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Ballet West Academy - Utah


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I know this is an old thread, but I was Clara this year in ballet West’s nutcracker when they came in your to the Kennedy center, and I have some information. Trainees are mainly post high school dancers who mainly follow the schedule of a company dancer. Trainees must be chosen by the company. It goes

PTD (students) 

trainee (not a paying possition but close to company)

ballet west 2 (paying position, a bit like being an apprentice)

then main company. 

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I'm searching for any and all information regarding the PTD.  Does anyone have an idea of how many girls are in that program?  Is there any indication as to the division between the 2 levels of PTD?  (age, height, ability?) DD received an invitation for the coming year and so I'm trying desperately to glean all I can from those in the know.  Being 2400 miles away I am at a loss unless I fly there this week for the open class.  DD said a couple girls she is friendly with also got invited and maybe a roommate situation could come of that.  

I apologize if this is on the wrong thread, I'm scrambling for information. 

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😊

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doingmybest, the PTD levels are split by a combination of age and ability.  That is not to say that there aren't a few younger PTD2 dancers or older PTD1 dancers, but generally speaking, the two go hand in hand in the PTD program (a year or two often brings more strength and stronger technique). 

Many of your questions can probably be answered by a phone call or email to the academy director; I'm not sure what you will learn by flying out other than seeing the caliber of the summer students; most year-round students go away during the summer.  There is also a mix of year-round and guest instructors, so depending on your student's SI level, you might not have the opportunity to observe class taught by year-round faculty. 

Re the roommate situation, I suggest you request that your student be put on the roommate list they keep in the office.  I believe there are also a few host-families, but the majority of out of town students live within walking distance (</= 1 mile) in 4-student/2-bedroom apartments.  Apartment living is/has been unsupervised, so think of it as being like sending your student off to college and all the freedom that goes along with that.  Talk with them about getting homework done (where applicable), getting enough sleep, alcohol, sex, etc.  Just as when kids go off to college, some dancers make better choices and some have a little too much fun with freedom from parental oversight.

 

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Thank you  dancemom02 for the clarification on the levels.  I did send an email this weekend to see if there were any chance I could get a face to face if I flew out.  Of course, since it was the weekend, I haven't heard back yet.  I know they're swamped so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a response;  sooner than later. We have quite a bit of experience with residential programs but they're all different of course and since it's 2400 miles away, I'm a bit more concerned.  

Thank you for the info!

 

Update:

I received an email back from the Academy with a link to Calendly to sign up for a meeting time slot 

Edited by doingmybest
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There were 50 dancers in the PTD program last year. The program was significantly larger than it was the year before. Within PTD1 and PTD2 they are also placed levels 6,7 and 8. The levels have their own technique classes. The level 8 dancers combine with the trainees for technique on Saturday. 

They have class from 1:30-6:00 M-F and 9 or 10 til 3:00 on Saturdays. They have two technique classes a day. 

My daughter has been living with a host family with a 30 to 40 minute bus commute.  SLC has great public transit and she’s been able to get around well with it. Most of her friends do live in apartments close to the studios. 

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AngelaK, thank you so much for this information!!!!  It's hard to get a feel for the program being so far away, so info from parents/students currently enrolled is invaluable to me :)  

 

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My DS lived with PTD students last year when he was a trainee.  Having looked at the apartment situation in SLC, I would say it is most affordable if 4 dancers split a 2-bedroom apartment.  There are several buildings (including a lot of new ones) within walking distance of the studio.   The in-town grocery store is NE of the studio, and it's a bit expensive but very nice.  My DS took Ubers or the train to a supermarket once a week.  Most things are close and convenient in SLC, and the public transportation is pretty easy to use.  I think you will have quite a few options for housing.

 

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doingmybest I am happy to try to answer any questions. I do think it’s a bit difficult to get in touch with anyone through the academy email at anytime of the year and most especially during the summer. I have consistently had issues getting with very, very slow responses. I’ve had better luck calling who I needed to speak with directly. 

The quality of instruction my daughter has received has been wonderful. Their teachers really are excellent. 

I agree that there are a lot of housing options close by. My daughter would love to be in an apartment this year and not have the commute. We’re thinking about it anyway. 

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We are looking at having DD (16+) stay for the PTD rather last minute, so she missed out on finding roommates while at the SI. We did email to get on the roommate list. Do any of you know of specific apartment buildings that are close by? It is kind of overwhelming to look at all of them online. We also live quite a distance away, but seeing if we can make this work for her! Thanks! 

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I think it unwise to post specific names.  I will pm you.

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Hoping someone here may be able to answer my question, just beginning to research SIs with possible year-round programs for my daughter. She will be 16 and we are looking for a program that has afternoon and/or evening hours, not just evening hours. The website makes it sounds like the Professional Division is all for post-high school aged students, but that's the only program that has afternoon hours. Does anyone know if there are older high school students in the PTD (Junior or Senior in high school)? Thanks!

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