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Ballet Talk for Dancers
MamatoMary

ABT Level 2

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MamatoMary

Our ballet school is about to start registration for next year, and I'm trying to gather some info before meeting with DD's teacher to discuss dance placement. DD is about to turn 9 and wants to audition for ABT's Young Dancer Summer Workshop 2011 in January. I'm trying to figure out what skills she needs to master in classes this summer and fall before the audition. The ABT website says that 9-year-olds can move into Level 2. Is anyone familiar enough with Level 2 to englighten me on some of the skills that are introduced at that level, especially in center? Her school is strong on technique and emphasizes barre work over floor, and I'm afraid she may be slightly behind on center work and turns.

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Clara 76

Could you share a bit more about what you plan to do with the information? In other words, are you her ballet teacher too?

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MamatoMary

I'm just a mom, not a dance teacher in any way, shape or form. DD's dance school is having registration for fall classes, and the teachers meet with students and their parents to discuss class placement for next year. Students do not automatically move up from one level to the next, and they can sometimes move up more than one level. Because DD wants to audition for the program, I would like to see her in a class where the skills she will need will be emphasized. No one we know has auditioned for the program, so we can't gain knowledge from personal experience. Since I'm a working mom who doesn't get to see the actual class, I'm not entirely sure what skills she has learned this year. And trying to get her to talk is like herding cats. To sum it up, I wanted the information to make an informed decision about where DD should be next year.

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Victoria Leigh

It is her teachers' decision about level placement. You can't have her put her in a class to learn specific skills, as all skills are learned in an orderly and timely progression. When the student has learned certain things in level one, and is doing them well, then they progress to level two, and then three, etc. You can't learn x,y,z, or even l,m,n, before accomplishing a,b,c. :D I can assure you that the skills expected of a 9 year old are relatively minimal. If your daughter is in a good school, and is having a minimum of two classes per week, she should be learning what she will need.

 

It would not hurt to ask her teacher how she is progressing with her center work. You could also inquire if she would recommend additional classes for her for the summer and fall, if there are more classes at her level.

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cakers

I really have no idea what "Level 2" skills might be, but as a Mom whose daughter attended ABT's YDW as a 10 and 11 year old, I think good solid technique is probably more important than center work. If by center work you mean leaps and turns, I can tell you that those are not my daughter's strongest points and she was accepted twice, one year before pointe, and one year with pointe. They're not going to be expecting a 9 year old to be doing double pirouettes. The most my daughter had to do in auditions was a single.

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yankee

I agree with what has been said. My DD attended YDSW at ages 9 and 10, and fairly basic skills are assessed during the audition. Students are subsequently given a placement class to determine their level within the program. The range of students tend to all have some degree of mastery of the skills which ABT expects them to have in order to garner a spot to begin with, and students are typically grouped with those with similar strengths and needs.

 

In simpler terms, there is no true way to prepare for this audition other than to follow the advice which Ms. Leigh has given.

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Wendigowild

Thank you yankee for your post - that's what I figured it would be. We too are looking at YDSW for 2011 for my DD who will be 9 this fall.

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MamatoMary

Thanks for the info. DD goes to a pre-pro school and she does have good technique from what I've been told. It's hard to compare when most of the other dance schools in town are competitive and DD's friends dancing there are already doing double pirouettes and several fouettes (albeit sloppy ones).

 

Wendigowild - maybe our girls will end up in a class together!

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learningdance

FYI,

 

There is a lovely audition video on Youtube of a 10-year old Michelle Quinner and her ABT audition video.

 

You can also look at the video audition form on their website. It might give you the "big picture" . . but of course, ballet is all about details so the technical elements that they are looking for I would not know how to identify.

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yankee

ABT YDSW is a fine choice for 9-11 year old students and yet if you are looking for additional, equally nurturing programs for younger dancers then you may want to consider others as well: Walnut Hill School, Boston Ballet School, Washington School of Ballet, Chautauqua Institution (Pre Workshop), Manhattan Youth Ballet (formerly Studio Maestro), to name a few.

 

Many students who attend ABT YDSW are not necessarily attending a school which follows the ABT National Training Curriculum so take heart that your child will be among many in that same situation. They will all be given equal consideration during the audition.

 

The critical thing to remember is to seek the advice and opinion of your child's year round teacher(s) before embarking on the SI journey as each child is ready for that aspect of training in their own time, and the teacher's input is a very important part of that determination.

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Wendigowild

MamatoMary; My DD's friends go to a competitive studio too and even though they can do tricks that my DD can't do - my daughter's dance vocabulary is strong compared to that of her friends.

 

After my DD's evaluation this summer; we will know if we will be sending a video application to YDSW.

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