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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Boys & SI Scholarships


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Wow PTA member, I'm horrified for your son and glad we live in Santa Barbara where my son goes to public school, is proud to dance and celebrated by his high school for his fabulous talent. No one cares or asks about orientation or who "likes" who, all students are respected. I would never accept or tolerate any less.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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OP: My 14 yo son auditioned to 3 SI's. Based on his experience level (1 hr/wk for ~8 mos. very casual lyrical, then 10 hrs/wk ballet + some jazz x5 mos. at time of auditions) we thought he had good chance at one, slim to nil chance at another, and absolutely no chance at all at the last, but he wanted to do it to scope out the competition for the next year, and their fee was reasonable. He was accepted to the first with a small scholarship (~1/12 of total cost), was wait listed for lower level with second, and was not accepted at third. All of this was better than we expected. I'd say the first was about at level of Ballet Austin for ease of acceptance based on what I've heard (many local girls go to that SI). Just to show you that boys are NOT guaranteed anything!! (He was about 1/3 from bottom of his level 5 class at time of auditions)


Fortunately none of girls/parents at our studio say such nasty things, and there were some at all SI auditions so I had someone nice to talk to ;-) Just tell them "Well, isn't it wonderful that they're working so hard to make sure your girls will have enough partnering time? I hear sometimes, even with all that "help" they still have to share their partner with at least 3 other girls." or "Yes, I think it's great that they are trying to make sure they have enough boys to dance so your girls will have good, strong partners in the coming years!" And make sure they know that we would Never allow our boys to use their boy-ness as an excuse to not strive to be at least as good as the girls!


While boys may be cut some slack when they are new, at some point they have to get really good and strong to be able to partner safely, and for many of them, SIs are the ONLY place they are going to learn partnering safely and be able to take Male-only classes!

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To Lovemyjob - I am shocked and sad to hear of your family's experience of having a son who loves to dance 'However, this young man has not been able to go to a public or private school since he was outed. I have had to quit my job to homeschool him because he was tortured for this art. Most of the boys at our pre-pro school are homeschooled.... None of these boys in our "progressive" community have been able to survive in the public school. For my dd, I could make the choice to take her to public school tomorrow and she would be fine, perhaps even thrive because she is a dancer. For my ds, it is not an option. Because I homeschool my son for his safety, a traditional job is not feasible.'


Certainly our son doesnt wear a banner announcing that he dances ballet but his friends know (and dont care) and everyone knows he dances (he was up on the stage at the last school dance busting his moves :dizzy: ). I am horrified that such blatent homophobia still exists and is so freely expressed in what is supposed to be a civil society. Raising a DS has enough challenges without the ones you are encountering. I am not suggesting that we havent encountered similiar views (my father doesnt think being a dancer is a 'real job' for instance) but we never have to worry about our DS's safety as you do. You and your son really deserve a medal and every scholarship he ever gets offered. Makes my little difficulties sound pretty minor. Hats off to you Lovemyjob!

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Were all of you approached about scholarships AT the auditions? Or did you receive it in your acceptance email? My DS attended ABT Alabama last year. He was 11 at auditions and 12 at the intensive. (ABT was the only SI he auditioned for last year) This year he is auditioning for several SIs. So far Joffrey and The Rock... We haven't received even an acceptance from Joffrey. You received your Rock acceptance at the audition...and he was accepted. I tried to read through all posts and I am new to Ballet Talk. (actually I lurked for a while....) So please move this if it is not in the correct place.

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I think every SI has its own way of dealing with scholarships. Some will include it in the acceptance letter, while others may notify the dancer separately.

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andydancemom, the Rock is one of very few that notify you of acceptance (and scholarship) at the audition. Congrats for that and good luck with Joffrey! All our other notifications have come in email/mail, with scholarship (if offered) combined with acceptance (if offered).


Our experience this year has been acceptance at a couple of highly competitive programs with no scholarship. One of my DS's teachers told me that that wasn't unusual, that those programs will reserve scholarships for the older boys (17-18) that they might want to stay after the SI. My DS is 15.

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Thank you Clara 76 and momofboy2011 for your replies! I am learning and BT4D is certainly the place to find information. I have DS/DD twins and any scholarship would certainly offset the cost of sending them both to SIs this summer. Most of the girls at our studio that receive scholarships are approached after the auditions. It is good to know that even if you aren't approached...there may still be hope.

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Last year, The Rock School notified via email after the audition, if the dancer did or did not receive a scholarship.

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My DS has auditioned for many SIs, some have notified him of acceptance and scholarship after the audition and some have taken weeks to notify him that he was accepted and what scholarship they were offering him. Boys do not automatically get accepted or receive scholarships, it does depend on the program, talent, and potential. I'm sure it is easier for boys to be accepted and receive scholarships but this is never a given, we know this from personal experience.

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I'm sure it is easier for boys to be accepted and receive scholarships but this is never a given, we know this from personal experience.


This is a comment all should take note of! I continue to hear comments like, "of course he got accepted, he is a boy" and "all the boys get scholarships". While there are fewer boys which make the odds better for them, it remains to be a highly competitive atmosphere.

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Thanks Alan and gcwhitewater! Certainly not all boys would receive scholarships or acceptance. I am aware that scholarships are and should be based on merit. However, I was merely asking a question of procedure. Since we only auditioned once last year... (ABT and he did get in with no scholarship) we have very little knowledge base. He's auditioned twice this year... He was accepted to the rock level 3X/4. We've not heard from Joffrey. We have to travel 4 hours for all auditions. We are still planning to audition for Burklyn, Nutmeg, Orlando Ballet, and ABT. (We missed Harid and Patel due to conflicts and he's heard WONDERFUL things about both) We will continue on our SI path (he is 12 turning 13 by intensive time) ...and are grateful to all of those that have traveled there before us!

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Acceptances & scholarships, I've learned, are not a sure thing for boys. In talking to a lot of boys' parents this audition season and last, I have heard of non-acceptances as well as acceptances without scholarships.


Regarding some specific programs we've encountered:


Austin sends a generic acceptance email and follows up with a detailed letter a week letter. The letter will contain scholarship information, if applicable whereas the email made no mention of it.


ABT, Joffrey, and Chicago send an email with containing acceptance info plus scholarship info.


Boston told my son about a scholarship right after the audition;we received an email with details later.


They all seem to do it a little differently.

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HARID does accept DVD auditions however your son might be too young. Will he be in 9th grade in the next academic year?

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No, he will be in the 8th grade during the next academic school year. Thank you! I should have double checked the age. Again, I am new to this. This is such an incredible site for information. I've learned more in a week than I even thought possible. My DS is one of 3 in our studio. He learned more than I thought possible during the 3 week intensive that he attended last year and he loved every minute. I do know that being around other male dancers certainly helps. He learned so much from them!

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