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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet West Academy - Utah


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Hi L_One,

Most of the PTDs are still in high school. I would say mostly ages 15 - 17. Most are finishing high school online, but it's possible to take classes at local high schools in the morning, since their dance classes don't start until afternoon.  

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

BlueTendu, Will your daughter return to BW for the fall? If so, in PTD? Was she promoted? How are promotions handled? What would you say are the best parts vs "needs improvement" of the program? Were you satisfied with the number of hours for training? What performance opportunities did she have? How large is the program? (Dancers/level). What is attrition rate? Those are the questions off the top of my head. Thank you for being willing to answer some questions!

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Hi nightowl3000, 

Happy to try and help!

My daughter is a PTD1 this year will be back in the fall as a returning PTD student. Very few girls were promoted from PTD2 to Trainee - something like 3, maybe 4. 

Hours of training is excellent. They receive two technique classes per day. When things are really hopping, they balance full class schedule, various auditions, multiple rehearsals, and performances. 

Performance-wise, non-company dancers have limited roles in the professional productions due to union contract.  BWA makes up for it with several showcases, as well as the family series production (this year was Snow White, which you can watch on their Facebook today at 5 PM mountain time!). This series features Company 2 dancers, Trainees, and PTD dancers as well as additional children from the school. The PTDs and trainees were also working on Western Symphony with the Balanchine Trust as part of the spring recital, which is an amazing opportunity. Mr. Merz also casts an ensemble piece for YAGP.

We're very happy with the program. The one thing I'd like to see is more regular communication from the academy to the long-distance parents. 

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  • 2 months later...

I am interested in information regarding housing options for YR dancers who live out of state. My daughter is 16 and has been accepted into the program.  We live on the east coast, are there host families?

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Most PTD students stay in apartments near the studio.  There are several safe complexes within walking distance.  The most affordable option is for four dancers to share a two-bedroom.  The downtown grocery story is NE of the studio.  Good luck.

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I believe there are girls still looking for roommates for next year.  You might contact the office to see if they have a list.  

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Hoping someone who has a DK in PTD can shed some light:  I thought that I saw on this board that the PTD students are in different levels (6,7,8). and then saw someone refer to PTD 1 and 2. How were  they leveled this past year and when do they find out? It didn’t  come with the acceptance. And what are the class sizes? How many students were in PTD? The website says the PTD students participate in BW Nutcracker but saw on this board that it really doesn’t happen. Any insights would be helpful and appreciated! Thanks!

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I believe levels are assigned during the first week of classes.  They get a level (1 or 2) for their PTD classes, but they also take afternoon classes with level 6, 7, or 8.  PTDs definitely participate in Nutcracker.   

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Class size varies somewhat from year to year.  I would have to ask my DD, but I think last year there were 20 -25 each in PTD 1 and PTD2. 

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Thanks for the information. What kind of roles do they get for Nutcracker?

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