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Company School vs local studio


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DD(almost 16) is attending a company associated school for their summer intensive. During the year she is attending a small studio. She says that she is getting the same corrections at the Si that she gets with her home studio, with only a couple of minor differences. She really feels like the training is as good with her current school. The advantages I see of the small school are:

1. The price- It cost substantially less. We are a one income family and she gets a partial scholarship where she is now.

2. Small class size- there are usually areound eight in her class. One of the ladies used to dance professionally, so she is wonderful for DD to watch and train with.

3. More performance opportunities.

4. Teaching opportunities- she was asked last year to help with the younger classes.


If she were to switch to the company school, what kind of advantages would she have? When going to audition for college or companies, how much attention do they pay to where they trained. One thought that DD has had is that she stay where she is for now and then hopefully go to the company school as a senior. Are there any advantages to switching her junior year? Any thoughts?

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  • bflo


  • Victoria Leigh


  • Clara 76


  • Curandera


No advantages unless the training at home were sub-standard. She could even graduate with her home-school and then attend the company school for a year of post-grad if she wanted.


Since her focus is college rather than company life, it seems to me that she should follow her plan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Um Clara 76, I didn't read in LabGranny's post that her DD is NOT interested in company life. I only mention this because, although my DD is younger, I am interested in your opinion. How much does it change if the DD is interested in a company life?


I am in a similar situation, again my DD is younger, and although a lot of your post LabGranny, sounds familiar down to teaching younger students, other information is missing. My DD went to a pre-professional school this summer and she also said she received the same corrections as her home studio.


Our problem is that her home studio only offers 2 hours of ballet maximum per week. I am paying for an additional hour private lesson for this year. We are going to try to get her into a pre-professional school next year. If she was going to the pre-professional school this year, she would be taking 3 to 4 hours of technique in addition to 2 or 3 hours of pre-pointe or pointe. That's a huge difference.

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  • Administrators

Whether the aim is to dance professionally or attend a good dance program in college, the best training possible in both quality and quantity is essential. If the small school offers equal quality AND quantity, fine. If it doesn't, then the pre-professional school would be the best choice, especially for the 16 year old. For under 13, it can wait a year if necessary.


Clara76 is right in terms of no advantage, but I'm sure she was assuming that the quality and quantity were also equal.

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There is one other area that a pre-professiional school is a plus when applying for dance college.


The applications usually ask or "performance experience"; "awards and distinctions" and "letters of recommendation."


Not saying that a hefty list of the above from a pre-professional school would ever trump excellent technique or artistry, but I think it is important to be aware of exactly what colleges require very early in a dancer's career.


I will feel better about my DD's application if she is able to complete those requests with performances, awards and recommendations from a highly-regarded pre-professional school.

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Curandera, I have to disagree with you.


I am a small school and my graduating class of one was accepted into every college she auditioned for.


This list cosists of:

Suny Purchase

University of Utah

Butler University


and she is going to University North Carolina School of the Arts.


She was also contacted directly by one of the co-directors of PBT's Graduate Program and invited to join their program.


Edited to add: She didn't audition for companies because her parents are requiring college first.

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Thanks ToThePointe. I appreciate contributions by those who have crossed to the other side. It's so confusing down here in I-have-no-idea-but-I-read-somewhere-land. :D

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I think kids come from such a range a places and experiences that listings of performances and awards provide information to the colleges about the kind of environment the students are coming from less as statements of ability. My DD will be starting as a dancer at Point Park this fall (2 weeks frow now) so we just finished the college auidtion circut. There was a hige range of kids and kinds of schools they were from it is hard to know what someone would make of performances and resumes. There were lost of competition schools were the kids had all sorts of performances and opportunities for awards. My DD attended a school that had 3 performances a year and no competition, did not encourage kids to enter competitions and did not give an award until graduation to any individual dancer. But a lack of awards could not have hurt my kid because she was accepted into every program she auditioned for.

My feeling is that part of it is asking for standard resume format and trying to get a feel for the student.

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And an "award" at the "72nd Dance/Flash/Trash" competition is not going to be seen in the same light as a serious student who kept her grades up while completing a ballet training program. She'll also likely have better technique to show for it. :thumbsup:

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  • 4 months later...
DD(almost 16) is attending a company associated school for their summer intensive.



Is there a list of company associated schools posted somewhere already? Perhaps someone could point me to it? I mean I have *no* problem just reading all night long lots of good stuff to read on here!... ;)


Thank you!


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Hippy Skippy, I don't know if such a list already exists here, but these are some companies (in cities) which have schools and offer summer intensives: Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Carolina Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet (called SAB), ABT (in various locations), Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Houston Ballet, San Francisco, Pacific Northwest, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Those are just some of the bigger ones. Others can certainly add to this list, and smaller companies in smaller cities offer them, too.

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Almost every professional ballet company has a school connected to it, Ro. In addition to the ones listed above, there is Washington Ballet (in DC), Joffrey Ballet (NY and Chicago), Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Ailey Co. in NY, Alonso Kings Lines in SF, and many more. Just pick up any Dance or Pointe Magazine and you will find all the listings.

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I was reading this thread with a great deal of interest as my 13 year old DD is in a similar situation. We live in the Atlanta area south and our school is small. DD was dancing with a company and would have been in their Senior Company this year; however, the school was split due to a change in ownership. Thus the school ended up getting split between two studios. DD spends time dancing between one studio with new owner as well as one closer to home to get more ballet hours. Since she is on a pre-professional track, I was wondering of good companies in Atlanta. At this point I am wondering if we should just head into the city or what some of the options for the Atlanta area were available.

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How about the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. My DD went there for five weeks one summer for their intensive, and loved every minute of it. She came back stronger than I have ever seen her. We also have family member that are principal dancers for the company, and they are excellent.

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  • 1 month later...

I am struggling with this issue myself. My DK is in an OUTSTANDING pre-professional school. The training is so incredible that in only 2 years dk has gone from never having studied ballet to being accepted and offered outstanding scholarships to major programs all over the country. All of these programs are affiliated with major companies. Now, I am faced with a new dilemma, dk is considering what to do if offered a chance to stay at these programs; the training at home is great, but because the school is so small I fear that next year DK will be lost in what I suspect may be an incredible year for the school--3 likely candidates for Prix de Lausanne and only 2 coaches to be spread among an abundance of talent. My DK is good, but not yet at the level of the others in the school and I fear that if DK sticks around next year the training may not be as outstanding and dk will have missed the chance to join an outstanding school that is affiliated with a company and come out a year older but not substantially improved. If DK was younger I would not even worry about this situation, but since dk is getting closer to company ready age I am really concerned about this scenario.


Any thoughts?

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