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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Compulsory Education Rules in the US


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Hi,

 

I'm really keen to study dance full time in the US. I believe that in NY state, academic education is compulsory until 17. Does anybody know of any other states that would allow me to come to study at 16, without having to do academics? (Compulsory education finishes at 16 in the UK.)

 

Many thanks

 

Etudes

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Whew! That's a good question, etudes. I think it would vary from state to state, as far as requirements, but I believe that as long as you could show proof of having completed your academics, then you would be fine.

 

Anyone out there know if she needs a lawyer to do this???

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In NY compulsory education age is 16, with some local education departments having an age of 17, like NYC.

It does not matter if you complete high school before that age, you still need to prove that you are enrolled in a full time education option, which could be college. You need to provide this proof to your local school superintendent.

Other states have different requirements. The best way to find out requirements would be to contact the school where you are interested in dancing - they should know. If you want to do some research on your own, the easiest way is probably to google "home schooling" and the state you are interested in - most states have pages listing the requirements for homeschooling which would state their compulsory education ages.

The ballet school you are interested in should have information on legal requirements for foreign students.

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The US recognizes that other countries have different educational standards/requirements. As long as you have your certificates/qualification papers to show that you have completed education in your home country, you cannot be compelled to do high school here.

 

I worked in UK schools for 7 years, including secondary, and I know this to be truth. In the US, btw, compulsory education is not necessarily by age but by completion of credits. You have students who complete and receive their high school diploma who have not reached sometimes even the age of 16.

 

It is at 16, in most states, actually, that students can legally drop out of school. There are consquences - such as not being able to get a driver's license until the age of 18 - but it is not illegal.

 

If you wish to study dance in the US, or have a dance opportunity that you wish to take up, go for it. Do be aware that the US is quite strict on issuing VISAs, so you will have to do your homework on this.

 

Good luck!

 

S (US educator who worked in NY, as well as other states and the UK)

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Hi,

 

Thanks for all your really helpful replies :ermm:

Sounds like getting a visa might be my biggest problem, so i better get searching!!

 

Thanks again

 

Etudes

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Some US dance schools have "Visa programmes" -- you might find that the school you're going to can assist. Indeed, as far as I know, you'll have to have documentation from the school you want to attend, in order to apply for a visa.

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Hi Doubleturn,

 

I am applying to schools in the UK and Europe, but I'm very aware that these places are open to students from all over the world. So I guess I want to widen my net further, so I will have more opportunities!!

Etudes

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Some US dance schools have "Visa programmes" -- you might find that the school you're going to can assist. Indeed, as far as I know, you'll have to have documentation from the school you want to attend, in order to apply for a visa.

 

If an institution is qualified, a school will "sponsor" a visa (establish an I20 Certificate of Eligibility), although the student must proof that he or she has sufficient funds (e.g. bank statements, etc.). Vocational training is categorized as an M1 visa). An M-1 Visa is a Student Visa that is granted to vocational schools. M-1 Visas are usually issued for one year at a time, although students may apply for extensions of the I-20 form, for up to three total years of study.

 

Depending upon the course of study, the school might also sponsor an F1 visa. It is a lot of paperwork to fill out and the process might take a couple of weeks (depending how quickly the school issues the I20). I hope this helps.

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As for New York State requirements, I completed high school in New York City at age 16. I had my high school diploma and that was that. I did not have to prove that I was continuing my education. Etudes might have to show that her education was equivalent to that in New York, but I do not believe there is a rule requiring that you stay in school after you have completed it.

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NY state law regarding attendance age and completion requirements was changed in September 2004. I still really recommend asking the various ballet schools about academic and visa requirements - they deal with these issues on a regular basis and will be able to give you the most up to date info, including how long visa processing takes (a variable length process;)), and the best way to go about everything. Many ballet schools state on their websites that they have foreign students and I imagine that would mean they know the drill.

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