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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Choosing a summer intensive


Guest poetandlyric

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Guest poetandlyric

Hi everyone! My DD and I have been looking at summer intensives and working on an audition schedule and I was curious how other programs handle SI selection. There is no real rhyme or reason to how it is done at our studio. Last year my daughter was interested in two programs, her teacher said either was fine and we made our own choice. I have heard of other studios where there is an approved list of intensives. Our friends receive a list of the auditions that they are to attend from their teacher. How do you all do it?

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Our studio lets this be our decision. The upside is that we are free to pick an SI that feels like a good fit (from the audition), and that fits other parameters such as scheduling. The downside is that we don't get much guidance, leading to choices based on name recognition or "where Susie went last year" (even though Susie is a completely different dancer and person from Mary). Luckily, our students by now have a fairly wide range of experiences, so the teen network works relatively well, at least in terms of students selecting a pretty good range of auditions.

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My dd's director suggests different auditions based on each individual student. Then, when the acceptances start coming in, he chooses the intensive that is right for the individual dancer based on long-term and short-term goals. I feel very fortunate to have that sort of guidance.

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We come up with a list of possible auditions that are within a reasonable distance, and do not conflict with other activities or obligations. We run the list by the teachers. Once acceptances come in, the kids state their preferences, and consult with the teachers to figure out which SI would be best for that student at that time. If a student chooses a different SI than the teachers' preferences, that's fine. :clover:

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Developing the audition list is our responsibility. DD's teacher's advice is to audition at as many as possible for the experience and to ensure acceptance somewhere. Once the acceptance's are received, her teacher will provide some guidance, based on her knowledge and the experiences of other students, but the final decision on where to attend is ours.

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  • 2 weeks later...

At the small studio where my dd danced for 12 years, there was definitely a list of SI's that the AD's favored. Most were associated with the company these AD's had danced with or other schools run by former colleagues. The AD's were also concerned that the dancers not come back from SI's with stylistic differences that they then had to correct. However, even when dd was accepted, we did not have the luxury of affording some of these places and tended to research programs on our own. By the time my dd left home to train at a pre-pro company school, she had attended several different programs that stretched her in different ways.

 

I think one of the biggest benefits of any of the SI's was the intensity of the program and the chance to see what dancing all day, every day means to the body and soul. It is also SO important to be taught from a different perspective. More than once my dd said she finally "got it" after a teacher explained it in a different way from her home studio. You just never know what will make a correction click with a student.

 

After returning from one of the SI's that had not been recommended one year, the AD was surprised and remarked how much my dd had improved. We had chosen it because it was close to home, only 2 weeks and it was a first experience, even though the AD had said that it was not as good a program as what they recommended. So, after that experience, I learned to trust my judgment, ask for input from the AD's, but then go where my dd liked the audition, we could afford it, and scholarship money was available.

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