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Ballet Talk for Dancers

School of American Ballet

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Hi! Yes, every year some kids are not invited back after just one year. Usually the decision is made based on body type (the turnout is just not there) and not on any actual ballet skills. In Boys Prep, kids are sometimes asked to leave during the school year, but that’s only due to poor/disruptive behavior and parents have ample warning and opportunity to correct the issue.

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To 5Uptown,

We applied to PCS last year.  It’s $48,000.  They offered us a $1000 discount. 😢😢

I’m not sure if we could reapply if she was promoted and get a better tuition, but we will give it a try ( should we need to).



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  • 1 month later...

RE kids in prep division: Yes to all. Some kids will not be invited back at the end of the year, some kids will be invited to a second year of prep, some kids will advance to children's division. And some kids will leave mid-year (either because they decide they no longer want to attend, or because the school makes that decision for them). Every year at SAB the students are evaluated, and retention and advancement are never guaranteed. 


LisaRG, UGH, you could probably get yourself an address in NYC for less than that... (just saying!)  There is no way we could afford PCS and so we've never even looked at it, but I know they are very accommodating of the needs of the ballet students. Its also so conveniently close.  


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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone have first-hand knowledge of a dancer who was offered dorm/winter term from the SI who was not attending the SI on scholarship? 

Separately, this is kinda a dumb question, but is the NYC public school option free to residential students, or is there a fee because their tax paying parents are out of state?

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Yes, we know a few kids who weren’t offered SI scholarships but ultimately were offered seats in the year-round program. I should add that these particular kids attended the SI more than once though.

As for NYC public schools, they are always free, but one can only apply if they are a NYC resident & can provide proof of a NYC residential address (usually indicating that they pay taxes to the city/state of NY, which fund that public school system). I believe the NYC Dept. of Education lists acceptable proofs of residency on its website. Otherwise, several SAB students attend private school (like Professional Children’s School) or are homeschooled.

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Thank you for the info Texasblue and DanceMumNYC.

To confirm I'm reading your comment correctly, residential SAB students whose parents reside out of NY state are not eligible to attend the NYC public school?

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SAB residential students from other states are allowed to attend NYC public school for free. Their address of record is 165 W. 65th Street and the SAB staff member responsible for academic support is listed as the student’s guardian for school purposes. This was explained at the meeting during drop-off weekend for families who were interested in staying year-round. The NYC public arts high school reserves a certain number of spots annually for new SAB year-round kids.

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Thanks Fouronlychildren! My daughter wasn't old enough for year round consideration last year so we didn't attend the meeting. My mistake. Thank you for clarifying!

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3 hours ago, KitriDC said:

Thank you for the info Texasblue and DanceMumNYC.

To confirm I'm reading your comment correctly, residential SAB students whose parents reside out of NY state are not eligible to attend the NYC public school?

No.  That is NOT correct.


Ooops someone covered this. 

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Right, as long as the child resides in NYC (with or without their parents) they are considered a resident. Most stay in the dorms although we know some who have gotten private or shared apartments due to costs & provided proper documentation to the NYC DOE.

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Does anyone know how kids transition during their high school homeschool years?  For example my 13 year old is doing two high school courses this year.  I just keep track of what she does and issue the transcript myself.  Any info appreciated- specifically wondering if they have to adhere to NYC homeschool laws and if that becomes an issue if they're half-way through following the laws of another state.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I'm allowed to post this question here? Feel free to take it down if I'm wrong. 👍

I'm interested in auditioning for the year-round program in September. I'd figure that the things they look for in a year-round program dancer are different than what they look for for the summer program. Does anyone know what qualities they'd expect of a 17 year-old year round dancer, technically and artistically? I understand that each person is different and there aren't set requirements for what qualifies someone to be an SAB student, but I want to know what to focus on over the rest of this year to properly prepare me as SAB is my #1 school. 

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What they look for (copied from their website):




What does SAB look for in a dancer?

First and foremost, the School of American Ballet looks at each applicant as an individual.  The School is selective in admitting students; and enrollment is by audition only. Applicants must be young enough to derive the maximum benefit from their training, enjoy excellent health and have an anatomical structure suited to the demands of classical dance:  a well-proportioned, flexible, coordinated body, good turn-out, and a high instep.  They must also possess musical aptitude and a natural gift for movement.  Applicants should be at a stage of technical advancement proportionate to their age.



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  • 1 year later...

Would anyone happen to know if SAB still does Winter Term Auditions in September? If so, do you have to go to attend SAB"s lower school to audition or is it open to everyone? How many do you think  are selected from the Winter Term Auditions to attend year round?

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