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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Koltun Ballet Academy

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WuHanmom thanks for sharing. These are things it would be helpful to hear about in order to make a decision.

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stephanie - dd just turned 15. For whatever it's worth...the year round program is very small. The entire upper program (ages 14-18) is made up of about 12 dancers. So, even if all of them were to attend the Boston SI, that still makes the majority from elsewhere. The NYC program, on the other hand, looks like it will consist of mostly year round dancers. Not that I personally see that as a potential negative. My dd felt very at home there from the very beginning. There aren't any egos in the year round program.

As far as Alexandra Koltun herself.... she has very high standards and believes in every dancer's ability to deliver. She is tough, I won't deny it. "Physically rough"? Based on my observation of weekly privates (and my dd's experience) I wouldn't choose the word "rough". Physical? Yes. Intense? Yes. She is very no nonsense. It is true that she routinely provides firm (sometimes gentle, sometimes not so gentle... depends on her mood) pressure and regularly repositions various body parts in an effort to illustrate and work the dancer towards the ultimate goal.... and is not the least bit timid about doing so. An approach that can definitely take some dancers by surprise. That said, everything she does she does with a sense of purpose and injury prevention is high on her list of priorities. Now, as far as "verbally rough"? I would have to say yes, at times Let's just say that she doesn't mince her words. But whether she is 'too tough' or 'too rough' really just comes down to a matter of personal opinion. Hard pressed, I'd say this program is probably better suited to a more mature, more confident, very serious dancer. It would seem that dancers either love her style and flourish under her tutelage or, let's just say... they don't. It rarely seems to fall in the in between.

Edited to add: For what it is worth, her husband shares teaching responsibilities with her and has as much to offer but with a completely different personality. They balance one another out beautifully.

Edited by sscrosby
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  • 1 year later...

Can anyone speak to whether or not Koltun offers any partial scholarships to girls. Looking at the prices, it just does not seem feasible.

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  • 9 months later...

My daughter is a year round student at Koltun, she was a student previously at the large local Ballet School. I would like to comment on Alexandra's teaching style. The first day my daughter auditioned, I saw tears in her eyes because she was not used to the stern voice, the physical corrections, or the teaching style. (She is used to "yelling" from me at times, but not from a teacher.) Very quickly, in fact a class or two later, she realized that this teaching style is in fact a "style" and she does not take any of it personally, in fact she likes it and is proud that she is training to be a tough dancer. My daughter was seriously bullied at the other school by a truly mean child who daily made demeaning and undermining comments in front of other children to her in the locker room, including a "re-enactment" of how "anyone" could do her Nutcracker role. That public humiliation left deep scars on my child and we had to leave the school for our emotional safety. A friend suggested that my daughter was potentially talented and told me to check out " the Russian ballerina", and so we went to the audition for the year round program. My daughter has simply flourished under Alexandra's training! I can't overstate how this experience has bolstered my daughters confidence in herself. She stands taller, smiles brighter. She holds her head differently. I'd say she not only found her inner strength, but she's found her inner beauty. I credit Koltun Academy, and Alexandra. In my opinion, to succeed requires tenacity, perhaps more than anything else. Now my girl is strong. Her dancing is also 100% improved in every possible way (turnout, flexibility, the way she hold her hands, her neck.)

Edited by Goo'smom
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  • 1 year later...

I am interested in Koltun Ballet’s year round program. 

Does anyone know if they have housing for year round students?

What do high school students do for academics?

What is the average day like for a student? (How much dancing, how many hours of school)

How many performances do the students do?

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I can help answer question: 

Does anyone know if they have housing for year round students? No. They may help you look but you really are on your own. Almost all the students live with their parents and commute. 

What do high school students do for academics? You do your own academics. Some do online schooling or homeschooling but most are in public/private schools.

What is the average day like for a student? (How much dancing, how many hours of school) Depends on your level but the highest level meets everyday but Sunday.

How many performances do the students do? There is a winter performance and a spring performance. Selected students are invited to compete with solos in YAGP. There is also opportunity for Ensemble numbers for YAGP or other competitions.

Just FYI, to get information about tuition, you have to email the school directly. 

Edited by pianomath
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