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Ballet Talk for Dancers

when to ask...continuing scholarship

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I was wondering when is the appropriate time to begin discussions with the ballet school (residency) that dd is at currently about plans for next year. Basically I need to know if they are going to be able to continue to offer her the scholarship that she is currently on. We can not afford to send her back next year without a similar scholarship and we will have to start looking at other options if her scholarship is cut. I am not sure how to broach this subject or when would be the right time to do it. She is very happy there and I definately prefer that she attend next year also, if at all possible. She is succeeding and they seem to really like her, so I def think that she is meeting their expectations, so that is not a concern. But I am totally stressing the money thing with trying to figure out summer and then worrying about next year. Any suggestions?

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Every school likely has a different approach, whether published or unpublished. We had the same situation a few years ago and were told that "protocol" was to notify students at the end of the school year and that it was frowned upon to ask any earlier than that. We decided to wait it out and heard nothing until the very end of the school year.


Depending on the school, sometimes scholarship determination and amounts rest on a review of the financial books, how summer programs might boost the bottom line, any dance "testing", end-of-year performances, and donor contributions.


Your best bet might be to talk to parents of others at your specific school to get a feel for how this situation is handled.

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I agree with cheetah that most schools tend to decide and inform about financial awards at the end of the year. However, if that is a big factor in your decision about re-enrollment, perhaps you could gently, politely make that fact known in conversations around the studio. I don't know if you would find out any sooner, but it would at least let them know that it is important in your decision, and that might help with their decision. Good luck!

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I guess I will stick it out. It is a big decision in what we will do next year but the principal and business manager know that we need that scholarship. We struggle every month with what we have to pay now and they have been very good about it being "fine as long as they know we are paying". Husband works on commission and winter is slow and we never know what he is bringing home. We have done pretty good holding our own so far this year, but it has been difficult. We are not one to rock the boat and I understand that they have to look at everything and see what they have. I also know that they value dd as a hard working and talented dancer and that they would like her to stay - however my concern is that I also know that she is at maximum scholarship level and I worry that they may not have it to offer for next year. But I doubt there is anything I can do about it anyway - so I guess I will wait it out. Even finding out in late May/early June would give us a couple months to make decisions for the fall - more time than we had last year!

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lorrainegd, that sounds like a good plan. Without knowing specifics of the situation, I would just advise that your DK take a lot of auditions for summer which could include a year-round invitation. If any of those include scholarship for summer, or even if they don't but your DK attends for summer and is invited year-round, then they might offer a scholarship amount which would make their program financially better than where you currently are. I know that change is hard and it's painful to leave a workable program for finances, but, if your current school really can't meet your needs for next year, you would be wise to have backup options.

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This is the exact advice we would give, too, and it's what we did. DS made sure he auditioned for programs that could provide an alternative year-round training solution in the event he could not return to his current school. Consistency would be great but sometimes it just can't happen, for a variety of reasons. Also know that you are not alone in this situation. We've seen many dancers have to leave a program for a better option financially. If it helps, most that we know made wonderful transitions and continued to grow and excel. Perhaps because they researched in advance what the next best option would be.


Good luck with your decisions, though. Waiting is tough.

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