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Colburn Dance Institute

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My dd's youth ballet company recently performed as guest artist in Colburn Dance Institute's spring production for their professional division, and here are my observations:


Their pre-professional ballet program is part of their overall dance school, the Colburn Dance Institute and is overseen by co-directors Leslie Carothers-Aromaa (former Joffrey principal dancer) and Glenn Edgerton (former AD of Netherlands Dans Theatre and current assoc. AD of Hubbard Street Dance company).


They have three beautiful studios in two locations, one at the Colburn School itself and two down the street at the Japan Cultural Center (next to their "resident" theatre, Japan America Theatre, which is a really nice theatre).


My dd absolutely *loved* taking warm-up classes taught by Leslie and Glenn before the performances. They also have other good teachers including Gilma Bustillo (who also teaches at my dd's school; BTW she's the sister of Zelma Bustillo, Joffery Ballet School's director; the ballet world is indeed small). We also noticed the warm & supportive environment -- dd and the other dancers in the company were warmly welcomed by the parents and the Colburn dancers. I also noticed a warm "vibe" from all of the staff, esp. Leslia & Glenn.


One big benefit is the school's access to really great choreography for their students. Just for this one spring performance, they got approval from the Balanchine Trust to stage and perform an excerpt from Balanchine's Jewels ballet (Diamonds) and a piece by Jirí Kylián, as well as a jazz piece originally choreographed for Netherlands Dans Theatre II. Knowing that Mr. Edgerton is very familiar with Netherlands Dans Theatre's repertory, as well as Hubbard St, Joffery among others, I imagine this program's selections were not unusual.


Another more subtle distinction that will serve this school well, esp. in future growth, is that they are part of the Colburn School, which is currently more famouos for their top-notch music conservatory program (they are becoming known as the "Julliard of the west"). The Colburn School has a sizable endowment, and I would imagine that the Colburn Dance Institute is benefiting from this, including access to the school's administrative, community development & fundraising staff that's already in place.


I also noticed that a new train station in LA's Little Tokyo area for LA's mass transit's Gold line is being completed, which should make the school more accessible (i.e. easy commute) from outside areas in LA.


Right now the pre-professional division is fairly new and is small (less than 20?). But I also have been told that they limit the no. of students accepted from their auditions. But, definitely this is a program to keep your eye on.


Their website is at http://www.colburnschool.edu

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Just reported in the LA Times this morning:


Colburn Dance Institute gets $9-million donation


An anonymous donor has given the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles $9 million to support its Dance Institute.


The donation is the largest single gift to the school after Richard Colburn’s founding endowment of $20 million and will be added to the Dance Institute’s $1-million endowment, bringing the total to $10 million.


“The gift is very important because it allows us to expand our dance curriculum and provide more possibilities for performances, which are really crucial in the educational process here at the school,” said Colburn School President Miguel Angel Corzo.


More at http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/21/en...nt/et-colburn21

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  • 6 years later...

Does anyone have updated information on The Colburn School? I know they had Jennifer Ringer revamp their Dance Academy in 2014. I read they started with 12 students. Any feedback?

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  • 10 months later...

I think there is another thread as I asked a similar question a year or two ago, when the program was brand new.

Either way, make sure you look at their Facebook page to get an idea of what sorts of experiences the students get.

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  • 4 months later...

Class 3 of the Colburn Dance Academy begins in August. Anyone attending? My dd plans to but there are many factors still pending. Would love to get a conversation going about the program.

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  • 1 month later...

Oh that's great! Will she be a dorm student? Mine will be. Now that they are less than a week from starting, information is slowly trickling in. Not really sure about what to expect as far as move in day but dd is excited to get started.

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We live about 60 miles away so she will take the train in everyday. When my dd was little she took violin at Colburn. It is a really amazing facility.

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  • 2 months later...

Trishup, I would love an update on how your DD is doing at Colburn. Can you tell me about the dorm situation? I was under the understanding that they could not house all of the students. I am also curious about the academic situation.

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Noodles- DD is loving Colburn. Great training, great teachers and lots of exposure to all forms of art. As far as the dorms- about half of the students live close by and at home and the other half are in the dorm. I don't know of anyone who was unable to get in the dorms that wanted to. As far as academics all of the students ( in the dorm at least) are doing their own online program. Classes typically end around 3:30 or 4 so most do their school work in the evening. Colburn offers tutorial help (2x a week I think)for students/ parents who signed up for it. There is a small fee for that service. If you have questions, call Colburn. Jenifer Ringer and the rest of the Colburn staff are very friendly and approachable.

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Noodles - I would add that my dd is also enjoying her experience at Colburn. She feels very challenged and loves being with other dancers who share her desire to become a professional dancer. There are 8 in the dorm and 4 who commute. My dd does not do an online school program but she lives with us and I can supervise her work.

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Thank you hersupport. In reading this thread I did not realize that your daughter was there as well.


Can either of you answer this...I read that they accept 12 students, will that be per year or only 12 in total?

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They accepted a class of 14 for this year. But it turned into a class of 12. I am not sure what their maximum number is. At one point their website said between 12-24, I don't know if that is still the case.

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