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Ballet Talk for Dancers

2010-2011 Senior Parent support group


Momof3darlings

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Bittersweet a bit for her not to be doing the SI circuit/audition and so forth

 

We're in the same boat - DD won't be continuing ballet with the same intensity after this school year. It is strange not to be dealing with the stress of auditions, photos, and such. I will really miss seeing her perform after this spring's performance. But it's exciting to be dealing with the next phase of her life. I just hope she will be able to find a way to keep dancing for the joy of it when she is in college and beyond.

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We tend to be a private family, so I don’t talk much about my daughter here, but I’ll join in. I have learned so much from reading others’ stories. I have a high school senior who realized at a fairly young age that she did not have a body built for ballet. At the same time, she also knew that she HAD to dance. As her parents, we encouraged her to follow her dreams while coaching her to keep realistic goals. She studied at a recreational ballet school that offers very good training, and she spent summers exploring both ballet and modern dance at summer programs.

 

In eighth grade she considered a performing arts high school, but decided instead to attend a well-regarded, academically rigorous, private high school. Now, four years later, she is facing a similar decision. While many of her friends are dreaming of Ivies, she has cast a very wide net in her college applications: dance conservatories, BFA programs within large universities, small liberal arts colleges with excellent dance programs, and a couple of elite colleges that offer dance majors. She is not applying to the big name ballet programs that have been talked about on this board, but acceptance into a couple of the programs she is auditioning for is still quite competitive.

 

Like msd, we ended up visiting most of these schools twice. I expected four auditions, but I wasn’t prepared for the additional scholarship auditions at the liberal arts colleges. This month she and her dad will spend every weekend in a different city. (Better him than me! She and I did the major road trip last fall.) It is both expensive and stressful, but my daughter already has one conservatory acceptance in hand, so that makes her feel pretty positive going forward.

 

I agree with calamitous that the decision making process in the spring may also be quite stressful. We keep telling our daughter that having choices will be a good thing, but she is not convinced. She has already asked if we can visit one of these schools for a third time to watch a student performance!

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I get vicariously stressed just reading this thread as this was our situation a couple of years ago.....trying to do the college/company audition and praying for a good outcome. Good luck to all of you and your dancers!

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I get vicariously stressed just reading this thread as this was our situation a couple of years ago.....trying to do the college/company audition and praying for a good outcome. Good luck to all of you and your dancers!

 

And I do as well, but because I'm about to undertake this starting next year (11th grade but I'm sure that's the time to start as all have mentioned). I can't thank you all enough for sharing your experiences with us! It certainly does help me to see when to start and how heavy to pursue it all while trying to figure out exactly what to do! :)

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I've come to the realization that the "figuring out what to do" is the hardest part Of the whole process because DD determines how hard to pursue it all.

 

We are weeks into the SI/trainee/college audition process and now have a few options to consider. The problem is that it isn't a straight comparison of all the options. There are apprenticeships, SI acceptances which MIGHT lead to trainee offers, college acceptances, and so on. How do we help DD decide? Do we invest in sending her to a top tier SI And hope for an unpaid trainee offer or do we go with the apprenticeship with company with a good to OK rep? Which is the best option given where DD is at emotionally? (Come to think of it, where I am at in terms of letting her go?) Do we hold out to see the rest of the audition results? HELP! :)

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Sit down with your daughter and look at the offers. Which offer gets you closer to that corp contract? Consider putting deposits down on your college choice. You can always defer later but it will provide a back up for the fall. If there are scholarships attached to SI's consider sending her there and more than one if that is possible. Split the summer if you can. Of course all this costs money so you can only do what you can afford but have a plan. Check your deadlines on your offers. Offer deadlines will play a big role on the decision she will have to make.

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Look at each option and determine if there is a viable contingency plan if she accepts an offer and it doesn't pan out. Like lsu mentioned in regards to deferring college. Not having a contingency plan was the scariest thing for us last year. In the end DS received a contract. Had he not, we really didn't know what we would have done. He didn't want college and he would've fallen off of health insurance - which was our biggest concern. (Fortunately that ended out working out thanks to the health care bill, but last February we didn't know that would happen.)

 

So, if she attends SI A in attempts to get a trainee or apprentice position and that doesn't work out, what will she do? Is there a way she can continue to train at a top level for an additional year, whether in college or another ballet school? If so, then that might be a realistic gamble. Just knowing there are options "just inc ase" helps the stress level.

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Thank you Isu and cheeta! Your posts have really clarified what we need to think about. Friends and family really don't understand and can't help! Being a ballet mom is like belonging to an exclusive club sometimes. :wink: Having this group as a resource has been invaluable.

 

Sophiabuddy

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Putting in my 2 cents with others and recommend to still pursue colleges with a deferral in mind if a trainee or apprentice position comes along. Almost all colleges will defer enrollment for one year. Many colleges, esp. ones that value the performing arts, may extend the deferral and hold your dk's spot for a second year should the dk have a apprenticeship or trainee position in hand. All that is required is an enrollment deposit ($500 in my dd's case), and that's usually not due until May 1st for most colleges.

 

Even with an apprenticeship or trainee position, things can change during the course of a year (injury, contract not renewed, etc.), and it's nice to know that you have a second "home" to go to with the college holding your spot in their next freshman class.

 

Good luck to all!

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My question is if one chooses to defer college, does the dance offer defer too or just the academic acceptance? Would the dancer need to re-audition? What about if a dance merit scholarship or academic scholarship was awarded? Is that lost? thanks for any info!

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concerned parent
I've come to the realization that the "figuring out what to do" is the hardest part Of the whole process because DD determines how hard to pursue it all.

 

We are weeks into the SI/trainee/college audition process and now have a few options to consider. The problem is that it isn't a straight comparison of all the options. There are apprenticeships, SI acceptances which MIGHT lead to trainee offers, college acceptances, and so on. How do we help DD decide? Do we invest in sending her to a top tier SI And hope for an unpaid trainee offer or do we go with the apprenticeship with company with a good to OK rep? Which is the best option given where DD is at emotionally? (Come to think of it, where I am at in terms of letting her go?) Do we hold out to see the rest of the audition results? HELP! :blink:

 

If you have scheduled audtitions within a time frame where none of your other options will expire, I would think you would want to hold out and see how everything works out. We are midway thru our college audition schedule and I can't imagine making any decisions right now. Each audition and school visit presents new issues to evaluate. While my daughter wants to dance professionally, the lack of job prospects and low starting salaries has been a bit of an "eye opener" for her and she is also evaluating and developing her "back up" plan in case she decides not to pursue ballet as a profession. She is only auditioning for SI's that are connected to a company so she will get a look there. We are still not sure about which, if any, companies she will audition for directly.

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>> My question is if one chooses to defer college, does the dance offer defer too or just the academic acceptance? Would the dancer need to re-audition? What about if a dance merit scholarship or academic scholarship was awarded? Is that lost? thanks for any info!

 

I cannot speak to dance dept acceptances & re-auditions. However when my dd decided to defer, she was fortunate to receive some academic scholarships and each college had a different answer as to whether or not they would hold her scholarship for her. But at least we were able to call & find out from admissions at each school before the May 1st deadline on what they would do. So in the end, at least we had our eyes open as to which college would allow at least a 1-year deferral (which was all of them), and which ones would hold her scholarship.

 

Note that it's wise to not ask admissions about a deferral until after your dk is accepted. :-) Once your dk is accepted, then it's fair game to ask about deferrals. At that point, the colleges are motivated to get enough accepted students to commit with an enrollment deposit. And even if a student defers, that's one less spot admissions has to worry about filling for the following year's freshman class.

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Momof3darlings

When DD auditioned and deferred, one college held the dance offer the other did not. Of the same two schools, one held the academic offer and one did not but said shehwould likely qualify again if only a one year deferal but would need to totally reapply after the 2nd. Every school will be different. You'll need to speak with them and see what their restrictions and allowances are.

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QUOTE (sophiabuddy @ Feb 3 2011, 08:54 PM)

I've come to the realization that the "figuring out what to do" is the hardest part of the whole process because DD determines how hard to pursue it all.

 

I totally agree! :P

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