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Boston Ballet/Grace Performing Arts Academy

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My daughter auditioned for this program, but didn't attend, but we got a call today asking if she was interested in the year round program. Has anyone else heard from them regarding the fall?

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  • its the mom


  • jmh4


  • 2thepointe


  • avril


Auditions were held last night. According to my DD, the students were told that results of the audition would either be posted at the studio or they would be informed by next week. They were also told that teachers would continue to observe them this week and throughout the program.

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My daughter auditioned for this program, but didn't attend, but we got a call today asking if she was interested in the year round program. Has anyone else heard from them regarding the fall?


DanceMom, How old is your daughter ?

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Will this year-round program have boarding, such as dorms, or do students have to find their own accomodations and academic programs? Is this a new program? Thanks!

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It sounds like a good idea and effort, but it also seems that much is still up in the air. The application asks for $100 now and $3333 at time of enrollment, with another $3333 due on August 1 (3 weeks away). And yet, there is no specific information given in the application or elsewhere about what the curriculum is or how it will be administered and by whom. It mentions that there will be both classroom and tutoring services available, but it doesn't explain how this will be accomplished for students who could be in grades 7-12, with ages ranging from 14-18/19. Will Ms. St. John be the only teacher or will others be teaching in this program too and if so, whom? Will all students meet for classes together and then the teacher will try to meet each student's needs (similar to the old one room school house approach)? Is this primarily an online high school program, with a teacher available to answer questions and assist students? If so, are all classes a student might want/need included in the $10K tuition/year? It says that classes will be provided at the residence and 'on-site'. I assume this means at the studios. I'm a little murky on how this will all work...


Also, the letter from Ms. St. John mentions that she is currently looking for housing near the Boston studios, but it does not mention who will be chaperoning the house, the rules that will be established, how closely students will be monitored, whether boys and girls will be living communally and any number of other things that come to mind when undertaking such a venture.


Still seems that there is much to iron out before anyone would want to commit their child to this endeavor! With summer almost half over, it is hard to imagine that all of this will be resolved to a parent's satisfaction before the beginning of the fall semester. But, I wish them well in the effort.


I do hope that parents will be cautious and thoughtful about making any commitments to this program, until they have all questions answered to their satisfaction. I know that the temptation to jump at an opportunity that is offered by a prestigious ballet school is very attractive... :)

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When we saw information about the program - posted on this board a few months ago - we went to the website to get more information (not for our son for those who know him - for a friend of his.) We asked specific questions about curriculum and housing. It took several weeks to get a response. When we did, it was a short email with a link back to the website - which had the information that prompted our questions in the first place. The ambiguity dissuaded the young lady from pursuing this option. Out of curiosity, it would be great if someone could post hard facts and other information that they may actually have gotten about the program.

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Parents need to be aware that the number of students in this school is very high....sometimes it looks more like a business than a school who realy care about the future of their dancers. If I had the choice as parent I will considere a smaller school with more personal and individual attention for my child.

The administration is using very attractive words, but words are words...on daily basis it may be a lot different.


As for this new program, I have no idea if it will work for september, a lot of question need to be clarified first....

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I have been told that academics are in the form of online courses secured by each student based on their individual needs. There are no actual accredited classes currrently being offered. Tutoring/support services will be offered to students: however there is not yet a set schedule for these sessions. I was told they would be determined in the Fall after analyzing all factors. (i.e numbers of students, dance class schedules, courses being taken, can students be grouped or must work individually etc.)


I understand that housing has been secured, but can't comment on who will be supervising that housing.


My understanding is that the coming year will be a "building" year for this new aspect of the program.


Boston Ballet is a large school with many students. It is a very competitive program, yet there are many caring & nurturing teachers & staff. Like any program. it is not for everyone.

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I do not want to speak for jmh4, but I do know her and her dd. I think what she may be trying to say is that, Boston, like any other program, is not for everyone. Each student and dancer must conclude for themselves where they feel they will grow and improve. My ds decided to attend BB school because he felt that he would get the appropriate attention he needed at this point in his training. He has found the teachers to be very nurturing and supportive. BB is, by no means, a perfect place. Every school has its strengths and weaknesses. Yes, BB is a large school with many outreach programs and lots of students who may or may not go on to be dancers. I will say that the staff is committed to improving the school, and it is their goal to make the school and training more competitive. I also know that the trainee program this year is slated to be pretty intense. Many of the trainees fared well in the audition process this year, with five trainees being hired into BBII, and a good amount of corps and apprentice contracts at other companies.


I can also say that judging by the summer program, things are really on the upswing. The program has been intense for my son, even more so than last year. He has really enjoyed the hard work and long days.


I would encourage you to contact the school with any questions you may have. In preparing for the summer program, staff was spread very thin, but I think with the addition of the new principal, duties are starting to get reassigned and your questions would be answered more easily. The staff really is very approachable and supportive.

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Thank you Its the mom,

My concern was about housing student that are younger than your DS, since this school is a very large one, I am worry about younger dancers who would be enrolled in this competitive program and away from home .



Teachers and staff can't replace a suportive family, and I know that sometimes that can make a difference !!!!


I don't know if your DS is still leaving at home, and I don't know how old was your DS when he first enrolled at the school.

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Thanks its the mom,

Our dk's have their own unique time and history at BB, but I do agree with your comments here. Of course

every school has its strengths & weaknesses.


I believe Boston Ballet is very committed to building the school This year was a record in terms of how many of their own dancers were accepted into company contracts. Keep in mind, some ( but not all) of these dancers came from elsewhere to be "finished" by BBS. This is not unlike other large schools. However

this actually is a fairly recent phenomena at BBS. (Past 3 years?) Only recently did BBS add a trainee/post grad level which encouraged dancers from other parts of the country/world to attend to finish their training. Before the current artistic staff, many graduates despite being considered well trained, did not fair well in obtaining professional employment. I expect we will see a continued upswing


BB's Summer Program has also grown dramatically, as well as the number of students looking for quality year round instruction. Boston Ballet School is responding to both of these issues - trying to promote both outside & local talent. Hence the new academic & residential program. It is in its' infancy.


Yes it is a challenging & competitive environment. I have seen the trainee schedule - it is demanding. Even more so for a dk still in school. Some young dancers may not be prepared to handle this all on their own.


I agree that a personal conversation is imperative for those considering making a move.

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avril: I would definitely have the same concerns. I was lucky enough to be able to accompany my son this past year. Boston did not have a residency this year, and at 15 he was simply not ready to be on his own. It remains to be seen if it will all work out because as jmh4 says, the whole thing is in its beginning stages. As with any new endeavor, I think it will take time to get up and running, but BB is moving in the right direction.


Again, I would encourage a conversation.

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Parents need to be aware that the number of students in this school is very high....sometimes it looks more like a business than a school who realy care about the future of their dancers


I think you have to remember that the school has many programs within the school. It has a children's program for dancers age 3-9. It has adult education, outreach programs, etc. It has the main division which is ballet classes for anyone who is interested. And then it has the intensive program which is a very small program within the school. The intensive program probably consists of only about 10% of the students at the school. The students in the intensive program all know each other, they usually go through the levels together for years, they go to summer programs together, etc. It's a close knit program, don't be fooled by the size of the school. The trainee program has only upped the quality of the program.

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