finally had enough......secrets and rampant rumors, teenage dancers on the roof, 6 year-olds standing on the street corner waiting for parents after a rehearsal (because all of the parent volunteers AND the staff LEFT), the AD's fiance disrupting class with phone calls and text messages, performances without a warm-up, teenagers left in the building ALONE in the unlocked building during a 2 hour break, siblings pooping in the hallway, men in the girls' dressing room, girls in the boys' dressing room, rehearsals for three months during technique class (only to have one dance chiseled down considerably and another completely eliminated from the school show), and finally a physical altercation between a volunteer and my DD during the intermission. The AD insists she's not responsible for the safety and well being of our children. She actually admitted this to me. She's there to teach them to dance and perform - nothing more. I can't even say she does that well.

 

The sad thing is that this school is affiliated with a professional (regional) company. That affiliation gave me and other parents a false sense of security.

 

So, with the help of friends, I found a gem just minutes away. This place is almost too good to be true, but I swear it is.

 

These are just some of the things I know about the school so far and seem to include a lot of the good things I've read on BT4D over the past few years. I just never thought I'd find it all in one place:

 

- The AD's husband sits at the reception desk the entire time the building is open

- The front door is locked when for any reason he walks away from the desk

- His visible presence assists in keeping good order and discipline the norm at the studio

- Junk food free zone with water, granola, and other healthy snacks available

- An enforced dress code and no junk in the classroom

- Classes that start and end on time

- Required number of classes to remain on pointe

- Respectful students who know it's a privilege to attend the school

- Well known and respected teachers brought in for master classes

- A kitchen

- Showers

- Dressing rooms

- Student lounge for ALL students in Ballet 1 and above

- A music room

- Student assistants - they have to audition for the privilege of helping in classes

- Small class size, and an AD who isn't afraid to limit the number of students in class

- AD accompanies all the girls for pointe shoes until they feel comfortable going on their own

- Personal attention to each dancer's needs in regards to going on pointe

- AD isn't afraid to tell a girl that she isn't ready for pointe or that she may never be able to go on pointe

- AD researches SIs and conferences with parents and dancers to plan auditions and video tape auditions

- AD has all SI results go to her studio so she can conference with dancers and soften the blow if necessary

- AD personally submits requests for scholarships for students who need it

- AD books travel arrangements to get dancers on flights together

- AD takes off two weeks in July and travels to all SI locations to visit her dancers

- A real mission and real goals that they share without prodding and/or teeth pulling

- Lessons in ballet history which include movie nights at the studio for older dancers

- Lessons in injury prevention from a physical therapist

- Lessons in nutrition for dancers from a nutritionist

- An informative website that is updated daily

- A schedule and calendar of events for 2007-2008 is already posted

- Live accompaniment for the upper levels

- A Vaganova based syllabus and lots of attention and corrections in class

- An exchange program that permits the dancers to travel to and dance in Russia for 10 days

- Boys who don't have to bourree

- REAL costumes that REALLY get sent to the cleaners after each use

- The appropriate number and types of classes according to what I've learned here on BT4D

- Good quality recreational classes are offered too....just for fun

 

Without one exception every dancer who addressed either the AD or her husband (in my presence) used please and thank you, Miss and Mr.

 

The studio is only about 5 years old. They expanded a few years ago, and are expanding again in August. The studio owner/AD and her husband definitely believe in the slow and steady approach. They are personally invested in each and every dancer, whether he or she is a prodigy or just an average dancer. Their philosophy is that some of these dancers won't dance professionally, but will go on to be dance teachers, choreographers, dance critics, and more...and they all deserve an equal amount of respect and consideration and quality instruction.

 

When I registered DD for last Monday for fall classes, they told me they'll be visiting her in Boston, even though she only took a placement class with them before I registered her. When I questioned them, the husband said to me "Why wouldn't we, she's one of our students now."

 

They even patented their own ballet barre and some studios across the country are already showing interest. Of course, the dancers here will be the first to use it - in the fall.

 

I'm not sure what else I could ask for, but I'm excited for fall classes to start!

 

Now, I just have to let AD at the old studio know...

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  • Administrators

You are going to find a LOT of very envious parents here, I think! This really sounds like what it should be, and very, very rarely is. I hope that once you are there for a while that these feelings about it will bear up!

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Just to add to DancesInHerSleep's list, this AD also accompanies her students to the auditions, which, in the case of where we are geographically located, is about a six hour drive (one direction). She also gives written progress reports once or twice a year, I believe.

 

I was amazed to learn how personally invested the AD/teacher is in these kids' lives. It is something I've never personally heard of, let alone experienced in the (admittedly) short time DS has been studying ballet. Teachers who truly love what they're doing and have the desire and the ability to be so completely engaged with their students are incredibly rare, and her students are VERY lucky.

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  • 1 year later...

That sounds like a fantastic studio! The studio were at now is good but this one just sounds like utopia...I hope your daughter is enjoying herself there!

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"Their philosophy is that some of these dancers won't dance professionally, but will go on to be dance teachers, choreographers, dance critics, and more...and they all deserve an equal amount of respect and consideration and quality instruction."

 

 

This particular sentence speaks volumes to me. It is why the rest of all those enviable attributes and involvement occur there.

 

So glad that you discovered this, well, it must be Ballutopia!

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The original post (to which new responses are coming in) is almost two years old. I'd like to know what the original poster has to say now after her child's experience with the studio. Was it all it seemed to be?

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  • Administrators

This is a Parents forum, luvpointe7. Sorry, but your post had to go.

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  • 2 months later...

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