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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Career: Graduation vs Contract


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So maybe the correct term would be completion of a program of study - not "graduation". Though in the states you might see referece to a teacher who "was a graduate of the Bolshoi Academy." We were trying to assess the value of statements such as those against a student who might only be able to say that he or she "trained for one year" at a given school. Similar to a student who may have graduated from Harid but then wanted to study for one more year at WSB for a little more extra work.


It doesn't seem as if the scenario in the US is really equal to the one in Europe - the programs appear (from what I've read here) to be different. And they appear to vary greatly from country to country. Vrsfantastic correctly described the situation that applies to our son and this is really good information, as is that provided by others. So thanks to all. I think we have a pretty clear understanding of the direction our son should "probably" follow at this point. Obviously it would be nice to find neatly packaged program overviews - like descriptions of study at a university or college, but we've found that isn't always the case, so you have to make a lot of assumptions, ask a lot of questions, and try and rely on the experiences of others!

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We have various levels of "graduation" in the US. It is the word we use meaning to complete a course of study in a school, college or university. My nephew will be "graduating" from middle school this spring. Believe me I was shocked to have heard this term used for this event as my first graduation was from high school. :blink:


When discussing ballet in the US, for most who pursue a career at the age of 18, graduation means completing high school.

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So maybe the correct term would be completion of a program of study - not "graduation".


Yes, that's probably wisest if you're looking at then transferring to European education systems. Although it's a mouthful to say or write compared with 'graduation'!


As you say, your broader question is one that has to be looked at on a case by case basis: the experience in my family was that although th e dancer did not "graduate" from the national training school she was at (it only provided high school level education anyway, so 'graduation' was an inappropriate term), it was the quality of dancing at the auditions that secured the full-time paying job (in Europe). As ever, really.


But on your CV could you use the phrase "Studied for X years with ... " and name the specific teachers at the specific schools? If they're master teachers, that is. That's what I've seen, but the teachers are/were internationally recognisable names.

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Thanks. I don't know if he would transfer to another institution. Perhaps back to a US college or university, but we've found that there are all kinds of problems with that, too, especially when the US Dept of Education doesn't formally recognize a school! (If you've never looked at their list, it's worth it - it's interesting which schools they recognize and which ones they don't! I'm sure there's some type of standard that's applied.) We're working on ways to evaluate transfer of credit IF he ever decides to go to college (which isn't likely in the near future.)


We've learned a lot after the fact that I wished we'd known going into this. Not that it probably would've changed the decision to let him go, but I think we would've felt less confused. As for a CV - he could certainly reflect his training as being with instructor XXX for a given period of time. The question was whether that would be as valuable as saying he "completed" the program (i.e. graduated!) I guess it's all really very gray. But if anyone has specific experiences about leaving a program of study early - and being happy with that decision or regretting it - we would love to hear your opinion. For now, the decision is going to be to encourage return and completion.

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From what I've seen, it would depend on why the student left without completing the formal requirements of a course of study. In my relative's case, it was to a year's full-time and intense training with an extraordinarily talented couple of teachers then a full-time proper job as a ballet dancer and a full career. And I think someone very usefully said upthread that the nature of the job offer and the company might be the significant thing.


Good luck!

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