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Joffrey Ballet's Academy of Dance

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My daughter has had pre-professional classes with both Anna and Alexei at Joffrey, and based on the 2 days she's been in class with them, she says she loves it. She mentioned that they give lots of corrections and that the corrections are given in a positive manner so she feels good about getting them rather than bad. She also has taken contemporary and core strengthening with different teachers and has been very happy with those classes too. For the last few months my daughter has been in a "funk" as far as ballet is concerned, so to see her enthusiastic and energized again is wonderful. I hope things continue to go so well.


If anyone has specific questions about the classes, I'd be happy to ask my daughter to see if she can answer them.


Odette/Odile -- Anna and Alexei are the primary teachers of the pre-professional program, and while I haven't seen anything confirming that they will teach at the SI, I would be very surprised if they did not. I'm not sure what summer workshop you are asking about. Where did you see a workshop mentioned?

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^ On Academy homepage, there's a link to workshops, right under Summer Intensive. I was just curious as to anyone had info on that, as I'm trying to plan my auditions. And thanks for confirming Anna and Alexei's place in the school, I was a little confused about how the whole thing was working. :sweating:


And congrats to your daughter! I know how it feels to recover from a "not-so-great" dance time.


EDIT: If you daughter doesn't mind answering specifics, I'd love to know about Anna and Alexei's classes. Were they very technical for the older dancers? Like, do they look for turnout, body type, and feet as much (or almost as much) as dancing? (like SAB, for example?) Also, was there a lot of petite allegro and adage?


Tell your daughter I'm sorry for asking so many questions! :P

Edited by Odette/Odile15
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Odette/Odile -- I will be at the Academy tonight with my daughter and will ask them about workshops.


My daughter takes level 4 classes which look to me to have mostly young teens. It sounds like you might need feedback from someone who has taken level 5 classes, but for whatever it's worth, I will let you know what I learn from my daughter, and maybe someone from level 5 may post as well. No need to apologize for asking so many questions -- I'm sure there are others who will also benefit from the information. :) And thanks for the kind words about my daughter!

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^ Thank you so much! That would be wonderful if you could ask them.


And tell your daughter to enjoy Anna and Alexei while she has them. I've worked with them before, and they are truly incredible teachers from what I remember. :)

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I also am trying to find out who are the other dance teachers. All their website says is that there are 2 instructors. Are the Joffrey dancers going to teach any classes too? Thank you if you know the answers to this.


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In the pre-pro program, I know that Charthel Arthur (ballet mistress and former Joffrey dancer) teaches level 5 one night per week when she's not out of town on tour or in rehearsals with the company. Kim Sagami, who is also a former Joffrey dancer and a terrific teacher, will be teaching level 2 tech and level 4 pointe. The problem with having current Joffrey dancers teach in the pre-pro program is that they can't always teach class due to their commitments as dancers in the company, and that creates inconsistency for the students. I was told by Alexei Kremnev, who is an associate artistic director of the school, that he would like to have a Joffrey dancer teach as a guest artist during 1 week each month. During last fall's preview session, Joffrey dancers Valerie Robin, Suzanne Lopez, and Derek Agnoletti taught, but I don't know whether they will teach this session. Last week, I saw former dancers Maia Wilkins and Michael Levine subbing in the pre-pro program and teaching some open classes.


Odette/Odile -- I haven't forgotten you! I need to pin my daughter down so I can get more feedback from her. I'll reply as soon as possible.

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Ariel taught my daughter partnering years ago when he danced in Kentucky. Partially due to him, she is a completely fearless partner. He is a gifted instructor with a real eye for problem areas.

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Odette/Odile -- my daughter said that she doesn't notice Anna and Alexei worrying much about turnout and body type, but they do pay attention to feet and watch for proper technique and body alignment. Both teachers first do an adage when moving into the center, and they do a small jump to warm up your feet and usually 2 petite allegros. Keep in mind this is in a level 4 class.


Sorry it took so long to answer. :) Hope this helps.

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  • 2 months later...

I am interested to hear any feedback about the pre-pro program now that it has been running for a while. If anyone has any information please let me know. I would love to know about level of training, plans for next year with the school, etc.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I received this in an e-mail from Joffrey today and thought it was interesting and relevant to this thread:


Academy of Dance

Wall Street Journal






Nonprofit organizations -- facing cuts in government aid, investment losses and a decline in donations -- have been experimenting with new ways to stay afloat. Besides cutting costs and eliminating waste, they're thinking more creatively about how to use volunteers, garner new donations, strengthen ties with existing donors and create projects that generate additional income.


The Journal Report

See the complete Weathering the Storm report.

"Necessity is the mother of invention," says Melissa Berman, president of New York-based Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. "As financial resources dry up, people have the impetus they need to be creative about where to get help and how to keep their mission going."


Here's a look at the strategies some charitable organizations are using:


Academy Students


The Joffrey Ballet

Generating Income


Nonprofits hard-pressed for donations may consider creating a project to generate income.


In August 2008, The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago faced a 40% decline in ticket sales and a reduction in corporate sponsorships, leaving a $300,000 budget shortfall.


In January, The Joffrey decided to generate income by offering dance classes to the public. The classes are taught in the group's existing space, by the Joffrey's dancers, and the ballet's existing staff handles marketing, so there are no substantial additional expenses.


Since January, the classes have generated $200,000 in revenue, and The Joffrey is expecting to earn another $300,000 by June. Moreover, people who take the classes are buying tickets to see their teachers and the rest of the company perform, says The Joffrey's executive director, Christopher Clinton Conway.


Some advisers caution that an economic crisis can be the worst time to start an income-generating activity. "For a nonprofit to put a lot of resources into what could be a risky proposition could be dangerous," says Ms. Berman of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.


She suggests first making sure there is a market for the proposed business, and then determining how much money would have to be invested before it became profitable and whether the organization has the skills and staff to manage the business. Any activity should be directly related to the organization's mission and core capabilities, she adds.







Here's a link to the whole WSJ article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124025204612335931.html

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  • 1 month later...

I'm hoping someone will be able to update on the current "graduates" (if any) in this program and what their plans are for next year. If they have company positions, please let us know if those are trainee, apprentice, corp and then male/female. This information helps others track the true success of the program from year to year. (not sure if there are graduates yet here but just in case)

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  • 2 months later...

I've been trying to grasp the concept of the Joffrey in Chicago by reading through all these post and looking on the website but I'm still totally confused...maybe I'm just really slow right now, but they aren't connected with Joffrey New York anymore, is that right? I'd like to audition for them next summer and try to get accepted there year round but can't even figure out if they have a year round program. And since I'd be a junior when I went I'd still need schooling and they don't have an academic program and there would be no way that I could get schooling on my own since I would go on my own- my parents would stay at home with out me. Can anyone give me more information?

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The Joffrey Academy of Dance, is the only official school of the Joffrey Ballet. They are in no way connected to the school in New York, as is the school in New York in no way connected to the Joffrey company. They offer a pre-professional training program as well as a trainee program. From the schedule I saw, the pre-professional training program began in the later afternoons, so it might be very feasible to attend a school in Chicago. The trainee program runs almost all day. It's for students between the ages of 17 and 20 (although I have heard exceptions are being made to the age). If accepted into the trainee program, you might consider doing Keystone High School online. It's fully accredited and I personally know a lot of girls who have studied under Keystone when they attend professional training programs. As far as housing, you might ask the school to assist you in finding a host family.


Hope that helps!

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