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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Boston Ballet School for a 12 year old

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Thanks everyone who has responded so far! This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping to get. I really like the "toothpaste" analogy......It seems like I should look at these classes as adding to our overall experiences and broadening our horizons, but not necessarily something to jump into full time yet.


I will check into Portland, thank-you, DCNS. From where we are it's probably even once you account for traffic, parking etc. But easier and less aggravating is worth A LOT when it comes to driving.


Oliveoil 34, when you say time is on her side, can you give me some kind of ballpark for when a more monumental effort would be advisable? I know everything depends on the individual, but in your experienced opinion, is it more like 14 than 12?


I will definitely let everyone know what next Friday at BB Newton is like. WH's class was really interesting. It was parent observation week so my friend and I got to sit and watch the girls. It was also the day they did the Cecchetti syllabus work. The class was VERY small and the attention to detail was incredible. My daughter was able to keep up but it was all presented in a very different way and nothing was overlooked, for any of the kids. The teacher seemed to have eyes that encircled her head.


I'm very happy to keep getting more advice and words of wisdom if anyone has any more thoughts for us. Thanks again!

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Before you make a decision, I would strongly suggest that you make the drive at least a few times just to gauge the traffic. My husband and I lived in Brookline for a few years and my commute to City Hall (8 miles away) often took close to an hour. I remember one trip up to Woburn Mall in the middle of the afternoon (not during "rush hour") which took over 3 hours for no apparent reason -- no accidents, etc. My point is, you just really do not know what the traffic is going to be like, and it can be a bear.

If you have something of similar quality and distance, but without the traffic, that would be my choice. Just my 2 cents.

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I can't speak on the quality of BB at all, but I wanted to offer up another suggestion. Perhaps you could rent a small, inexpensive apartment in a safe area close to the school? If both of your kids are home schooled, maybe you could spend M-F close to the school or some kind of combination of days there? This would be a good fall back in bad weather, a place to make meals during long rehearsals, and obviously, a short commute. Certainly Boston's rich history and culture would offer a wonderful back drop for any student. Think of the wonderful trips/outings you could do during the day with your kids! I assume that your son will be able to take classes at a variety of studios as well. Of course this would require a separation from your spouse, work?, household responsibilities, etc. but I just thought I would put it out there....

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All the information specifically about the BB program(s) should be going on the Boston Ballet School dedicated thread. :wink: It will get lost for others looking for the same information if left on this 'personal' thread. Those posts will be moved to that thread shortly before we forget it is here.

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Thanks again, Natharki. Even though I have many reservations at this point, I'm looking forward to the experience and the children are too. My daughter didn't audition for Intensives last year so this will be sort of like that, at least in terms of expanding our dance-world-view.


Dancemaven, thank-you for your help in moving the thread. People have shared so much great advice and info, I'd hate for it not to reach more people.

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Oliveoil 34, when you say time is on her side, can you give me some kind of ballpark for when a more monumental effort would be advisable? I know everything depends on the individual, but in your experienced opinion, is it more like 14 than 12?


I didn't mean anything by "time is on her side" other than that she is young and that you do not have to make an immediate decision unless the situation are her current studio lends an immediate decision. I think you have gotten some very good advice from Narthaki especially since her experience at BBS is the most recent. My DDs went there but years ago and there have been many changes at the school since then so I do not feel I can adequately speak about the school as it is now.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Everyone,


It has been a great while since I have posted and I thought it was time to give an update, especially since there has been so much interest on this topic.

My daughter did end up at Boston Ballet in January of 2013. We traveled an hour and a half each way to the Newton studio five days a week. She was very happy and had excellent teachers. Less than two months later, she auditioned for a part in Coppelia, a Boston Ballet (not school) production that would be at the Opera House in May. She got a part. It was absolutely the most amazing experience she has had thus far in her life. It was a real dancing role and they were treated like professionals. For a period of time we drove to Boston 7 days a week. We felt it was totally worth it. In mid-May, she auditioned for BB's highly competitive Pre-Pro Program. At the end of semester in mid-June, we found out that she was not selected. She was disappointed but not devastated or surprised really.


We decided over the summer that she needed to work really intensely for the next year in order to be ready for the Pre-Pro audition in Spring 2014. We chose Walnut Hill because we were impressed with the new directors of the Community Dance Academy and because the classes were tiny. She danced there five days a week from September to mid-January. She also continued some classes at her old home-studio. Again, she had a really positive experience. In January she got into a good summer intensive (her first one ever) and we realized that we needed to conserve money for a while so we left WH and she picked up more classes closer to home. Boston Ballet did a February audition for Pre-Pro. Again, she was not accepted. We started to look at other programs that could be considered, namely Koltun Ballet Academy and Brookline Ballet. DD got some valuable corrections from both Trinidad Vives and Alexandra Koltun. She also worked really hard with local teachers in semi-private classes.


On May 17th, she and 75 other young people auditioned at BB. We got an e-mail on the 20th congratulating her on acceptance into the program. Needless to say, we are over-joyed. We feel like we won the jackpot. After so much time and seeing so many programs, we feel sure that this program will help our daughter thrive and grow as a person and dancer.


A lot of people thought it was hopeless. They thought that if she was turned down twice, she would never be accepted. That's why I'm sharing this. She hung in there, figured some things out, worked really hard and finally made it into the program she really wanted. Boston Ballet didn't have anything against her, it wasn't personal or political. They just know what they're looking for and you have it or you don't. That's the ballet world, right? My daughter had what they wanted on that day. Now she needs to replicate that 6 days a week for the next 4 years!

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Sayaggy, congratulations to you and your daughter! Please keep us posted, I like your posts, they are very informative. DS might end up in BB this year, but in their classical branch yet.

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Thank-you, dcns and bluemountain,


Our son will also be at BB this year. He will be at Clarendon St. in level 3. He already did a placement class. BB holds another Group Placement Class on June 7th at the Marblehead Studio. In level 3 he will do two mixed-genre classes per week and one boys only class per week. He will have the option to add Character and Modern.


He is really excited to go back.

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DS will be (if we decide to go) at Intermediate 1 at Clarendon St. We had the placement class on the same day as your daughter, in Newton studio.

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What a fabulous success story due, I suspect, to your daughter's tenacity and hard work. Kudos and congratulations!

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Great story! This is a great example of not getting discouraged and continuing to work towards your dream. DD sounds very determined! Best of luck!

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Thank-you to all for the notes of support and congratulations. Yes, there's no substitute for hard work. My daughter also had the advantage of some great teachers who took a real interest in her. She also has a lot of confidence in this part of herself. She has always danced and identified herself as a dancer so being turned down just meant they didn't see it yet, not that it wasn't so. It's really gratifying, honestly for me as well, that people saw it this time. The sense of relief is enormous. I have been so laden with self doubt about if I was making the right choices for her, if I was "mismanaging" this part of her life and training. When I told friends she was accepted they actually asked if she would be going. I may have doubts about other things but not about this. She has worked way too hard and believed in herself all along. I'm just so lucky her brother is a dancer too and we can all be together.


It's nice to be able to express this stuff to you guys. I've read enough on this site to know that you all understand what I'm saying and just where I'm coming from!

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