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eugenia

Reality (what to draw from SI auditions)

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eugenia

I would like some suggestions on how to support/provide direction for my DD.

 

So, we are 3/4 of the way thru this years' round of SI auditions for my 15 yo DD 10th grader (will be 16 by summer). PNB said "no" for a second time, Houston said "yes" (level 6), and awaiting the results of Joffrey Chicago and Julliard (she made past the 1st cut). She is currently training in a well respected pre-pro program and has attended MCB SI for the past 3 years (Level 5, Level 5, Level 6). She left her local dance studio last year to seek better training as her level placement at MCB last summer was disappointing. Current dancing schedule consists of 1.5 Tech (daily),1.5 Pointe(3x/wk), 1.5 (Contemporary/Modern), 1 (stretch/floor barre) plus 1 hr (daily) of Jazz/Modern at her high school (Sr Dance Company). Rehearsals are on weekends (2-3 hrs). Additional info that may be relevant is that while she has a proportionate (for a dancer) body she is only 5' 1".

 

Conclusions...she is not being considered as advanced as her age peers, her dancing is not good enough to compensate for her size, maybe it is not realistic for her to reach the level where she can gain entry into a top level college dance program that also has a liberal arts program, that she needs to do more dancing/training (she could add some drop-in classes on weekends), anything else???

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Victoria Leigh

Eugenia, it sounds to me like she is behind due to her previous training. It may take a while for her to catch up, since she has only been at the pre-pro school a relatively short time. I don't think the height should be a big problem for SI programs. It sounds to me like she is doing an adequate amount of training. We do not encourage more than 6 days a week, as everyone needs a recovery day once a week. Drop in class on one of the weekend days, if she doesn't have class and/or rehearsals with her regular program, would be okay.

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lsu

Eugenia, your daughter has been accepted into some nice intensives and she still has couple more years of high school where a lot of improvement can still take place. Has your dancer voiced to you what she would like to do?

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Clara 76

Wait- she's 15 years old and has made it into both MCB and Houston? What's the probelm?

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Victoria Leigh

I think that it is the level. She will be 16 this summer, and probably hoped for L7 at Houston, which is understandable. However, due to only a short time in pre-pro training, it might take her a bit longer.

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Clara 76

Ah. I see.

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balletdancer1040

I hope I can throw another related question in here for comment from moderators. DD just turned 15 and has attended some excellent SI in past few years, NCDT, Bossov, BB Dance Lab/Newton, and ABT YDSW in NYC. She dances about 10 hours a week ballet/pointe, 4 hours in other disciplines(jazz,modern, tap and hip-hop), and a 1 hour pilates class. Sunday is day of rest. So far this year she has been accepted to all she auditioned for-UNCSA, NCDT,Walnut Hill, Pittsburgh, Orlando. We still haven't heard from some of the harder auditions she has done-Juilliard, Suzzanne Farrell, Harid.... My question is, how concerned should we be if her fellow dancers around her are getting scholarships to all these programs, and she is never offered any. Sometimes I feel like she is the extra , ok dancer, that they take to round out the numbers and get her full tuition......Don't they offer scholarship to dancers who they really want to attend and they think are the future, and if so, what does it mean if they do not offer my dancer anything and she has to pay full price? :yes:

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Victoria Leigh

It's a valid question, but one that is hard to answer because there are so many variables. Most programs have extremely limited scholarships available, and not getting one does certainly not mean that someone is not talented or that they don't really want them to attend. As an auditioner I saw many, many students to whom I would like to have offered scholarships, but it was not possible. I have also seen younger scholarship students not get them later on, and some who did not have them in early years really become the winners later because they are the ones who have to work harder for it. Work ethic is very, very important in ballet. No scholarship definitely does not mean that one is just "okay", it just means that there was someone in that class showing a little more potential at that moment in time.

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MBF

I think that times are changing. I have noticed that more programs are giving need based scholarships either as well as or instead of merit scholarships. IMO this is a more efficient way of providing students with opportunities to study outside of their home studio. Not only that, if a program is up front with applicants about the fact that most of their scholarships are need based then it takes away a lot of the anxiety that families like balletdancer1040 will experience when their dancer is not offered merit scholarships. I know that Juilliard gives need based aid, as does Suzanne Farrell, Harid, and a host of others. For a friend of my daughter's who went through a very hard year last year with her family situation the need based aid was the only way she could have attended SF. Thank goodness for the foresight of these programs in tough times.

 

I think too much emphasis is placed on merit scholarship offers. I would compare it to a shelf of trophies. How many do you really need and in hindsight what does it mean? It feels good at the time and is something I suppose to brag about to friends but in the end the only thing that matters is the experience of the summer. My DD knows way too many girls who audition everywhere and anywhere just to say they got in or were offered a scholarship. DD will not audition just to audition. She will only audition for programs she knows she wants to attend. It may seem like only $40 here or $30 but doing 10 auditions or even sending 10 DVD's can really add up.

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balletdancer1040

Thank you for your insight Ms. Leigh and MBF. I find it an interesting and tough question from a parental viewpoint. And from the purse-string viewpoint!

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MBF

LOL, to share your anxiety balletdancer1040 I will tell you a funny story. This past Christmas all my daughter asked for was a Degas leotard for auditions. It kicks my gag reflex to spend so much on a leotard no matter how nicely it fits. But...being that I still truly believe in the magic of having Christmas wishes granted I relented. Now for the anxiety part...

 

We are not in any way wealthy. Huge sacrifices are made, believe me last year it took a village to send her. Anyway, now I have this mental issue where I am afraid if my DD wears her very expensive leo to auditions the adjucator will think we don't need any scholarship money. LOL, I know that is probably ridiculous but just so you know we all have our little anxieties and moments of panic over little things.

 

Ms Leigh, please tell me I am crazy...I can handle it. :yes:

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balletdancer1040

Thank you MBF, That made me laugh out loud!

I must be crazy too, because I have wondered if DD looks like she is ok with money in the audition, thus affecting any awards.

We are faced with trying to fund UNCSA for year round in the fall, and we are in the category of "living paycheck to paycheck" with no savings to speak of :yes:

At least we have jobs!

DD likes her "expensive" name leotards and has earned a few nice ones with excellent grades.

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dancincorgi

MBF your post makes me laugh and also is a comfort as another not wealthy ballet parent. I had the same types of thoughts when I had to have dd's audition photos done at the photo studio at the Mall. It was our best option given other constraints and I had a coupon that made it very affordable but I also didn't want it to give off any air of nonexistant wealth and mess up potential scholarship/financial aid! (On that subject - the pictures looked nice but it was probably not ideal to use a photo studio. Next time I will advise DD to totally reposition and start fresh between every shot in order to have more possibilities to choose between... )

Anyway, sometimes I feel like all the other ballet parents are wealthy, which I'm sure is not true!

Sorry to be off topic!

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quill

I think if you spend too much time on BT4D you definitely get the idea that everyone has a scholarship everytime they audition for anything, except your kid. Guilty of that, myself, and wondering what can be so wrong that it never happens to my dd. Knowing how much they love it, and how unlikely it is that even very lovely dancers will ever achieve their dream of a professional career, it is tempting to try to read meaning into every compliment, every correction, every acceptance, rejection or scholarship we hear about. I sometimes wonder if we have all died and gone to ballet parent hell, where random people put out scraps of information for us to read and drive ourselves crazy with. At 17, my dd has only recently received her first scholarship offer ever, from a program that rejected her and made her cry years ago. For most, like mine, I think that such recognition comes rarely, and is only, like the rejections, a reflection of what happened in one room, on one day.

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Ballet Fanatique

Quill, bless you for saying that. This can be an anxiety-filled time of year for our beloved dancers. Mine came home from dance yesterday truly upset and thinking about quitting for the first time ever. Dance is all she has ever wanted to do since she proclaimed she wanted to dance professionally when she was 4, and she has just now turned 14. It came about because a fellow dancer, with the perfect body, turnout and feet who dances at a lower level, got into the same SI in the same level as my dd, but with the scholarship mine did not receive. She asked what the point is if she will never be viewed as worthy of a scholarship. I reminded her that is okay to dance because she loves to, but not for any other reason. She worries about the money I spend on dance that I can't really afford, but if I weren't spending the money on dance, it would be on gymnastics or cheerleading or tennis or golf or something because I would want her to be active.

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