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Ballet Talk for Dancers

SI and Residency School differences


learningdance

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My dd is too young to do this (8) and who knows if she will.

 

But here is my question:

 

Isn't the SI a nice testing ground for whether or not a student will want to go to a certain residency, in terms of fit, maturity, environment, reality check?

 

I guess I am wondering if people could comment on the differences between an SI and a residency in terms of environment, competitiveness, culture, and pressure?

 

thanks

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Learningdance, I split this post off into it's own topic, as it really is a different subject, even though related.

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Hi learningtodance,

 

You're right - the summer program is a good opportunity for dancers, families and schools to see if a particular program is a good "fit." Some schools in fact encourage dancers to view the SI as an extended audition for the year-round program.

 

That said - there are always some differences. In the summer of course you would not have the academics in addition to the dance, and this is certainly a significant component. In many cases you'll have fewer dancers (some decide not to stay, others may not be invited to stay) or at least different dancers. That is to say that the great friends you make at a summer program may not be your classmates in the fall, and sometimes this dynamic might be an important one. It's also important to take note of who a dancer's favourite teachers are at the SI and whether they will be at the program in the fall. If a dancer has loved a guest teacher for example, it's important to take into consideration that the teacher in the year-round program will be different. I would want a dancer to have at least met and had class with the main teacher for the coming year; this was our experience with schools, and I assume it's typical but I don't know for sure.

 

m2

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I am in agreement with mom2 on all her points especially the academic component. After a long exhausting day of dancing academics have to be done and if your dd lands in a program where internet learning is the only option, she will have to be motivated enough to work on her own with very little monitoring. Procrastinators do not do well in this kind of academic setting but may be able to dance in a residency program that includes on-site academics.

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Our experience has been that some SIs are good previews of what a residency program will be like. Others are not as good of predictors because of differences in staff during the year, expectations, rules, schedules, etc.

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To add to that, at some residencies the year round students are highly encouraged to go away to SIs, so you may not be getting an accurate picture of what the year round student body is like in that capacity either. The level of ability of the year round students could be higher than expected or less so.

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