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Why not accepted at San Francisco Ballet School?


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In 2008 my 13 y.o. DD received scholarships to every SI she auditioned for (Joffrey, PNB, Kirov, and SAB). She auditioned for SFB school and was not even accepted, let alone scholarshipped. She went to SAB this summer, but wants to go to SFB since it is only a few hours away (of course, the most convenient school is the one she doesn't get accepted to). :offtopic:


Any suggestions as to what might be different about what SFB is looking for? I am inclined to think it is a different body type. DD said she auditioned well, but from the first plie she could tell they weren't interested. She will be 14 by one week or so when she auditions this year. She is 5'7" with good pointe work and a long, loose body and great turn out. She is weak in presentation and port de bras.


At SAB, there was an excellent dancer her same age with same body type but shorter who also was rejected by only SFB (and she was at SAB on full scholarship at 13)! The gal said she had auditioned for 18 SI's and her only rejection was SFB. Curious?


Has anyone else had a similar experience?


Thanks for your help.

Edited by smalltown
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I don't know about the year-round program but from dd's experience, SFB is one of the toughest programs to gain admittance to. From dd's school, 15 auditioned (at least) only 4 got in. Only 1 with a scholarship. Many of the dancers who did not get in also had scholarships to other major programs either in the past or for the current season. SFB invited back students from the summer before and gave them scholarships (at least we know one who had a full scholarship offer) and many of their own students attended the SI so there just aren't that many spots left.

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It is also not important to worry that because she didn't get in at 13, she won't get in at 14 or 15. While there may be some relationship in the tougher programs to get into. For instance, we personally know a 3 dancers for whom the SAB SI entrance was denied until their Junior year of high school when both were accepted with scholarship and both chose another program instead at that point. We had always heard that was rare but that happened to both this past year.


SFB is a very tough school to get into. However, if she is a fit, there is still time for that entrance to be received. As well, some students are scholarshipped some years and not others.

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Just so you know SAB year round dancers all go away for the summer, leaving more spaces open for summer sessions. In the upper levels most SFB year round dancers stay, leaving less open spots.

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  • 3 years later...

I have a question about year round at SFB and their housing options for dancers who do not live in San Francisco. I know there is the Therese Jackson house, but only 25 dancers can live there. If you get in, but do not receive housing, what else is available? Are there host families?

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  • Administrators

Walpurgis, there is a thread for questions about the year round program at SFB on the Pre-Professional/Residence Schools thread in the Career and HIgher Education Forum.

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SFB is difficult to get into. We know people who were accepted to SFB SI several years with scholarship, but rejected by SAB. I understand your frustration over not being able to attend the nearest program. I have a hard time accepting this myself sometimes, but they say that everything happens for a reason.

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Please note that the original question posed in this thread was regarding a specific, personal issue arising in 2008. . . . . So, responding to the specific original question now probably doesn't really relate to anything any longer. :wink:


If there are specific questions about a specific school, those would perhaps be better placed on that school's dedicated thread in the Pre-Professional/Residence Schools Forum.

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  • 8 years later...

I know this is an old post but I’m responding anyway. The experience is opposite for my dancer with respect to SAB/SFB. My dancer was wait listed 2 years in a row by SAB and flat out rejected her 3rd attempt. My dancer was 100% scholarship by SFB (she was accepted w/scholarship by the other SI schools mentions plus others). On the outset, my dancer was burning to attend SAB. My dancer is “different” but also my dancer is very petite in stature, barely 5’2” at age 13. If you carefully study “body type” against SFB/SAB, you’ll find that SAB prefers the “board” type body that is long/tall in stature and SFB looks for a more petite “all around” stature. These types have more potential of fitting into each school’s affiliated company corp and it has become the practice of recruiting Corp members from within their respective schools. So it is natural that they would want to start out with a student who appears to fit right in should they rise through the ranks. My dancer, local to SFB, is now at the top ranks of the school after the 1st SI in 2016 at age 13 (now 18) and is prospering nicely at still only 5’4”, just under about the average height of 5’5” (5’6” above are considered tall/giant compared, max height is 5’7”) and perfect to perform roles for “small” dancers like “Little Swans” in Swan Lake or “Small Women” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I don’t know where your dancer is now but I do hope that she is continuing as a professional dancer today at whatever company she gravitated to back then.

 ~ Small Dancer Mom

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