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Ballet Schools in Kansas - KC

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Taxi dance

Thanks. My DD is considering attending so any information would be great.

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aspirant_dancer

The school director, Ms. Holmes, showed me the schedule and it looks very intense. The students levels 3 and 4 are combined mostly, but she said last year those 2 levels combined had 9 dancers all together. I’m not sure about levels 1 and 2, but I think they are combined with each other (not positive). The students have jazz, modern, contemporary, character, conditioning, pas, variations, and possibly more classes in addition to their technique and pointe classes.

The students have study breaks every day, but every one of the Dayschool students I spoke with said they were always behind on schoolwork and said that it took a lot of self discipline to get their work done in the short 2 or 3 hour breaks. They also said that sometimes they would have class/rehearsal from 9:30 to almost 9 pm because the Youth Ballet rehearsals are in the evenings. I think that if this is someone’s first year being responsible for all of their own schoolwork and they don’t have the best time management this could be a big issue.

The Kansas City Youth Ballet puts on a show every spring where students who have auditioned get to perform in addition to their end of year spring performance in which every student performs. They have separate hours set aside for YAGP rehearsals (if a student is invited to compete).

I was told that the Dayschool program is made up of both high school students and high school graduates. Usually during study hours the graduates would take a long lunch break according to Ms. Holmes. I know of about 3 or 4 dancers that will be in the program next year that have already graduated.

In Nutcracker, the Dayschool students perform as angels primarily. They haven’t been a part of snow or flowers in the past, but Ms. Holmes mentioned Mr. Carney may select a few Dayschool kids to be flowers this year if he is interested (but obviously this isn’t a guarantee).

The second company director teaches them on Saturdays (I believe this is what I was told) and on Saturdays they’re also combined with the KCB trainees. I think Ms. Holmes also said that Mr. Carney is planning to teach the Dayschool students once or twice a week.

It definitely sounds like KCB is trying to make the Dayschool a system that feeds into the second company and, eventually, into the main company. Although this program is very new, it is well run and I can say firsthand that the faculty is outstanding. The students themselves also speak very highly of the program and are all very kind and welcoming.

The staff has great communication which is very hard to come by in the ballet world, so I would suggest taking advantage of that and emailing them any detailed questions you may have. I have always received helpful and quick responses. I hope this was helpful and not too long!

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gasguzzler

The program is very well organised. Communication is very good. Students do not have to be part of the Youth ballet if they do not have the time. The youth ballet has a separate fee. Audition for Youth ballet took place in May 2017 so students who entered the Day Program in the fall could not join until the second semester. Last year some students participated in Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, and Peter Pan with Kansas City Ballet. 

 

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dancerdancer

Aspirant - Thanks so much for sharing all of your research with others. I am always impressed by your very informative posts. As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as too long!

Gasguzzler - I had wondered that about the Youth Ballet and had just sent an email to ask about it. That makes a lot of sense to fold new students who want to participate into the second semester.  If your child currently dances in the daytime program, would  you mind explaining a bit about how the dress code works? It appears that there are a few different leotards listed (the official Eleve one, plus two Capezios), as well as specific tights and ballet shoes. But in all the blog posts and photos my daughters could find of the daytime classes, it appears they just wore black leotards, no particular brand. Is the dress code new this year? Or does it only apply to specific situations/days? I'll ask the office, but I'm also trying to get a feel for the actual "conditions on the ground" as opposed to what the official code states before I stock up on a full slate of uniforms for two dancers.  

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Mom2LilRed

My DD attends the Day School Program at KCB. The uniform is different this year. Students in the Evening Program Level 5-8 and the Day School Program have a choice between the Eleve leotard or the Capezio leotard. That is it. Last year each level in the Evening Program had a designated color for the Eleve uniform leotard, and Day School (all levels) had the same black Eleve uniform leotard. Students were only required to wear their uniform leotard once a week and at all auditions and rehearsals. The other days a student could pick the style of leotard as long as it was their designated color.

Levels 1 and 2 were combined some of the time, just as levels 3 and 4 were combined some of the time. Levels 1 and 2 were divided for technique twice a week. Level 2 most always had a separate pointe class from Level 1. Level 2 was combined with Level 3 and 4 for pointe once a week. Levels 1-4 have Repertoire all together once a week. There is a separate Men's class 4 days a week. One day a week the men would combine with their level for technique class with the ladies. Specials classes (Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Improv) were combined: Levels 1 and 2, and Levels 3 and 4. Pas class is all levels of the men with the combined women's levels (1 and 2; 3 and 4) on separate days. Saturday classes for Level 3 and 4 were required, but for Level 1 and 2, they were optional. This was last year's schedule and things always change.

My DD did participate in Youth Ballet the first semester last year, but found that it was hard to keep up with school,  YAGP rehearsals, plus rehearsals for the company productions, and decided she needed to step back. Youth Ballet is a great performance opportunity. Students get to work with upcoming choreographers on new works and present the classics as well. There is a performance in the fall at the Bolender Center, another at the Sugar Plum Fairy Children's Ball, a spring show at Bolender, and then a final performance during the Spring Showcase held at the Kauffman Center. It is also a chance for the day students to get to know the evening students.

If anyone has any questions about the day or evening program at KCB, I would be happy to answer them.

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Taxi dance

Thanks, it would be the day program! 

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Mom2LilRed

Taxi dance, did you have a specific question?

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gasguzzler

Taxi Dance my DD no longer attends the day program. I did not know about the changes in uniform. When she was there she only wore the Eleve for special classes or rehearsals for company productions. She said she only went to class on Saturday if she had a rehearsal following. Mom2lilred will have this year's info.

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Taxi dance

Mom2LilRed, 

What are the ages of the girls in the day program’s highest level? Have you seen girls move up to the second company and company? Style of dance? Any height or body type preference that seems to exist? How many students typically to the class? Who teaches? Do out of towners stay in any paricular apartments? Thanks!

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Mom2LilRed

Taxi dance,  Last year the youngest  in Level 3 at the beginning of the year was 15, most were between 16-18. Among the ladies, there were 2 Level 4 dancers last year. One is a trainee this year. There was also one male senior who is also a trainee this year. One of the Level 3 dancers that I know if is now a trainee at another ballet company. We have had 2nd Company members move up to Apprenticeships and receive Company contracts. I have not noticed a trend with height or body type. I would say that the ability to pick up combinations and choreography quickly is highly regarded and rewarded with performance opportunities. If a dancer is in company rehearsal, pay attention even when it's not your role!

The Day School Principal, Ms. Racheal Nye teaches many of the classes, but she can't teach them all. Last year Ms. Grace, Mrs. Carney, Ms. Maureen, Ms. Debbie, Ms. Stephanie also taught technique and pointe. They are holding a placement class this year on 9/4 to divide the students among the levels because they want to keep class size small.

Where students live really is subject to family preference. We moved downtown so that DD could walk if needed to class. Another student also lives a couple of buildings over. The Crossroads (our area of downtown) and River Market (a short streetcar ride away) are actually home to many of the Company members if transportation is an issue.

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Taxi dance

Thanks!

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dancemaven

I have split the more personal chat regarding attendance preparation to KC Ballet program to this thread:  https://dancers.invisionzone.com/topic/65433-housing-and-area-around-kansas-city-ballet-school/. Please do feel free to continue share surrounding living information on that thread. 

Please do continue to share information about the ballet program itself on this thread, as well as information regarding other pre-pro ballet schools in the Kansas City area. 🙂

 

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macameli

Has anyone had any experience with trying to get an in-person audition for the Day Program aside from Audition tours? Their website mentions sending in a form, photos, and an audition fee.  

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Mom2LilRed

I would call the school. There have been in person auditions during the school year.

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5678StarMom

Reference the pre-pro daytime program at KC Ballet, are any of the students sharing apartments in the area or are host families more normal? Do high school age students attend from our of town or is that unusual? DD16 would have to share housing to make it work, we live a few hours away. 

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