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Residency Programs without mandatory SI Attendance

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I have been waffling about posting this but after numerous searches I have come up with nothing.


My DD is desperate to leave her current environment. Although we love the teachers and the training is excellent it has become a very difficult situation as of late. The studio is small and my DD has worked extremely hard to improve and is getting recognition for that. However, in the course of that improvement she apparently became such a threat to the Queen Bee's in her class that they (supposed former friends) no longer will speak to her and talk about her incessantly during classes to the extent that it is interfering with DD's ability to concentrate.


I know everyone's advice will be to talk to the teacher or you will ask why the teacher does not do anything. To answer the first, my DD does not want to make things worse by having the teacher say something or have the teacher stop giving her compliments or corrections in order to make life easier for my DD. That is not what we are there for. To answer the second, I know the teachers know something is up and the nature of what it is but the comments are not yelled so there is no real proof. We have talked to one of her teachers a lot about her career and the teacher suggested boarding would be the best for my DD overall as she would be with like minded students. Aside from the usual teen drama I really do think my DD would be better off in a more intense training environment.


Here is the issue. This all came up rather recently (although DD has been asking for a long time). We originally thought DD could stick it out for another year but it is becoming apparent that this is now affecting her ability to concentrate. Audition season is almost over and DD is committed to an SI already anyway. She would like to stay at this program should she be accepted year round and we have looked into that option but this particular school has no housing or educational options for the year round. I have been in contact with them regarding our interest (me moving with her is not an option) and they said to check again mid-summer. I assume they are waiting to see if she is a good candidate before they will try to help.


All of that said, are there any year round programs out there that do not require SI attendance as part of consideration? Ideally she would like something with housing or that will facilitate host family options, school can be taken care of in alternative ways so that is not as big of an issue. DD is not a big fan of PA schools, she would rather it be a stand alone ballet school. I hope someone can help me out with some suggestions. NBS has been mentioned to me numerous times (we are in the US) but my impression is that SI attendance is quite strictly mandatory. TIA

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Sorry not an answer to your question MBF - but can you tell me what a PA school is please?

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CoventGarden: Performing Arts School, basically an all inclusive academic and arts boarding program was what I was referring to (such as Walnut Hill or Nutmeg). FWIW, DD would love to apply to RBS year round but we have missed the cutoff for DVD submission for next year.

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Yes, NBS does require SI attendance.

At this point, your best bet may be to call residencies and explain simply that you've recently realized that the training your dd currently has will not be sufficient for her to make a career. Explain that while the current training is good, and your dd has been accepted into SIs, that it has become clear that she needs a more intense environment. Explain that she's already committed to an SI for this Summer, but that you are calling to see what their policies are regarding the possibility of a dancer attending their year-round program without being able to attend the SI.


Just a side note- Most unfortunately, Queen Bees are everywhere. I understand that since the school is small, it is difficult, but it also is a life skill that she will need to master sooner rather than later. Queen Bees don't just go away after high school........... :unsure::D


It might be worth an e-mail to ENB then: ENB

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Clara76 you are correct on the Queen Bee's. I have told DD this and she knows from her previous SI's that they are everywhere but says this is worse for a number of reasons. She is normally a very thick skinned girl so I know it is major. DD claims it is not a matter of wanting to be friends just that she wants to be left alone and be able to train without distraction. It is so bad she has even had to sneak around for extra classes and privates because even that is the subject of gossip. I won't even go into the parental hijinks.

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CPYB comes to mind... but, she would need a host family. I mention them because I think they don't require SI attendance, but she'd probably have to visit and audition to be selected for Y-R, and for level placement. Also, try the Rock RAPA program. They would probably like SI attendance, but they have understood in the past if someone was already committed elsewhere for the summer. This month is the time to audition for next fall.

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Good advice, pointeprovider!


MBF- To this day I am still taken aback by the petty smallmindedness of others. I can't fathom the level of insecurity that drives these people.

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What about Virginia School for the Arts? They have a residency program and I don't believe attending their SI is mandatory to getting accepted into their year round. At least my dd is not going to their SI but planning to attend the year round program. I don't know if the deadline is past for submitting videos but you could call and ask.

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First a big cyber hug to you and your dd. Kids can be so cruel and it's not easy to watch as your child is treated badly. What you described is most certainly bullying. If the teachers are aware of it and the school has an anti-bullying policy, they should follow the policy. Regardless, help your daughter to understand that this is clearly bullying. Watch "Mean Girls," together get the Queen Bee book and read it with an eye towards generating strategies. Even if your dd changes studios or goes to a residency program, there will more than likely be similar incidences so help your dd learn to cope with these situations. Even the most tough skinned kids are hurt by bullying. (This is NOT an overnight process.) My dd has found that smiling throughout everything makes her feel better and the day go faster. It has the side benefit of making all the "nasties" wonder why she is so darned happy. :)


You didn't mention your dd's age but IMHO mid to late teens are plenty early to move from home; if she is younger and you are happy with the training then you might even try to find a sports psychologist. They can be very helpful with developing healthy coping strategies; whether for injuries or jealous competitors.


If residency is your solution, I wouldn't hesitate to ask any program if they would consider your dd for the fall using the well worded explanation of Clara76. It never hurts to ask!


Good luck!


edited to add: dd found that if the "nasties" were shooting "evils" (nasty looks) and gossiping about her then she must be doing something right and that she should just keep focusing on her, not their behavior. She knows the only behavior she can control is her own and she mentally puts the "nasties" in a box, hammers it closed and stashes it away so she can continue to focus on her training. She has found nasties exist at all ages and across continents.

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UNCSA is a great residency program and it does not require summer SI attendance to be accepted into the full year. I believe they still have one more audition in April. I forgot to ask how old your dd is... 8th grade is youngest and they are not provided housing, must commute and live with parent. SHe can start to live in dorms in 9th grade though. Hope this helps!

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It is my understanding that Bossov Ballet Theatre in Maine doesn't require summer SI attendance. They have the reputation of a strong academic program as well and they do provide housing.

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Actually, I think you will find that mandatory SI attendance prior to a school year admission is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to residency programs. Especially if there are available 'spots' open.


As Clara76 suggested, I would review the threads on the various residency programs in our Pre-Professional/Residency School Forum, pick out the ones that appeal to you and meet your ballet, academic, and housing requirements, review their individual websites, and then start e-mailing and start a discussion with the Admissions Director at each school you and your dancer are interested in.

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Thank you for the clarification MBF. I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulty your DD is having with her classmates, such a shame when the focused and talented dancers are subjected to such nastiness. As has been said before I'm sure it happens everywhere but I can understand your wish to have her amongst likeminded students.

Yes, I'm afraid you've missed the deadline for RBS to start in September 2010. Application for September 2011 will open in August/September this year - DS will be applying for 6th form then (eek!) If your DD likes the idea of studying in London, then Clara 76's suggestion of ENB is a good one if you can meet their deadline. It's a lovely school, DS has been on one of their short courses and really enjoyed it - he'll be applying there too. The school is linked to the English National Ballet Company which is a very good one, and their graduates do very well in terms of employment both for the company and further afield.

The other great London school that might still be taking overseas applications is Central School of Ballet http://www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk/index.php . They also turn out very successful dancers.

Whatever you and your DD decide upon, I hope that she finds a great environment in which to continue her studies.


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Thank you everyone for your suggestions, advice, and kind words. I will definitely look into all of your suggestions. Since a few were programs DD has shown a past interest in I mentioned them to her last night and we will be doing some fast research. I guess I assumed that the NBS policy of SI attendance was the rule rather than the exception. Glad to hear that is not the case at most places.


swanchat and Clara76, I definitely made a point to relay your stories and advice to DD. swanchat, I told my DD how successful your dancer has been and that helps as well. I am sure you can imagine the comments that have been made, that DD is not deserving of anything, that she will never succeed (this has been said to her face), the whole gamut. What is saving her is the wonderful encouragement and support of her teachers who tell her that she can have a career and the promise of the coming summer away. We do realize that if she was not a threat to anyone that they would not be talking. I guess it is just part of our naiveté that we thought they could all support each other.


Maybe it is our unusually cold and snowy winter this year that is making things crescendo. Kids in our area of the country are not used to being so confined all year round.

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