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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Springboard Dance


Guest Andrew

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  • 1 month later...
Guest pirrouette

Hi Andy!

I am currently in Springboard at Ballet Arts MN. (But not today - i've got an awful cold). I love it! The students range in age from about 16 to 24 - the majority are around 18 or 19. There are currently three men and ten women - our ranks have been decimated by a few injuries! The involvement is about 21 hours a week - 1:45 to 6 pm on Mondays, 1:45 to 5 Tuesdays thru Fridays, and 2:30 to 6 on Sautrdays. Every day we have ballet and pointe/men's work. Men get separate men's classes about once a week. Then we have repertory and rehearsal for anywhere from one to two hours. Currently we are preparing for a performance at the Southern Theater March 7-10. The program has many diverse styles - a jazz piece by Cathy Young, contemporary ballets by Robin Stiehm and Jessica Lang, and modern pieces by Wynn Fricke and Wil Swanson. If you are interested in Springboard, I recommend that you come to the show and see if the styles suit you. Our focuses are quite diverse; some of us are aiming for professional careers while others are searching out college programs. Currently some of us are in high school, college, or working. Our style of ballet isn't really one style - it's more of a melting pot. One of our teachers is very Russian (Vaganova), while another is very American (not Balanchine though!). We also get guest teachers - currently it is Jens Graf (formerly of the Royal Swedish Ballet), but we've also had Ronn Tice and Sara DeLuis. The atmosphere is competitive, but not so much that it is discouraging. It is helpful competition. We perform in the City Children's Nutcracker, as well as in a Spring Performance (separate from the Southern Theater), and school outreach performances. We also do pas de deux, but that schedule is kind of unpredictable, with rehearsals sometimes stealing that time slot. If you have any other questions, feel free to post - I'll try and answer them. Please do consider the program - it is a wonderful opportunity!

smile.gif Pirrouette

 

[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: pirrouette ]

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Guest Colleen

So, if I understand correctly, this is a professional school/company. It sounds wonderful. I wish I could dance that much but university really gets in the way of that.

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Guest pirrouette

Ballet Arts Minnesota is a school that has no company attached to it, so Springboard is its top level and, I suppose you could call it, its company. University doesn't have to get in the way - there are two girls who are currently in college in the program. They just juggle their classes and make it work as best as they can.

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I'm not 16+ yet so feel free to delete this if it's necessary but...to Andrew and Pirrouette, I was wondering if you knew anything about the school conected to Springboard dance. I'm going to try out this summer and was wondering if you had any comments on it. Like how good it is, what's expected, etc.

 

Thank You

~*Meghan*~

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Guest pirrouette

Dancingmeghan,

Ballet Arts Minnesota is a great school! The faculty is diverse in background and the training is excellent. There are performance opportunities two to three times a year (including a Nutcracker), with the exception of Springboard, which performs more frequently. The student body is mostly female, but there are a few males. The focus is on technique and performing in a nurturing environment. A good majority of the upper level students attend summer dance programs. There is a dress code; each level is assigned a different color leotard and different teachers have different rules about warm-up clothing. The upper levels also get guest teachers quite frequently. The size of classes are good; depending on the level it ranges from eight to maybe twenty per class, unless you are taking open classes, which tend to be larger. If you have any other questions I'd be happy to try and answer them; otherwise check out their website: www.balletartsminnesota.org

smile.gif Pirrouette

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest naturaldanca

Thank you so much. I want to go to Ballet Arts next year. I hope I make it. But could you please e-mail me because I have a lot of questions and I might get a little "chatty".

Thanks again!

lilies65@hotmail.com

~Meghan

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Guest Andrew

Thanks so much for all the great info.. I had waited a while but it didn't appear anyone had information since my question was a little obscure and I neglected to check back until now. This is a nice surprise smile.gif

 

I am very torn about what to do career wise. I'm in college and am finding it hard to balance dance with academics. I'd really like to quit and just dance but I also have other factors to consider (such as my health). Anyway, thanks again! Andy

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  • 3 years later...

How many people are in Ballet Arts' highest level of their school and about how old are they? Do you ge to know Bonnie Mathis very well if you are just in the school?

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I go to Ballet Arts Minnesota. And I will be/ hope to be in Spring Board for the 06'-07' year. The highest level of the school right now( level 8 )is very small... meaning there are 3 of us. I know its a bit odd but we combine with Springboard and level 7. Due to the ages and not being able to do early release as new highschool students we did not audition for SB last year. If you mean highest level of the school as in SpringBoard there are ruffly 13-15 dancers I beleive. You have to audition, so I'm not exactly sure what their acceptance vs. rejection rate is. Also keep in mind the audition requires both ballet and modern. Unfortunatly Bonnie Mathis is leaving this month for a Ballet Mistress job ( I may be wrong about the actual title, but I'm almost positive its Ballet Mistress) at Boston Ballet. We are all very sad, Bonnie is Amazing!!! They have been on the look out for another artistic director since the end of this past summer, and they hope to find someone that will be as qualified and as great.... If you have anymore questions on Springboard I'll try my best to answer, but I might be better at questions on the actual school since I only dance with Springboard part of the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

oh no! so bonnie mathis is for sure gone? That's a big bummer for the dance scene in the Twin Cities. So, is Springboard really selective? Also, keep us posted on the search for a new Artistic Director. Thanks!

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Oh it is terrible. we all miss her sooo much! And yes she has left, but the school is still doing well, SpringBoard still is dancing with the James Sewell Ballet at the end of the month, and have their own performance in March. Also there will be the usual Spring/ End of year performance with the whole school. Springboard is selective as I know they have rejected people, but generally I doubt they do that unless its a serious case. For example all of the Level 8's got into Springboard minus one who was going off to college, and the three of us who were too young, so we didnt audition.

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Well I love Marcia! I had her as a modern teacher when I was younger (level 3 or 4)and she was very insperational to me, and also really made me have a passion for modern dance as well as ballet. I beleive now though she is more on the buisness side of the school. I'm not sure if she teaches the younger levels anymore... but she does not teacher the upper levels for sure.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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