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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Boys classes in Chicago area


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We are considering moving to Chicago from Philadelphia, where my older son (age 8) studies in the Metropolitan Ballet Academy's wonderful boys' program. (Which I learned about on this forum -- thanks, folks!!) I feel terrible tearing him away from his current environment -- it's almost enough to make me not want to move, despite the fact that it would be a big step up for me professionally! Can anyone recommend a school that is great for boys in the Chicago area? I've searched the web and am coming up empty-handed.

Edited by phillyprof
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Try this link to the Finding a Pre-Pro Academy forum: Ballet Schools in Chicago

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Joffrey might be doable. Do you know any details about the boys program? It seems from the web site that the only class they offer specifically for boys is pre-ballet... Any info on how boys training is integrated into the overall curriculum? I'll call to find out, but would love to hear from folks with first-hand experience.

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  • 1 month later...
Thanks for the link!

Joffrey has a very good program. Alexei and Anna will take good care of your son. It is a somewhat new program so they still have some growing pains and things to work out, but my ds very much thought that A & A are very good teachers. It is my understanding they will be working on starting some boys-only classes for this upcoming year, but that is only what i am hearing right now, from other parents. My ds only attended very part time. He is full-time out-of-state now. Your son (depending) upon his level, will get partnering too. You may also check out Faubourg School of Ballet in Hanover Park (they have a website) or Salt Creek Ballet. But if you can work the commute, I suggest you go to Joffrey. Chicago is a very "commuteable" lots of access to commuter trains or public transportation. Also you need to talk to the school where your son will be attending to see about arranging his schedule so he may leave earlier in the school day for a commute to a dance school. And be strong...at first the schools around here resist these kind of schedules, but most will come to some kind of compromise.


Welcome to the Windy City, home of our very special politics, deep-dish pizza, and of course the Cubs!

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  • 11 months later...

My son just turned 14 this June, 2011 and has only had one dance class (with a tutor one-to-one when he was 11). It was about 10 classes and it had a little bit of everything from hip-hop, beginning pirouette, jazz, stretching to a wide-variety of music. I just wanted to see if he could follow an instructor. He has Asperger's. He did very well. We stopped because it just wasn't financial feasible and the instructor left the studio.


He has natural rhythm, height - he is 5'7", trim frame, lifts 10 lb weights every day so has noticeable, but not excessive muscle and excellent rhythm.


We hope to sign up his 13 yo sister to a year-round program at either Joffrey or Ballet Chicago this upcoming year. She has taken years of dancing and is attending the Ballet Chicago SI right now. We hope she will be accepted to one of those programs.


If my dd is accepted, I was thinking I might sign my son up for a beginner ballet class. We have to travel 1 to 1 1/2 hours 4 days a week to the city if dd is accepted and I thought this might be a way to keep him occupied at least some of the time.


Does anyone have information about a boys beginner ballet class for 14 yo without ballet experience at either of these schools? Naturally, I will be asking about this at each school if dd is accepted. But I was just wondering if anyone had some personal experience with a similar scenario.



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  • 6 months later...

I have a question related to this topic....my almost 5yr son has been watching his sister dance and expressed wanting to try it out. I am trying to figure out the best place to put him so he does not get scared off by all the little pink things. Does anyone know of any boys classes in Chicago? His sister dances at Joffrey. I think they have a boys program called jaguars, but he isn't old enough yet. Should I just start him out in a Pre-ballet or would it be better to find a boys class?

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Joffrey should have some other boys in the pre-ballet classes. Check to see how many they have and where your son would be placed!

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The website said must be age 6 by 9/6/11 for the young boys class called "jaguars." He misses this cut off for that age, but I spoke with them and they are willing to let him in at 5 1/2 for good behavior. They have seen him behave while waiting for his sister to finish class. We are also going to take a pre-ballet I class. So 2 classes, one all boys and one with the girls.


He is very excited to get to pick out his shoes and. We'll go this weekend. New to this...anything I need to know with boys and dance wear? His dress code is pretty basic, white shirt, black shorts, white socks/shoes....

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Nothing much to add to that! Just don't buy his shoes too big- stick with a leather or canvas split sole if you can find it in his size (unless they require full-sole), some bike shorts will probably work well, and good old Target white t-shirts and socks should do it. Capezio makes a child size bike short that comes in XS. They are $9.00 from Discount Dance.


He shouldn't have to worry about a dance belt until he's in proper tights.

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kr12, how fun! DS also gets to take a boys class each week in addition to his "mixed" class. I think the boys class is really the highlight of the week for all the boys even though not one of them thinks the mixed classes aren't just as important.


Have fun helping him choose his clothes. Target is a great place to go (we used their girls black leggings for a long time until DS opted for real tights instead). If he's in dance for a little while and still loves it, he'll probably get pretty jazzed if you buy him "real" dance shirts at a dance store or online. Have fun!

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I second Target for dance clothes until they get into tights and "real" dance clothes. My son wore these Champion Brand black biker shorts that were like $5.99 and a white Champion body hugging shirt made out of the same kind of material that was like $9.00 for the first year and half that he danced. Wash them on cold and hang them dry and they will last forever. They are stretchy so they will grow with him. We even passed them down to the younger boys at our studio when my son moved on to tights and a "manitard."

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